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'ED in fix as prices soar and workers ask for more money' - déjà vu, now it us in fix

25 Apr 2019 at 21:58hrs | Views
"ED in fix …. as government workers want more money" screamed the Daily News Live headlines!

"With only less than a month gone after their pay cheques were reviewed upwards, government workers are pushing for another cost of living adjustment to cushion them from inflation, which is edging close to 70 percent," the paper reported.

The regime is fearful that the worsening economic meltdown, if not addressed as a matter of urgency will lead to serious social unrest. Deja vu!

"Firstly, we wish to assure the nation that His Excellency, The President, of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Head of State and Government and Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Cde R.G Mugabe and his family are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed. We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice. As soon as we have accomplished our mission we expect that the situation will return to normalcy," said Major General Sibusiso Moyo, his TV address in the small hours of 15 November 2017.

So the November 2017 military coup was to end the country's economic meltdown and the the suffering it had brought. No doubt President Mnangagwa had meant to hit the ground running with his promise to end corruption and appeal to new investors with his "Zimbabwe is open for business!" campaign. All those around him joined in the campaign, all wearing in the trademark brightly coloured scarf even in the Africa mid-day heat.

A year and half since the coup, it is now clear the flood of investors and lenders the regime was confident would follow in answer to its "Zimbabwe is open for business!" invitation has not materialised. And we know why. What is the point of crowing from the rooftop "Zimbabwe is open for business!" when the impediments that had had made it impossible to do business in the country all along have not been removed. Mnangagwa promised to end corruption, hold free and fair elections, etc. but never kept any of these promises.

The military coup was first and foremost about making sure that the coup plotters as members of the Joint Operation Command (JOC), the shadowy Junta that has ruled the country all along, retained absolute power. Mugabe was threatening to take away the power from JOC and give it to his wife and the G40 Zanu PF faction. The coup was to restore the Zanu PF dictatorial power back JOC hence the reason the coup was called "Operation restore legacy".

Mnangagwa and his coup plotters had risked their lives and limbs in wrestling power from Mugabe, they were not going to risk losing the power in a democratic elections, especially when it was in their power to rig the said elections! And so they rigged the July 2018 elections!

There is no doubt that Mnangagwa and his cronies fully appreciated the need to end corruption, to end Zimbabwe's pariah state status, etc., etc. as the pre-requisite to ending Zimbabwe's worsening economic situation. They also fully appreciate that doing nothing about the worsening economic situation is no longer an option as the threat of social unrest is real.

However, they are also painfully aware that they cannot end corruption, hold free and fair elections, etc. and still hang on to power. And so what they have done since the November 2017 military coup is bluff. President Mnangagwa has been forced to admit that he has failed to end corruption.

"I now realise corrupt is deep-rooted!" he admitted. So deep-rooted he cannot uproot it because he and his fellow Zanu PF ruling elite are the godfathers of corruption but, of course, he would never admit that.

He admitted there was little progress in arresting the corrupt because those tasked to do so; Police, anti-corruption unit, the prosecuting authority, the judiciary, etc.; are all corrupt. But quickly added that not everyone in the Police, etc. was corrupt and it is these few the country was to rely on to stamp out corruption.

In 2016 Mugabe admitted the nation was being swindled out of US$15 billion in diamond revenue alone. We know the wholesale looting of diamonds has been going on for decades and is going on to this day. So why have these squeaky clean Police Officers failed to arrest even one swindler in all these years? Of course, Mnangagwa is bluffing that corruption will ever be stamp out as long as the Zanu PF godfathers of corruption remain in power.

Similarly Zanu PF has bluffed about holding free and fair elections and thus ending the country's cursed pariah state. Zimbabwe will never hold free, fair and credible elections as long as Zanu PF remains in power. Zanu PF will never reform itself out of office, period.

Whilst Zanu PF has bluffed about ending corruption, about holding free and fair elections and about addressing all the other underlying problems causing the country's economic meltdown; what the regime has clearly failed to do is bluff about the worsening economic situation itself. The "degenerating political, social and economic situation in our country which if not addressed may result in violent conflict", as now Minister Moyo admitted in November 2017, is still present today!

The solution to Zimbabwe's worsening economic crisis has been staring us in the face all along; we must stop bluffing and address corruption, bad governance, etc. And since Zanu PF is not going to address these problems we must find others who will. We must restore the people's right to a meaningful say in the governance of the country including the right to effect regime change.

We must demand that Zanu PF step down to create the political space for an interim administration that will be tasked to implement the democratic reforms designed to end Zanu PF's carte blanche powers to rig elections.

The country's basic services such as supply of clean water and health care have all but collapsed. People are dying because they cannot afford US$5.00 per month of medicine, assuming they can get the drugs given the chronic shortages of cash, food, fuel, medicine, etc. It is not so much Mnangagwa who is in a fix, the whole of Zimbabwe is in a fix, the threat of serious social unrest, if we do not end the worsening economic meltdown, is now more urgent than ever. We must pressure Zanu PF to step down now; not in 2023, not next year, NOW!

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