This country has always been governed by emotions rather than practicality. Both civil wars (the First and Second Chimurenga) were triggered by sensationalism over the land issue. The reality was that those who fought for the land did not know how to exploit it. The dilapidation of once productive farms we have seen since the land invasion validates this point.
It is rather unfortunate that greedy, selfish and ambitious politicians have time and time again vandalized this emotive vulnerability. They promise to give land to the masses but they loot all the best land and plunder it right in front of the electorate. It baffles the mind that Zimbabwean voters have continued to be this gullible to the extent of regressing to pre-colonial politico-religious beliefs of a sacred land run by the wise and old till their death. This is a dangerous precedence.
What Zimbabweans seem to forget is that religion has always been and will continue to be the most powerful political force in this country. The First Chimurenga was started and led by spirit mediums. Similarly the Second Chimurenga was largely propelled by a baseline belief in supernatural backing in the form of Nehanda Nyakasikana, one of the spiritual mediums who led the Shona people south of the continent from the kingdom of Ethiopia. Most people do not even have a modicum of comprehension of the later fact.
Religious influence in Zimbabwean politics somewhat died out with the exit of the first President of Zimbabwe, the Reverend Canaan Sodindo Banana. From then on Mugabe shifted to the stirring of people’s emotions with his oratory on “certain enemies who need to be kicked out.” The enemy has continued to change since independence from the British capitalists. First it was the ‘Ndebele dissidents’, then it was the Commonwealth, the West, the ‘traitors’ MDC and so on. Mugabe and his ZANU-PF cabal have now come to a point where they have run out of ‘enemies’. I am almost certain there is an adage out there which goes, ‘When hyenas run out of carcasses to eat they kill each other till only one remains.’ ZANU-PF cannot survive without fighting; it is in their DNA.
Since they have now seemingly run of prey to kill they have turned against each other. The hunter has become the hunted. The hunted however has made a fatal error: they thought they had totally destroyed opposition politics and quickly returned to their own squabbles without bothering to check whether the enemy was truly dead and buried. Their blow was powerful but only maimed the prey not kill them. Over the past four years the opposition has silently re-grouped and re-strategized and is now reasonably prepared for an all out war.
Only one presidential candidate was needed and they now have him. The most powerful arm of the electorate, the war veterans, have seen the light and are ready to talk business. The largest group of the electorate, the youth, are all riled up thanks to Pastor Evan Mawarire who played to the tune of the well-tested fallacy of sentimentality to effect political change. It appears almost all conditions are now conducive for true democratic change. All the fuss about voter registration and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is just an issue of technicality. It represents a welcome shift in Zimbabwe politics. A transformation from putting emotions first to relying on good old facts as the dictum of governance.
The sheer number of opposition political parties which are converging to put practical matters over and above matters of self-interest and sensationalism gives credence to the preparedness of Zimbabwe for authentic democracy. Communism is on its way out.