Thursday, 22 December 2016

Musewe, there will be no "imminent change" in Zimbabwe until we have free election. By Nomusa Garikai

"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation, and go to the grave with the song still in them," warned Henry David Thoreau.

Thoreau could well have been talking of Zimbabwe, we have become a lost nation living in quiet desperation and hundreds of thousands of our people have gone to an early grave and they have never lived. What a criminal waste of humanity!

Zimbabweans have had the great misfortune in being caught between a rock, in the form of the regime, and a hard place, in the form of the opposition to whom the people have turned expecting help and sound advice. The nation is in this economic and political mess because President Mugabe and his cronies have ridden roughshod over the people’s freedoms and human rights and dignity people. Instead of doing something to end the dictatorship and thus get out of the mess the people have dared to listen to the corrupt and incompetent politicians like Morgan Tsvangirai and Vince Musewe who have given the people false hope of getting out of the mess.

"I don't want to be pessimistic but choose to believe that the only thing that's constant is change and we must all embrace it. 2017 should be an eventful year as the country goes into its seasonal political activity as elections draw near," said Musewe. See “Change imminent more than before” Bulawayo 24.

This is just Vince Musewe doing what he has been doing all those last few years; ignoring the reality and the facts on the ground to give his optimistic predictions based on his wishful thinking.

After years of denying that the democratic reforms were important for free, fair and credible elections, it took the rigged July 2013 elections to Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends to change their minds. They grudgingly agreed that it was futile to contest any elections without implementing the reforms first. Sadly, not even one reform has been implemented to date nor is it likely that any will be implemented before the next elections.

So where is the justification for Vince Musewe’s optimistic prediction that change in coming. In his speech at the Zanu PF Masvingo conference last week, President Mugabe assured his party member that change was NOT coming!

“We have had all our opponents prostrated, so they are flattened on the ground. Havana ruzivo rwekuti voenda kupi, kupi – vakubata apa nepapa. (They are confused they do not where to go – what to do.)” he boasted.

“Externally, nyika dzokunze (outside countries), countries that have been hostile to us and all this time expected that Zanu-PF Government shall listen to them and that there shall be the regime change, have failed to achieve that.

“There has not been regime change and there shall not be a regime change. They stand defeated on that one. We have had I think quite some success in that area.”

President Mugabe and his Zanu PF party blatantly rigged the July 2013 elections and with no reforms it is clear they will do the same again in 2018. Whilst the national economic situation has continued to get worse for everyone else, the party’s economic fortune has never been better. The party took delivery of 350 new vehicles worth $10 million, paid $4 million the conference and still had cash to buy each of the conference delegates a Christmas hamper.

Zanu PF spent $4 billion, at least, bankrolling its vote rigging schemes in 2013; the regime will set to spend even more in the 2018 elections. Zanu PF is loaded as contrast to the opposition parties who are broke. When MDC failed to implement even one reform during the GNU, the party’s donors were so disappointed they deserted them in drove!  

President Mugabe’s claim that there will be no regime change is founded on concrete facts as contrast to Musewe’s mirage of imminent change!

"On my mind is the question of what should we do differently to cause the results that we want?” continued the deluded Musewe.  

“I am certainly looking forward to a closer working relationship with politicians community and civic leaders business leaders and social movements to chart an economic transformational blue print that we must sell to Zimbabweans so they can vote in their millions especially the youth. I also intend to launch a re-invent Zimbabwe campaign where we must imagine more and dream bigger and differently to change our language and expectations about the future."

For the umpteenth time Musewe; we are not in this economic and political mess because we failed to produce “an economic transformational blue print”. We are in this mess because we have a corrupt and tyrannical dictatorship which has usurped the people freedoms and democratic rights including the right to a meaningful vote and even the right to life!

Zimbabwe is a de facto one-party dictatorship in which President Mugabe has boldly and ruthlessly imposed his no regime change mantra. He has been aided and abated in this by none other than the country’s corrupt and incompetent opposition leaders and analysts whose foolishness has the people chasing shadows whilst regime drags the nation deeper and deeper into the abyss.

“I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms...” Wrote Henry David Thoreau.

The only real change in Zimbabwe will come from the country holding its first free, fair and credible elections.

If we, the people of Zimbabwe, still do not know what must do to ensure we have free, fair and credible elections; 2 500 years after the Greeks instituted democracy and after 36 years of disastrous experimentation with autocracy; then we clearly deserve to continue to suffer and die in hopelessness and despair.

Thoreau’s “live deep and suck out all the marrow of life” is uplifting and inspiring. Musewe’s delusionary “imagine more and dream bigger” will only encourage those who have buried their heads in the sand all these years to ignore the fact that throughout all these years they have not lived!

Monday, 19 December 2016

"Tumwe twacho" Mugabe called war veterans as if they are black-death fleas. By Nomusa Garikai

If there had ever been any doubt as to the contempt in which President Mugabe held his comrade in arms, the war veterans, he could not have put his contempt more graphically than he did during last week’s Zanu PF party conference in Masvingo.

“There are ways to be followed that you cannot dictate how things should be done. There are organs which follow rules and procedures of how things should be done and no one person should stand up there and say ah, I want this to be done this way.” He started off, talking about his turf war with the war veterans.  

The war veterans’ quarrel with him is over President Mugabe’s failure to deliver economic prosperity. It was them who have done all the dirty work of harassing, beating, raping and even murdering innocent Zimbabwe to impose the Zanu PF dictatorship that has kept President Mugabe and Zanu PF in power all these last 36 years.

Whilst the President and his cronies have enjoyed absolute political power and all the influence and material wealth it brings, the war veterans have seen their economic well-being sink and their abuse of povo have lost them the rest they had enjoyed as the country’s liberation war heroes and heroines.

You do not terrorize the people for selfish political gain – a share of the spoils of absolute power – and expect the people to consider you their hero still! And when the economic prosperity has not materialized after decades of waiting patiently, many of them have lived in abject poverty for decades, it is not surprising that the war veterans feel they have been used and then discarded like toilet paper! Except for the war veterans in the security services, civil service or have some such patronage job, the rest of the war veterans are languishing in poverty.

The contrast between those living in poverty and the filthy rich ruling elite has become a yawning chasm that cannot be denied or bridged. Of course, the impoverished war veterans have cause to complain.

The economic situation of the war veterans has sunk to what it is today because President Mugabe has always treated their complains with the same indifference that he has treated the suffering and even deaths of the rest of ordinary Zimbabweans. If anyone had doubted that the indifference was born out of contempt President removed all the doubt in Masvingo!

“Va(Phelekezela) Mphoko hatichavada,” continue President Mugabe in his criticism of the war veterans. “Hazviitwe izvozvo! Vamwe, tumwe twacho hanzi VaMugabe hatichavada. Ko  zvino zvausisavade unoti zviitwe sei iwe pachezvako vamwe vazhinji muparty vachiti tinovada? Hanzi ngavanzwe zvandiri kutaura; ngavanzwe zvatiri kutaura.” (We do not want VP (Phelekezela) Mphoko. Some, say they do not want President Mugabe. So, what do you expect to be done since the majority in the party want them? They want everyone to listen to them.)

For the record, it was a handful of the war veterans, some of them in the group now demanding that he must step down, who decided that Mugabe should takeover the leadership of the party from the late Ndabaningi Sithole over forty years ago. Ever since Robert Mugabe has seen to it that all the elective congresses since then endorse him as the leader, with no elections. Even PF Zapu signed the unity accord to join Zanu PF the Robert Mugabe was name as the first secretary of the united party and so there was no election. Now it is clear why President Mugabe has never allowed even his fellow comrades in arms a meaningful vote in who led the party.

President Mugabe’s contempt of the war veterans was lost in translation “Vamwe” (Some) is a Shona word one would use talking about human beings. “Tumwe” (some) is a word one would use talking about deadly disease carrying fleas, bugs one would kill on sight!

If President Mugabe has always treated his fellow war veterans as nothing short of bugs it is clear why he is angry that they should now expect him to give them a share of the power and looted wealth. As for denying them a meaningful vote, who would give a flea or mosquito a vote?

If President Mugabe treats war veterans with disgust and contempt one can only imagine his contempt for the ordinary Zimbabwean: no wonder he has never allowed the ordinary people a free and meaningful vote and in his 36 years in power he murdered over 30 000 innocent Zimbabweans for his selfish political gain and has never shown a remorse – he might as well have killed an infestation of black-death carrying fleas!

Sunday, 18 December 2016

British give Mugabe "18 months" to implement reform - has failed to implement in 36 years. By W Mukori

In a recent interview with the Zimbabwe Independent’s deputy Editor, Faith Zaba, the British Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Catriona Laing, assured the ordinary people of Britain’s commitment to free, fair and credible elections – the elusive holy grail Zimbabweans have been dying long before independence.

“Our government has a very clear manifesto commitment which is ‘to stand up for rule of law and human rights’,” said the Ambassador.

“An independently free and fair election will be the single most important test of whether the government of Zimbabwe really wants to go back to normal international relations.”

That should have been music to the ear of every thinking Zimbabwean out there if the Ambassador had not said others things too showing the British still do not understand the situation in Zimbabwe! And as long as the misunderstanding continues the dream of Zimbabwe’s next elections being free, fair and credible will remain a pipe-dream.

“We are still a while away from elections. We have around 18 months,” was the Ambassador’s reply to Faith’s question whether the British would accept the result of the elections carried out without meaning reforms implemented.

“In terms of the conditions to establish a free and fair election, a good starting point is the Sadc and (African Union) AU’s own recommendations from the previous election, which give us a starting point for checking what is in place. Fundamentally, it is for the opposition parties to decide whether they are going to feel they can participate in these elections on the right terms.”

There are four key points, home truths, the Ambassador has brought up that she needs to understand:

a)     If we had someone else, the National Transition Authority as some people been calling for, then 18 months is enough time to implement the raft of democratic reforms to ensure the next elections are free and fair. Let us be honest and frank with each other here, we are asking Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies to implement democratic reforms designed to dismantle the dictatorship that has kept the in power all these last 36 years?

During the GNU the country had its best chance ever to implement the democratic reforms. It was to MDC led by then PM Morgan Tsvangirai to implement the reforms; they failed to get even one reform implemented in five years.

Since the rigged July 2013 elections, the task of implemented the reforms was left to Zanu PF. Leading Zanu PF members like Professor Jonathan Moyo and Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa have already said that the party was not going to “reform itself out of power”. True enough, the regime has not implemented even a single reform since July 2013. Ambassador, you can give the regime another 18 years, not months, and no meaningful reforms will ever be implemented.

b)    Whilst everyone else considers free, fair and credible election as both an inalienable human right and a key tenet for accountable and good governance Mugabe and his Zanu PF thugs considers free elections a ploy by the British and her western allies to impose regime change in Zimbabwe. And when everyone has condemned Zimbabwe’s failure to hold free and fair elections, Mugabe has celebrated it as a triumph.

“Externally, nyika dzokunze, (outside) countries that have been hostile to us and all this time expected that Zanu-PF Government shall listen to them and that there shall be the regime change, have failed to achieve that,” Mugabe boasted during the just ended Zanu PF party conference.

“There has not been regime change and there shall not be a regime change. They stand defeated on that one. We have had I think quite some success in that area.”

Mugabe has shamelessly justified harassing, beating, raping and even murdering innocent Zimbabweans in pursuance of his no-regime-change mantra and yet straight after the elections would claim the elections were free and fair to claim his legitimacy. So far, he has had his cake and eat it too!

If the British, Zimbabweans or anyone else out there are serious about forcing Mugabe and Zanu PF to implement the reforms so the country can have its first free and fair elections then they cannot allow Mugabe rig elections and pretend they do not know what free elections entail!

c)     The MDC opposition had its golden opportunity to implement the reforms during the GNU when Mugabe’s hands were tied by the GPA. “Simbi inorombwa ichapisa!” (Hit the metal whilst it is still hot!) They failed to get even one reform implemented in five years and missed they chance.

Since the rigged elections Tsvangirai and his opposition parties friends have proven totally ineffective at forcing Zanu PF to implement any reforms. Zimbabwe’s opposition parties are resigned to participating in the coming elections with no meaningful reforms implemented.

Zanu PF has always allowed the opposition to win some seats during elections; a small price for the party to pay for claiming legitimacy. The opposition will be fighting each other for these scraps.   

To accept the next elections as legitimate on the basis of the opposition’s decision to participate knowing the elections will be rigged is some form of collective punishment.

Why should the rest of the Zimbabwean population continue to be denied the fundament right to a meaningful vote just because of a corrupt and incompetent opposition contend to feed on the scraps Zanu PF throws at them?

Ambassador Laing, if the British are truly committed to ending Zimbabwe’s culture of holding elections marred by violence and vote rigging then it is already abundantly clear that Mugabe and Zanu PF are determined to have yet another fraudulent election. This is self-evident, one does not need to be a rocket scientist to see this.

If the regime is to be stopped dragging the nation through yet another rig elections whose end-result will do nothing to get the country out of the economic and political mess it is in right now the country; then the regime must be told some basic home-truths now and not waste another day!