Mugabe ruled 37 years, Mnangagwa's will not last 37 months

Mugabe ruled 37 years, Mnangagwa's will not last 37 months
Published: 07 March 2018 (210 Views)
"Charova seichando kukwidza hamba mumuti!" (It will have to be a bitterly cold spell to force the tortoise to climb a tree!) goes the Shona adage. Well the "tortoise" in the Blue Roof has learned to climb trees!

"Nobody would have thought that the same Mugabe who ignored calls for electoral reforms for almost two decades is now set to demand the same," wrote Robert Singauke, SA based Political Analyst.

"The tide has changed, indeed the donkeys have grown horns. His authoritative voice commandeered almost everything in the country since 1980, now his own New Patriotic Front (NPF) project will sulk "We urge the Emmerson government to implement electoral reforms to create a conducive environment for free and fair elections." How the mighty have fallen."

Here is the man who has done everything, absolutely everything in his power, legal and illegal, to make sure that he and his party ever risk losing any elections by allowing Zimbabweans to have free, fair and credible elections. Even the 1980 elections which organised and conducted by the British, Mugabe saw to it that they were not free and fair in his favour.

It is no secret that Zanu-PF did not withdraw all its Zanla freedom fighters from the field into Assembly Points as per Lancaster House Agreement. Those left in the field were instructed to tell the people that the civil war would pick-up from where it left off should Zanu-PF lose the elections. The late Cephas Msipa, a senior-PF Zapu member and Zanu-PF's main political threat in the 1980 elections, confirmed that there were many "no go areas" for-PF Zapu in that election. Zanu-PF operatives would not allow anyone else to campaign in those areas.

(History has the habit of repeating itself. President Mnangagwa has deployed war veterans backed by 2 000 Army personal country wide to replicate the 1980 success.)

Ever since Mugabe got into power following the 1980 election victory, he has worked tireless to undermine Zimbabwe's democratic institutions to create a de facto one-party dictatorship. His quarrel with his fellow liberation icon Dr Joshua Nkomo, for whatever reasons, gave Mugabe the excuse to deploy his North Korea trained Fifth Brigade to spear head the now infamous Gukurahundi. The primary purpose of Gukurahundi was not destroy-PF Zapu as a political party by targeting the party's leaders and supporters.

Although Mugabe did not succeed in destroying-PF Zapu; he did the next best thing, forced-PF Zapu to be disbanded in 1987 and join Zanu-PF with Mugabe as the undisputed First Secretary of the party. The foundation of the de facto one-party cum one-party dictatorship was laid. Since then Mugabe has continued to work tireless to consolidate his and Zanu-PF political strangle hold.  

Even when the people became angry at Zanu-PF's failure to deliver economic prosperity whilst the ruling elite grew fat, physically and economically; Zanu-PF continued to win elections regardless, thanks to the party's ever-increasing vote rigging capability. The Zanu-PF vote rigging juggernaut faced its greatest challenge ever in 2008 elections.

The regime had to force ZEC to whittle down Tsvangirai's 73% vote count to a 47% to force a run-off in a six-week long recount. Everyone could see the regime was cooking up the figures, everyone except Tsvangirai and his MDC friends and hence the reason Zanu-PF got away with it.

In the run-off Zanu-PF deployed its party thugs and war veterans supported by serving members from the Army, Police and CIO. They were instructed to punish the people for having reject Mugabe and Zanu-PF in the March vote and to make sure they did not so again in the run-off and in future.

"What was accomplished by the bullet cannot be undone by the ballot," Mugabe thundered.

The wanton violence was barbaric. "Mugabe has declared war on the people," complained Tsvangirai when he announced his forced withdrawal from the race.

Not even SADC and the AU would endorse Mugabe's election victory as free, fair and credible, even they could not stomach the blatant cheating and the gratuitous violence by the Zanu-PF vote rigging juggernaut. SADC forced Mugabe to sign an agreement to implement a raft of democratic reforms to take away Zanu-PF's carte blanche power to cheat and use violence to rig elections.

Sadly, not even one reform was ever implemented in the five years of the GNU. Mugabe bribed Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC toads with the trappings of high office and they, in return, left Zanu-PF's vote rigging juggernaut untouched.

When then Army Commander Constantino Chiwenga and his posse of coup plotter woke Mugabe up in the small hours of 14 November 2017 to tell him the game was up for him they did not just force him to resign they also seized control of the Zanu-PF vote rigging machinery. Mugabe knows just how power and unbeatable the system is hence the reason he is demanding that it must be dismantled!

What goes round, comes round; the vote rigging juggernaut spend his political life creating and fine tuning in now in his political rivalry's hands. He does not like it but is totally helpless to do anything about it now!

"Going towards elections, the stakes will be very high. A militarised and illegitimate Zanu-PF government that will leave nothing at chance to secure victory and sanitise itself," continued Singauke.

"Then you have its offshoot opposition (NPF) that consists of architects of some of the well-oiled rigging machineries that kept Zanu-PF in power for so long, watching like hawks at every turn to see which one is being pulled this time.

"Then you have a fractured opposition failing to contain itself because of power struggles. It is rather disconcerting however, that traditional opposition voters will not vote Zanu-PF because MDC T is in disarray. They will rather abstain from the process altogether."

Actually, abstain from this flawed and illegal process is the only sensible course of action. With no reforms in place President Mnangagwa will rig the elections just as readily as Zanu-PF has always done. Although he has promised free, fair and credible elections he has pointedly refused to implement any democratic reforms and has even dismissed those calling for reforms as barking dogs.

Still, it is Mugabe who is going to have the final laugh in all this. Whilst Mugabe inherited from Ian Smith a robust, strong and very productive economy, a fat cow; he has handed over to Mnangagwa an all but collapse and dysfunctional economy, a thin and sickly cow. Mugabe had 37 years to turn the fat cow into the thin and sickly one.

Mnangagwa has the simple choice, implement the democratic reforms and someone else will be appoint over you to implement the reforms and once the reforms are in place; Zanu-PF and Mnangagwa will lose the free, fair and credible elections.

The alternative is for Mnangagwa to holdout and refuse to implement reforms. The price for failing to implement reforms is that none of the foreign investors the country needs to revive the economy will not come. Unemployment is a nauseating 90%, ¾ of the population are living on US$1.00 a day, basic services such as health and education have all but collapsed, water and electricity power supplies are erratic, etc., etc.; if that is not a sick and dying economy then what is! With no new investors, it will not be long before the populous realise that their economic situation is not getting better as the coup plotters have been promising. The street protests of 2016 will be back, only the crowds will be larger and very angry.



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