I have been following the Protests, demonstrations and riots that have been erupting across North Africa and the Middle East in places like Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen etc and with the most recent Malawi protests I have been asking myself if Zimbabweans could do the same against Robert Mugabe and his murderous ZANU PF regime.
BY TAURAI ZUVA – POLITICAL COMMENTATOR
Yes they could but they won’t. With Mugabe, protesting won’t achieve anything anyway. Mugabe still controls the military, police, CIO and so far has refused by all means to negotiate any agreements involving his mighty generals. He therefore has no hesitation whatsoever in using them to quell unrest. We have already witnesses this when Job Sikhala and some activists were arrested and accused of holding meetings to try to topple Mugabe. Unless the military and police refuse to do his bidding or maybe attack him from the inside like what happened to Laurent Kabila, then Mugabe will rule forever. With the majority of urban, educated Zimbabweans having left the country, those who remain are rural people who are staunch supporters of Mugabe. Most of them are uneducated and easily deceived to believe in him.
Mugabe has butchered hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans after independence to assert himself as Zimbabwe’s first president so the fear is not unfounded. The military chiefs and Police chiefs are super wealthy due to Mugabe’s generosity to them. Thousands of people would die before Mugabe would even consider stepping down. Plus Zimbabweans are peaceful and exceedingly risk averse people. The ignorant poor and rural part of Zimbabwe supports Mugabe as they are waiting for the promise of free farms and shares in foreign-owned companies to end their poverty (which will never happen because they number in the millions). Mugabe has the super smarts of a conman he plays on this paranoia implying that he and his ZANU PF party are protecting Zimbabwe from the evils of the white imperialist. This is all nonsense because it’s got nothing to do with anything but just a way for him to manipulate everyone stay in power and amass great wealth. Both white and black Zimbabweans suffer and the only people who benefit are the army generals, police chiefs and his close supporters. Ironically these are the same people who help him fight the opposition and grip on power.
Mugabe is the classic example of a ruthless Hero corrupted by power. Having read a recent article on BBC which outlines how Mugabe might have been helped by the UK to escape assassination I wished everyone had foreseen the future and let the rascal die during that time. The article can be found on (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14311834).
Notice that all the coverage of Zimbabwe says the same thing – the opposition has widespread support and would win election if the ruling ZANU PF was not repressive. However the great Mugabe has been so clever and waited several years until his support was ebbing to unleash rabid lawlessness as his guised program of land reform in the name of black empowerment. Added to that is his regime’s deliberate disrespect for the Judiciary, Court orders, the Constitution and brutal suppression of the Opposition who he cleverly accuses of treason and being paid agents of the former white colonial devils. Clearly Mugabe is playing out the typical power preserving tactics that most weak politicians use to control the Opposition.
His hidden agendas are never unsealed and are often disguised as genuine concerns for democracy. I see no ethical difference between what Gaddafi is doing to Libya and what Mugabe is doing to the Opposition and Zimbabwe. Both have declared unjust wars on their so-called enemies in the name of democratic law, order and protecting sovereignty. ZANU PF’s blaming Britain, America and the West for Mugabe’s butchery and brutality of his own people is a joke. No one condones the cruelty of our colonial past. We all celebrated when Mugabe’s soldiers won the war of liberation but now the whole nation is crying and suffering from the effects of misrule from this dictator.
On the other hand I think if sufficient amount of people go out in the streets it is possible. But of course getting rid of a regime is one thing; another is to establish a well-functioning democracy. Making good governance real is both the challenge that developing leaders must overcome and the plight that they must come over. Time has come for the International community to stop making excuses and get rid of the likes of Mugabes and Gaddafis. The world needs more of the Mandelas.
Zimbabwe must be free