Monday, 21 March 2016

Mugabe indaba with war vets must produce Magna Carta liberties and not a talk-show. By Nomusa Garikai

"We should have respect to our leadership. If there are contradictions, we sit down and iron out the differences," moaned President Mugabe. That is rich, coming from someone who has abused other people all his life!

Yes the nation is in a real serious political and economic mess and we desperately need to sit down and talk but this must not be talk for the sake of talking. If we are going to make any meaningful progress then everyone must have a meaningful say and the ultimate and universally accepted meaningful say is casting vote in a free, fair and credible process. How can people respect a leader who imposed himself on them?

Mugabe has never ever held free and fair elections at party level much less at national level. Yet, having rigged the elections, he has been quick claim the elections were free and fair and demand the respect accorded to a legitimately elected leaders. In the 2008 national elections, for example, he shameless declared that “what was achieved by the bullet cannot be undone by the ballot”, as he unleashed war vets and other thugs to carry out some of the worst political violence in modern times. He still claimed the elections were free and fair and he was the elected leader!

The war vets have always flattered themselves into thinking they wielded a lot of political influence, when all they have been doing was help Zanu PF deny the people vote. The first time the war vets tried flexing their political muscles but from the “wrong” factional divide as Jabulani Sibanda and Mutsvangwa did, they were promptly put in their place. The message was hammered home when the regime unleashed the Police with tear gas and water cannons to drive away war vets who still thought they were special.

The war vets are reportedly unhappy with President Mugabe and he has agreed to meet them next month. For the last 36 years President Mugabe has ridden rough shod over our freedoms, human rights and dreams; the war vets have pretended not to see this. One hope that the tear-gas has helped opened their eyes.

The proposed Indaba, meeting, between Mugabe and the war vets should have included representatives from the opposition, civic society and other interested key national players as it is not only the war vets who have something to say against Mugabe’s failed leadership and desire regime change; the whole nation is unhappy.

The proposed Indaba must not to be just another Zanu PF talk-show where Mugabe stuffs the attendees full of meat and beer, bribes them with ready cash and a promise of even more in the future (knowing he has no intention of honouring that promise) and baffle them with bull about future political reform. The Indaba will be just as useful and relevant if there are concrete resolutions acknowledging and resolving the following issues:

1)      Acknowledgement that the present political chaos resulting from the dog-eat-dog fighting in Zanu PF and the serious economic meltdown are socially, political and economically unsustainable; they are a serious threat to human lives and to national stability.   

2)      Acknowledge that the present dictatorial system is the root cause of the nation’s political and economic problems.

3)      Resolve to implement democratic reforms to restore the individual freedoms and rights of every Zimbabwean including the right to a meaningful say in the governance of this country and to restore the institutional democratic checks and balance necessary for a healthy and functional democracy.

4)    Resolve to implement all the democratic reforms and held fresh elections to restore politically legitimacy as a matter of urgency. Only a democratically elected government will have the political mandate and legitimacy to implement the far reaching economic reforms needed to rescue the nation from the current economic crisis. 

Zimbabwe has reached a political and economic impasse in which nothing of substance can ever be accomplished without reducing Mugabe’s excessive dictatorial powers. We must do something and restore the individual freedoms and liberties Mugabe has usurped over the years. The Indaba next month must be Zimbabwe’s answer to England’s 15 June 1215 Magna Carta Libertatum (Latin for "the Great Charter of the Liberties"). Indeed, we are not asking Mugabe and the war vets to reinvent the wheel only to use it!


  1. Mugabe has always treated his fellow party leaders including his cabinet members in much the same way an over bearing husband treat his harem of concubines. The ministers have all grovelled shameless before him, whatever they happen to be doing they always kept an eye and ear at him in case he needed anything! When Margret Dongo said all Zanu PF bigwigs were Muga-be’s wives, she was spot on.

    Where else in the world has anyone heard such nonsense as there being no cabinet meeting unless Mugabe is there to chair it? In Mugabe’s Zimbabwe that is the norm and has happened for the last 36 years!

    If Mugabe treats his cabinet members as concubines who must be kicked and slap around to keep them on their toes what more of war vets who are so naïve and gullible they do not know what is in their own interests. The war vets have been harassing, beating up people and even murdered them to keep Mugabe in power to loot and plunder the nation’s wealth; the war vets as much victims of this incompetent, corrupt and murderous Mugabe regime as the rest of us and yet they have risked life and limp to keep the tyrant in power.

    The Indaba between Mugabe and the war vet coming up with the Magna Carta! Even if it was a no-holds barred meeting with the cabinet, it would never produce anything of substance because Mugabe will bully and bamboozle his concubines into submission. What more these brainwashed war vets, given to making a lot of noise and doing everyone else’s dirty work and be dismissed like dogs from a kill.
    Mugabe will see to it that they have plenty of meat and beer and by the end of the day the war vets will once again be ready to do as he commands!

    Zimbabwe’s greatest curse is that political power has been in the hands on concubines and morons all controlled by a ruthless tyrant, Mugabe. And to complete the curse, a subservient electorate who have resigned themselves to the situation and have never had the wit to question the system.

  2. @ Choto
    We have made the mistake of thinking that every freedom fighter is a hero and a genius who believed in freedom (hence freedom fighter) justice human rights and human dignity. The truth is many of those who fought in the liberation war were mercenaries who did not care about free-dom, justice, etc.; what they really care about is power and the prestige and wealth it brought. They have shown again and again since independence that they will deny the whole nation their freedom and even the right to life if granting them meant losing power.

    There are a few war vets who believed in freedom and knew what they were fighting for but there are many who did not really understand. After independence it is not surprising that corrupt Zanu PF leaders mobilized these easily confused war vets to fight their selfish cause of creating a de facto one-party dictatorship.

    The war vet have become the new oppressor with the same passion as that shown during their days as freedom fighters! When you have no brain to reason but do as you are told, you wear the uniform of liberator today and that of the oppressor tomorrow and you are equally comfortable!

  3. @ tomorrow11
    Yes many of these rogue war vets did fight in the war of liberation but that did not mean they have a brain hence the reason Mugabe was able to turn them to wage a war against defenceless civilians and place the nation under siege! There are lawless thugs in society and many of them did fight in the war of liberation and since independence Mugabe has been carefully selecting and promoting the thugs at the expense of the level headed freedom fighters. The Indaba will be dominated by the thugs, the Jabulani Sibanda and Chris Mutsvangwa elements, and so nothing of substance will ever come out.
    Mugabe is expecting the Indaba to identify the hard core thugs whom he can then bribe and send out to do his dirty work of whipping the nation back behind him!