Thursday, 25 August 2016

Mugabe is to blame for street protests but no excuse for gratuitous violence - war veterans revisited. By W Mukori

There is one thing to be said about Zimbabwe's economic meltdown; which has resulted in unemployment soaring to 90%, forced 76% of the population into a life of abject poverty, left government without cash to pay civil servants, etc.; it is socially and politically unsustainable. Being unsustainable means things cannot continue as they are and yet as long as Zanu PF remains in office things have got even worse and thus increasing the pressure for meaningful change to revive the economy.

Zimbabwe is a de facto one-party cum one-man dictatorship which has been ruthlessly imposed and retained. Sadly the dictatorship has turned out to be incompetent, corrupt and lawless; the three cancers that are killing the economy. There will be no meaningful economic recovery in Zimbabwe until we cure ourselves of these three economic cancers and the only viable way to do that is by ending the political system – the dictatorship - that has spawned these problems and allowed them grow and spread for all these last 36 years.

So the cure to Zimbabwe’s socially and politically unsustainable economic meltdown is meaningful political change designed to dismantle the failed de facto dictatorship as exemplified by the holding of free, fair and credible elections.

Change is nature. Mugabe and his cronies may be tempted to think they cheated nature by resisting change these last 36 years. They are fooling themselves!

Change comes in small incremental, peaceful and orderly evolutionary changes. In being small people can adjust and adopt. By stifling public debate, abolishing multi-party democracy, banishing peaceful demonstrations, rigging elections, etc.; Mugabe blocked all the natural avenues for small evolutionary change. He has successful retain power for the last 36 years but at the cost of destroying Zimbabwe politically and economically.

It was the lack of meaningful democratic accountability that has allowed Mugabe and Zanu PF to remain in power for the last 36 years but it was the lack of democratic accountability too that has allowed the regime to be so breathtakingly corrupt, incompetent, arrogance and tyrannical. It is Zanu PF’s unchecked criminal waste of the nation’s human and material resources that is behind the unsustainable economic meltdown we are facing today.

By rigging elections Mugabe was resisting peaceful evolutionary regime change and per se opted for violent revolutionary change. The last few months Zimbabwe has been shaken to the core by violent street protests and, until there are meaningful political changes leading to meaningful economic recovery, there will be more street protests.

We have seen the Police try to silence people demanding change by tear-gassing and brutally bashing them. The people have responded by shouting even louder for change, by burning and looting. Until there is meaningful change there will be more tear-gas, burning and looting.  

Many people have warned of the need for free and fair elections and other peaceful changes in Zimbabwe just to avoid the dangers of social unrest or worse violent revolutionary change would bring. The violent revolutionary change we feared is now upon us. Pray it does not going to last long. Pray it is not going to cause a lot of destruction of property and human injury and lives.

The tragedy here is that social upheaval and economic misery we are facing in Zimbabwe today are man-made and therefore could have been avoided. We would not be in this hell-hole if Mugabe had not imposed this corrupt and tyrannical dictatorship on the nation. We would have dismantled the dictatorship during the GNU if Tsvangirai and his MDC friends had not sold-out and failed to get even one reform implemented in five years!

How quickly the nation emerges from this violent revolution and in what form will depend on whether the ordinary people themselves have learnt anything from the past. In the end, people always get the government they deserve; like it or not we deserve this Zanu PF dictatorship complete with its coterie of corrupt and incompetent opposition parties.

History has the habit to repeat itself, especially amongst those who fail to learn from the past. Mugabe and Zanu PF are a product of the war of independence; as war veterans they felt they knew best, they are “stockholders of Zanu PF and Zimbabwe” whilst everyone else was merely “stakeholder who can come and go”. The hawkish zeal and the gratuitous looting by some of the street protesters is a worrying sign a new generation of know-it-all war veterans.

Indeed MDC-T’s, “the government in waiting” the party claims, VP Nelson Chamisa has been wooing the rogue war veterans who have impose Mugabe on the nation all these years; a clear sign that MDC-T, at least, has learnt nothing from the past.

If all Zimbabwe achieve at the end of the current violent revolution is remove one tyrant but only to replace him with another because we failed to dismantle the dictatorship then this revolution would be a failure just like the revolution leading to the 1980 independence was a failure!


  1. It is a great pity that President Mugabe has forced the nation into this situation where there was no other way to end his tyrannical rule other than using violence. The militants have control of the national agenda and the only thing they want is more and more street protests and they are relishing the violence and looting that is taking place.

    The gene is out of the bottle and there is no putting it back the regime has the excuse to use violence and the people believe they have the excuse to end this Zanu PF tyranny by speaking the only language the regime understands - violence! We are in for a rough and long ride!

  2. Like it or not the call for peaceful change have been kicked into the tall grass all the focus is now on street protests and those championing this course of action have been confronted with brutal violence. The tragedy with the using of violence is that it breeds violence and so protesters have become violent themselves and, worse still, they have become hardened. The fear that the street protesters, like the rogue war veterans before them, will start to believe that violence is the only way to achieve any change and, worse still, that as they ones at the coal face in the struggle they are especial.

    We should not forget that we are in this mess because in 1980 we failed to establish a healthy and functional democracy because those who were are liberators became our oppressors. We need to break this cycle but the longer this situation continues and the worse the violence the more difficult it will be to break this cycle.

    1. I agree, the voices of reason, rule of law and democracy are being drowned out as the anarchists takeover pushing their slash and burn approach to change. Those pushing for street protests as the only way to end the Mugabe dictatorship are no different from the dictator himself; for he too, in his time, believed in the use of force to end white colonial rule. However, when he did achieve his initial objective, as the victorious liberation hero he could not contemplate anyone else other than himself ruling the country and thus set about to impose himself on the nation using brute force - what else!

      Mugabe did not like the multi-party Lancaster House constitution; he wanted a one-party, Zanu PF, state and set out from the word go to impose just that by hook and by crook. For all their rhetoric on National Election Reform Agenda (NERA) none of the opposition parties have a clue on what reforms are required. Anyone who expects Tsvangirai or Mujuru to implement meaningful reforms if they should be elected into power is naïve.

      The challenge before us today is not to let the anarchists who, like Mugabe, believe that they alone know what is best for us all have the final say because they will never create the free and open democratic system we want.

  3. Grace Mugabe to re-start her meet the people rallies to drum up support for her husband and her bid to be appointed VP.
    Grace is determined to position herself to take over from her husband; the thought of her being anything short of first lady and losing all the privileged lifestyle and the looted wealth scares the hell out of her. She is fighting a lost battle because the decades of misrule have destroyed the Zimbabwe economy and the Tsunami of demand for regime change it has generated is unstoppable.
    By resisting change for all these years the Mugabes now stand to lose everything because the Tsunami will sweep away everything and leave them with nothing. They will be lucky to escape with their lives!

  4. True but even you have to agree that it was only the tiny minority in the Zanu PF ruling elite who have benefited from the corrupt and tyrannical dictatorship of the last 36 years. Mugabe has been rigging elections and therefore it is absurd to suggest anyone has freely elected this tyranny.

    What Nomazulu is saying here is that we should be united in rebuilding the Zimbabwe we want for ourselves and our children. We can fight each other after Mugabe is gone but that will not change what he did nor will it help set a better tomorrow for us. Indeed by fighting amongst ourselves we will be denying ourselves hope of ever getting out of this mess.