IF ever I have come across a weak and spineless entity — standing on shaky ground, that can cave in at any time — then, the ruling Zanu PF party perfectly fits into that category.
And, the party is fully aware of this fact.
Yet, we the oppressed people of Zimbabwe - and, our opposition parties that should be representing us, as the alternative government - appear not willing to take full advantage, or even aware, of these weaknesses.
Zanu PF has 'insecurity' written all over its forehead — and, it is now up to Zimbabweans and the opposition to take full advantage of this opportunity to remove, or at least pressure, a party that has maliciously turned our lives and livelihoods into a nightmare.
However, this is an area we are found wanting, as we are terribly falling short in capitalizing on the fact that Zanu PF has been standing on one leg for decades now.
The ruling party knows that it has horribly failed in its mandate to govern the country, and is now utterly reviled, loathed and despised by the generality of the citizenry — and, there is nothing that destroys an individual's sense of self-esteem and confidence than this.
This explains so much of the Zanu PF administration‘s behaviour, actions, and even words — which are largely motivated by pathetic fear and desperation.
It is always important for our opposition to pay more attention to these behavioral attributes by the ruling establishment, and what motivates them — if there is ever to be real change in the country.
- Mavhunga puts DeMbare into Chibuku quarterfinals
- Bulls to charge into Zimbabwe gold stocks
- Ndiraya concerned as goals dry up
- Letters: How solar power is transforming African farms
In times of conflict, one of the most important tools in any military force is 'psychological warfare and strategy' — whereby, the meticulous study of the 'enemy' and his psychology are centre-stage, as deeply understanding how the mind of those whom you are fighting is key to winning.
This will enable the formulation of psychological counter-strategies that are either targeted directly at the 'enemy', or at winning hearts and souls of the population - in which, any battle is fought.
As such, in Zimbabwe, there is no better and more effective way of doing this, than studying every aspect of the Zanu PF party and regime's behaviour, speech and reaction to various situations.
Which explains why I try never to miss the opportunity to watch State-controlled broadcaster news bulletins - since these are always telling.
If only Zimbabweans and our opposition chose to see beyond the sickening propaganda spewed in State media - but, read beyond the headlines, and understanding the psychology underpinning these messages.
If we did that — we would notice an entity riddled with insecurity, fear, and gravely lacking in self-esteem — thereby, is childishly craving for constant reaffirmation and validation, with a tendency for overcompensating for its glaring inadequacies and failures.
There is so much one can learn about those in power from the State media.
That is why nearly each and every news bulletin is filled to the brim with reports of the President, government, 'Second Republic', and 'new dispensation' — touted as 'visionary' and 'listening '.
Surely, for what reason would anyone feel the need to be 'commended', 'praised', 'hailed', 'thanked' at every turn?
As a matter of fact, if ever a person desired a few seconds of fame in State media, let them 'commend the visionary leadership of the President'.
Does this not expose a leadership that lacks self-esteem and is desperate for regular reaffirmation?
Why the need for always reminding the nation that the government was 'doing a good job' - with nearly every news report seeking to convince the population that there are 'positive' developments in the country, with each and every little thing being paraded as an 'achievement' (including, commissioning of a borehole and clinic by the President)?
Why does it even appear taboo for anyone to mention the name of the president without including such ridiculous titles as 'His Excellency' - yet, in other modern-day societies, this is seldom used any more in this day and age, or maybe only rarely reserved for formal State occasions.
Does this not reveal an individual who is not convinced, and is not entirely confident in his position - thereby, constantly requiring validation?
In neighbouring countries -— for instance, the South African president is referred (even by his own party, government, and public media) simply as Ramaphosa, or President Ramaphosa, without the need for all the nonsense of 'His Excellency', 'commander-in-chief of the South African Defence Forces'!
I am sure Ramaphosa is fully aware of who he is, and certainly does not require to be repeatedly reminded or, ensuring that the citizenry does not forget.
This is clearly a sign of a ruling party that is gripped by fear.
One of the undeniable facts of psychology is that bullies are generally cowards.
They always target those whom they perceive as weaker than themselves and, can never dare confront any who are of equal or greater strength.
That is why the regime has no qualms unleashing heavily armed security forces upon unarmed civilians - most of whom, merely wanting to constitutionally express their displeasure and disgruntlement with the ruling elite.
Or, abusing State institutions — which are legally obligated to remain neutral and apolitical — against opposition parties going about their business.
Lashing out and instilling terror in those they torment is purely a facade and means of both masking their own fear, as well as seeking to overcompensate for this, by portraying themselves as brave, powerful individuals — in the hope of keeping at bay any who may stand up to them.
It is not debatable that an insecure person, lacks self-esteem and easily gets offended with any form of criticism — as it dents their already fragile ego — subsequently leading to anger and attacks on any person who may dare challenge them.
Those who are confident and comfortable in themselves actually welcome and thrive on opposing and divergent views — since they are always willing to learn and be corrected, as a form of self-improvement.
Deep down, the truth is, the Zanu PF regime is severely petrified and terrified of the citizenry.
No wonder, when the bullied finally decide to stand up for themselves, the bully may initially try to put on a fake show of strength -— but, if he sees that his bullying tactics no longer have any effect on the bullied, he (the bully) will eventually cower and run away, with tail between his legs.
The same applies to the Zanu PF regime.
This is why their leaders do not hesitate going into hiding and fleeing the country — whenever they lose their grip on power, as such, feel vulnerable like a tortoise without its shell.
Yet, opposition and social justice activists, despite the relentless persecution, and threats upon their lives at the hands of the ruling party and government — remain right here in Zimbabwe.
My question then is: why are we not taking full advantage of all these glaring weaknesses within the ruling establishment?
Do we not have 'psychological strategists' within our opposition and other human rights organisations?
Zanu PF has been at its weakest over the past two or so decades, yet we have missed opportunity after opportunity to effect real positive change in our country.
I cannot go into detail on this public space about what can be done but it is imperative that we finally wake up to the reality that 'the owl does not have any horns'.
Yet, as long as we keep telling ourselves that it does, we will forever be driven by fear into not standing up for ourselves — and, changing our lives and livelihoods for the better.
In fact, we actually embolden the bully into committing even worse dastardly acts against us.
For how long are we prepared to let sleeping dogs lie — whilst our lot deteriorates each day?
To be frank, the more we lamely wait, the more we will lose even the little we still have remaining in a country where the ruling elite have made careers out of plundering and pillaging our national resources.
- Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, researcher, and social commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936, or email: email@example.com