Mugabe has no vision besides that of plunder
By Courage Shumba
When Mugabe and Tsvangirai led their respective parties into a coalition government a lot of people held their breaths. Many people hoped that at last Zimbabwe would be set on a path to recovery and prosperity. That dream was a lie. The continued competition between ignorance and greed has meant that the settlement between Zanu PF and the various M.D.C outfits has no practical side for the ordinary Zimbabwean person.
It was hoped that along with the unity would come a rediscovery of the values that would give back to our traumatised society the full human feeling that torture and corruption among other ills had robbed our people of. Today, our people are still as traumatised and as desperate as they were before Mugabe turned his back on the country and became a full fledged dictator.
There is more to the needs of a country than suspending selective and retributive violence against a country’s citizens by war veterans and the army. There is no assurance from Mugabe that we have entered a phase of peace and nation building. He has never said so. The continued looting of diamonds from Chiadzwa points to the fact that Zanu PF lacks the mindset, maturity and nationalism required to put Zimbabwe and its people first.
The War Veterans are still waiting to march into villages and towns and terrorise the population on the say so of Mugabe and his henchmen. What we have is a fake peace anchored on our inability to demand what is rightly our share in harvesting the national cake. This situation which can easily be mistaken for peace, progress or stability is very much alive today because we dare not ask the hard questions and push for real progress.
Silence is the only assurance for stability and peace the Zimbabwean people have. If the hard questions were asked or real action demanded this arrangement would fall into pieces because Mugabe and his henchmen have no vision for anything else besides continued plundering of national assets and wealth in the name of indigenisation.
If we have diamonds as is the case why don’t we do the decent thing and let the stone shine in every household. Why don’t we nationalise the diamond mines, subcontract a mining and marketing partner, sell the diamonds and pay our partners on commission. That way the resources we have would come straight into the state coffers and help our schools, hospitals, businesses and finance job creation initiatives around the country. Why is it that there is no difference between the period before we discovered we had diamonds and the period in which we actually are sure of the deposits of these precious stones within our borders.
Zimbabwe was destroyed by the enemy within. They are many prosperous countries that are under sanctions of all sorts. But what made our situation dire is that Zimbabwe is run by its own enemies. The enemy within is the character that is charged with ministerial responsibilities but runs down a service like Zupco and leaves a country’s city dependent on scotch carts.
The enemy within is the leader who protects corrupt ministers and refuses to censure them instead rewarding them at the next cabinet reshuffle with more important ministries. The enemy within is a cabal of well connected political figures and army generals who refuse to abide by the results of elections and instead resort to fixing electoral outcomes in the process denying the population of a voice.
The dimensions of the enemy within are various but it is easier to deal with an outside and external threat to livelihood and security of a people than it is to deal with an enemy that is also part of the social complex and one especially in a leadership role. That is what defines why Zimbabwe is incapable of outliving its Rhodesian mentality which ran on the script of selective and divisive opportunism. Zimbabwe like Rhodesia serves the ministers and generals and offers nothing else to anybody. Rhodesia was a race driven society. Zimbabwe is driven by the needs and wants of ministers and generals. Everyone else can go and hang.
As immoral as this is wrong this can not be allowed to go on. The actual outcome of this kind of society is mass brain drain, unemployment, capital flight, crime and a host of the other ills that naturally breed from acute inequality. The case for equality need not be repeated 30 years on after a war in which our people lost very much and very loved ones. The memories are still very fresh for a reminder. Some of the fallen fighters still lie undiscovered or pauperised in mass graves in foreign lands. This kind of unequal Zimbabwe we have is an insult to their sacrifice and spirits. It is a spit on the face of those who gave everything.
The solution rests with us continuing with the demands that return Zimbabwe to the path of our aspirations and visions. Here are some demands:
- We need clear and intelligent use of the diamonds at Chiadzwa for the benefit of everyone in Zimbabwe.
- We need a clear and unambiguous commitment from Mugabe that coercion, brutality and electoral fraud is a thing of the past.
- We need a new constitution drafted with the input of the majority through independent transparent appointees and mechanisms and adopted through a national non violent referendum. A point must be made that whilst the Global Political Agreement was a thing between Zanu PF and M.D.C the constitution must be a time proof document authored and adopted by the people without the interference of a sitting government.
- We need a review of the agricultural activities in the country to ensure that the production of food and related essential products is prioritised and more effort is made to resuscitate the agricultural sector.
- We need a review of government contracts to ensure best practice and the independence of suppliers and the impact on costs.
- We need to unlock thousands of jobs locked in the media industry through state interference with freedom of expression. Zimbabweans have a duty to free Zimbabwe from the jaws of tyranny regardless of the colour of the oppressor.
Courage Shumba is a Human Rights Advocate