By Dumisani Muleya
One of the main reasons why Zanu PF, first under Mugabe and now Mnangagwa, has always found it easy to rule Zimbabwe is that its citizens are always vulnerable to divide-and-rule strategies and attendant tactics along political, regional and ethnic (not policy and ideological) lines.
While Zanu PF is still refusing with Zapu properties that it seized for political reasons in the 1980s, it is very keen to illegally get involved in MDC party power and asset disputes in favour of one faction.
In the 1980s, Zapu suffered partly as a result of that (Zanu’s divisive politics); then the MDC under Morgan Tsvangirai also failed to electorally win power because it couldn’t win in certain provinces rural areas as it had done elsewhere, specifically Mashonaland provinces. At one time or another, the MDC won everywhere except there. Those provinces still remain Zanu PF strongholds and there are many reasons for that.
When the coup happened in 2017, the same dynamics were at play: people were also divided along political, regional and tribal lines.
Same script is now applied on the current opposition MDC power struggles.
Some people always can’t see the forest for trees; majoring in minors and not main the subject, or better still focusing on immaterial detail and not the bigger picture which matters the most.
Zanu PF’s divide-and-rule manoeuvres are self-evident now again, yet another self-preservation project.
Of course, there is always an intersection of all these issues and other factors, which include historical, political and social issues, as well as class and other interests, and indeed survival considerations at stake.
Politics in Zimbabwe is not and has never really been about ideological, policy and development issues, but these emotive things, including personality cults.