Monday, 15 August 2016

#ThisFlag lacks substance so why should Mawarire's departure from Zim matter. By Wilbert Mukori

There has been a lot of lively discussion amongst Zimbabweans on #Tajamuka/Sesijikile, #ThisFlag and the direction or lack of direction of the nation’s struggle for meaningful political change, especially on whether or not Pastor Evan Mawarire did the right thing is leaving Zimbabwe. The discussions have failed to establish whether or not there was any substance in Pastor Mawarire’s message; if there is no substance in the message (I argue that there was none), then who cares what happens to the message or the messenger!  
“We watched the whole movement in amazement as it gained momentum, watching all the videos daily and praying earnestly for Zimbabwe. That is how heavily involved my husband and I became in the #This Flag movement,” confessed Jean Gasho. See “Open letter to #ThisFlag Pastor after calling Zimbabwean HATERS”, Bulawayo 24 Opinion.

“What first attracted me to This Flag was your humility, passion and eloquence. I remember saying often to my husband that "truly this man is a man of God". …. I thought well, God has surely chosen you to deliver the people of Zimbabwe from bondage, especially those back home.”
This is the thing about Zimbabweans; we are easily bowled over especially with empty slogans no matter how nonsensical and self-contradictory they might be. Who can forget Zanu PF’s “People’s Choice!” or MDC’s “Party of excellence!” Yet the one is expect in rigging elections thus denying the people the choice whilst the other failed to implement even one democratic reform although that was the very thing the people had risked life and limp for them to do, respectively.  
“Tajamuka! / Sesijikile!” (We are enlightened! We are free!) “Hatichatya!” (We are no longer afraid!) are the new slogans that swept Jean and many other off their feet! There is nothing substantive in all Pastor Mawarire’s video to suggest he understood Zimbabwe’s problems and will “deliver the people bondage!” Nothing.
Indeed Pastor Mawarire’s naivety left one cold. He demanded that Mugabe must “fire corrupt ministers” for example. This would have made sense in the early 1980s but not now after 36 years of this corrupt and tyrannical dictatorship. Surely it should be clear that it is no longer a matter of corrupt ministers but rather a corrupt and tyrannical regime and we should be demanding democratic reforms and free and fair elections. We need to fire the whole regime and have failed to do so because Mugabe has become an expert at rigging elections.
How can Mawarire deliver us from bondage when he clearly has no clue what is wrong! We are in this political and economic mess precisely because we thought Mugabe would lead us to the Promised Land and he landed us in this hell-on-earth instead. We elected Tsvangirai convinced he would deliver us from this hell and he sold-out. So if Mawarire is just another clueless Mugabe or Tsvangirai, full of rhetoric and no substance, what difference will it have made if he stayed in Zimbabwe or left the country?  
“However fast-forward four weeks later, I haven't got a clue as to what's happening anymore. Each time I watch your recent videos I feel confused and somewhat betrayed. I feel like you are a different man to the man you were before you fled Zimbabwe. Your style and tone of talking has changed, the humility I once saw in you I don't see it anymore,” complained Gasho.

“I don't hear you say hatichatya (we are not afraid anymore). What puzzles me the most is that since you left Zimbabwe, you started saying This Flag movement was never about one person. With all the respect, YOU Evan Mawarire started this movement. You are the face and founder of it. You are the leader of it.
In his article, “Evan Mawarire where are you?” Vince Musewe put more meat to the bone on this theme.
“Leadership to me is being in a position to face the same risk and taking the same bold steps that you may expect those who follow you to mirror. I think that Evan would have been more effective here in Zimbabwe on the battle front than posting videos from outside the country. Leaving was a mistake,” wrote Musewe.

“We must therefore not downplay the reality that Zimbabweans need to be led on the ground and Evan has certainly let them down on that score. The dangerous if not naïve response by him can't be to say we are all leaders, that is a myth and self-serving. Of course he had his valid reasons for leaving and we must respect that, but he certainly has could have communicated better-another critical leadership trait.”
What Musewe has not said is that Mugabe and Tsvangirai has, in their time, stayed and led the nation from the front and look where they have landed us into! We certainly do NOT “need to be led” into a mess.
Actually, the reality is that as a nation we have shown that we are very easily bowled over with rhetoric and empty and nonsensical slogans and thus end up electing corrupt and incompetent leaders. We are so naïve and gullible, we even recycle leaders with a proven track record of failure! We have to learn to pay attention to detail because only then can we separate the competent and visionary leaders, the wholesome grain, we desperately need from the corrupt and incompetent, chuff.
We are in this hell-hole because for the last 36 years we have looked for the easy downhill solutions to freedom, liberty and national prosperity. Each downhill solution has taken us deeper and deeper into the hole and, like it or not, the way out has become harder and harder.
#ThisFlag, #Tajamuka, etc. have all offered easy downhill solutions which is way they have appealed to so many Zimbabweans. If we keep repeating the same mistake of going downhill to get out of a hole, following corrupt and incompetent leaders who are offering no solution; “Tajamuka pakudiyi!” (We are wiser in what way!)
The GNU offered the best opportunity since independence to dismantle the Zanu PF dictatorship; the chance was wasted because MDC leaders did not have a clue what the democratic reforms needed were and so did the electorate. The country’s worsening economic meltdown has put a lot of pressure on Zanu PF to accept meaningful political change but unless we, the people, know what reforms must be implemented; this chance too will be wasted.
What we need is to demand the implementation of all the democratic reforms followed by the holding of free, fair and credible elections! Nothing else matters. We can have millions marching every day in every city and town in Zimbabwe scream at the top of their voices “TAJAMUKA!” “SESIJIKILE!” “HATICHATYI” “WE ARE WISER!” to no avail. I can teach a parrot to do that!


  1. "Leadership to me is being in a position to face the same risk and taking the same bold steps that you may expect those who follow you to mirror. I think that Evan would have been more effective here in Zimbabwe on the battle front than posting videos from outside the country. Leaving was a mistake," you tell us.

    Well other leaders like Mugabe, Tsvangirai, Tendai Biti and no doubt you good self Vince Musewe have all stayed on the ground; what good have you lot done to the nation? Mawarire has offered nothing but the usual empty rhetoric which would have change nothing just as Mugabe and Tsvangirai have done.

    It is not so much about one staying on to lead; if they are leading the nation astray then it is better for the nation they f*&k off and never return! Zimbabwe would have been better off if Mugabe had stayed in Ghana and Tsvangirai in Botswana and never returned to mess up the country as they have done!

  2. Tsholotsho North MP Professor Jonathan Moyo has sourced more than $10 000 to pay examination fees for Form Four pupils from 11 schools in the constituency. The pupils were in danger of failing to write the tests as their parents had failed to pay their November Ordinary Level examination fees.

    How tragic! This problem is not unique to Minister Moyo's constituency affects other students from the rest of the country and so the begging bowls are out and the donors will be forced to ignore most of them. We are now a nation of beggars! And yet the regime still boost of it achievements in education!

  3. @ Obert Gutu

    “Election 2018 is less than thirty months away but already, there is absolutely nothing in our national electoral playing field that is pointing to the possibility of holding a free and fair election. The constitutional body that is mandated with the responsibility of running all elections in this country, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), is currently facing seemingly insurmountable challenges mainly relating to, but certainly not limited to, severe financial incapacitation, material resources constraints and an all-pervading culture of political interference; particularly from the ruling Zanu-PF party. It is a notorious fact that the national voters' roll remains in shambles and that, in fact, the country is not even able to tell whether or not the so-called biometric voters' registration will be adopted for Election 2018. Presently, there is a lot of ambiguity and imprecision regarding what, exactly, will be the form and nature of voters' registration that will be formally adopted by the ZEC in time for Election 2018,” you said.

    The failure to hold free and fair elections has been Zanu PF’s doing until the GNU, ever since it has been MDC’s breath-taking incompetence that has been the biggest problem. MDC failed to get even one reform implemented during the GNU although the party had all the opportunity to do so.

    Since the rigged July 2013 elections it is MDC’s incompetence again that has stopped meaningful pressure from being applied to force Zanu PF to accept the implementing of the reforms. Instead of focusing on the democratic structural reforms required MDC has called for “electoral law alignment” although anyone with any brain has said these will accomplish nothing. And MDC continues to call for a Biometric Voters Roll although this too will achieve nothing without the structural reforms.

    If the ordinary people had been left to champion the cause for free and fair elections; we would have achieved a lot more than MDC has ever done! Having a completely useless, corrupt and incompetent opposition party like MDC has been a curse to the nation!

  4. How anyone can claim to be politically awake and wiser which both "Hatichatya!" and "Tajamuka /Sesijikile!" evoke and yet still follow corrupt and incompetent leaders like Morgan Tsvangirai or Joice Mujuru beggars belief! As a nation we love slogans, the catcher the better, regardless of whether we know what the slogan is saying or not.

    From the time MDC was formed in 1999 to 2013 the party members never tired of "Chinja!" "Change!" and yet they failed to get even one change implemented in the five years of the GNU showing this was just a slogan to them!

    We still need the democratic reforms implemented, everyone seems to have forgotten about them, and yet the same people still believe they are now wiser and liberated.

  5. I do agree with you that the task of creating a democratic Zimbabwe has become tougher and tougher as we sunk deeper and deeper into the hell-hole.

    In the early 1990s, when it was clear Zanu PF would not deliver any economic prosperity it would have been a lot easier to beat Zanu PF if the people had not made vote rigging easy for Zanu PF by boycotting elections. The regime has improved on its vote rigging tactics making it progressively more to stop the vote rigging by the simple process of registering and voting.

    During the GNU MDC had the majority in parliament and the support of SADC and so implementing the reforms was just a matter of MDC proposing the reform. After 2013 when the GPA had expired Zanu PF had the majority in parliament get any reforms implemented was a much tougher task involving getting the regime to accept giving up political power.

    Both #ThisFlag and #Tajamuka are not doing anything to force Zanu PF to accept meaningful democratic reforms. Street protest alone will do nothing to stop vote rigging!

    Still if Zanu PF was to successfully rig the coming elections there is no doubt the party will raise the bar for forcing it to implement democratic reforms even higher and needless to say more people will have given up hope of country holding free and fair elections.

  6. MDC resolved to boycott all future elections after the July 2013 rigged elections. Two years ago the party said it will end the boycott because it had it ways to force Zanu PF to implement electoral reforms to ensure elections are free and fair.

    "As Election 2018 beckons, it behoves all political players, including the ruling Zanu-PF party, to make sure that the will of the people shall not be subverted. It should be noted that all hope is not lost for Zimbabwe. But then, the reality is that there is a lot of hard work to be done before we can even up the electoral playing field. It can be done and in fact, it should be done," Gutu tells now.

    This sounds like yet another MDC-T flip-flop; now the party is once again admitting it will not get any reforms implemented before the elections! Zimbabweans should have deserted MDC in droves soon after the July 2013 elections and thus made it clear the party had lost all public support!

  7. @ Tendai Biti

    Well, well; Mr Tendai Biti being thrown off the gravy train has certainly helped open your eyes. You are now calling President Mugabe the “Emperor with no clothes on”, the “elephant in the room” whom you cannot wait to see go.

    “Put simply it is now self-evident that this country can only move forward after President Mugabe’s departure,” you said.

    “In other words as long he remains in office; we will remain captured in these vicious cycles of inertia and sterility.”

    And yet during the GNU years you called the corrupt and murderous tyrant the “unflappable father of the nation”!

    You are just so many other corrupt and incompetent Zimbabwean politicians like Mujuru, Makoni, Dabengwa and Tsvangirai; you all rant and rave about Mugabe and yet when you were in power and had the opportunity to do something to end the tyrant’s excesses you all did nothing but sing his praise. Now you are desperate to get back on the gravy train you think you can fool the electorate by pretending you have always wanted the tyrant to go.

    You fork-tongued viper; you should have resigned from all public life after the sell-out during the GNU, will fool no one! If Mugabe is the elephant in the room, you are the blood sucking ticks that have grown fat during his reign of terror. We want the elephant to go together with the all ticks and dandruff. We want a democratic Zimbabwe post Mugabe and not one full of recycled corrupt and incompetent ex Zanu PF or ex MDC morons.

    Go in the name of God; you have been here long enough after all the suffering you brought upon this nation.

  8. @ Ramani

    “Beijing also wants to ameliorate anti-Chinese sentiments in Zimbabwe to ensure that its alliance with Harare will remain intact even if Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party falls from power,” you said. It is too late for that to happen!

    China can now see the writing on the wall - REGIME CHANGE - everywhere. In supporting President Mugabe and dragging Zimbabwe into this mess this deep China must have known it was taking a huge gamble and regime change will only mean it lost. No new Zimbabwe administration worth its salt will be friendly with the nation that helped rig the Zimbabwe's elections for selfish political gain!

  9. "Right now, industries are being turned into churches. In Bulawayo people are praying in factories as companies have closed because of Zanu-PF. At least 91% of the people are unemployed and spend their time as vendors selling tomatoes, bananas and airtime cards. Girls as young as 16 years are being forced into prostitution because of just one man – Robert Mugabe," President Biti said.

    It is a historic fact that MDC had five years in which to implement the democratic reforms which would have stopped Zanu PF from rigging the July 2013 elections and they failed to get even one reform implemented. Today Biti is accusing Mugabe of forcing girls into prostitution and yet during the GNU he called the tyrant “unflappable father of the nation” and hence the reason why MDC did not implement even one reform.

    MDC sold-out during the GNU, the entire MDC leadership should have resigned immediately after the rigged elections. Zimbabweans would be doing the nation a great disservice to elect the same MDC leader everyone now knows are corrupt and incompetent back into power. Do so will show that we, as a nation, are not yet ready for good government and thus will rightly deserve to suffer until we are ready!

    Good government comes from electing competent leaders, by electing corrupt and incompetent leaders we will be saying we want bad government!

  10. @ Marewa

    “The current goings on in the MDC movement is tragic, shocking and epochal. The demise of the MDC, as we know it, is a tremendous loss to the Zimbabwean political landscape. Deductive reasoning shows that the party is teetering towards political obscurity. The Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) seems to be lacking direction and divided and other small opposition parties seem to be lacking dedicated followers.

    “The lack of vision and strategy has cost the MDC dearly. The party has simply become the radar-less ship allowing the winds of fate to drift in the high seas of political denial and uncertainty. The party President, Morgan Tsvangirai, has been thrown into profusion and confusion after failing dismally to win the 2013 July harmonised elections. The party and its supporters are now in a crisis of expectation.”

    MDC-T and Zim PF are only there because of the country's oppressive political system that does not allow freedom of expression, free media and democratic competition. Force through democratic change and these political dinosaurs, led by corrupt and incompetent individuals with a track record to prove it, will disappear even faster than the dodo!