By Sam Wezhira
It takes an intelligent opposition to make democracy work—not the rah-rah noisy type that simply chants “kana tatendegwa nababa kubvisa Mnangagwa!”
As it stands, the opposition has failed to understand the power play in Zimbabwe. I said this before and I will say it again to remove any doubts in people’s minds, Zimbabwe is under military rule.
Until our opposition and the generality of our people understand this fact, Zimbabwe will remain doomed for a while.
A smart opposition would have known this by now and would have stopped focusing their energy on Mnangagwa. The first rule of combat requires that any serious opposition must know and understand the weaknesses of the enemy and exploit them accordingly.
It is foolhardy for opposition to keep on calling for demonstrations—demonstrations unlike protests do not achieve anything. These demonstrations are futile because they are focused on the wrong target, have no goals, and are up against an army armed to the teeth. One does not fight an enemy on the turf on which it is strongest; one exploits its weaknesses.
Removing the army, however, is only the first step; it does not necessarily establish freedom and prosperity. Many countries have experienced “revolution reversals.”
An army is defeated only to be replaced by another ragtag militia with no experience nor discipline to correct the ills of the last regime like Samuel Doe, Charles Taylor, and Prince Johnson of Liberia.
Most Africans have realized that they struggle very hard to remove one cockroach from power and the next rat comes to do the same thing or worse. Zimbabweans must read and understand the political dynamics of our country.
While Mugabe seemed to have room to fight the military juntas to give relief to the suffering masses, Mnangagwa has zero room. The juntas are going for the broke—it is now or never for them. Most of them are now too old and have to make up for the time they lost during Mugabe’s reign.
When you see a dictator go on television give a radio and television broadcast like Mnangagwa did today (8 Aug 2020) labeling opposition formations as terrorist organizations, brace for horror—more curfews, harassment, arrests, and executions are coming.
The broadcast is a signal that the dictator has survived a real threat to his power. Remember he saves at the pleasure of the military and apparently the junta is sick and tired of him but for now has been given him another lease of life. What is coming, however, is bad.