Ever since Zimbabwe attained her independence President Mugabe and his Zanu PF henchmen and thugs have ruled this country with an iron fist. Even with the overwhelming evidence that their economic policies were not delivering the mass prosperity they promised the nation the regime has continued to stake its claim as the only ones competent to rule Zimbabwe.
After 36 years of gross mismanagement and rampant corruptions under the corrupt and tyrannical Mugabe rule the country’s economy is in total ruins; unemployment has soared to 90%, millions now live in abject poverty, health and education have all but collapsed, the regime is struggling to pay the civil servants’ wages let alone everything else, etc. With the economy in ruins; it has been hard to keep poverty and his companions, hunger, disease and death, at bay.
For millions of Zimbabweans poverty and his companions are such regular visitors in their home, the dogs have stopped barking at them. Dogs bark at strangers, poverty seized being a stranger to many homes years ago.
With so many people now living in abject poverty it is not surprising that many of the Zanu PF ruling elite too have not been spared economic hardships. One does not need to ask, the tell-tale signs that poverty, hunger, disease and death are no stranger here are there for all to see.
It was common to see manicured lawns and two nice cars parked outside a beautiful house in most low-density suburbs the first decade of independence. Today the lawns are all gone, there is a beaten up ramshackle car resting on bricks and the house has all the signs of rot and decay. You do not ask the occupants of the house, how is work, the chances are none of them are in regular employment.
“Vari kupona nehwaku mukwaku se guguvo!” as my late mother would say. (They are surviving by hopping around like a crow!)
War veterans with no regular job in the security services, government or some such patronage job are some of the Zanu PF ruling elite who have been hopping around like crows, many are as poor as a church mouse. Poverty and his champions are such regular visitors; the dogs do not bark and they just walk straight into the house without bothering to knock!
It has taken years of hopping around like crows before most of these war veterans finally admitted that Zanu PF was delivering mass poverty instead of the promised mass prosperity. Of course, it is disappointing that it was taken these crows all these years and the country to sink this deep in the abyss before it finally dawned on them that things were not right. But as if their slow take of Zimbabwe’s economic situation was not bad enough; they have failed to see the economic meltdown as proof of the failure of the system but only as the failure of one or two individuals in the system. They have been demanding that President Mugabe and some of G40 leaders must go!
“If he (President Mugabe) announces his retirement date, the economy will improve because there is nobody who will invest his money where the future is uncertain. Nobody will lend money to a 92-year-old and if he does not step aside, 2018 will be the most difficult year to campaign for us, as war veterans,” they said in July.
Mutsvangwa’s, like his mentor President Mugabe who still insist on staying in power to sort out the economy, self-assured arrogance has become intolerable!
“We are masters of the succession plan. We know it so well so we have no lesson to learn from Jonathan who deserted the war,” boasted Mutsvangwa in an interview with VOP.
Mugabe and Mutsvangwa’s boastfulness reminds me of a the childhood fable of the horned owl who forced all the other birds to accept him as their king or he would inflict wounds on them with his “horns”. One day the owl dozed off whilst Nhengure (Fork-tailed drongo) was pruning him. Nhengure discovered that owl’s “horns” were not horns but turfs of feathers! The owl had to fly away and hide; never to be seen again in the light of day!
“This is why, to this day, Nhengure, will chase and mob the owl if he ever ventures out during the day,” concluded the fable.
Only an arrogant and sadistic tyrant like Mugabe would still think he is the only competent to revive the Zimbabwe economy when it was his failed leadership that has dragged the economy deeper and deeper into despair.
Mutsvangwa and his war veterans are the one who have done a great job imposing Mugabe on the nation all these last 36 years; it is therefore laughable that he should still consider himself a “master” when it comes to electing leaders.
After 36 years with the country in a real mess, there is no doubt that President Mugabe is not infallible; the country is in this mess precisely because it has not been possible to change him as leader even when it was clear he is corrupt and incompetent because he rigged elections. People like Mutsvangwa who have help impose President Mugabe as leader on the nation should hang their heads in shame because they were imposing a corrupt and murderous tyrant on an innocent nation.
Zimbabwe is in this economic mess that has brought so much suffering and costed so many human lives because we did not have free and fair elections forcing failed leaders to be held to account. We need free and fair elections if we are ever to get out of this mess.
By Robert Ballard
We must boldly claim our right to free and fair elections and be masters of our own destiny. To fail to do so on basis Mugabe’s insistence there will be no-regime change because he is infallible is as inexcusable as birds living in fear of the owl’s “horns”!