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Mugabe to 'discard some' in factional reshuffle - demand free election for urgent regime reshuffle

08 Oct 2017 at 19:13hrs | Views
"Next week there might be some changes in government. Should we remain with the same team or we make changes or even discard some. So that exercise I will be doing it and early next week you will get the results," President Mugabe told a meeting of his ZANU-PF youth wing.

With the country is the economic and political mess it is in a government shakeup is something many Zimbabweans would say "Is long overdue!" But before anyone gets carries away, we need to look at the reality on the ground.

Unemployment has soared to 90% plus, 72.3% of our people now live on US$1.00 or less a day, our education and health services have all but collapsed, etc., etc. These things did not happen in the last year or since the last election. Ours has been a steady decline that can be traced back to our independence in 1980. What sticks out here like a sore thumb is why have we allowed things to get into such a mess all these last 37 years? Why have we failed to have a government shakeup?

Throughout the last 37 years, President Mugabe, has appointed his cabinet ministers, a bloated cabinet it must be said, and from time to time has carried out cabinet reshuffled, discarding some and bringing new face. What matters to the nation is that things have progressively got worse and not better.

Only the politically naïve and gullible will expect Zimbabwe's political and economic mess to improve after next week's cabinet reshuffle. Zimbabwe's economic meltdown will get worse fuelled by the gross mismanagement and rampant corruption. Zanu PF's factional war will heat up. Indeed, the cabinet reshuffle will be more about the factional war than to address the nation's worsening political and economic crisis. Talk of fiddling whilst Rome burn!

If the truth be told; now, with the nation's political and economic stability and our very survival at stake, it must be told; the real reason why all the past shakeup, reshuffles, etc. have all failed to end the mismanagement and corruption is because the shakeup pruned the twigs and the odd branch when what was required was to uproot the whole tree, branches, trunk and roots.

Everyone in President Mugabe's cabinet has serviced at his pleasure. Some like Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramai, have been a permanent fixture of Mugabe's cabinet having been there for all the 37 years other has drifted in and out. So, the responsibility for the lacklustre performance of the Zimbabwe government for the last 37 years must be laid at President Mugabe's door and no one else.

We can be certain of one thing President Mugabe will not be proposing his own retirement in his next week reshuffle.

The only opportunity the nation has ever had to force President Mugabe to leave office was during national elections; he has successful rig the vote and thus denying the people a meaningful say on who governed the country. The March 2008 elections; when Tsvangirai polled 73% of the vote, by President Mugabe's own admission, which ZEC then whittled down to 47% to force the run-off; proved the futility of contesting elections which Zanu PF has carte blanche powers to rig.  

So, if we are serious about putting an end to the last four decades of misrule then we should not be looking at President Mugabe carrying out his traditional pruning of the twigs and branches, whose primary purpose is aid his wife's G40 factional war. We must cut down the tree trunk, the twigs and branches will not survive, and then uproot the roots so there is no chance of dictatorship off-shoot ever emerging again.

President Mugabe's cabinet reshuffle is an internal Zanu PF affair in the ongoing factional war that will have very little effect, if at all, on the teething economic and political problems of ordinary Zimbabweans. The real political reshuffle of national interest is the next national elections when people will have the chance to boot out Mugabe himself out of office but only if the elections are free, fair and credible.

The stage is already set for President Mugabe and Zanu PF to rig next year's election; there is no way the regime will produce a verifiable voters' roll in four months, for example. Producing a verifiable voters' roll is a legal requirement. It is nonsensical to even talk of democratic elections with no verifiable voters' roll and Tsvangirai and his MDC friends agreed to contest the July 2013 without one. They know there will be no verifiable voters' roll in 2018 and still they want to contest the elections regardless.

The people of Zimbabwe must refuse to play any part in the current flawed and illegal electoral process because those who try to register, for example, will be seen as having approved the process. Whether they fail to register, as the system is designed to make sure that many do not; etc. is irrelevant; what matters is they have participated and thus given the process political credibility.

The people of Zimbabwe must demand the implementation of the democratic reforms to ensure the elections are free, fair and credible BEFORE the elections. Next week President Mugabe can have his cabinet reshuffle; next year Zimbabweans will have regime reshuffle, with free, fair and credible elections.

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Source - Nomusa Garikai
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