Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

'Give Mnangagwa long rope to hang himself,' says Masarira - Yeah Mugabe used it to hang povo

27 Dec 2017 at 07:45hrs | Views
Zimbabwe is not in this political and economic mess by accident. We are where we are because we, as a people, have not stopped to think through what is it we want and hence for the last 37 years we have blundered from pillar to post. Some of our social media based protest groups have been have had their share of blundering.

"I think it's important for us to note that there have to be a moment with which we distil what has happened before we react," Pastor Evans Mawarire of #Thisflag told New Zimbabwe.

"It's important for now to just respond and not necessarily react. There is still need for analysis really on which direction are these people (government) taking."

Pastor Mawarire has never really understood what it is exactly the nation has been fighting for these last 37 years. His understanding of anything has been very superficial at best. Admittedly it is impossible to have an intelligent debate on any subject much less on politics with someone whose starting baseline is zero and stick to the 140 characters maximum twitter limit.

Pastor Mawarire's latest blunder emanates from his failure to appreciate that the military coup that forced Mugabe to resign and in the purge of all G40 loyalists from Zanu PF had everything to do with the dog-eat-dog factional war that has been raging in that party for the last three years. The coup had nothing to do with advancing the ordinary Zimbabwean's fight for democratic changes to restore individual freedoms and basic human rights including the right to free and fair elections.

"Operation Restore Legacy", as the coup plotter call the coup was about stopping Mugabe handing political power to his wife Grace and her G40 faction and handing it back, restoring it, to the Joint Operation Command (JOC), the Junta comprising of security services top brass and headed by Mnangagwa and Mugabe himself until the coup. JOC has ruled the country all these last 37 years with an iron fist, it has master minders and executed all the corruption, vote rigging, tyrannical oppression and murders.

All the coup has done is effect a change of JOC leader from Mugabe to Mnangagwa otherwise nothing else has changed. It is only those who are political naïve and gullible who equate the departure of the dictator, Mugabe, with the demise of the Zanu PF dictatorship.

Mugabe lost the March 2008 elections to Tsvangirai by a staggering 73%, for example. It was Mnangagwa and the other JOC members who told the tyrant not to throw in the towel. They masterminded the six weeks recount to reduce Tsvangirai's victory to 47% and thus force the run-off. Again, it was Mnangagwa & co. who masterminded and executed Operation "Mavhotera papi!" (Whom did you vote for!) in which the electorate were subjected to barbaric abuse and wanton violence to punish them for having voted Tsvangirai in the March vote. Mugabe won the run-off by a warping 84%.

The most immediate proof of the JOC being perfectly capable of carrying on without Mugabe, is the November coup against the tyrant. It is clear that Mugabe himself never doubted Mnangagwa & co. were capable of staging a successful coup against him because his wife told us the tyrant was "sleeping with one eye open".

Mugabe was the figure head of JOC but one the Junta could do without when push came to shove. Mugabe was no more than the tail of the autotomy gecko, when the JOC members were threaten they forced him to resign just as readily as the gecko, captured by its tail, will shed-off the tail to make good its escape.
The 2008 to 2013 GNU presented the nation a golden opportunity to implement the democratic reforms necessary to restore the individual freedoms and human rights the Zanu PF dictatorship had systematically eroded away. Sadly, Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends failed to get even one reform implemented and the chance was wasted.

The dog-eat-dog infighting in Zanu PF has left the party divided and weak, other than the GNU years, the weakest it has ever been in all its 37 years in power. This is another half chance for povo to their demands to implement the democratic reforms.

"I think these are all moments which are helping us to locate ourselves in this new dispensation; how do we posture ourselves in relation to this new government, what is our messaging, what are our key concerns so far in these first 50 or 100 days as we go," argued Mawarire.

Wait, wait for what? Wait for Zanu PF to regroup and consolidate its power? No, you hit the metal whilst it is still hot, you press for reforms whilst Zanu PF is weak!
President Mnangagwa has promised "free, fair and credible" to take people's attention off the demands to implement reforms before elections. Of all the Zanu PF leaders, he knows all there is to know about rigging elections and why the reforms are important because he, unlike the likes of Joice Mujuru who were spectators, masterminded and executed all Zanu PF's vote rigging schemes in the past. He wants everyone to go into next year's elections believing the elections will be free because he said so although he has not implemented even one reform.

President Mnangagwa is aware Zanu PF is already rigging next year's elections. As Minister of Justice, he delayed the start of the on-going voter registration knowing ZEC will not have the time release a verified voters' roll before the elections. He also knows that many of the party's vote rigging schemes would have been exposed if ZEC had produced a verified voters' roll for the July 2013 elections. The party does not want a verified voters' roll for next year's election for the same reason.

If people are naïve enough to allow Mnangagwa to get away with yet another rigged election; he will willingly take full advantage of their naivety.  

"I think it's still premature for protest movements to go into the streets and protest because the president has only been there for less than a month now and we have to give him a long rope to hang himself," chipped in Linda Masarira, another human rights campaigner who heart is in the right place but, sadly, her intellect has not been sound.

"We also have to consider that he has an obligation to try and reform Zanu PF and the system per se and reform does not happen overnight."
Madam, that is precisely the point; Mnangagwa is not even trying to reform Zanu PF. He and the JOC cabal risked life and limb to stage a coup to restore their iron grip on power; many JOC members are now in his cabinet; those thugs are not going to risk being booted out of power by allowing free election especially when they are not under any pressure to implement any democratic reforms.
President Mnangagwa is not a democrat and he and his JOC Junta have no intention of reforming themselves out of office.
We made the mistake of giving Mugabe and his Zanu PF thugs a long rope in 1980 and for the last 37 years they have frog-marched the whole nation into this hell-on-earth; harassing, beating, raping and even murdered over 30 000 along the way. We must not make that mistake again.

If next year's elections are free, fair and credible; then they will be the country's first free and fair elections. The nation's priority then would be to make ensure they are not the last free and fair elections by voting to end Zanu PF's reign of terror.

If next year's elections are NOT free, fair and credible; which is a certainty given the party has failed to implement even one reform, there will be no verified voters' roll, etc.; this will be proof that Zanu PF is not going to change. The nation must unite and demand reform BEFORE elections. The people must have nothing to do with the flawed elections.

SADC leaders advised Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends, and through them the Zimbabwe people, not to contest the July 2013 elections with no reforms. The regional leaders accepted the futility of participating in a flawed process and then complain about it afterwards. If MDC and/or the Zimbabwe electorate had heeded SADC leaders' advice then the regional grouping would have had no problem declaring the rigged July 2013 elections null and void.

Making sure the democratic reforms are implemented before any elections has been the number one priority on Zimbabwe's national agenda since the 2008 rigged elections. It was foolish of the MDC leaders to take their eyes off the ball during the GNU. It equally foolish of the nation to do so again when Mugabe resigned because that, in itself, had nothing to do with implement the reforms. If anything, his resignation should have prompted us to push even harder for the reforms.

"Give Mnangagwa a long rope to hang himself," says Masarira. We made the same mistake with Mugabe and he and his Zanu PF thugs thrived whilst we languished poverty and despair. It is insane to make the same mistake with Mnangagwa with the same team of Zanu PF thugs; they will string us 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.