By William Muchayi
The eminent German-born theoretical physicist, Albert Einstein is widely credited with coining the definition of insanity which he viewed as the act of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Regrettably, the Mnangagwa administration is trapped in this myopia as it clamours for a ‘robust engagement process’ with the international community that will make Zimbabwe ‘a place where capital feels safe’ but on the other hand, reluctant to create a conducive environment that enables this dream to be a reality.
In fact, the military junta is in a conundrum in that in as much as it desperately needs capital injection from outside to resuscitate the moribund economy, it can’t reform itself without destabilising the status quo, hence, the regurgitation of the outdated sanctions mantra and scapegoat in the MDC Alliance following the latter’s historic visit to the United States of America.
It has never been a secret that the United States of America and the European Union have set the lifting of sanctions on Zimbabwe conditional irrespective of who is in power, be it Mugabe, Mnangagwa, Tsvangirai or Egypt Dzinemunhenzva, based on clearly spelt benchmarks.
As such, it is naïve on the part of the junta to fool itself into believing that Mugabe’s departure alone is enough to warrant the lifting of punitive sanctions without fulfilling their part of the bargain, for, it is has to be a reciprocal gesture. On this premise, the MDC Alliance’s visit to the US has to be justified and it would be naïve on their part to feel guilty for pursuing a worthy cause.
And, if ever the sanctions fail to be lifted, it is the junta that needs to shoulder the blame and not the opposition. Regrettably, the Mnangagwa administration believes it can fool the international community in the same way it misled its populace into regurgitating the lie that theirs wasn’t a coup d’état and that Robert Mugabe’s departure alone as opposed to the system the nonagenarian presided over is the yardstick needed to measure the reform process before sanctions are eventually lifted.
In fact, being preoccupied in this delusion is as worthless an effort as the folly of seeking pleasure by romancing a stone. It doesn’t need rocket science for Cde Mnangagwa to realise that Zimbabwe will never be ‘a place where capital feels safe’ as long as he harbours familiar thieves in his cabinet and the crusade against Ignatius Chombo, Saviour Kasukuwere, Jonathan Moyo and others become laughable more so as it appears to be driven by a vendetta against G40 lieutenants than anything else.
The new administration needs to realise that capital injection alone into the economy without accountability on their part is an effort in futility. In fact, millions of Zimbabweans expect more from the new administration than this circus which is nothing other than the escalation of infighting pitting G40 and Team Lacoste. After all, isn’t it the same military junta in office that has been implicated in the plunder of diamonds at Chiadzwa?
And, not to be outdone, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission makes a mockery of itself as it drags Professor Francis Gudyanga to court on the alleged embezzlement of $28 000 in board sitting allowances while ignoring the mafia behind the disappearance of the $15 billion at Chiadzwa.
It has to be acknowledged that if Francis Gudyanga, just like Saviour Kasukuwere or Jonathan Moyo committed the alleged crimes, let justice takes its course without interference from the Executive. That is the justice Zimbabweans yearn for and notwithstanding the fact that the trio denied their victims this same fundamental right in the past.
And, with due respect, how can the dragging of Ignatius Chombo in leg irons before the courts be justified let alone the arrest for wearing the Mnangagwa regalia in a new dispensation? In fact, it is sad that Zimbabweans are being sold a dummy by the new administration in the name of a new order but in actual fact what is being witnessed is the militarisation of state institutions in contravention of benchmarks set by those who slapped the impoverished Southern African state with punitive sanctions.
Isn’t it the same military behind Gukurahundi and the 2007-2008 atrocities who now claim to be custodians of the new dispensation? And, isn’t it that Zimbabweans deserve an acknowledgement let alone apology from Cde Mnangagwa if he has any conscience at all before being fully embraced for his association with the Mugabe regime that is behind all these atrocities?
For, how can there be a new start when the wrongs of the past are swept under the carpet? Itai Dzamara’s children still wait in vain for the return of their dad but the new administration is silent on the issue except that of Cde Josiah Tongogara. Isn’t it selective justice in spite of the new dispensation rhetoric being sold to the populace? The state media may follow Cde Mnangagwa even to church in an attempt to elevate him to the status of an angel but it is his works that will be used as benchmark to judge him and not this bootlicking, for, Robert Mugabe also claims to be a devout Catholic.
And, typical of Zanu PF’s stubbornness, Simon Khaya Moyo, the ruling party’s spokesperson scoffs at the conditions set by the Trump administration, arguing that his party has no obligation to take orders from another sovereign state.
Indeed, this stance by Zanu PF isn’t surprising since theirs is a fight for survival. In as much as it wishes to portray its human face through the First Lady, Auxillia Mnangagwa, Zanu PF is ever ready to unleash violence on the electorate as and when necessary using the very military being mobbed by the gullible populace as heroes after overthrowing Mugabe as insinuated by Christopher Mutsvangwa as well as Josiah Hungwe and Chief Fortune Charumbira.
In this context, the removal of US sanctions on Zimbabwe would be misinterpreted as rewarding Mnangagwa for his ‘internal coup’ and could only perpetuate the culture of impunity infesting Zimbabwe politics. As long as the regime feels threatened, no meaningful reforms will be implemented to warrant the removal or at least lifting of sanctions and that is a vicious circle. That is the way it is until the beautiful ones are born.
William Muchayi is a pro-democracy campaigner who wishes to witness the birth of a new political dispensation independent of the military in his lifetime.