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The case for another major political player in Zimbabwe is now more apparent than ever. The ruling ZANU PF party has completely failed to reform itself. The opposition MDC has equally failed to live up to the high expectations of the people of Zimbabwe who had embraced the party at its formation.
The most disturbing prospect is that a political vacuum will definitely be created especially after the forth coming harmonised elections in March 2008. If the result goes either way the effect will be the same: a political vacuum will ensue.
For example, a ZANU PF victory no matter how unlikely it may appear, will definitely throw the MDC party into political oblivion. This is because the MDC's history is littered with non-achievements as well as near-achievements, and the people of Zimbabwe will want to see this as the last chance for the party to redeem itself. Failure to secure victory will not be met with another chance but that will be the natural death of the MDC.
Similarly, an MDC victory will still create that dangerous vacuum because the ruling ZANU PF is now too damaged and discredited to step into the shoes of the opposition MDC. What government would want to take lessons from an opposition ZANU PF that it itself has presided over the destruction of the country. Another major political party will therefore need to come in the picture.
An ideal situation for Zimbabwe in March 2008 would be a ZPDP victory because what our party represents is untainted with political scandals such as those of the ruling ZANU PF, nor are we being dogged by the crises of inadequate and nepotistic tag of the MDC. That is why our party is down to serious business that includes an ambitious outreach programme that is has never been witnessed before, and the rolling out of some of the more exhaustive policies any Zimbabwean political party has ever come up with. We will not leave anything to chance because we are in this to win it for Zimbabweans.
But while most people agree that there is need for another major political player in Zimbabwe they do not seem to quite agree as to when such a party should be incepted. Others want to wait until after the elections for the party to be formed but that will be too late. Encouragingly, there is a large progressive section of the population that strongly feels that this is the right time for a new major political player to come on board and this is why the ZPDP has been launched.
Another very important aspect is that the ruling ZANU PF and the MDC are two parties that seek to draw their guiding principles from very narrow concepts that leave out a significant number of Zimbabweans outside those narrow concepts. ZANU PF in premised on the notion of the liberation history of the country while the MDC is anchored on Trade Unionism, yet there are so many other attributes that Zimbabweans can be identified with.
ZANU PF's manipulation of the liberation war history has resulted in the distortion of that very important aspect of our national history because some people have resorted to cheating and misleadingly associating themselves with the war era so as to qualify to meet the ZANU PF criteria for participation in the national activities.
Equally so, those who are not of trade union or labour movement background have failed to cut it with the MDC because the party has overemphasised that concept as the dream ticket to the MDC party.
The net result of that narrowness of appeal by the existing two major political parties in Zimbabwe is the unfortunate disenfranchisement of a large section of the Zimbabwean population. For example, not everyone fought in the war, or not everyone fought alongside each other. Some people did not fight in the war, and those who did, were not necessarily alongside each other. There are also young Zimbabweans who were born well after the war who are now old enough youth to participate in the politics of their country. These are neither members of any trade union organisation, or veterans of any war, but they are ordinary Zimbabweans.
The ZPDP has realised the anomalies in our political system and is putting forward a much more comprehensive political project that has a broader appeal to, and identifies with all Zimbabweans. Our common factor is Zimbabwean citizenship. We are a party for all Zimbabweans with no eyes for race, colour, sex or sexual orientation, religion and tribe. The only credential for admission into the ZPDP is being a Zimbabwean.
For all those progressive minded Zimbabweans who would like to be part of the historic transformation of the politics of our great nation, this is the time to join hands and play an active part. We all have to work together for the good of our motherland. Let's not allow anything to come between us as a people. Let us all stand up for each other and protect one another. Let us fight for our nationhood, and defend our values, the values of freedom and democracy that we achieved through unity of purpose.
We are stronger together.
Ms. Isabel Shanangurai Madangure
President, Zimbabwe People's Democratic Party (ZPDP)