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Mugabe has crossed all red-lines with impunity

08 Apr 2017 at 18:01hrs | Views

The culture of values, principles and red-line beyond which we will never go is completely alien to the Zimbabwean people. Our political leaders like President Robert Mugabe never tire of telling the nation they are liberation war hero and they will rattle on about what that meant; ending white colonial oppression, one-man-one-vote, right to enjoy all the freedoms and basic human rights, right to a fair share of the country's wealth, etc.

Yet today, 37 years after independence the majority of our people are still oppressed, the country is yet to hold its first free and fair elections and millions wallow in abject poverty. What happened?

Simple, Mugabe made all the right noises about freedom, liberty, mass economic prosperity, etc. before independence; indeed, he is not averse to repeating them even today; but has failed to deliver any of them because, to him, these were guidelines which can be put aside or overlooked if the situation demanded it.

Tsvangirai and his MDC friends were elected on a ticket to deliver democratic change, the party's second and last name. There is no doubt that MDC's best chance ever to deliver democratic change was during the 2008 to 2013 GNU. They failed to get even one democratic reform implemented. SADC leaders did they best to remind Tsvangirai & co. to implement the reforms but their voices fell on deaf ears.

President Mugabe blatantly rigged the July 2013 elections because the country had gone into the elections without implementing the reforms.

Like President Mugabe, Tsvangirai talked about bringing about democratic changes before the GNU; indeed, he too still talks about doing so to this day; but why did he fail to implement even one reform when he had the golden opportunity to do so?

Again, simple; he saw democratic changes as merely items on his "to do" list as contrast to "must do a.s.a.p." list. As far as he was concerned he could deliver the democratic changes some other day; his time during the five years of the GNU were taken up by other important matters like globe-trotting, chasing women of ill repute and, most important of all, enjoying all the trappings of high office and the bribes Mugabe paid MDC leaders to kick reforms into the tall grass!

After the July 2013 rigged Zimbabwe elections SADC leaders were scathing in their criticism Tsvangirai and his MDC friends accusing them of "enjoying themselves during the GNU and forgetting why they were there!"

President Mugabe and now Morgan Tsvangirai have all not only betrayed us, the people, by failing to deliver on their promises but worse still they have got away with it scot-free. Why, you may well ask?

Once again, the answer is simple; we the people have never set any deliverable red-lines for Mugabe or Tsvangirai. Our political leaders have been able to ride roughshod over our dreams and hopes at will and with total impunity because we have never drawn any lines in the sand and vowed to ourselves that we will never allow anyone to push us beyond those lines and meant it!

The root cause of the country's political paralysis and ever worsening economic mess is our failure to hold those in public office to account. The holding of free, fair and credible elections is the ultimate expression of ruled holding the rulers to account; the former can remove them from office and have meaningful political change.

President Mugabe's no-regime-change mantra is therefore an arrogant tyrannical insult to the nation because he is denying the people of Zimbabwe their fundamental right to a meaningful say in the governance of the country and, with it, the chance to end the misrule that was landed the nation in this hell-hole!

If we are serious about getting out of the economic and political mess Mugabe landed us into then we must make sure the next elections are free, fair and credible.

We are in this mess because we have never had principle and red-lines. Well there is no better time for us to change this archaic culture than right now. All thinking Zimbabweans out there must demand that the next elections must be free, fair and credible and refuse to settle for anything else. Free, fair and credible elections must therefore be the double red-line we must make a solemn oath must to rest until that is delivered!

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