Because of the way in that the Zimbabwean government and economy is set up, only one party has access to all the information and capabilities to manipulate the electorate. This may be in the form of providing state resources provided basic function of government with a requirement that the recipient pledge allegiance to ZANU PF. In this way there is very little that the opposition can do without resources of their own. While the vast majority of the population depends on remittances from relatives and friends abroad, this cannot be tapped for political leverage without hurting the very recipients of the assistance. Unless is a drastic change like the collapse of the Zimbabwean economy, Failure to completely pay salaries, push back from civil servants and or the military. The power of mass protests will continue to be thwarted.
Recently ZANU PF held a mass demonstration of their own. In the demonstration they were able to promise housing stands and land to their supporters. For a person dealing with bread and butter issues on a day-to-day basis these ad hoc measures of support from ZANU PF in the form of “bribes” are appealing because they allow the individual to survive one more day. This has always been the strength of ZANU PF.
Insofar as the opposition in civil society can counteract this policy. They can seek direct support for individuals from nongovernmental and international aid organizations. The government noticed long ago that a strong opposition supported by any foreign governments or international organizations could be strong enough to counter this tactic of theirs’. This is why the implemented a law banning all international support for local political parties. This is also effectively meant that Zimbabwe’s and living outside of Zimbabwe are also not able to directly support opposition parties. And if they want to support individual organizations that help the poor for example and base and resources like bedding, building materials, etc; they are hit with high import tariffs to discourage such activities.
As a Zimbabwean population definitely needs assistance in the form off everyday necessities. But what will bring them up from poverty will be as sustained environment in which the government is not actively working against them. Recently the government of Turkey arrested over 6000 people who are suspected in being part of what coup plot they actively worked to counter. Judges, policemen, military officers, teachers and reporters were all rounded up by their government after a few individuals decided to remove the government by force.
This paper has always advocated for a peaceful transition of any government or people’s representation. This has always been our position and will continue to be the position of this paper. What is needed is the halfway to get to the place where both the government and the supporters and the opposition and their supporters feel that the government in place is representative of their views. The mechanism for such an outcome is already law in Zimbabwe. It is called a democratically run election process. This is and has always been the problem in Zimbabwe. In all the years that Zimbabwe has held elections the people running the elections have a vested interest in the outcome of the elections. This means that they can never be an independent electoral commission that is elected by the government. What is needed is that truly independent electoral commission that is not financed by the government but by direct taxation of the population and managed outside the government’s sphere of control.
Creating it truly representative government will pull Zimbabwe out of poverty a lot faster than any aid amount that the international community can provide. In this day and age Zimbabwe also needs a level playing field after such a government is created. The international community needs to understand that in order not to create another Greece with the debts that the country has the wolf’s any potential revenue creation to repay the debt means that the country will never be able to pay its debts and grow at same time. Debt forgiveness at that point is the only viable way in which the country will begin to grow and reduce its need for international aid.
Measures also need to be put in place at that point to ensure that the government is accountable to the people that elected it. And that people need to have the power to with that ruled that appointment should that be warranted. The ability to recall elected officials for nonperformance or working against the interests of those that elected them will keep them honest and will keep the population interested and invested in the activities of the government.