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'Zanu PF hegemonic grip on power depends on poverty and violence' - without reforms, never be broken

22 Feb 2020 at 08:43hrs | Views
Last week, former Zanu PF Minister Walter Mzembi promised to spill the beans of how Zanu PF has been rigging elections. Those who know Mzembi is but a man of little substance, an intellectual midget masquerading as a Newtonian giant, did not expect much from his promised revelations. And long behold the Mzembi interview was nothing but a dump squib that phut and fizzled out!

"Zanu PF, and by extension its government, is held together by a culture of fear, intimidation, vengeance, retribution and violence," Mzembi told Daily News.

"The merchandising of fear and retribution is the central theme of the Zanu PF bible and there is ample evidence to attest to this over the last 50 years … There are thousands of Zanu PF members who for fear of losing farms or business opportunities, jobs and food aid, stay beholden to a system their inner souls have long rejected and which they cannot proudly stand up and defend."

He wittered on and on along the same lines. This is nothing new, many people with common sense had come to the same conclusion a long, long time ago and hence the reasons many Zimbabweans with half a brain left Zanu PF before independence or soon thereafter. Only a village idiot would freely choose to remain beholden to a regime riding roughshod over the nation's hopes of freedom, justice and human dignity; the merchants of fear and retribution.

If anyone expected Mzembi to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth; they were once again to be disappointed by the upstart!

"Zimbabwe's election history is replete with violence. Whilst they are held timeously, there are also simultaneous cycles of violence and because I was already an adult in the 1985 elections, the country witnessed heinous violence against Joshua Nkomo's Zapu , Edgar Tekere's Zum (Zimbabwe Unity Movement) in 1990, Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC in the 2000, 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2013 elections all of which are in the public domain. The 2008 elections, which resulted in the GNU of 2009-2013, tops the bill because of its unprecedented violence," Mzembi continued.

"Every Zanu PF senior member knows who collapsed Mugabe's peaceful rerun committee in 2008 and took charge of one of the country's most violent electoral episodes. I was in this committee of 15 later 22, leading a subcommittee on business and traditional leaders with Sthembiso Nyoni … one day in May 2008, … Mnangagwa walked into our meeting and told everyone that he was now taking charge and these academic exercises we were engaged in were now over! Our rerun committee was sent packing and brutality of the highest order took over, Tsvangirai succumbed and the rest is history."

No one would deny that the political violence in Zimbabwe reach a new epoch first during the Gukurahundi massacre and then during the 2008 presidential run-off. Everyone knows that Emerson Mnangagwa was Mugabe's most trusted murderous henchman and it is not surprising he was at the head of all the dirtiest and bloodiest politically motivated horror to befall the nation these last 40 years of Zanu PF tyrannical rule. What Mzembi has not said is what role he himself has played in all these political shenanigans and horrors.

If Mzembi was in 2008 Zanu PF election committe until the "one day in May 2008" when Mnangagwa boot out Mzembi and the others; then he, Mzembi, should tell us the role his committe played in the blatant cheating in the counting of March 2008 votes. It took six weeks to declare presidential result.

Years latter, Mugabe, in a Freudian slip, revealed that Morgan Tsvangirai had won 73%. It had taken six weeks to "cook" the vote count, to whittle the 73% down to 47%, to justify the presidential run-off.

So we are to award the Noble Peace Prize to Walter Mzembi and his "collapsed Mugabe's peaceful rerun committee" although it was the one responsible for the blatant vote count cheating that made the run-off necessary.

Walter Mzembi joined Zanu PF out of his free will and rose through the ranks to become one of Robert Mugabe's, Zimbabwe's late murderous tyrant who ruled the country with an iron fist, blue eyed Ministers. Walter Mzembi did not carryout some of Mugabe's dirties jobs such as mass murders, these were carried out by like of Mnangagwa and the other dung-battles; still Mzembi had no qualms dishing out the fear, intimidation, vengeance, etc. synonymous with being a Zanu PF thug.

"Peace maker" Mzembi, just like many other Zanu PF leaders, grabbed for himself Banquest Chicken Farm in Masvingo  producing 100 000 chicks and 50 000 eggs per week and employing 200 workers. Production at Banquest Farm soon collapsed, just as happened on many other farms seized by Zanu PF triggering the collapse of the country's once upon time very productive agricultural sector.

Zanu PF is a party of ruthless thugs whose hunger for power, political power, wealth and extravagant lifestyle is insatiable. Whilst there was plenty of wealth to share out, it was easy to keep the party members united. Four decades of gross mismanagement and rampant corruption to feed the ever growing Zanu PF leaders' appetites for loot have resulted in the total economic collapse. Zanu PF leaders have been fighting each other over the scraps.

The November 2017 military coup that ousted Robert Mugabe and many of his G40 faction members including Walter Mzembi is a result of one of the factional fights that are tiring Zanu PF apart. Walter Mzembi's confession was about discrediting Mnangagwa and his Lactose Zanu PF faction, a carry on of the Zanu PF factional wars and not about revealing the party's vote rigging secretes.

It is no secret that Walter Mzembi is the former Zanu PF leaders to form their own party which is set to challenge Mnangagwa and his faction for power in the next elections, in 2023. Mzembi was therefore not going to make a full confession of Zanu PF's vote rigging activities and ruin his re-election back into office using the same dirty tricks or worse still incriminate himself for his rile in the rigging of past elections.

After 40 years of gross mismanagement, rampant corruption and rank lawlessness that has earned Zimbabwe the pariah state label Zimbabwe is in total economic ruins. Unemployment has soared to 90%, schools and hospitals are barely functioning, in a region were 5% or less live in extreme poverty, Zimbabwe's figure has soared to 34%! 

"Clearly, 'the most potent weapon in the mind of the Oppressor is the mind of the Oppressed' but for Zanu PF it is the desperation of the people arising out of the poverty this party and its government preside over and seek to perpetuate," concluded Mzembi.

"As long as the State has monopoly over food distribution, Zanu PF's hegemonic grip on the masses will remain intact. This grip is most firm during by-elections when the entire State machinery descends on a ward conflated with Zanu PF campaigns."

Once again, he is stating the obvious but one that is worth repeating and we have been very foolish to ignore. By making millions of our people poor and dependent on Zanu PF patronage the party has its vice grip on the people and power.

The only sure way to break Zanu PF's vice grip on the people - break the vicious cycle of the party rigging elections, abuse its power in office to undermine the people's power and rig the next election - is for the country to implement the democratic reforms designed to stop Zanu PF rigging elections.

Since Zanu PF will never implement the reforms, the party will never ever reform itself out of office; we need an independent body to be appointed and entrusted with the task.

Zanu PF must step down to create the political space for the independent body. There is no doubt that Zanu PF rigged the July 2018 elections and the regime is, per se, illegitimate and hence the reason the country is a pariah state.

As long as Zimbabwe remains a pariah state there will no meaningful economic recovery. No investor or lender wants to do business in a pariah state. Meanwhile the economic meltdown in Zimbabwe has reached the super critical level of economic, social and political instability.

Zimbabwe cannot afford to remain a pariah state much less another rigged elections in 2023. Doing nothing to end the Zanu PF dictatorship and the economic mess and political paralysis it has caused in no longer an option! Zanu PF must step down a.s.a.p. and certainly before 2023!

If Zanu PF is allowed to remain in office till 2023, the party will rig that year's elections, guaranteed.

Source -
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