By: Farai Mamina
The beginning of 2013 was a sad one for democracy in Zimbabwe. Held captive by a clueless party in the inclusive government, the nation was greeted with disturbing news of Zimrights Okay Machisa‟s arrests. Next up was the movie-type gruesome murder of Christpower Maisiri inside their family hut. The MDC kid and young hero was set alight by known operatives reportedly acting under Didymus Mutasa‟s instruction. Mutasa – a longtime place-holding liability in national politics and now being rejected by his own – is the sitting member of parliament for the area. Prior to his son‟s death, Christpower‟s father had expressed interest in challenging Mutasa for the legislature seat.
In less than a month of the above events were the ignominious arrests of MDC party officials and the prominent but humble human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa. The world in its enterity was so much caught in between the reports it prompted proponents and masters of democratic societies to question the legitimacy and fitness of Robert Mugabe‟s party as authentic power bearers. After days of unjustifiable humiliation in remand prison, Beatrice and the MDC officials were finally released on bail. It became clearer, Zimbabwe, the once magnificent country Mugabe had raised down to ashes, indeed deserved no further assaults of barbarism especially from one of its own.
The geriatric means business this time. In the twilight of 2012 during his party‟s elective conference in Gweru, Mugabe promised to be the “wounded beast” that would return. Just in case anybody doubted his sentiments, the forceful but visibly desperate leader and his discredited organization are out to prove a point. His 2013 election master-plan has just entered the first phase. Just as Mtetwa allayed, more widespread arrests can be expected between now and September. Already, six more executives in Tsvangirai‟s party have been arrested in Gwayi where they were attending a party meeting while Wilson Anderson, MDC-T branch chairperson in ward 35 in Zvimba was badly assaulted by Zanu PF youths. Anderson was assaulted for attending Christpower Maisiri‟s funeral in Headleands. This goes to show that conditions for free and fair elections are far from being a reality, thus justifying Mugabe‟s hasty withdrawal of his unilateral June election date.
The controversial Zimbabwean head of state who lost in 2008 is back with a vengeance. SADC, AU, EU and the so called „Friends of Zimbabwe‟ which appear to be the entire western world and their cousins should never miss out on this one. At 89, Mugabe has a mission to accomplish. The deal is; even if he were to go today, at least he should do so fighting – that is his plan. Mugabe‟s probable last election could be the bloodiest ever. Evidence has been empirical and no one should be fooled into believing that Mugabe envies the peace he has been heard preaching. In actual fact, whenever he has called for calm, widespread violence erupts everywhere. His voice, considered perennially irrelevant since 2000, has been and continues to be the epitome of ground confusion.
Voices of reason labeled as dissenting will find little space to maneuver. Certain analysts will have to consider among other things using nom de plumes and fake Namibian addresses until at least after the bloody elections – I verily notwithstanding. The last time my colleagues and I checked, nobody wants Zimbabwean elections that way. Nonetheless, that is how things will be especially when the world continues to just kiss and make up with Robert Mugabe for the sake of Zimbabwe‟s quality diamonds – perhaps. Although he has tried to; it is a fact that Mugabe doesn‟t own Zimbabwe and he doesn‟t own these minerals. Any new leadership can thus do business with willing buyers from everywhere across the
globe. Aspiring western customers should therefore sit still and wait without necessarily giving the old man another free rock guitar to continue unabated.
While a minute number will be playing poker; like bees caught up in a raging veldt fire, the poverty- stricken majority will be battling to save their already miserable lives. Given the LITWAGO (Lawlessness Is the Way to Go) blueprint from Zanu PF, I am tempted to say that this year‟s elections will definitely see a tenfold of 2008 violence. Unlike in 2008, potential losers have since extended the election season to cover the period between last February and next September. More deaths and disappearances can surely be expected to be recorded over this period. An unsuccessful 2008 Zanu PF internal operation dubbed ‘bhora musango’ (shoot to the gallery) aimed at ousting Mugabe is most unlikely this time. As such, a giant replica of the dreadful „long and short sleeve‟ killing campaign of the same year will start anytime from now.
Soldiers are already everywhere in rural areas where they are said to be collecting non-existent historical information. With cocked AK47s on their backs, they are clinically positioned to pull the trigger on anyone attending any MDC-T rally anywhere. Anyone found with a radio receiver broadcasting on shortwave is already considered an enemy of the state. But whose state is Zimbabwe? The paranoid belief in Zanu PF that Mugabe is a demi-god, and in this way, the owner of Zimbabwe has been the root cause of the Southern African nation‟s economic woes. Here we are having a party of 6000 plus official members, each with a position of some sort (not counting blind supporters) worshipping a mortal being considered somewhat supernatural and irreplaceable. Because of that hyped reality, Mugabe constantly believes he is floating on invisible waters inside a country suffering perennial droughts. He thus stubbornly tells everyone there will be chaos when he leaves.
Patrick Chinamasa, Zanu (PF)‟s unannounced fear factor spokesman, prophesied total anarchy should Morgan Tsvangira emerge as presidential winner. His ballistic statements were echoed by his colleague and usually off-tandem Rugare Gumbo and several other rusty machine guns in the pathetically
„Zanufied‟ military and police. George Charamba, the overzealous presidential spokesperson consistently not in sync with Mugabe‟s thoughts often than not has also been quoted more than once predicting chaos. Indeed Zanu PF has exceptionally weird characters when it comes to soiling their president‟s image. When will they learn, or is it deliberate?
Recently, the silent yet venomous Sydney Sekeramai defended the fallacy that allowing international observers in Zimbabwe will be tantamount to political prejudice. He very much sounded like someone who has forgotten the misdeeds of his leadership fellows. Under Mugabe‟s dismal leadership; ordinary Zimbabweans have for thirty-two years been subjected to extreme poverty and economic prejudice. All forms of economic mismanagement and funds embezzlement have been at the instance of octogenarian‟s puppetry. Thousands have been turned into rotten tomato and airtime vendors both at home and abroad.
In moves aimed at shelving any potential demise ahead of elections, the president‟s gaffers refused the Anti-corruption Commission access to Kasukuwere and Mpofu‟s offices. The result has been the victimization of Justice Hungwe who issued a High Court search warrant for the so-called “untouchable” politicians to be searched. The anticorruption boss has also not been spared as Zanu PF moves swiftly to get them either by hook or crook. The anticorruption commission has a mandate to determine whether or not there exist skeletons in the cupboards and if so, how many.
Out of pressure and embarrassment, Mugabe concurred with the Prime minister on the issue of
„everyone‟ not being immune to anticorruption searches. Given Mugabe‟s history of dealing with corrupt
party screwballs, this can be considered good deception. If we are to take you seriously, Mr President, then; next on the search list should be the fortified offices of Emmerson Mnangagwa, Joice Mujuru, Nicholas Goche, Patrick Chinamasa and also Gushungo Investments.
With Emmanuel Makandiwa‟s prophesy-charged miracle minerals having erupted first in Bikita, Zanu PF finds itself entangled in the gutter of rejection and wanting to remain relevant. Their wish is to retain seniority in Zimbabwe‟s mineral rich future. However, with many of their cadres having proven to be leadership liabilities, how feasible can that be? Is it not a fact that they are part of Zimbabwe‟s history but certainly not part of its future? Do we still have people who are looking forward to voting an 89 year old into office anyway? If yes, what sort of people could those be? Confirmed reports are now doing rounds that many are being ferried to Chimanimani where a diamond injected Joshua Sacco is waiting to allocate them permanent constituency addresses.
Therefore, to say that recent events of the irresponsible high profile arrests have been motivated by the desire to preserve law and order would be a reckless error of political commission. Legal precedence shows that even alleged murderers at home and closer to, have been granted bail with attached conditions of some sort. Analytically, which case would carry nonchalant weight between an alleged obstruction of justice and possible murder? It indeed is as quite a see-through as an Atlantic jellyfish, isn‟t it?
In as much as it is considered Christian, Zimbabwe is a superstitious nation in which juju is believed to have power to make people change into anything. With that in mind, would it not be that lions reported to be eating people in Kariba are perhaps not real lions? Indeed, Zimbabweans need to beware before, during and after the elections! One would be forgiven for thinking some of these rejected politicians could be turning into anything to consolidate powers. I choose to leave it here, for now, before the „wounded beast‟ attempts pouncing on me. The beat goes on!
Farai Mamina is an independent political analyst, information, PR and Marketing expert based in Namibia. Contact: goady