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Zimbabwe is back in the Dark Ages because the people, like a shark on its back, are in a tonic mental immobility state.

20 Sep 2015 at 16:35hrs | Views
Killer whales are known to kill the great white shark "without a fight" by turning the shark on its back. A shark on its back immediately goes to into a deep sleep never to wake up even as the killer whale feast on it!

Turn the shark on its back, this unnatural posture, is thought to alter the animal's sensi-motor interchange with the environment, causing a ‘limp' response. The animal displays relaxation in muscle tone and deep rhythmic respiration. Tonic immobility (TI) is an unlearned reflex, characterised by a state of immobility and torpor. This behaviour has been reported to occur in a variety of animals - including insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals and of course fish.

To look at what has happened in Zimbabwe these last 35 years one cannot help but wonder whether the whole nation is not suffering some form of TI that has rendered the nation as helpless as a shark on its back!

The last 35 years should have been Zimbabwe's golden age of freedom and prosperity. After the ouster of the white racist regime of Ian Smith, all Zimbabweans should have enjoyed the freedom, human rights, justice, peace, etc. denied them by the whites to release the bottled up creative energy to thrive and blossom. Zimbabwe has the natural resource and potential to become the Switzerland of Africa. Sadly instead of turning right to realize its full potential the nation turned left!  

Soon after independence Mugabe and his Zanu PF thugs have systematically denied the people their freedoms, human rights and even the right to life to establish this de facto one man dictatorship. Mugabe has disregarded the nation's multi-party democratic constitution and even Zanu PF's own party rules to impose himself on the nation and party. We do not have a one-party state but rather one-man dictatorship. 

Over 30 000 innocent people have been murdered for selfish political gain with millions beaten, raped and/or harassed by this corrupt and tyrannical Mugabe regime.

On the economic front, the three and half decades of mismanagement and corruption have completely destroyed the nation economy. Today unemployment has soared to 90% plus, 16% or 2 million of our people live in abject poverty and millions have left the country to become economic and political refugees. Everything is in an advanced state or rot and decay, the country cannot provide even something as basic as clean running water in its big cities and towns. Yes of course Mugabe and his Zanu PF thugs are ruthless tyrants still there is no doubt that the nations has had many opportunities to end the dictatorship and end the political oppression and economic misrule.

The best chance the nation has had to end Mugabe's dictatorship was by far during the GNU when all the nation had to do was implement the raft of democratic reforms already agreed in the 2008 GPA. Tsvangirai and his MDC friends, who were tasked to implement the reforms, sold-out and accepted Mugabe's gravy train bribes in return for kicking the reforms into the tall grass. So after five years of the GNU not even one reform was implemented and Mugabe rigged the July 2013 elections with the greatest of easy.

The people of Zimbabwe failed to recognise the importance of the 2008 GPA reforms and so they did not force MDC to implement the reforms. The people were totally unaware of what the GPA was about because they were in some kind of tonic immobility state. Indeed many are still on their back like sharks, even with the benefit of hindsight of the rigged July 2013 elections, many Zimbabweans still do not have clue what happened during the GNU.

To make it easier for them to accept the rigged elections and lessen the guilty for their part in failing to get any reforms implemented the people of Zimbabwe have accepted the Mugabe won the July 2013 elections. They have rubbed off the stories of Zanu PF's failure to release the voters roll, of party increasing the number of polling stations from 2 000 to 9 000 two days before voting, of bussed Zanu PF youths voting in one polling station to the next and all the other evidence of rigged elections. Forgetting all the unpleasant realities is a key aspect of TI.

Mugabe has always maintained an iron grip on the party Zanu PF by making sure it is his voice alone that was heard. In 2004 when Mnangagwa was poised to win the party members' vote for the vacant position of VP; Mugabe unliterary and unconstitutionally changed the party's constitution adding a clause demanding that one of the top four positions in the party was to be a woman. Party members were striped their vote and say in who was to be VP and they accepted this without a murmur!

Joice Mujuru was appointed VP in 2004 on the basis of Mugabe's blatant Machiavellian machination denying everyone else a vote and granting himself a veto.  

In 2014 Zanu PF faced yet again another elective congress in which this time VP Joice Mujuru had amassed 8 out of 10 provinces to elect her VP in her own right. On face value, one would think Mugabe would be happy with this since the party's members were endorsing Mugabe's 2004 imposed VP candidate. But that is not what Mugabe is concerned about; what matters to him is that he alone should have the meaningful say in the party affairs including who held key party positions, to ensure the appointees are all beholden and accountable to him and no one else.

So to stop Zanu PF members having a meaningful vote in 2014, Mugabe accused Mai Mujuru of "factionalism". Of course factionalism is a nonsensical charge because there is nothing wrong with a member canvasing the support of other members. Mnangagwa had done the same thing in 2004 when he has poised to win the vote and Mugabe never accused him of factionalism because he had hatched another plan on deny members a say.

There was nothing new in the factionalism charge, Mugabe had dealt with many other party members who dared challenge his authority by accusing them of being counter-revolutionaries even when it was him who was the one disregarding the law and violating the revolutionary values and common sense. Still nonsensical as the factionalism charges against Mai Mujuru were the party members still accepted them without a murmur; the members were already in trance, Mugabe had already flipped them on their backs like sharks.

The ease with which Mugabe has been able to induce tonic immobility in Zimbabweans at a national and party level again and again these last 35 years is worrying. In animals like sharks the animal displays relaxation in muscle tone and deep rhythmic respiration caused by the brain switching off. It is fair to say Zimbabweans have gone through the last 35 years with their brains switched off one has to worry whether many people with ever snap out of this trance vegetative state.

In the long run and 35 years constitute a long run; nations get the government they deserve. Zimbabweans deserve this corrupt and tyrannical Mugabe dictatorship and the equally corrupt and incompetent Tsvangirai MDC opposition. Instead of the nation responding to the threat posed by corrupt and tyrannical leaders by confronting them we have responded by flipping ourselves on to our backs to induce the TI so the corrupt and murderous tyrant was transformed into an infallible great national hero from whose tongue drip words of wisdom like honey!

Instead of the last 35 years being the golden age in Zimbabwe's history Mugabe has turned the clock back into the Dark Age, with our cooperation or be it in torpor state. Unless we make a conscientious effort and resist the reflex response of flipping ourselves into mental stupor and deal with the country's teething problem of bad governance we will never ever get out of this mess.

Even if Mugabe was to disappear off Zimbabwe's political stage today, there will be a dozen other equally corrupt, incompetent and oppressive Zimbabweans who will only be too keen to exploit the people's weaknesses of being naïve and gullible to impose themselves as the new Tsar of Zimbabwe!

Source - Wilbert Mukori
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