In an interview with the State media, Dr Misheck Sibanda, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, opened a window into the working of the GNU.
“As Chair of Cabinet, he (President Mugabe) managed to steer the whole process, though people were antagonistic towards each other initially. . .It was his ability to manage contradictions. They (MDC formations) started respecting President Mugabe, the leader.
“They revered him; they saw him now – that fatherly figure, that he means well, he means beyond their narrow party ideology. He is for the nation. They realised they were possibly painting the President too negatively and that was not correct. They understood the man.
“Some (after losing the elections) said, ‘If we are needed, even if it’s a Zanu-PF Government, talk to the President. Possibly we can come and serve because we want to serve.’ (They said they wanted roles) in any capacity. You could tell that it was because of how they had been handled. To me, it was amusing.”
Dr Sibanda may find the whole GNU episode “amusing” the millions of ordinary Zimbabweans do not!
The single most important task for GNU was to implement the democratic reforms listed in the 2008 GPA so that Zimbabwe’s next elections will be free, fair and credible and not a repeat of the 2008 elections marred by vote rigging and some of the worst wanton politically motivated violence the world has ever seen.
How anyone can say President Mugabe “is for the nation” when he “declared war” on the people, as Tsvangirai rightly said at the time, to force them to vote for him.
“What was achieved by the bullet cannot be undone by the ballot,” President Mugabe declared. He was endorsing operation “Mavhotera papi!” (Whom did you vote for!) by Zanu PF thugs, war vets with the backing of the Police, CIO and Army that resulted in hundreds of thousands being beaten and/or raped and over 500 dead in three months. Some “fatherly figure” indeed!
President Mugabe bamboozled Tsvangirai and his MDC friends with gravy train lifestyles and, for Tsvangirai, a $4 million Highlands mansion; in return MDC leaders kicked the reforms into the talk grass. At the end of the GNU not even one reform had been implemented and Zanu PF was able to blatantly rig the elections and waltz back into power.
President Mugabe thought after bamboozling MDC and rigging the July 2013 elections it going to be plane sailing for him; events have proved him wrong. He has failed to get anyone, not even his “all weather” Chinese friends, to bankroll his $27 billion ZimAsset economic recovery plan. No one trusted him and his regime.
By blatantly rigging the elections again in 2013 when he had just come out of the sin-bin GNU years for the wanton violence and vote rigging in 2008 Mugabe proved, if any proof was required, that he has no respect of the law. None! No one in their right mind would trust someone like that especially with their own money!
Dr Sibanda went to great length in trying to assure the nation and the world at large the President Mugabe, a frail 92 year old today and sickly, is fit.
“He is alert, he knows what is happening. All those things (that he is no longer fit) are myths because he works — I can tell you. Sometimes he goes beyond nine o’clock or 10 o’clock. He is amazing . . . He is fit; that I can tell you because we work with him,” said Dr Sibanda.
The truth is President Mugabe is not as fit as Dr Sibanda would like us to believe; he has been stumbling and falling in public. He is not well. But old age and ill health are not his only problems; his party is imploding, torn apart by the factional wars to find his successor.
The most pressing problem for President Mugabe, however, has to be the worsening economic meltdown. 36 years of gross mismanagement and rampant corruption have taken their toll; the Zimbabwe economy in in terminal decline and without outside financial assistance will never recover. With ZimAsset dead in the water, President Mugabe has no plan B.
President Mugabe can work all night if he wished and his wife has already threatened to push him to work in a wheelbarrow if necessary; that will change nothing. Zimbabwe’s economic dangerous decline will continue until the country gets the much needed foreign financial assistances.
Zimbabwe will get financial assistance on one condition – the country restores the rule of law and political legitimacy. We have no choice but to go back and implement ALL the 2008 GPA democratic reforms so we can finally have free, fair and credible elections and a legitimate government. There is no other way out!
“People should write the truth about the man (President Mugabe) of his character. He is a unique character who has been bestowed to us by God,” pleaded Dr Sibanda.
History will judge President Mugabe as an incompetent (turned a prosperous nations into a basket-case failed state), corrupt (looting $2 billion per year from Marange whilst the nation starved) and murderous tyrant with a streak for rigging elections (have murdered over 30 000 innocent Zimbabweans). The good Lord bestowed on us all the discerning mind to pick right from wrong it is blasphemous to suggest that God approved the murderous path Mugabe has followed!