Mugabe’s hollow UN sound and fury
By Wilbert Mukori
Last week President Mugabe was once again in USA, New York for the annual UN General Assembly talk-shop. He, as he has done for the last 34 years without failure, gave his long winded speech “full of sound and fury signifying nothing”, as William Shakespeare would have said.
“The theme you have chosen for this session, “Delivering on and Implementing a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda”, is pertinent, appropriate and timely,” said Mugabe.
“It is relevant in our efforts to achieve a seamless transition from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals, and to the broader post-2015 Development Agenda. We look forward to having a candid and holistic debate on the challenges we continue to face at the domestic and international levels in our efforts to eradicate poverty.”
The theme was appropriate for the rest of the world that has at least made some progress in reducing poverty but not for Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe’s economy shrunk a staggering 84% in the six-year period from 2002 to 2008 alone when inflation soared to 500 billion per cent and unemployment to 85% plus. Although the economy stabilized somewhat during the GNU years of 2009 to 2013 it has taken another dangerous nose dive since the rigged elections of July 2013.
Rigging the elections was the easy bit; rigging economic recovery has proven a bridge too far for Mugabe and Zanu PF.
By rigging the elections Mugabe showed he could not be trusted to uphold the rule of law and guarantee property rights – a prerequisite for foreign donors and investors. The lack of foreign investors coupled by crippling and rampant corruption, which the Zanu PF regime has failed to deal with all these years, are the root causes of the economic nose dive of the last year.
Companies have been closing down every month throwing workers on the mountain of the unemployed. Basic services like clean running water have but collapsed. 300,000 children or 80% have dropped out of school because their parents can hardly feed them let alone pay the school fees. A recent UNICEF report noted that 62% of Zimbabweans are poor with 16% of them or two million now living in abject poverty.
As long as this Zanu PF regime remains in power the economic meltdown will get worse, pushing more and more people into abject poverty. Zimbabwe is not eradicating poverty but increasing it! If Mugabe had allowed this nation to have a “candid and holistic debate on the challenges” this nation has faced throughout the years and not this one-sided monologue of half-truths and damn lies Zimbabwe would not be in this mess!
“Mr President, because Zimbabwe has been preoccupied with the empowerment of its people economically,” Mugabe said. “She has become a victim of the evil machinations of Western countries who continue to apply unilateral and illegal sanctions as a foreign policy tool to achieve short-term political objectives, particularly regime change.”
But if Mugabe had indeed economically empowered the people then why is it that they have become poorer than ever? Why is it that the sanctions have affected everyone else but enriched those who are on the sanctions list? Mugabe had a $1 million birthday party, held a lavish $5 million wedding for his daughter and many of those on the sanctions list are multi- millionaires.
The UN itself recognises the people’s right to a meaningful say in the governance of the country through free, fair and credible elections as a basic human right and a basic necessity for good governance and national stability. Regime change is the very essence of meaningful democratic elections; remove that possibility and all you have left is sham elections.
President Mugabe, you and your Zanu PF party have retained power for the last 34 years by manipulating the electoral process, rigging the vote and even murdering your opponents and denying the people of Zimbabwe a meaningful vote. The country is stuck in this political mess and nightmare of the economic meltdown precisely because the nation is stuck with a corrupt and oppressive regime with no democratic vote to remove it.
The only domestic and international discussion, no debate for there really is nothing to debate, with this Mugabe regime is when is it going to step down so the democratic reforms necessary for free, fair and credible polls can be implemented and fresh elections held. Nothing of any value will ever be accomplished in Zimbabwe under the present political culture where it is for the rulers and not the ruled to decide whether there is to be regime change.
Mr Mugabe, I will be very candid with you; you have usurped the people’s power to have regime change if they so wished. You must give those powers back and end this nonsense of the tail to wagging the dog!