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'Seek ye first the political kingdom' advised Dr Nkrumah. We did not and have paid dearly for our folly

19 Sep 2018 at 22:16hrs | Views
"Seek ye first the political kingdom and all else shall be added unto you," said Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Independent Ghana.

After 38 years of blundering from pillar to post whilst the country sunk deeper and deeper into poverty and hopelessness; Dr Nkrumah's words make a lot of sense and we in Zimbabwe must sit up and paid heed.

We, the ordinary people, have never secured the political kingdom as surmised by the right to a meaningful say in the governance of the country.

During the fight for independence the carrion call amongst the blacks was "One man, one vote!" By the time the nation attained her independence the black nationalist leaders like Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party and the late Joshua Nkomo and his PF Zapu party had moved on.

They wanted absolute power and giving the ordinary person a meaningful vote and endangering their hold on power was simply unthinkable. They wanted a one-party state hence the reason the Chinese and Russian system of government as contrast to western democracy appealed to them.

The two political parties have co-operated, particularly after signed the 1987 Unity Accord, to impose a de facto one party state in Zimbabwe. Whilst the country has kept faith with the requirement to hold regular elections Zanu PF has retained total control of the electoral process to make sure the party always secured a landslide victory regardless of the free democratic wishes of the people.

People have the vote but Zanu PF leaders have the veto! The people were given the paper crown whilst the political leaders retained for themselves the real gold crown.

Zimbabwe has fallen from its perch in 1980 as one of the top five richest nations in Africa with very prospect of becoming the South Korea of Africa to becoming the poorest nation in Africa today with every prospect of sinking even lower. In a reversal of Dr Nkrumah's maxim, we lost the political kingdom and everything else; economic wealth, our hopes and dreams and even the right to life itself; has been taken away from us.

For the last 20 years the people of Zimbabwe have fought the Zanu PF dictatorship demanding meaningful democratic change designed to restore the individual freedoms and rights including the right to free, fair and credible elections.  

After last November's military coup that deposed the long serving dictator Robert Mugabe and the promise by the new Mnangagwa government to hold free, fair and credible elections; most people genuinely believed the country had turned a new page. Sadly President Mnangagwa did not keep his promise as he went on to blatantly rig the elections.

It is tempting to let President Mnangagwa get away with another rigged elections, Zanu PF flexing its veto muscle, but after 38 years the realisation that it is the primary reason the country is in this hell-hole is now the elephant in the room that cannot be ignored. Worse still, we can no longer ignore the reality that until we cure ourselves of the curse of rigged elections this nation will never ever get out of the hell-hole.

Allowing Zanu PF to get away with yet another rigged election is therefore a luxury this nation can ill afford. All pressure must be brought to bear of the regime to give up its carte blanche dictatorial powers to rig elections and restore the people's freedoms and rights including the right to free, fair and credible elections.

Zanu PF rigged the elections, the party is illegitimate and it must be pressured to step aside to allow the implementation of the democratic reforms giving back the people their political power. Nothing of any substance can ever be accomplished until this is settled.

It is therefore with anger that the British are determined to work with this Zanu PF regime, ignore that it is illegitimate, and undermining the efforts of everyone else pressuring the regime to change.

"Britain will support Zimbabwe to get on an interim IMF staff programme to help the country quickly clear its foreign arrears, Britain's ambassador in Harare said on Tuesday," reported Daily News.

"Clearing the $1.8 billion arrears to the World Bank and AfDB is seen as major step for Zimbabwe to start accessing foreign credit, especially for the private sector as well as foreign direct investment."

The irony is the British will never allow anyone to get away with vote rigging in UK because they know that would undermine the country's democracy and good governance behind the nation's political stability and economic posterity. And yet they are the ones fighting tooth and nail to let Mnangagwa and the junta get away with blatantly rigging the recent elections!

Clearly the British, for their own selfish reasons, want Zanu PF to remain in power regardless of consequence of Zimbabwe remaining stuck in this hell-hole. Our task of seeking our political kingdom fighting Zanu PF was always going to be a tough one. Now that we must fight the British too, it is just a little tougher yes but still not impossible!

Besides we have some allies too. The Americans have already said Zanu PF rigged the elections and the targeted sanctions imposed on the party thugs will remain. It is not only the British, the American too, have a say on whether the IMF and WB renew their funding of the Zimbabwe government!

As for investors, few will be fooled by the British's attempts to portray the Mnangagwa regime as a stable democratic government. Mnangagwa is just "Mugabe mark 2", as UK MP Kate Hoey rightly pointed following her visit to observe the elections, and Zimbabwe is still a pariah state. Investors do not do business with vote rigging thugs!

Of course, Dr Kwame Nkrumah's maxim makes sense; those going through the trouble of denying you a political voice will finish off by denying you everything else. The fight for everything else must start with the first to have a political voice and hence the reason the fight to end vote rigging that has given Zanu PF thugs the veto over our vote is the paramount battle we must fight and win!

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