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Zimbabwe is a prima facie failed state and incapable of self-governing - will we finally take the cure

21 Nov 2021 at 08:35hrs | Views
"Blacks are incapable of self-governing!" was the standard justification for continued white colonial rule. Not many things said and done by the white supremacists got under my skin half as deep as that remark!

There was no deny that many African countries had gained their independence and, it must be said, not many had set a good example of self-government. Indeed the great majority of the nations who had gained their independence before Zimbabwe had made a dog's breakfast of majority rule.

So the white supremacists remark, blacks were incapable of self-rule, got deep into the marrow of my bones because there was a real fear it was true. And time has proven my fears where completely justified.

41 years after independence there is no deny that Zimbabwe has become the text-book case of failed state because of chronic poor human failure, inability to govern oneself. What has happened to Zimbabwe's agricultural sector under this Zanu PF rule captures the essence of failed national leadership.

Before independence Zimbabwe produced enough food to feed its own people with plenty left over to be the bread basket of the region. The country also produced cash crops like tobacco, cut flowers and beef; earning the country a fortune in foreign currency.

In 2000 Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF had sucked the life out of every other sector of the economy and so they turned to the only other asset left - land. The regime instituted a programme to seize farms from mainly white farmers to give them to party loyalists; the latter failed to maintain production and the agricultural sector completely collapse and with it the economy.

By 2005, Zimbabwe had lost her coveted bread basket title to become just another basket case failed state now dependent on imported foreign food aid to feed its people. With the economy in melt down we could not even afford to pay for the imported food!

So Zimbabweans are starving in a country that is, for all practical purpose, the Biblical Garden of Eden; a truly damning indictment on Zimbabwe's leaders and the nation at large.

So were the white supremacists right that Zimbabweans we are incapable of self-government! Well, so far there is clearly no denying we have fcuked up big time!

There are many, many reasons one can give why Zimbabwe is in this economic mess, with the economy in total melt down and millions of our people living in abject poverty. And political paralysis as neither the ruling party and many opposition parties have a clue how to get the nation out of the mess because they are all corrupt, incompetent and utterly useless. The economic failure and political paralysis stem from the nation's failure to hold free, fair and credible elections.

We started on the right footing, before independence the clarion call was "One man, one vote!" By the time the country gained her independence in 1980, Robert Mugabe and his cronies wanted absolute power and they realised the only sure way to get it was to deny the people a meaningful vote.

Zanu PF made it clear that if the party did not win the 1980 elections, the bush war would continue. The people voted to end the bush war, not knowing they would not only lose a meaningful say in the governance of the country but with it their freedoms, all the other human rights and their economic rights too.

"Seek ye first the political kingdom, and all else shall be added unto you", said Ghana's first president, Dr Kwame Nkrumah. He was right!

It took the people of Zimbabwe nearly 20 years for them to finally realise that the nation was stuck withe the corrupt, incompetent and tyrannical Zanu PF dictatorship and will never be rid of regime as long as it retained the carte blanche dictatorial powers to rig elections.

The people have risked life and limb, as we might well imagine Zanu PF was not going to give up absolute power without a fight, to elect the opposition to specifically implement the democratic changes, reforms, to end the Zanu PF dictatorship. Reforms to restore the individual freedoms and rights including the right to a meaningful vote.

 The best opportunities to implement the reforms were during the 2008 to 2013 GNU; the SADC sponsored 2008 Global Political Agreement (GPA) forced Mugabe to agree to the implementation of of a raft of democratic reforms designed to dismantle the Zanu PF dictatorship.

The task of implementing the reforms were left to Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC colleagues in the GNU. Sadly, MDC leaders failed to implement even one token reform in five years.

The people of Zimbabwe had risked life and limb to elect MDC leaders into power for the purpose of implementing the democratic changes, as the party name implied. Sadly, the taste of power made MDC leaders forget their obligation to the people to deliver change just as Zanu PF had done in 1980.

"Mazivanhu eMDC adzidza kudya anyerere!" (MDC leaders have learned to enjoy the spoils of power quietly, they will not rock the boat!) boasted Zanu PF cronies when asked why MDC leaders were not implement the reforms during the GNU.

To be fair to the SADC leaders, they did try to have the 2013 elections postponed until the democratic reforms were implemented. "If you go into elections next month, you are going to lose; the elections are done!" SADC leaders had warned Tsvangirai and company.

The warning was a waste of time, as we know. Tsvangirai and company participated in the 2013 elections and, as expected, Zanu PF went on to blatantly rig the elections. And, most important of all, by participating MDC leaders gave credibility to the flawed and illegal elections process and thus, by extension, gave legitimacy to the vote rigging Zanu PF.

MDC leaders learned nothing from their blunder of participating in the 2013 elections with no reforms in place as they repeated the blunder and participated in the 2018 elections with not even one token reform in place.

Indeed, MDC leaders are set to participate in the 2023 elections with no reforms for the same reasons they participated in past and failed to implement any reforms during the GNU - greed and incompetence.

So if Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies had honoured the "One man, one vote!" promise Zimbabwe would have been save the curse of rigged elections and bad governance. Still, we would have cured ourselves of the curse if Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC fiends had implemented the democratic reforms.

Where are we, exactly?

We are still stuck with the Zanu PF dictatorship which still enjoys the carte blanche powers to rig elections, as we had before the 2008 to 2013 GNU, with the subtle difference that de facto one party dictatorship is now thinly disguised multi-party democracy. Zanu PF has given up a few gravy train seats to entice the opposition to participate in the elections regardless how flawed the process got.

We started with a Zanu PF dictatorship; it is still there. We risked life and limb to elect MDC leaders to dismantle the dictatorship; they not only failed but, worse still, they are now perpetuating the dictatorship by participating in flawed elections giving it legitimacy.

We are where we are! What can we do now to cure ourselves of this curse of rigged elections and bad governance?

We cannot stop Zanu PF, as the government of the day, going ahead with the 2023 elections even with not even a token reform in place. It is as clear as day that Zanu PF is rigging these elections.

Zanu PF will be offering the usual few gravy train seats plus the POLAD perks to entice the opposition to participate in the 2023 elections. No doubt, the usual opposition opportunists will participate.

What we, the people of Zimbabwe, must do is make sure these elections are seen by all with eyes to see for what they really are - a farce.

"The electoral commission lacked full independence and appeared to not always act in an impartial manner. The final results as announced by the Electoral Commission contained numerous errors and lacked adequate traceability, transparency and verifiability," stated the EU 2018 Zimbabwe Observer Mission Final Report.

"As such, many aspects of the 2018 elections in Zimbabwe failed to meet international standards."

SADC's observer mission concluded the 2018 elections were "substantially free, fair and credible". No doubt SADC observers were using a one foot long yard stick. This time, SADC observers, especially those nations that have successful held free and fair elections, will be expected to use the same international accepted three-foot yard stick standard!  

Of course, it is insane to keep participating in flawed and illegal elections expecting a different result, especially after 41 years of rigged elections.

If the 2023 elections go ahead with no meaningful reforms in place, then the process must be declared null and void. The declaration will mean the need to appoint an interim administration as happened in 2008 only this time measures will be taken to ensure the democratic reforms are fully implemented and the nation finally cured of the curse of rigged elections and bad governance.

Zimbabwe is prima facie failed state, a nation incapable of self-governing, because we have failed to hold free, fair and credible elections. The cure is - implement the democratic reforms and hold free and fair elections.

Source -
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