18 June 2007, by Cyprian-Orina Nyamwamu in Nairobi. John Kamau's article (Business Daily 29th May 2007) on Zimbabwe calling on the world to give Mugabe a break was the most articulate article regarding Zimbabwe to have filtered to the Kenyan press this year. Sadly the Article was peppered with propaganda aimed at achieving sympathy for Mugabe's despotic rule in Zimbabwe.
As we speak, Mugabe has succeeded in destroying Zimbabwean society all in the name of fighting imperialism. The problem in Zimbabwe did not begin with the land acquisition programme that Mugabe ordered after losing a referendum on a new constitution in 2000. The problem is Mugabe's understanding that he is Zimbabwe and even if all Zimbabweans were to die, so long as he remains the President, so be it. You have in Zimbabwe a despot who has appropriated his gallant role in the struggle for Zimbabwe's independence and majority rule as a basis for killing ethnic Ndebele's and suppressing opposition in the name of ZAPU and now MDC. This despot has created a humanitarian and economic crisis that has driven nearly 3 million Zimbabweans out of their country.
A campaign of annihilating
Between 1981 and 1987, Mugabe ran a campaign of annihilating a whole Ndebele population using the red-tagged Fifth Brigade simply because Joshua Nkomo was Ndebele and had demanded for Multi-party democracy and power sharing in Zimbabwe. When Gukurahundi ended in 1987 and as the world began to embrace liberal democratic systems of governance, Mugabe embraced the IMF-imposed liberalization programme that hurt the people of Zimbabwe and delegitimised his rule further. The economic crisis began with the failure of the SAPs and has been compounded by the chaotic and inept governance system that Mugabe has created to safeguard his populist rule.
Mugabe's after destroying ZAPU, then sought to entrench his rule through constitutional amendments aimed at giving him unparalleled power to dominate Zimbabwe's politics. Mugabe is also fearful of the repercussions that will follow him after he leaves power emerging from the killings he sponsored and supervised in Matebeleland and parts of Midlands.
Violent land invasions
After Mugabe lost the 2000 referendum, mainly since the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led a campaign that was well coordinated against the Mugabe constitutional amendements, he then had to jump to the violent land invasions by war veterans and ZANU-PF stalwarts to reward cronies aimed at consolidating support that he had lost over time. Here, a dictator who had sensed defeat needed a quick populist act to hold his base together. Mugabe, a Shona, witnessed for the first time parliament receive up to 57 MDC MPs and nearly lost the presidential election in 2002. The whole of Matebeleland voted for MDC as was the case in Shona dominated provinces because the country was doubtful of Mugabe's credentials to lead a modern nation and steward a modern economy. I can report that indeed the 2002 Presidential election was stolen. Morgan Tsvangirai without doubt won that election.
Since 2002 Mugabe has been involved in a Mugabe-succeed-Mugabe subterfuge. In continuing with this strategy Mugabe has packaged himself anew. He has presented himself as the African leader of the anti-neo-colonialist and anti-imperialist war and therefore the tackler of Blair and Bush; as the custodian of Zimbabwean interests against whites and foreigners and the selfless and strategic leader of a Zimbabwean revolution. He is none of these three.
A failed leader
Mugabe is a failed leader of the Zimbabwean independence. He has actually become the negation of the Zimbabwean independence and freedom. Any one who plans and executes a programme of killing more than 20,000 of his own people in the name of fighting about 400 insurgents in Matebeleland, consolidates a dictatorship. This dictatorship mismanages the economy and disregards the voices of it's own people calling any one who has a different even better view a stooge and reactionary. Any one who represses his own people, who bangles on land reforms in attempting to achieve political ends of maintaining the status quo must fail the test of patriotism and Pan-Africanism. Dr. Mugabe is not a Pan-Africanist but a dictator who is exploiting Pan-Africanist sentiment. He is not an anti-imperialist leader but a fascist who is exploiting anti-imperialist sentiment to legitimize the tyranny and torture he is unleashing on his own people.
He is not working towards giving the people land formerly owned by whites. What Mugabe is doing is to reward his cronies to ensure continued rule until death. Mugabe is not a strategic leader of Zimbabwe but a coward who feels dwarfed by emerging leaders in his country. He only uses his organizing skills to marshal political power against opponents successfully. MDC's weakness to date has to be attributed to the weakness of its leader to marshall numbers on sentimental platforms as Mugabe has managed, rather than a bankruptcy of vision to deliver Zimbabwe.
Sadly Mugabe has succeeded to portray his Zimbabwean victims as villains and to blame his ineptitude rule on Blair and Bush. Africans who have yearned to see the minority whites in Zimbabwe kicked and fellow blacks given land are so happy. They ask, what was Mugabe supposed to do? To this I reply, Mugabe should have facilitated the making of a democratic constitution in Zimbabwe, implement a comprehensive agrarian reform, seek a SADC assisted plan to finance economic modernization and hand over leadership to the next generation of elected leaders.
Mugabe supporters who no longer care about Zimbabweans living in polythene roofed shelters in economic exile in South Africa, Mozambique and Zambia blame economic ruin in Zimbabwe to the sanctions imposed by the USA and Britain. While the sanctions particularly those outlined in the Zimbabwe Democracy Act, passed in the US should be condemned unreservedly, the fact is that diplomatic sanctions are in the nature of personalised travel bans and freezing of assets of ZANU-PF cronies. What about Mugabe's and ZANU-PFs mismanagement of the economy through corruption, cronyism and looting? So are we going to sit and whine about Blair and Bush? Kenya inherited same problems of unequal land distribution from British colonial rule and while little has been done to deal with the land issue, Kenyatta, Moi or Kibaki have not used land to secure political victory and destroy the economy and the society.
While we must resist imperialism and neo-colonialism in all its forms and I am a believer of economic independence, I am not about to side with fascist dictatorship, the murder, harassment and torture of innocent Zimbabweans simply because they oppose Mugabe's misrule. I am not about to tolerate human rights violation and torture by a fellow African because he thinks he is fighting imperialism yet he is corrupt and self aggrandizing. You can not hurt the people and destroy the economy and cause a humanitarian crisis the proportion it reached in Zimbabwe in the name of developing the same people and fighting imperialism. We know you fear prosecution for killing ethnic Ndebeles when out of the Office and fear a failed legacy marred by impunity and gross human rights violations, after many years of gallant and celebrated struggle for independence.
As Africans we must refuse to stand with the tyrants and stand with the people. The legacy of Mugabe can not now become of greater significance than the millions of suffering and dying Zimbabweans. The arguments that even in Kenya opposition activists get killed and beaten in demonstrations and that since USA has Guantanamo Bay so then Mugabe's acts of terror and debauchery are tolerable are too shocking for my comprehension. Is Bush torturing Americans in Guantanamo bay? Is Blair torturing Britons or Iraqis in Abu Ghraib? Why should Mugabe and Museveni torture the victims of imperialism for us to win against imperialism?
Deep political, economic and social crisis
Logically, President Mbeki should act with urgency and negotiate the safe exist of Mugabe from the Presidency of Zimbabwe. Mugabe is the problem and can not solve the countries deep political, economic and social crisis. ZANU-PF is no longer a nationalist liberation political party but a machinery for marshalling sentiments to secure Mugabe's dictatorship and the enrichment of government functionaries. The MDC should consider organizing a broad National Democratic Alliance/ Front to persuade Mugabe and ZANU PF to undertake political reforms to facilitate a free and fair election in March 2008 where the will of the people shall prevail.
Those who speak in support of a new Zimbabwe should in my view state this: If ZANU PF were to win, which is unlikely if constitutional and electoral reforms are undertaken to level the ground, then so be it. But I doubt if electoral reforms are realistic since the real problem in Zimbabwe is Mugabe who is determined to succeed himself. And the March 2008 election offers an opportunity for that feat.
Chief Executive Officer
National Convention Assembly (NCA) and NCEC,
Chief Executive Officer
National Convention Assembly (NCA) and NCEC,
See also The Zimbabwe Crisis Platform
comments8 comment(s) available
- your name and city 06-20-07 07:37:03
- Mugabe is a gtreat crook ( a sophisticated master-assassin) who is a shame to any peoples that cherish decency! His attempt to hide behind a semblance of AFRICAN NATIONALISM has failed dismally! Rev Mufaro Stig Hove...... www.zimfinalpush.blogspot.com
- your name and city 06-19-07 20:56:41
- Biffo from Kampala - You should also read the incive comments by Reason Wafawarova!
- your name and city 06-19-07 20:53:43
- Biffo from Kampala- Beware the hidden forces mentioned by the world esteemed correspondent Tichaona Chimoga of Cape Town
- your name and cityRastus from Lusaka 06-19-07 20:50:32
- How come Capt Bob, as we all affectionately call him, does not host the Football World Cup?
- your name and city 06-19-07 20:22:35
- Tichaona Chimoga Cape Town. Your article shows indepth research, but I think to simply point in the title and say Mugabe is the problem is rather simplifying a complex issue. More hidden forces are at work in Zimbabwe.
- your name and city 06-19-07 15:32:01
- The majority onto farms?? Mr. Reason hasn't been on many farms of late, that much is clear. If he would have visited the farms impounded by so-called war veterans and the Zimbabwe government he would mostly have come across derelict fields and nature taking over. Aren't the shops empty? Aren't people dying of starvation, especially in the rural areas? And let's not forget to mention that a clear majority of the Zimbabwe people voted against Mugabe's constitution proposing forced land restitution.
- Reason Wafawarova 06-19-07 13:31:56
- I cant believe the writer of this article has the audacity, temerity and open face to claim the minimum semblance of Pan Africanism in him. I wanted to ask who funds NCA and NCEC but I now just have to ask how much the organisations have been funded this year. How does Mugabe force-march the majority onto farms?
- your name and city 06-19-07 12:07:33
- I applaud your very well written article, written with knowledge and great objectivity.If only there were more of you! from a White African