One of the problems in maintaining democracy in third world countries is that heads of states are so tolerant of their erring colleagues in other countries. Mugabe and the ZANU PF regime have survived in part because neighboring states, notably South Africa, have been so reticent to act against him or even to criticize his worst record on human rights abuses. From Mbeki, Motlanthe to Zuma, they have all failed the citizens of Zimbabwe by entertaining Mugabe’s lies and he has taken full advantage of that. There is not one single speech that the old man delivers in which he does not mention that African problems belong to Africans. Clearly, if that is the case, you wonder why African heads of states do not rise up against each other to restore the rule of law and democracy.
By: TAURAI ZUVA – HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST
For Mugabe, the road has been both rough and smooth. Rough in the sense that MDC has been creating unwanted problems for him and his regime but also smooth in the sense that there is always a backup plan that lets get his way (violence and torture).
The June 2000 election was marked by violence and intimidation as war veterans, police, army and the CIO turned on MDC supporters. Even so, the new MDC party won 57 out of 120 seats.
The next election was the presidential poll. By that time the regime had set up youth militia and rural areas became no go areas for the opposition. Rape, torture and violence cases were all recorded across the nation by journalists and Human Rights Organisationss from all over the continent. Mugabe went on to win the election and the EU and the US refused to recognize Mugabe’s mandate and Zimbabwe was suspended from the commonwealth. A lot of White farmers lost their land which was rewarded to his loyal regime which had helped him grip on to power.
In 2008, presidential and parliamentary elections were held in the Republic of Zimbabwe on 29 March 2008. The three major candidates were President Robert Mugabe of ZANU-PF, Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), and Simba Makoni, an independent candidate who later on formed the Mavambo party.
2008 has so far been the worst election in Zimbabwe as no candidate received an outright majority in the first round according to media reports. After losing the first round of elections and also losing parliamentary seats to opposition, any normal human being in their right state of mind would have stepped aside and paved the way for the victor, but not within Zimbabwe and ZANU PF. This led to a killing rampage ahead of the scheduled second round of the presidential polls.
With the MDC’s Morgan Tsvangirai pulling out of the race as a result of violence and torture against his supporters in the June run – off presidential poll, clearly this was the cherry on top of Mugabe’s dessert. This gave ZANU PF an outright majority needed to acquire victory after Mugabe decided to run the race alone despite widespread condemnation.
A government of National Unity was formed on 13 February 2009 after a deal that was brokered by Thabo Mbeki, the former president of South Africa on the 15th of August 2008. This led to the inaugurations of Morgan Tsvangirai as Prime Minister and Thokozani Khupe and Arthur Mutambara as Deputy Prime Ministers. The formation of the inclusive government by Mugabe and Zanu-Pf was only a way of covering up all the torture and violence they had unleashed to the opposition supporters a few months back.
Now with the Mugabe regime calling for elections this year, things will only get worse. The regime has already started bribing voters by enforcing the indigenisation and nationalisation of foreign companies. The old man and his regime claim that it is the empowerment of black people and that it is time to give the wealth of Zimbabwe to the young people of Zimbabwe.
Certainly, even a blind man would notice who the benefactors of all these strategies. Mugabe and his regime account to less than five percent of the population but yet own 95 percent of the country’s wealth a statistic that led them to forcefully take the white owned farmland in Zimbabwe. (1% of the white minority owning 70% of the land) – Very unfair.
To all my Zimbabwean people, remember power lies in your hands. The moment this government starts making decisions that are unpopular with the people, it simply means that there is need for regime change just the same way they did in some parts of the Northern part of Africa.
There is also a lot of people out there who are fooled by Robert Mugabe’s “Zimbabwe will never be a colony again” rhetoric, let me be very clear to you – Robert Mugabe and his cronies have accosted a nation’s vibrant economy for their own personal agendas since the day they emphatically lost a referendum on a new constitution in 2000. They have turned into baboons and greedy bastards who will use anything to keep a solid hold on power.
The struggle will only be resolved when you make your voice be heard. I will stand at summit of the highest mountain until I have been heard. This is a national crisis and we all need to stand up as one voice. MUGABE AND HIS CRONIES MUST GO NOW.