Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Zim "bereft of capacity to reform" said Reeler - street protest is not proof of cure. By Wilbert Mukori

“Zimbabwe is a country in crisis,” wrote Tony Reeler, “bereft of any capacity to reform – neither politically nor economically. This is common cause for all Zimbabweans, and a major reason for the citizens to protest increasingly loudly.”


As for the nation being in a crisis; given unemployment has soared to 90%, we have fallen from our perch of being the breadbasket of the region to become a nation dependent on imported food aid- we have become so impoverished we cannot even afford to pay for the imports.


We are starving in a country that is for all intend and purpose the Garden of Eden.


Zimbabwe’s economic collapse did not happen overnight it was been a steady slid to the bottom that started soon after independence. Unemployment has crept to 80% plus and has stayed there for the last 15 years. The economic meltdown has forced millions of our people to live in abject poverty and hopeless despair.


Of course the people have known that Zimbabwe’s economy was not doing as well as Mugabe wanted them to believe it was doing. Mugabe promised the nation “Gutsa ruzhinji!” (Mass prosperity!” again and again but the reality on ground told its own story of mass poverty. Poverty is like a hot chili-dish; it does not matter how many times someone tells you are doing well when you have no work, are hungry, basic services like education and health have all but collapsed, etc., etc. you know you are poor.


After 20 years of meaningless excuses, scapegoats and downright lies on why the economy was not doing well the majority of Zimbabweans finally came to the conclusion that Mugabe and his Zanu PF friends would never deliver economic prosperity. Since 2000 the Zimbabwean people made a concerted effort to remove Mugabe and Zanu PF from office using the only peaceful means obtainable - the vote. The people failed to accomplish and political change because Mugabe systematically rigged the elections.


Indeed Mugabe’s vote rigging dates back to the very first election in 1980; Mugabe did not send all his war veterans to assembly points as agree but instead kept many of them free to spread the word that if Zanu PF did not win the elections, the civil war was to continue. As the years went by Mugabe had step up his vote rigging to counter his sinking popularity.


When Mr. Reeler described Zimbabwe as a country “bereft of any capacity to reform” (politically), he was spot on for hence lies the heart of the nation’s political clueless inaptitude and helplessness which explains why the nation has been stuck with this Mugabe dictatorship for all these last 36 years allowing the country to sink to such unbelievable depths of hopelessness and despair!


The risk-all street protests are nothing new, we saw the same act of desperation by the people when they risked life and limp to vote for MDC in the 2008 elections. Some people would view this as the answer to the people’s clueless inaptitude in that the people did manage to elect enough MDC members to give the party the majority in parliament and in the GNU cabinet. The truth is the clueless inaptitude was still there hence the reason MDC failed to deliver any meaningful change at the end of the GNU regardless of the fact Tsvangirai had the majority in parliament and had the backing of SADC leaders.


MDC leaders did not have a clue what democratic reforms were needed to dismantle the Zanu PF dictatorship and so after five years of the GNU they failed to get even one reform implemented.


Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown has left the people so poor and desperate they are once again risking all elect someone like Joice Mujuru or Morgan Tsvangirai as long as Mugabe is removed shows the people are still not cured of their flawed thinking. After 36 years of this corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF dictatorship one expected the people to be as keen as mustard to not just get rid of the tyrant Mugabe but uproot the whole dictatorship his spawned to make sure the country will never have another dictator ever again.

Joice Mujuru was kicked out of Zanu PF, kicking and screaming to stay. Only the politically naïve would believe her nonsense that she had never criticized Mugabe all the 34 years she was at the heart of the Zanu PF government because “a puppy does not open its eyes in one day!” Not even the Mount Darwin (where Mujuru comes from) mongrel puppies take 34 days to open their eyes let alone 34 years!


 If elected back into office Mujuru will take up her corrupt activities where she left off in 2014, when she was booted out of Zanu PF. And she will revive the Zanu PF dictatorship to consolidate her own hold on power.


Tsvangirai had the golden opportunity to implement democratic reforms designed to end the Zanu PF dictatorship during the GNU. He failed to implement even one reform because he and his MDC friends are breathtakingly corrupt and incompetent. Zimbabwe is in a serious political and economic mess and thus the need for competent leaders must be blatantly obvious to EVERY Zimbabwean. So why would anyone vote for someone like Tsvangirai knowing fully well that he is corrupt and incompetent!


Now that the economic meltdown has the people sufficiently roused to risk-all in the fight for regime change many of the country’s opposition are now pushing for elections without bothering about implementing any reforms.  


“We do not need to worry about whom we elect into power, as long as we get Mugabe out,” some have argued. “Once Mugabe is out we can then implement the reforms and elect competent leaders!”


Even the corrupt and incompetent Tsvangirai and Mujuru will be smart enough not to implement reforms that will result in them losing power!


“There is a critical need for transformative reforms that will pre-empt elections or any other elite processes or pacts, and/or succession arrangements, not underpinned by crucial reforms that prioritise the interests of the citizens,” argued Tony.


The most critical transformative change are those to transform the electorate from a naïve and gullible lot to informed and diligent voters who would not be so easily and readily conned to elect a corrupt and incompetent leader knowing he/she is corrupt and incompetent. As long as the electorate are naïve and bereft of common sense we will remain stuck in the hellhole Mugabe landed us in. Street protests are an act of desperation and not proof of the cure of clueless inaptitude.


  1. Former Regional Programme Advisor for the UNDP's Africa Governance and Public Administration Programme as well as Officer in Charge (ad interim) of the UNDP Africa Governance Team Brian Tamuka Kagoro says he is concerned that the whole future of Zimbabwe is now focused on removing one man instead of creating a clear Alternative.

    There is another reason why some Zimbabweans can only focus on the removal of President Mugabe and nothing else - they are intellectually incapable of focusing at one than one subject.

  2. Man is a creature of reason, there is something depressing about all those who have embrace the street protest root. If asked what changes they would like to see implemented, very few of them would have anything else to say beyond we want regime change.

    Street protests, like the war of independence are now the substitute for thinking. It was no surprise that post-independence very few people had a clue what they wanted Zimbabwe to be, the same will happen again post street protests!

    President Mugabe took advantage of the lack of vision in 1980, no doubt Mujuru and/or Tsvangirai would do the same should they be elected back into office in 2018. From there on we will be fighting her/him for meaningful democratic reforms just as we have done with Mugabe these last 36 years. We have a task and a half trying to revive the economy and rescue our people from the economic hardships; we really have no time to waste fighting the same reforms all from scratch!


    1. At the time, never asked whether waging the war was the best solution; I just joined and did what I was told to do. But lately I have questioned whether this was the only way. I do not think there was any serious debate on the merits of waging the war and certainly there was never any discussion on what kind of government we wanted after the war. It was assumed that the Zanu PF leaders knew best - big mistake.

      As a nation we have given up our right to think for ourselves and to be heard too readily and too often and have paid dearly for the mistake!

    2. The ill effects of Zimbabwe's economic meltdown has put the fire in many people's belly, there is no doubt the pressure is on for regime change. Most people feel the only way for them to be heard is through the street protests.

      There is nothing wrong with street protests per se as long as people know where they are and where they want to go. I agree it is completely hopeless to be protesting to remove Mugabe but only to replace him with Tsvangirai or Mujuru. You risk all to change something and removing a tyrant to replace him with a corrupt and incompetent village idiot smacks of one who has not stopped to think through what they want.

  3. Would you delay Mugabe's departure for a year or however long it takes to get the competent leaders to replace the corrupt and incompetent Tsvangirai and Mujuru?
    The people of Zimbabwe have their hearts and minds set on removing President Mugabe they would rather vote for Mujuru and Tsvangirai, knowing fully well the two are corrupt and in-competent; that is how desperate the people are to see the back of the tyrant. They would not want to risk delaying the departure of President Mugabe by even a month because they were out scouting for the competent leaders you are talking about.
    They can deal with the consequences of having the corrupt and incompetent Tsvangirai and Mujuru, the people are confident they can have either removed from office very quickly. They cannot deal with the thought of Mugabe staying in power for a day longer if they can help it!