By Mutsa Murenje
That is what it is, an opportunistic political dispensation brought about by Constantino Chiwenga’s illegal, undemocratic and unconstitutional military takeover of political power in Zimbabwe. This was done for the benefit of Emmerson Mnangagwa who is now the president of the Republic of Zimbabwe. My impression of the new administration has not changed.
I never mince my words: I am a natural enemy of all rotten politicians and we just happen to have miscreants and scoundrels in charge of Zimbabwean affairs. My position has been consistent from the beginning and it remains unchanged.
I understand the role of democratic governments in enhancing the well-being of their citizens. What we have in Zimbabwe, however, is an illegal administration whose legitimacy remains questionable despite the abuse of the courts to sanitise the coup that brought Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule to an abrupt end.
It has been, and always will be, my position that rational politics requires membership in a particular type of moral community. Drawing inspiration from the great John Bunyan, “I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience.” I have, therefore, refused to “normalise the abnormal” by endorsing and sanitising illegal seizure of power in Zimbabwe and anywhere else it may happen.
It is quite ludicrous to learn that the Judge President of the High Court of Zimbabwe, Justice George Chiweshe, opportunistically justified illegal seizure of power by the military just when Mnangagwa was being inaugurated.
At the same time, realising that Mnangagwa had not even followed ZANU PF’s constitution for his “reinstatement”, Chiweshe hurriedly declared that Mnangagwa’s expulsion was null and void. What is even more surprising is that Mnangagwa himself never legally challenged his expulsion.
Rather, he escaped into self-imposed exile returning to assume power illegally. Without doubt, we have a captured judiciary and that should worry all of us, particularly those fighting for a free, just and democratic Zimbabwe.
As opponents of oppressive regimes, we shouldn’t be expecting justice from partisan and factional judicial officers like Chiweshe. Besides, during the entire military operation, those opposed to Mnangagwa were harassed by the army and to date, some people’s whereabouts remain unknown.
Should we therefore expect democracy and development from people whose DNA is undemocratic? From all this, I have been worried more by the international community’s deafening silence, including that of Zimbabweans themselves. These aren’t fictitious allegations.
Some people were reportedly killed and who will take responsibility for that? And I just happen to have a few questions to ask: Won’t these thugs rely on the same brutal and ruthless tactics should they lose next year’s elections? Is there even guarantee that we will have free, fair and credible elections? Does the Zimbabwean constitution really support illegal seizures of power by the military? If so, what implications does this have on our struggle for democracy?
These are serious questions that all Zimbabweans of goodwill should be able to answer. Events of the past two weeks require that we really examine ourselves and see if we haven’t been a disservice to our struggle against the excesses of the ZANU PF regime.
Desperate for change after nearly four decades of oppressive and brutal rule by Mugabe and his thugs (Mnangagwa included), ignorant Zimbabweans were used to further entrench dictatorship and normalise the abnormal political culture of entitlement.
As I see it, it has been deliberately exaggerated, to obviate the wrath of the regional and international community, that Zimbabweans replaced Mugabe with Mnangagwa. Nothing can be further from the truth! The truth of the matter is: Chiwenga and his goons imposed Mnangagwa on Zimbabwe. Thus, Mnangagwa’s presidency will not last.
I repeat, Mnangagwa’s presidency will not last. Let me explain why. His presidency is built on a quicksand political foundation. It is standing on dangerous political ground and the only way to make it firm is when Mnangagwa tilts towards more brutal and ruthless tactics just like he did during the early years of our independence when he described Gukurahundi victims as cockroaches that deserved to be exterminated.
I haven’t been impressed by the opposition political parties during this whole drama. If anything, there has been a lot of political opportunism of late and I see Morgan Tsvangirai’s “recovery from his Johannesburg hospital” in the same light. Was his recovery in anticipation of being incorporated in the new administration? What happened to the MDC Alliance?
Wasn’t it the prime time for the alliance to release a statement whether they supported or were opposed to the coup in Zimbabwe? Speaking with one voice would have been the most relevant response instead of leaving this to individual political parties. If the truth were to be told, there have been a few dissenting voices that were ignored even by the media.
No one has been spared, we now have a captured media that has quickly warmed to the dictatorship and illegal coup. There is just no morality in all this. Where are civil society organisations? There is no doubt there is a lot of work to be done. We have a long way to go and we need to study our own character and behaviour, especially our reasons for doing things.
In conclusion, as an Adventist, this is what I have learnt and taken to heart: “In every community where they live Seventh-day Adventists, as children of God, should be recognised as outstanding citizens in their Christian integrity and in working for the common good of all.
While our highest responsibility is to the church and its commission to preach the gospel of the kingdom to all the world, we should support by our service and our means, as far as possible and consistent, all proper efforts for social order and betterment.
Even though we must stand apart from all political and social strife, we should always, quietly and firmly, maintain an uncompromising stand for justice and rights in civic affairs, along with strict adherence to our religious convictions” (Standards for Christian living, p. 173). May God bless Zimbabwe! The struggle continues unabated!