Thursday, 7 April 2016

Surprise was not Mugabe conned war vets but that he was still able to do it after 36 years! By Wilbert Mukori.

In the village where I grew up we had a mischievous old man, vaChomugore. He would ready to concede to any request but on condition that he be allowed to fulfil the promise tomorrow, next week, next month, next year etc. the more distant into the future the better. When the agreed day finally arrive the individual will turn up eager to receive whatever it is that the old man had promised.

Chomugore would ask the expectant recipient what he had said. “You said come tomorrow!”

Well, come tomorrow then!” Chomugore would reply with finality. After this has happened two or three time one would finally learn that Chomugore has no problem promising anyone anything as long as he is expected to honour his promise in the future. He will never have to honour his promise since his tomorrow is always a day away!

For the last 36 years President Mugabe has played the role of the mischievous Chomugore; he has promised his fellow liberation war comrades and the nation at large mass prosperity “tomorrow”, his tomorrow was Chomugore's tomorrow – always a day away.

For the lucky few post independence Zimbabwe has been a land of milk and honey, the country has a few filthy rich individual. However for the overwhelming majority of Zimbabweans the economic well being has been a downward decline with an ever increasing angle of decline. The facts speak for themselves.

Life expectancy in Zimbabwe, the universally accepted qualitative and quantitative measure of a nation's economic well being, has declined from 68 years in 1980 to a misery 34 years in 2004 when the last reliable figures were available.
What is truly remarkable is how our modern day Chomugore has managed to fool the nation and kept their hopes high of mass prosperity even in the face of growing mass poverty. When the war vets became increasingly restless in the late 1990s President Mugabe paid them the one-off Z$50 000 plus an equally generous disability allowance (the ruling elite were the main beneficiaries but worse still this an ill advised expenditure as accelerated the economic decline). So instead of the war vets opening their eyes and see the reality that one-party dictatorship Mugabe had imposed on the nation was not working the bribed renewed the faith in the corrupt and oppressive political system.
For the last 16 years Mugabe has used the war vets as his storm-troopers imposing Zanu PF on an increasingly restive populous demanding democratic change, free and fair elections and an end to the failed, corrupt and oppressive Mugabe rule. After years of doing Mugabe's dirty work the war vets have found they are no nearer the mass prosperity, if anything the mass poverty has become a permanent fixture. But instead of finally accepting that the corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF dictatorship will never deliver economic prosperity the war vets and demand meaningful democratic change the war vet have brought yet another list of demands.

, The war vets assured Mugabe they still believe in his gutsa ruzhinji (they are clearly lying because their shopping list tells of their economic hardships and desperation.) They are failing to generate enough income to pay their bills. The number of surviving war vets is probably 2% of the total population and yet they are asking for 20% Presidential scholarship (they clearly do not know the scheme is as good as dead due to lack of funds). They want 20% of the seized farms (do not tell them that 90%, at least, of the farms have already been seized and dished out).
The war vets want 20% of the shares of all the indigenized foreign owned businesses. Since the passing of the indigenisation law in 2008 Zimbabwe has lost billions of dollars in potential investment because no foreign investor would want 51% of their investment taken away. Some one MUST tell these people that 20% of nothing is nothing!

"Why do you want to be given 20 percent? Who is going to own the other 80 percent?” was Mugabe's reply. “The land is ours, why don't you start your own mines?" The war vets are chalked to meet Mugabe again in a year's time. No doubt many of them will be living in abject poverty, with no farms, no mines, etc. given that the regime is still in denial about the country's worsening economic situation.

"We have sanctions which have led to shortages. Shortages of money in the banks. Shortages of this and that. Let us work hard." The meeting would have been incomplete without Mugabe blaming others for his own decades of misrule.

We are in a difficult position due to sanctions..but things are easing up," he reassuringly. The important thing is the war vets left the meeting reassured.

It took a while for me and my fellow seven year old boys to understand that vaChomugore's tomorrow is a mirage that is always going to be a day away. It is most disheartening when full grown men and women are too easily conned into believing in a illusionary mass prosperity. Worse still, the conned adults are not just a small group but hundreds of thousands from every corner of the country. But worst of all, it is sickening to know they have been conned for the last 36 years!

Zimbabwe is in a real serious political and economic mess, a man-made mess. For all their liberation war heroics the war vets have turned out to be some of the most naïve and gullible individuals; Mugabe has twisted and manipulative them turning them into murderous thugs to serve his own selfish agenda. He promised them a share of the looted wealth and although the country's economic decline is evident the war vets still dream of mass prosperity!

Marange diamonds should be a blessing for the nation but have become a curse instead because it is the looted wealth from Marange that is financing the Mugabe vote rigging machinery and dictatorship. Similarly the war vet should have been a blessing to the nation as champions of freedom, justice and human dignity but they have become a curse as they are now been brainwashed to be the defenders of the corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF dictatorship!


  1. How President Mugabe has managed to keep the hope of all these war vets, Zanu PF members and many other people beside that he was on the right track for economic prosperity in the face of the economic meltdown is the greatest surprise. Mugabe admitted that the regime has allowed $15 billion to be looted, which is equal to the country's GPD, and he still blames sanctions for the economic crisis and the mob believe him!

    For all their pretence at being sophisticated these war vets do not even have common sense! If you can be conned this easily as Mugabe has done with these war vets for 36 years then you clearly do not have common sense.

    The war vets are easily conned but what will not be so easily conned is hunger and poverty. As the nation sinks deeper and deeper into abject poverty and despair the war vets will sink too. After 36 years they have yet to realize that the Zanu PF dictatorship will never deliver mass prosperity until that truth sinks in the nation will continue; meanwhile the few enlightened Zimbabweans will have to do our uttermost to fight Mugabe and these misguided war vets to end the Zanu PF dictatorship.

  2. @ Mudhara

    The war vets fall into two distinct groups my friend there are hot heads like Jabulani Sibanda, Chris Mutsvangwa Many and Chinos who are naive and gullible and never understood what the liberation war was about. President Mugabe is exploiting their naivety by giving them crumbs and they are out doing his dirty work of denying the people their freedoms and rights which is the only way he can maintain his dictatorship.

    Then there are the more level headed war vets who know that the nation will never prosper under this corrupt and tyrannical dictatorship which stands against everything the nation fought and many died for! It is sad and tragic that after all the nation had gone through to attain independence the country was thrown back into yet another fight, fighting for the same things, freedom, human rights, etc. and worse still the new oppressors are none other than yesterday's liberators.

    War vets like Sibanda and Mutsvangwa have brought shame to the good name of all those war vets who fought and many died for freedom and liberty. Please do not condemn all war vets just because there are some rotten applies!

  3. "Why do you want to be given 20 percent? Who is going to own the other 80 percent? The land is ours, why don't you start your own mines?" was President Mugabe's response to the war vets' demands of 20% of the seized white farms, 20% of mines and 20% of everything else they fancied.

    Mr President, the war vets are asking for 20% of the seized farms, etc. because the overwhelming majority of the war vets have absolutely nothing, sir! The country's worsening economic situation has left 90% of the population out of work and millions now live in abject poverty – many of the war vets are amongst the millions out of work and living in abject poverty?

    As for President Mugabe's last question: “why don't you start your own mines?” There is no doubt that the President is mocking the war vets!

    The economic situation today is even worse now than it was 20 years ago and instead of another fat cheque the President is telling the war vets that this time they are on their own. They are to be successful farmers without millions of financial assistance the chefs received when they got the farms. They are to be successful business owners and miners in an economic environment where well resourced and political connected individuals like Obert Mpofu have failed!

  4. “Chigaro ngachiuye netsika dzakanaka. Zvigaro hazviturunurwe samatamba, zvinouya nechimiro chako, nekudiwa kwako nevanhu (leadership should be assumed through good works and the correct channels),” said President Mugabe.

    Well that is rich coming from the man who has failed to hold free, fair and credible elections all his 50 years plus in politics!

  5. This came amid reports Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) commander Lieutenant-General Phillip Valerio Sibanda has reportedly thrown Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko, who presides over the security sector in government, under the bus after he rejected his attempts to recruit him to support Grace’s ambitious Generation 40 (G40) project.

    Instead, Sibanda is said to have reported the matter to Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) commander General Constantine Chiwenga before escalating it to Mugabe, the ZDF Commander-in-Chief.
    Top military commanders who spoke to the Zimbabwe Independent this week said in the run-up to the tense April 7 meeting between Mugabe and the war veterans in Harare, Mphoko approached Sibanda, his junior in Zipra, for a meeting to discuss the current political dynamics and alignments within Zanu PF, but the ZNA chief was not impressed as he apparently retorted that he only serves the government of the day in terms of the constitution and the law, while loyal to his bosses not any other people. It is said that is why he then escalated the matter to his superiors.
    Senior army officers said Mugabe’s meeting in Harare with war veterans has proved to be a watershed event, amid the intensifying succession conflict which poses the gravest danger to the Zanu PF regime yet.
    While Chiwenga’s future remains uncertain as Mugabe, who brushed aside war veterans’ main demands despite being shaken by the army resistance, wanted to remove him for backing Mnangagwa, it now appears the April 7 meeting gave him a reprieve.
    Although some army sources say his contract is about to or has expired and will not be renewed, Chiwenga’s close aides say it was renewed in June last year and is now open-ended, meaning he is just “serving at the pleasure of the Commander-in-Chief”.
    Anyone who was in the war of independence knows that the G40 faction will get rid of them if they get into power and that is why they are not biting any of the G40 bait other than the likes of Mphoko!