President Mnangagwa went to Davos for one purpose and one purpose only; to try and convince the world that Zimbabwe was now a law abiding nation and is ready to do business. The lady who interviewed him at the World Economic Forum, in Davos Switzerland, asked him such searching questions, she ripped off the democrat mask to expose the real Emmerson Mnangagwa – an unrepentant and thoroughly unpleasant Zanu PF thug.
“You said that you need to correct for the bad economic situation Zimbabwe found itself in,” the Lady asked. “You pointed to international isolation. You would acknowledge, would you not, that it was also bad decisions by the Zimbabwe government over many years?
“The government, the ruling party, of whom you had been a key figure for many years, in many role; that made those bad decision?”
“That is correct!” acknowledged President Mnangagwa. He then immediately took off at a tangent wittering on and on about why the land issue was a sore colonial injustice and how British had failed to honour their Lancaster House promise over the land issue. In other words Zanu PF did nothing wrong, the regime made no bad decisions.
By the time the land issue came to the boil, in 1999, the Zimbabwe economy was in serious trouble already. The country had already gone through two five-year, WB and IMF supported, Economic Structural Adjustment Programmes to try to resuscitate the national economy. Nearly two decades of mismanagement and corruption had taken their toll.
The seizure of the white owned farms from 2000 onward was by a regime that was fast running out of loot to give to its ever demanding but wasteful cronies. The regime made a big song and dance about giving the land to the landless peasants, the truth is it was Zanu PF party loyalists and their families who got the farms with people like Mugabe getting as many as 14 farms.
The gratuitous violence that have become the hallmark of the chaotic white farm seizures were a sinister political ploy to justify the politically motivated violence Zanu PF unleashed on the nation at large. The violent farm seizures have always flared up during elections and would quickly spread into rural areas and urban centres.
The mismanagement, corruption, systematic political repression and lawlessness are some of the “bad decisions” by the Zanu PF government the lady was talking about. How can the world believe Zimbabwe has change and is now ready to do business when Zanu PF leaders still continue to look for scapegoats when they should confront their own demons!
Whilst the world may over look President Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF cronies’ reluctance to admit they messed by big time what they, especially the would-be foreign investors the regime is desperate to woo, would not tolerate is a regime that refuse to be held to democratic account going forward. They want concrete proof Zanu PF now accept democratic change and will hold free, fair and credible elections.
President Mnangagwa and most of those in his Zanu PF administration are nothing but old wine in a new bottle because they, like Mnangagwa himself, have occupied key leadership positions in Mugabe’s Zanu PF, as the interviewer rightly pointed out. For the last 38 years, the regime has failed to hold free, fair and credible elections. Indeed, the regime, dismal human rights record including repeated failure to hold free and fair elections was one of the reason the regime was a pariah state. Even the AU and SADC, the continental body and regional body respectively had censored Zanu PF following the blatant vote rigging and wanton violence that happened in the 2008 elections.
SADC forced Zanu PF to agree to the implementation of a raft of democratic reforms designed to end the party’s carte blanche powers to rig elections. The reforms were supposed to be implemented during the five years of the GNU which included Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party. Sadly, not even one reform saw the light of day because Zanu PF bribed MDC leaders with trappings of high office and they, in return, kicked reforms into the prickly pear thicket.
It must be noted here that Mugabe entrusted the dirty work of vote rigging, using violence and looting to bankroll the party’s vote rigging activities to none other than now President Mnangagwa, he was the tyrant’s right-hand man and chief enforcer. It must also be noted that Mnangagwa was “in touch throughout”, by his own admission, with those who carried out last November coup that ousted Mugabe. It is therefore understandable why many people have doubted President Mnangagwa would keep his promise to hold free and fair elections.
Doubt has quickly turned suspicion and scepticism when President Mnangagwa refuse, as he did here, to acknowledge Zanu PF made some monumental blunders, refuse to implement any of the reforms agreed with SADC, continue with Zanu PF’s vote rigging activities such as bribing traditional Chiefs with new trucks, etc.
“Chawawana batisisa midzimu haipe kaviri!” (Make the most of every opportunity you get because you may never get another!) so goes the Shona adage.
President Mnangagwa had his greatest moment to launch his message that Zimbabwe had forsaken its lawless ways and was now ready to joined the league of nation in which there is rule of law and the state honours individual freedoms and human rights including the right to free elections and the right to life! Instead of seizing the moment and speak plainly of his regime’s commitment to the rule of law, etc. he fluffed his lines and started defending the lawless and murderous past.
Poor Mnangagwa, he clearly accepts that Zimbabwe’s economic situation; with it unemployment rate of 90%; with its basic services such as education, health, clean water supply, etc. all but collapse; ¾ of the population living on US$1.00 or less a day; etc. is unsustainable. He knows that there will be no economic recover unless the country get help in the form of financial assistance and foreign investment. He knows too that price Zanu PF will have to pay for being readmitted to the league of law abiding nations is for Zimbabwe to be a law abiding nation too. That, he knew was a bridge too far, not without breaking with Zanu PF’s ethos of holding on to power at all cost.
If President Mnangagwa thought he could bluff, pretend Zanu PF has changed when in fact it is still a party of corrupt and vote rigging thugs, then the interview exposed his bluff. What a stage to choose to have one’s bluff call! If President Mnangagwa genuinely wanted Zanu PF to turn away from its Mafia past, then the thugs must be celebrating because they have reclaimed him as one of their own. as a and dare talk about the rule of law and even talk of holding free and fair elections.