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Dictators never voluntarily leave office

By Vince Musewe

Societies which are oppressed cannot expect to attain their freedom gradually or by negotiation at the pleasure of the oppressor, there has to be some sort of radical rapture from the past.

President Robert Mugabe
President Robert Mugabe

“Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil” and so says the Bible in Ecclesiastes 8:11 and this is relevant to our country and our situation as we watched thousands of our rag tag youths, with no hope of lifting themselves out of poverty but blindly supporting the very man who has actually created their poverty through selfish ambition and literally destroyed their future and that of many others.

Why has my country, tolerated this man called Robert Mugabe who to me reflects the worst kind of man and the worst kind of leader any country deserves. We must not and cannot accept this idiosyncrasy anymore.

I am, however, still to see a dictator who voluntarily leaves office and I know that, despite our incessant calls for Mugabe to resign, it will never happen unless we all one day decide to come out in the streets and demand it.

Dictators either die in office or have to be forced out. Sadly some of our opposition politicians seem to be too busy scheming and planning and yet, if there is any time to come out together it is now. We have to save Zimbabwe from Mugabe today not tomorrow.

I must however hasten to congratulate those opposition parties who recently announced the establishment of the coalition for democrats (CODE). That is the spirit we now need because none of us alone can achieve as much as we could if we are united together.

I also think we are certainly going to see more marches against tyranny and abuse by this regime out there, but unless we insist on marching specific outcomes, we will march for a thousand years with no respite.

Societies which are oppressed do not attain their freedom gradually or by negotiation at the pleasure of the oppressor. There has to be some sort of radical rapture from the past and a visible change of power.

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I am sure that we all remember Ian Smith “not in a thousand years” comment and we should take Mugabe’s recent rant that he is going nowhere as the same.

It is our duty to save Zimbabwe now because the situation is not getting any better. I wouldn’t even bother to pay attention to Magaya’s “revelations” on bond notes, that’s utter nonsense and clear ignorance.

The crux of the matter is that Zimbabwe has been bankrupted by Mugabe and the ZANU (PF) politburo and its thieving ministers. We have a failed state and those who manufactured that failure cannot be architects of a new Zimbabwe. It our duty to rebuild and reinvent our country without them.

I have read several “ten point plans” to get Zimbabwe back on track but they lack the fundamental insight of dealing with the paradigm which has created our circumstances. We have to be honest with each other and admit that it is really Mugabe’s mentality of “none but myself” that has got us where we are. Unless we address that, there will be no change as long as he is around.

This week I want to share my five point plan for radical change because I think that that is the only correct medicine for our country today.

First, the army must immediately, with popular support, take over and ask Mugabe to step down. They can put in place a management committee of five to temporarily take over all Presidential powers until the next elections. This must exclude all Mugabe appointed loyalists in the army, police and intelligence services. (We all know who they are.)

Second, an apolitical technical transformation team must be established to run Zimbabwe until the next elections. In my opinion, the current crop of ministers are a bunch of thieves and charlatans who offer nothing to Zimbabwe. They must be relieved of their duties as matter of urgency and be subject to investigation. The new technical team must deal with the social and food security emergencies and also renegotiate our debt and secure a minimum of US$50 billion economic revival plan for Zimbabwe.

Third, state enterprises corruption and theft need to be addressed immediately by suspending all CEOs of state enterprises, putting all pending projects and deals on hold and the undertaking of forensic audits by external auditors.

Fourth, the commissioner of police and its leadership must resign immediately and be replaced by a safety and security commission made up a team of credible individuals with legal and policing experience.

Fifth, the ZEC must be disbanded and the current team dismissed including the Registrar General. In its place an inclusive body representing political parties and civic organisations must be established and given the mandate to prepare the country for new elections by July 2018.

There it is. In my opinion, this would be progress and everything else will fall into place and our country will be able to at least take a new direction than us expecting the dictator to voluntarily resign or ZANU (PF) thieves to change their ways, they are all beyond redemption.

My message to Zimbabweans is that if we want to see what we have never seen in our country, we will have to do what we have never done before.

Enough is enough!

Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You may contact him on [email protected]. He writes in his personal capacity.