“Chokwadi hachipudzi hukana, nhama dzinogura hukana!” (True friendship is born out tell someone what they need to hear and not what they want to hear!) so goes the Shona adage. Of course, we all want our egos messaged to no end and what better way than hearing what we want to hear. Still, when someone tells you what you NEED to hear they are doing you and your ego an even greater favour – saving you the expense of the mistake and knock to one’s pride that comes with every fall!
“The out-going US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Harry K. Thomas Jr says President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government needs enough time to deal with political and socio-economic challenges affecting the country,” said a report in New Zimbabwe.
“Speaking to journalists in Harare on Thursday, the ambassador said he was happy with the positive stance that has been taken by the new leader to turn around the economy and work towards achieving a free and fair 2018 election.”
Ambassador Thomas was certainly telling President Mnangagwa and his Junta what they WANTED to hear and not what they NEEDED to hear.
What Ambassador Thomas should be telling President Mnangagwa and his Junta is that time is running out for the regime. The country is facing very serious and urgent political and economic challenges emanating from the country’s economic meltdown. With the country’s unemployment rates sitting at a nauseating 90%, with ¾ of the population living on US$1.00 or less a day, etc. it was pleasing to hear President Mnangagwa underline the importance of doing everything in his power to revive the country’s economy.
He promised in his inauguration speech to “hit the ground running!” Well after three months in office he is running out of steam!
His “Zimbabwe is open for business!” clarion call; has had no takers. The flood of foreign investors he had hoped for have not materialised. It is obvious why.
“He (Mnangagwa) has promised to make some electoral and economic reforms and has set some provisional dates for the elections according to the constitution, something that our government has applauded and hope to see happening,” said Ambassador Thomas.
But that is just it; President Mnangagwa has promised free and fair elections and yet has done nothing to implement the democratic reforms necessary for free elections. Indeed, he has continued to pursue the same vote rigging activities of the past such as bribing Chiefs with new vehicles; they have a history of frog marching villagers to vote for Zanu PF.
Everyone can see, particularly the hawk-eyed foreign investors, the Zanu PF regime has no intention of holding free and fair elections. The election observers will only confirm what the world already know, Zanu PF is a party of thugs who cannot be trusted to hold free and fair elections.
Investors do not do business in a country ruled by thugs! Period!
“Let us give Mnangagwa enough time to turn around the country’s economy and making sure that the elections are held peacefully in a fair and free environment,” Ambassador Thomas argued.
Time is the one thing President Mnangagwa does not have. If the elections are not free, fair and credible then President Mnangagwa and his Junta regime are in serious trouble. President Mnangagwa got away easily with last November’s military coup but that was only because the coup removed a greater evil in the form of Robert Mugabe. Failing to hold free and fair elections will only confirm what many had feared; the coup remove one dictator but only for him to be replace with another dictator and so the dictatorship itself is alive and thriving!
What the people of Zimbabwe need to hear is that President Mnangagwa’s Junta regime is the same corrupt, incompetent, vote rigging tyrannical Zanu PF dictatorship of the bad old Mugabe days; the regime’s stubborn refusal to implement reforms designed to dismantle the dictatorship is all the proof the nation needs of this. If the people made the mistake of voting for the regime in the coming elections they regret this for the coming five years!
The single most important task for the nation for the last 20 years, at least, has been to dismantle the Zanu PF dictatorship and thus ensure the country held free, fair and credible elections.
Zimbabwe is in this political and economic mess because for the last 38 years the nation was stuck with an incompetent and corrupt regime that rigged elections to stay in power!
If President Mnangagwa is not going to give up Zanu PF’s carte blanche powers to rig elections, then he and his Junta regime must be removed from office a.s.a.p.!
If he fails to implement the reforms and restore the people’s freedoms and basic human rights including the right to free and fair elections then the people will be fools to entrust their future in the hands of another Zanu PF dictator!
If President Mnangagwa was serious about holding free and fair elections he has had plenty of time to implement the democratic reforms. He has not even implemented one reforms! “Let us give Mnangagwa enough time!” As we gave Mugabe 37 years???!