Pastor Evan Mawarire and his #ThisFlag is like one of those musical tunes with catchy lyrics that become a sensation overnight. However having raised the public expectation to such great heights the musician’s follow up release is so mediocre the people question the merits of everything. In the past the Pastor’s YouTube posting went viral, not anymore.
Last month he asked people to show their displeasure with the regime’s 36 years of corrupt and tyrannical rule by standing up 36 minutes into a cricket match, many people did even at the risk of being arrested. He asked people to do the same during a football game and no responded.
Those with good memory would remember how Tsvangirai too had commanded a lot of public support earlier on in his political career but failed to amass the same support for his “Final push!” demonstrations. Mugabe too commanded large crowds at his rallies in the 1980s; for the last few years he has had to rely on bussing in supporters or else he would be addressing a handful of people as happened to VP Mnangagwa’s May rally this year!
Tsvangirai lost his popularity with the people because he promised them meaningful democratic change designed to end the Mugabe's corrupt and tyrannical rule but failed to deliver. Agreed, many Zimbabweans never bothered to understand what these democratic changes were but when Mugabe went on to blatantly rig the 2013 elections, people knew straight away that MDC had failed to deliver free and fair elections as promised.
Mugabe promised the nation freedom, liberty and mass prosperity and it did not take long for the people long to realize that all he really cared about was "Pamberi naPresident Robert Mugabe!" He did not hesitate for one moment to cheat, rig elections and even kill his opponents and innocent people, he has murdered over 30 000 since independence, in his single minded determination to hang on to absolute political power at all cost. He has denied the ordinary people and even his fellow Zanu PF party members a meaningful vote in the governance of the nation and party.
The people of Zimbabwe now hate Mugabe with a burning passion because he has denied them the opportunity to remove him from office for 36 years with the disastrous economic and political consequence.
Evan Mawarire, Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe have one thing in common, they each promised to make the lives of the people of Zimbabwe better but each had no clue how to do so.
Evan Mawarire caught the nation’s attention by talking of the people’s daily economic trials and tribulations in a country with 90% unemployed, etc. at a very personal level. The next challenge was what he proposed the nation should do about it, it was then that he fell flat on his face. He proposed that Mugabe should fire corrupt ministers, for example.
Mugabe has allowed corruption to grown and spread to the point were a few individuals have reportedly looted $15 billion of diamond revenue in six years, by Mugabe’s own admission. He has failed to stop corruption because corruption has become so rampant and widespread many of his cronies in government including him and his wife are all guilty. It is therefore very naïve of Mawarire to be calling on Mugabe to fire corrupt ministers.
The only reason the people themselves have failed to fire Mugabe is because he rigs elections. If Mawarire was not so inapt then he would be demanding the implementation of democratic reforms to ensure free, fair and credible elections as the only way the country can end the present political and economic crisis.
Tsvangirai was on the political stage long enough to get a very significant public following before his failure to get even one democratic reform implemented during the GNU showed him for the breathtakingly incompetence and corruption person he is. Mawarire was not so lucky, he has not been on the public stage that long and already has shown he has no clue what he is talking about. Mawarire is like a candle, it provides the light but snuff it out and there will nothing but darkness. Tsvangirai is more like a camp-fire, it provided the light and warm whilst the firewood lasted but once that is burnt out there will be no light and little warmth from the dying ambers.
Mugabe’s regime too would have died a long time ago if he had not seized and corrupted the nation’s democratic institutions such as the Police, ZEC, etc. to ensure they served his selfish interest instead of the public good. He was lucky too to have corrupt and incompetent political challengers like Tsvangirai and Mujuru whom he bribed, bamboozled and brushed aside with ease, on the one hand. On the other hand he had naïve and gullible party members like the war veterans who readily sold-out on the liberation war values of freedom and justice for all to help impose his corrupt and tyrannical rule.
Still three and half decades of gross mismanagement, rampant corruption and brutal political oppression have destroyed the country’s once vibrant economy; unemployment has soared to 90% plus, basic services like education and health have all but collapse, there is no clean running water and power cuts are a daily norm, etc. The economic meltdown has affecting the ordinary people, millions now live in abject poverty, and the ruling elite too. Zanu PF is imploding because party members fight over the fast shrinking national cake.
There is no doubt that both Tsvangirai and Mugabe are glad to hear that Mawarire and #ThisFlag were just a flash in the pan; they did not like the competition. Still there is very little cause for the two to celebrate because the two’s political future remains grim.
Zimbabwe’s economic mess has woken up the people to the need for quality leaders ; this has made it very hard for leaders like Tsvangirai and Joice Mujuru with known track records as being corrupt and incompetent to make any political headway given Zanu PF pending collapse.
The economic meltdown has also hardened the people’s resolve to have meaningful democratic change; the regime is going to face many public protests. The introduction of the bond notes is certain to cause street protest particularly when the value of the bond notes should start to fall as many people expect to happen.
It is almost certain that the opposition is not going to get Zanu PF to implement even one democratic reform before the next elections. Still Zanu PF must know that rigging the next elections will be tough given the anti-Zanu PF hostility of the Zimbabwe public and international community; and it will be near impossible the regime to get away with the rigging this time!