Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

Coltart wants US sanctions lifter to appease Zanu PF dictatorship - misguided liberals never tires of appeasement

14 Dec 2017 at 20:12hrs | Views
There is a fundamental flaw in the argument that the sanctions impose of Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies for serious human rights abuses including failing to hold free and fair elections must be lifted because the regime is using the sanctions as an excuse for its failures. Former MDC Senator and Minister of Education during GNU, David Coltart and Zimbabwean author Peter Godwin have taken the lead in this.

"It (sanctions) shields them from the consequences of their own mismanagement. Bear in mind, that Zimbabwe as far as I understand it has the fastest shrinking economy in the history of peacetime economies….It's pure incompetence, corruption and patronage," Godwin argued the US Senators.

"I am almost hesitant to mention this. You flip the sanctions that you have got now… a reverse sunset clause where you say I will tell you what we will do. You have got this new government, we will give you the benefit of the doubt for six months or say until the next elections. We are going to drop all sanctions but they will automatically go back on if you don't meet these benchmarks, the benchmarks we have all been talking about. The ones where there is pretty wide agreement on in civic society. That way you take away the excuse of sanctions and whatever."

First of all, Peter is right; Zimbabwe has certainly suffered one of the fasted economic shrinkage in human history, especial in the period 2000 to 2008 when inflation peaked at 500 billion per cent. The regime scrapped the Z$ in November 2008 and inflation dropped to zero and within days the empty shop shelves filled and the negative economy growth was turned into a healthy +12% for the year 2009.

Peter is also right to say Zimbabwe's economic meltdown is due to misrule by Zanu PF as the scrapping of the Z$ clearly demonstrated. But, if the West had lifted its sanctions against the regime; which some people, including the MDC leaders like Coltart were calling for; Mugabe and his apologists would have insisted the economic recovery was purely due to the lifting of the sanctions.

President Mnangagwa has already started scrapping some of Mugabe's stupid and obnoxious laws and policies such as the indigenisation law. The Chinese, desperate to keep their advantageous position in Zimbabwe, have already started to pour in money to prop up the Mnangagwa administration. So, there is no doubt that there will be some significant signs of economic recovery in the next six months. If sanctions were lifted; the regime will attribute all the recovery to the lifting of the sanction and nothing else, of that we can be certain!

Second, it is a nonsense to pretend the Mnangagwa regime is a "new government". It is no such thing. If anything the Mnangagwa faction has retain 90% of the hard-core Joint Operation Command (JOC) members, the Junta that has ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist all these years. The coup plotters, including Mnangagwa himself, code named the putsch Operation Restore Legacy meaning restore power back to JOC.

In the ensuing factional war that has torn Zanu PF apart these last three years it has proven unavoidable for the Zanu PF dictatorship; of which JOC is brain planning and directed all the vote rigging, corruption, oppression, everything; to remove its figure head for the last 37 years, Robert Mugabe. He was nothing more than the tail of the autotomy gecko. A gecko without a tail is still a gecko!

After the blatant cooking up of the March 2008 poll to turn Tsvangirai's 73% votes, by Mugabe's own admission, into 47% to force a presidential run-off. In the run-off the Zanu PF dictatorship resorted to some of the worst election barbarism and violence in human history. No one, not even SADC and AU known to accept some dodgy election processes, accept Mugabe's 84% victory as the true democratic wish of the people.

Even nations such as China who had vetoed tougher UN backed wide ranging economic and political sanctions against the Zanu PF must have hang their heads in shame, assuming their even know the meaning of the word, to see what Mugabe was doing in 2008. The international community should have demanding that Zanu PF step down immediately or else impose the tougher UN sanctions. Instead SADC proposed a soft-landing for Mugabe by proposing the GNU was they tasked to implement the raft of democratic reforms designed to dismantle the dictatorship to allow free, fair and credible elections.

As we know not even one reform was implemented in five years because Mugabe outwitted the corrupt and incompetent MDC leaders into kicking the reforms into the prickly pear thicket. MDC leaders, including David Coltart, led from the front as usual, wasted the five years trying to appease Mugabe instead of implementing the reforms. The Zanu PF dictatorship would have never lasted 37 years dragging the nation this deep into this hell-on-earth if the regime had been punished for all its crimes against the people.

Let the punishment fit the crime has now been turned to appeasing the criminal. At this rate, we will stop sending criminals to jail for fear they will come out hardened criminals and send them on no expense spared luxury holiday trips.

Indeed, all the Zanu PF thugs on the sanctions list have posh mansions and have lived lives of unparalleled comfort and luxury whilst the majority have wallowed in abject poverty. What Coltart is calling for is that we should roll out the red carpet wherever they go in the vain hope that will make them hold free elections and lose all the comforts of absolute political power. No wonder MDC leaders failed to implement even one reform during the GNU – they are a breathtakingly corrupt, incompetent and naïve lot!

After 37 years of corrupt and tyrannical rule by this Zanu PF dictatorship, we should be piling up the pressure to demand free, fair and credible elections. The last thing we want is for the struggled to be undermined by those still seeking to appease the regime regardless of all the evidence that strategy is flawed. We must now these misguided appeasers, in no uncertain terms; "SHUT UP!"

All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.