There have been protests and demonstrations in Zimbabwe since independence in 1980. There has always been a recognized opposition party, yet the ruling party has won every single election since.
Is it the incompetence of the opposition parties, the will of the Zimbabwean people to maintain the status quo, the inability of the election commission to organize and arrange fair elections as some have claimed. I believe it is a combination of all these factors.
While Zanu PF still maintains and will always maintain a following from a large segment of the population, its continued reminders of them being the liberation party will fall on fewer and fewer voters and the population on Born Frees who do not remember the war for independence grows and will soon outnumber those who saw or remember that war.
The opposition parties are continuing to fight a war for the hearts and minds of the people. Yet as Donald Trump has shown and Brexit vote has shown, it is not their hearts and minds that people vote with. It is a collective fear of Us Vs Them. Zanu PF has won because they understood that painting anyone that did not agree with Zanu PF as a traitor, puppet, THEM is what wins elections.
It is time for a new reframing of the arguements. Not the government Vs the people or Zanu Vs MDC. But who can make your daily life better Vs who is hurting you. Articulate the argument into who is helping you Us Vs who is hurting you THEM and the basis for a new understanding may be in place to help drive the way forward.
Not all Zanu leaders and supporters are bad just as not all MDC leaders are good. There are people in both parties who really care about the future and well being of the people of Zimbabwe. They may be in one party or the other due to circumstance, history, or other but they are genuinely interested in progress.
However as long as Zimbabweans refuse to even consider proposals that see the parties working together we will continue to be guided by the extremists of each party.
It is time for the people of Zimbabwe to have serious conversations not Slogans, or #tags, or Facebook rants. The way to progress is through negotiations and compromise.
Comment on this article to start the real conversation.