When I was a small boy my aunt told me a story of an Ingutsheni Mental Hospital patient who watered the garden with a leaking bucket. He would be drenched from the leaking water and up to his knees in mud but will carry on. Sometimes the bucket would be empty before he reached the patch; he would continue and empty whatever little water was left.
The story has remained with me and formed the basis of my understanding of mental illness. The garden needed watering, the patient had the physical strength to carry the bucket to water the garden but, sadly, lacked the mental intellect to realize that the task will not be accomplished using a leaking bucket!
If the truth be told, we are stuck in this economic and political mess because for the last 36 years we have so to appease Mugabe and allowed to establish a one-man dictatorship and hoped, when reason said there was no basis for such hope, the dictatorship will someday transform into the democratic government we wanted. We have been doing our bit of watering the garden with a leaking bucket and we have come off with a lot worse than being drenched with water and covered in mud!
In 1980 Zimbabwe had the potential to be a free, just, and economically prosperous nation; a far cry from what we have become. Zimbabwe is facing a serious economic meltdown with unemployment a nauseating 90%, most cities and towns have no clean running water, we have daily power cut lasting 18 hours, most hospitals have no drugs, etc. The root causes of the economic meltdown are gross mismanagement, rampant corruption and institutionalized lawlessness which have killed all economic activity and scared away all foreign investors and donors alike.
As if the economic meltdown was not bad enough, the country is facing political chaos because there is no rule of law; the only law that counts now is survival of the fittest.
The economic meltdown and political chaos are causing untold human suffering and deaths and are now threatening to undermine national cohesion; there is a distinct possibility of the street violence or worse.
So why did we not follow the path to freedom, peace, justice and economic prosperity and instead took the one that has landed us in economic ruins and political chaos? We, foolishly, allowed Mugabe to do as he pleased, he did, and he dragged us into this mess!
Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies were the liberation war heroes and out of respect for their heroic sacrifice, fear of the AK47 rifle pointing at the them and sheer political naivety the Zimbabwean people have allowed Mugabe to do as he pleased. To gratify his insatiable greed for absolute power Mugabe stifled all meaningful debate and democratic competition within his own party, Zanu PF, and, even more so, outside. He has destroyed the nation’s state institutions like the Police and Judiciary turning them into Zanu PF departments, there to serve him and his one-man dictatorship agenda.
Mugabe has creamed off the nation’s wealth to feed his and his cronies’ insatiable appetites for luxuries and extravagant lifestyle. There is no money to buy drugs, water pumps, etc. and yet Mugabe is pocketing $2 billion a year from the wholesale looting and plunder in Marange and Chiadzwa!
After 36 years pursuing this policy of appeasing Mugabe and his cronies at all coast, of carrying this leaky bucket of hope against reason; one expected that the penny has finally dropped and the nation now sees the sheer futility of pursuing this stupid policy for one day longer! Sadly that is not so, there are some people like Vince Musewe who still want us to appease Mugabe!
“In my opinion, ZANU (PF), especially its leaders, fear to lose power through free and fair elections. Understandably so, because that loss of power may result in personal criminal persecution, loss of income and status. This fear is the same which is causing succession battles as Mugabe holds onto power. It is clear that the more we demand for political reforms, the more resistance to change we are getting,” wrote Vince Musewe in his latest contribution to the national debate on the subject.
“Going to 2018 elections without any reforms is political suicide and therefore unthinkable. I would rather we postpone elections and pursue an inclusive political settlement that addresses the fears of ZANU(PF), but ushers in a new era of inclusive democracy through comprehensive political reforms over an agreed timeframe.”
The GPA that led to 2008 to 2013 GNU wanted meaningful democratic reforms to be implemented and did not seek to appease Mugabe on this point. By signing the agreement Mugabe agreed to the democratic reforms (the only reason why not even one reform was implemented was because MDC sold-out).
Musewe’s proposed settlement is double Dutch, gibberish; to allay Mugabe’s fear of free and fair elections Musewe is granting the tyrant the power to veto all meaningful democratic reforms. So his promise of “new era of inclusive democracy” to the populous is based on hopeless supposition that Mugabe will never use the veto!
In short Musewe is not proposing anything new but just a variant to the present policy of appeasing Mugabe at all cost! Even now with the nation’s very survival hanging on the balance; some people still believe appeasing Mugabe and his cronies must still remain the nation’s primary concern.
It is not how to secure Mugabe and his cronies’ in power in perpetuate that is at issue here; it is the very survival of this nation that is at issue. It is a great national tragedy and shame that none of the GPA democratic reform were implemented during 2008 GNU. After 36 years of appeasing Mugabe and seeing the nation dragged deeper and deeper into this economic mess and political chaos there is no excuse for any sane Zimbabweans pursuing this foolish policy for one more day.