Tuesday, 29 April 2008

MDC gallivanting over Africa was pure folly!

Tendai Biti’s, MDC Secretary General, “Hotseat” 25 April interview on S W Radio Africa with Violet Gonda was really disappointing and worrying. Disappointing because the missed the point; even when he had the benefit of hindsight. Worrying because the old Mr-Know-It-All paranoia of Mugabe was creeping in his demeanour.

Violet asked Biti whether the gallivanting from one Sadc country to the next which he and Tsvangirai had been doing since 6 April 2008 was not a waste of time, a “talk shop”, since Sadc leaders were not going to put pressure on Mugabe to step down. According Mugabe had relied on Sadc leaders for support in the past. They were Mugabe’s “midfielders and lynchpin” according to Tendai Biti.

So both Mr Biti and Tsvangirai started a marathon Sadc shuttle diplomas thinking MDC would steal a match on Mugabe! Two weeks of gallivanting was rewarded with the Sadc Heads of State Emergency Summit Meeting on 11 April. MDC wanted Sadc to pressure Mugabe to accept election defeat and set down.

By the time the Sadc Summit finally took place the leaders were confronted with a situation of wide spread violent outbreaks and a militarised Zimbabwe. Mugabe had turned to the war veterans and the green bombers to bolster his political standing; they were Mugabe’s really midfielders and lynchpins – not Sadc leaders!

Unless Sadc leaders were prepared to send foot soldiers all over Zimbabwe to hunt down the thugs causing all the mayhem, they was real nothing they could do to stop Mugabe doing as he pleased. Of course, if they dared to that they also knew Mugabe would escalate the situation by getting the Police and Army he had deployed all over the country already involved. None of the Sadc leaders was prepared to take on Mugabe and so, yes, the Summit became just another talk shop.

The UN is in exactly the same situation; it can never pass any resolution that will “hurt” Mugabe because China, among others will vote any such resolutions.

When the Zimbabwe Election Commission started dragging its feet in announcing the election results alarm bells should have started to ring in MDC quarters. When Tsvangirai held his Press Conference on the 1 st April – end of the third day when results should have been announce- he should rallying the Zimbabwe public to defend their vote in a speech of his life! The people would have supported a mass public demonstration or a stay away.

Tsvangirai would have presented Mugabe with further evidence, beside the electoral results, that he has massive public support and, more significantly, that he was ready to take over political power and rule the country.

Instead Tsvangirai call on the people to be patient. He ruled out calling for any mass demonstration for fear Mugabe will use that as the excuse to use violence and other repressive measures. In fact it was this displace of weakness that gave Mugabe the courage to deploy the war veterans, etc., and thus demonstrate that he may have lost the election but he is nonetheless the real and only political power in Zimbabwe!

Tendai Biti treated to rationalise MDC’s miscalculation by arguing that the nation is in the middle of a revolution and a “revolution is a process and not an event”. Well the Zimbabwe revolution is one “process” that should have ended in 1980 but did not for selfish reason on the party of Mugabe. Should have ended April 2008 but did not because MDC’s incompetence. As long as the nation has shallow leaders who do not have the humility to admit failure when they have failed and lack the vision to see the bigger national good beyond the individual interest; this process will ever end.

In the 25 April Interview it was evident that MDC’s miscalculation and blunders of the last few weeks still had not sunk in. Tendai Biti even total took a jibe at the critics of MDC’s gallivanting policy calling them “armchair” critics.

There three things Tendai Biti should know: 1) we can not all be in the driving seat 2) those who elect to hold public office must necessarily accept public criticism and 3) freedom of expression, the right to hold public officials to account and the right to a meaningful say in the governance of Zimbabwe is a fundamental right not a privilege.

The root cause of all Zimbabwe’s political and economic problems is that Mugabe has denied us all our basic and fundamental rights and freedoms on the shaky grounds that he is a war-hero and the rest of us, arm-chair critics, are not entitled to any! We have come a long, long way as a nation; I will be damned if I should ever accept a subservient roll ever again!

Tendai Biti finished the interview by saying MDC would accept a government of national unity as long as Mugabe was not a part of that government. That would be yet another blunder by MDC. Mugabe’s cronies are now the new owners of most of the commercials farms the regime seized in the last eight years and they will not give up these farms, particularly if they have a say in the future government – there are granted of that in a unity government. The whole world is facing a food shortage, can Zimbabwe pass on the chance to boost its own food production in order to appease the very men and women who have dragged the nation through hell? That would be sheer folly!

MDC is not under any pressure to form a government of national unity. It is Mugabe who is under pressure to do so. The Zimbabwe economy is in such a mess now that Mugabe knows he can not ignore it and expect to last more than a few months in power. He also knows he will need the West’s help to rebuild the economy and that the later would not lift a finger whist he remains in power. A whitewashed Zanu PF with MDC colours would be the ideal solution. His gamble is that MDC swallow the national unity government bate. Sadly, it seems MDC are foolish enough to do just that!

Thursday, 24 April 2008


The people of Zimbabwe voted for MDC and now it is time for MDC to repay the people trust by assuming their full responsibility as leaders.

It took a single day to count the votes following 29 March 2008 elections. Zimbabwe Election Commission’s (ZEC) task was to official announce 210 Parliamentary and 60 Senatorial seats and total the votes for each of the presidential candidates and announces that result too. Just how difficult could that be! It took ZEC days to announce only a handful of results: Day 1 – Zanu PF 4 MDC 4, Day 2 – Zanu PF 9 MDC 9 and so on. It was painfully slow!

It took two week to know the parliamentary and senate results and before the presidential results could be announce the world was told there was to be a recount in 23 constituencies. It took a whole week before the results of the recount in two were announced.

Today it is exactly 26 days since the people voted and still ZEC is yet to announce the result of the presidential elections.

Day three into the count, Archbishop Desmond Tutu said even “the dumbest” could see what was going on. Mugabe is up to some mischief.

ZEC’s snail pace of releasing the election result was deliberate and calculated. Mugabe wanted to see what MDC would do about it. When he was sure MDC was not going to do anything he took courage and make his next bold move; disregard the presidential result and force a run-off. But first he needed to deploy his party’s militia whose express task was to intimidate and terrorise the electorate. Fear has always been one of the most effective tool in Mugabe’s electoral arsenal and the deployment is to remind the people that Mugabe may have failed to deliver on the economic front still he alone holds the key to whether or not the country descend into lawlessness and anarchy!

Whilst the Army and Police are not themselves actively involved in the militia’s thuggery the fact that they have been deployed and doing nothing to stop the criminal acts is meant to demonstrate their unshaken royalty to Mugabe.

The whole election process has been drawn out to give the militia time to drive their message home.

When Mugabe is ready, ZEC will announce that there was no clear winner in the presidential elections. MDC’s own results have been all over the place; it was 67% for Tsvangirai at one point and has since dropped to 50.3%. An independent body has given Tsvangirai 49% and ZEC has the ease task of confirming that!

The latest from MDC is that the party will not take part in the run-off in the end it will. Mugabe will see to it there is a lull in the militia activities although their presence, particularly in rural areas, will continue to be prominent.

Most of the MDC officials have been driven out of the rural areas by the militia and the party supporters have all but vanished. Tsvangirai would be hard pushed to find anyone to stand as MDC election monitor or attract his rallies this time round.

The painful thing is Mugabe should and would have left State House within days of losing the 29 March vote if Tsvangirai and MDC had for once some leadership qualities. On Tuesday 1 April 2008 Tsvangirai was on national TV telling Zimbabweans “to be patient”. He went on to say MDC would not hold any mass action.

Mass action was the only realistic option open to MDC and one Mugabe would have found impossible to ignore or deal to with. So in his infinite wisdom, Tsvangirai ruled that one out- three days into the stand-off. MDC called a mass-stay away a week later. It was a complete flop came back to it a week later but because the timing is everything and to make the matters worse, there was no passion or commitment on the part of MDC to see the mass action through.

Some people reveal their hand at the negotiation table but always keep their trump card up the sleeve. MDC’s negotiation skills take the biscuit; they discard their one card, and as if that was not bad enough go out of their way to show they do not know how to use it anywhere.

During the Tuesday Press Conference Tsvangirai also confirmed something Mugabe particularly wanted to hear; that MDC was afraid of Mugabe. MDC was no going to do anything because they did not want to give Mugabe the “excuse” to take repressive measures. Mugabe had just lost a very important elections and he would certainly want to punish the electorate for that, so he had a very good excuse already the important question was how best to counteract that!

Common sense, dictates that one does not tell or show a Bully that one is afraid of him/her. Tell the Bull your older brother/sister/cousin is keen as mustard to meet the Bully- for a friendly chat! Next time you are in a public gathering pick the meanest looking stranger you can find and make sure the Bully sees you talking to the stranger and pointing in the Bully’s direction. Get the fires of sweet revenge, justice and punishment burning and you will see what a coward the Bully is. Show fear and he/she will give even more reason why you should fear him/her!

MDC’s failure to stand up to Mugabe gave the later thecourage and confidence to deploy his militia to intimidate, terrorise, beat and murder!

MDC has had countless opportunities to redeem itself but again failed to seize them. For example, the party could have organised large crowds to visit victims of Zanu PF political violence in hospitals and jails and attend funerals of the murdered victims. Mugabe would have found it impossible to ignore this; even if he MDC only had to step this up till Mugabe was forced to either withdraw his thugs or arrest the crowds-which of cause was unsustainable, even for a ruthless regime like his.

The purpose of mass action was defined by Mahatma Gandhi: to expose the injustice and provoke a reaction from the powers that be until the injustice is readdressed. In this case the immediate injustice is the violence and beatings by Zanu PF thugs. The main grievance remains; that Mugabe should not usurp the people’s democratic vote.

Tsvangirai’s shuttle diplomatic initiative was doomed in that it was further proof that he was weak. That he could not gunner any public support within Zimbabwe to stop Mugabe’s stage managed lawlessness. Sadc leaders knew well enough that, unless they were prepared to send their own soldiers into Zimbabwe, there was very little else they could to force Mugabe to call off his militia. Tsvangirai seems to have great difficult in understanding that a sign of just how naïve he really is.

So it is with the help of Tsvangirai in fact that Mugabe has managed to frustrate the Zimbabwe’s electoral will to have the former as their leader. During the run-off the electorate have a simple choice vote for Tsvangirai again and risk even more lawlessness and mayhem.

Mugabe is painfully aware that the economic melt down can not be ignore any more, so as a sop up to the international community he will form a national unity. Of course he will remain firmly in charge as President; Tsvangirai would be appointed one of the country’s two Vice Presidents. Mugabe may even hind that he will relinquish power to Tsvangirai at some future date.
Tsvangirai thought when Mugabe started his mischief he would do nothing. Well it now seems doing nothing was exactly what Mugabe wanted him to do!

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Jewish Passover tradition: a lesson on freedom of expression

Yesterday 18 April 2008 the Jews the world over observed the Passover – in remembrance of the day Moses lead the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt. One of the very important traditions on that night is that the youngest person in the group would be asking questions. Why they all eat bitter herbs on the night, etc.?

Giving children the opportunity to be heard and not just seen is a time honoured Jewish tradition. Of course the same right is granted to everyone- if the lowest and weakest has a voice then so are all those above him or her.

In our African culture, those in position of power and authority take it as a personal affront each time anyone below them question them. It is considered disrespectful. "I did not send you to school to be disrespectful to your elders!" is the standard answer the old generation give to being questioned. There is no room to consider the merits of the question. At heart of it all is the fear of being found wrong. So we shut our mind to different ways of doing things.

It is right that we should fear to know and have other know too that we are not as clever as we think we are. It sure does not do our self confidence any good. But we should fear even more the we ended up at the wrong place when could have got where we wanted only if we were not too proud to listen!
The families, communities, nations, etc. who have embrace right of each and every member, even the weakest and easily overlooked, to be heard have done infinitely better than those who have not.
One danger we should guard against is to be the champions of freedom expression when we look up to those above us only to be the villains when dealing with those below us. Those who honour and value the freedom of expression, the same is true for all the other rights, of those below them on their way up the social ladder often receive it on their way down- which in fact is when we need it the most. And to honour and respect here means grant the freedom not as a matter of privilege but as a matter of cause. For it is not for any one to withhold or worse deny a fundamental right of freedom.
The day every person has the freedom to ask and be heard - like a Jewish child on Passover night - that will be the day Zimbabwe will have its foot firmly on the path to development, peace, justice and liberty. On that day the nation will have become a full paid member of free nation!

Friday, 18 April 2008

Mugabe Elections: Morbid game of Snakes and Ladders


Zimbabwe’s elections are like playing a game of Snakes and Ladders. When it is the opposition’s turn; WALA! all the ladders are transformed into snakes. If they bit you, you go all the way back to START. When it is the ruling party candidate’s turn: WALA! all the snakes are transformed into rope ladders taking him or her straight to FINISH!

In the presidential race, things are a bit more sophisticated, it is a game of Chess. Mugabe’s opponents mesmerised, they can not see Mugabe’s King and they are not sure of the true identity of Mugabe’s other pierces as what they thought was a Pawn often changes into Queen, Knight, Bishops, etc. when it is Mugabe’s move. So opponents have found several of their own Chess pierces were missing and Mugabe had 5 Queens already! It was “Check Mate!” before they had even made one move!

The 29 March 2008 Zimbabwe elections bucked the past trend, against all the laws of probability MDC candidates kept throwing 6, after 6, after 6 taking them straight to FINISH in one turn! And in the presidential game, Tsvangirai got himself a magical Polaroid glasses that allowed him to see Mugabe’s “invisible” King and to distinguish the “real” pierces from the “illusionary” ones.

Yes of course, MDC were playing with a loaded dice – loaded by none other than Mugabe himself – with the subtle but important difference that it was heavily loaded in MDC’s favour!

After 28 years of Mugabe gross mismanagement and rampant corruption country’s economy has been totally destroyed leaving the with no food, fuel shortages, electricity and water cuts that last for weeks on end, the highest rate of inflation in the world and so the list goes on. The economic hardship Zimbabweans have faced, particularly in the last ten years, have forced the Zimbabwe electorate to rise above their fear of Zanu PF intimidation and other political machinations in their determination to vote Mugabe and his Zanu PF ruling party out of office!

Of course, Mugabe was shocked to see that the people of Zimbabwe dared to reject him. Still his dirty tricks had worked; winning over 40% of the vote was not a small achievement given the party would not have been hard pushed to get even 1% if the election had been truly free and fair. Mugabe has set himself the task of improving on the 40%.

He pays the Piper, the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC), so he calls the tune. Tsvangirai’s “Check Mate!” call means nothing unless Mugabe concedes. It is now three weeks and Mugabe is still staring at the chess board and ZEC, the referee at standing quietly in the corner. He has buying himself time, the magic Polaroid glasses was a total surprise, he will see to that Tsvangirai will play the next game blindfolded! He has deployed the War Veterans and other party thugs to punish the voters for having voted for MDC in March. Just to be doubly sure they will not dare do that again. When he is good and ready, he will tell ZEC to declare the present game a draw- no one will be allowed to check whether is was indeed a draw- and call for a rerun.

As for MDC’s Parliamentary majority, a recount this weekend will reverse that. So tomorrow MDC candidates will learn that in the Zimbabwe Snakes and Ladders Election game a player is not allowed have more than three 6s in one turn; new rule in small print – watch it, the ink is not quite dry yet!

The one thing Mugabe would wish he could fix is the economy. The shop shelves are empty today; they will remain empty as long as Mugabe remains in State House. And so to will the hyper inflation and the myriad of Zimbabwe’s other economic problems. In fact they will get even worse; Mugabe has the knack of turning an intolerably bad situation even worse!

Mugabe had given himself an escape clause; the constitution now allows him to appoint his successor. In a way the arrangements say it all really- that his vote is more valuable and carries greater weight than that of all the whole electorate. Who ever the stooge should turn out to be Mugabe will be giving him/her a poisoned chalice! The immovable object, the economy will not changed by such political gimmickry!

The key to Zimbabwe’s economic recovery will be in taking back the land and all the other economic resource that have been looted by Robert Mugabe and his cronies over the last three decades and ending the mismanagement and corruption that have now become an integral part of Zimbabwe society. To do that there must be truly free and fair election first not this morbid game of snakes and ladders Mugabe has held for all these last 28 years!

Thursday, 17 April 2008


It is widely acknowledged that mass stay-away called by MDC was a “flop” as one International Media House put it. I would attribute the failure to three things; first, wrong timing – if the stay away was called two or three days after the election the response would have been totally different. MDC, in its wisdom decided there was to be no mass action and called for “patience”.

Two, poor planning; most people did not even know there was a mass protest. And because the end objective was not clear, it failed to capture the public’s imagination and passion.

And three, there was no one leading the protest. The issue of poor leadership is something that has dogged MDC ever since its formation in 1999. We are quick at condemning Mugabe for hanging on to power long after his sell-by date but the same is true of Tsvangirai.

When Zimbabweans voted for Tsvangirai and MDC on 29 March 2008 they expected MDC to use that mandate to take charge of the country. Tsvangirai’s dithering has allowed Mugabe to step in and deploy his thugs who are sweeping the country terrorising the people. Is it too much to expect of Tsvangirai and MDC to come up with something to stop this madness?!

MDC should on mass visit the victims of the political violence in hospitals, in prisons and attend funerals of those murdered. That would show the public they are not alone none have they been forgotten. If Mugabe should decide to arrest people for attending funerals or for visiting prisoners then so be it! Let him fill all the jails, hospitals and mortuaries.
This time the Zimbabwe people will be fighting Mugabe’s thugs – peaceful but firm passive resistance- on their own turf in their own terms. It is not a crime to visit someone in prison or in hospital or to attend a funeral. If Mugabe wants these mass gathering to stop then he MUST stop his thugs throwing innocent people in prison, the beating and murdering them

Wednesday, 16 April 2008


“I am sick to the teeth to hear people like you in the Diaspora, who are enjoying the comforts of a home, good income, all the freedom and rights; criticising people like Tsvangirai. He and his fellow MDC leadership, unlike you, have chosen to stay back in Zimbabwe and they are doing their best to fight Mugabe’s dictatorship and have to deal with all the economic hardships Zimbabwe is going through to boot!” A friend e-mailed me the other day. She was expressing a common sentiment I have heard a thousand times!

She was reacting to one of my blog articles in which I had accused Tsvangirai of incompetence and dithering following Mugabe’s continued refusal to announce the 29 March 2008 election results. In my view, MDC and Tsvangirai should have had a plan of action and mass action was definitely a viable option they should have considered. They did nothing instead and Mugabe viewed that a weakness and he deploy his thugs with disastrous consequences.

My friend, as is often the case in such cases, did not want to concede that my arguments had at least some merit. If fact that to her was a secondary issue; she was question my right to question Tsvangirai. Me, an “armchair critic”, she called me criticising someone like Tsvangirai who a few months ago had his whole face following a brutal beating by Zanu PF Police and live in constant fear of Mugabe.

Freedom of expression is a universal right, and like all the other rights and freedoms, which should be enjoyed by all member of the human race inspective of race, gender, political affiliation, etc. etc. So anyone outside Zimbabwe, be they Zimbabweans or not, have a right to express an option on Zimbabwe, Mugabe, Tsvangirai or whatever. Just because these people are not experiencing the hardships the people left in Zimbabwe are going through is no reason why they should be denied any of their basic and fundamental rights or freedoms.

People get their hackles up when they are criticised. Praise them and they would listen all day; criticise and they cannot get up quick enough to shout you up! If anyone does not like public scrutiny then they should not hold public Office or aspire for one. When it comes to public office; many are called and a few are chosen and public scrutiny is the only foolproof way of separating the deadwood, then the mediocre from the real quality visionary leaders worthy of the honour of being first among equals!

Zimbabwe’s biggest mistake with Mugabe is that we did not allow the rigorous process of open debate and criticism take its course and thus found ourselves landed with a ruthless and brutal dictator in State House. Of course he fought hard to create a sterile political atmosphere in which freedom of expression and open debate were denied. We should have fought hard from the very start to ensure that did NOT happen.

The same argument being professed today to stop the criticism of Tsvangirai and MDC were advanced to stop the criticism of Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF before independence.

There are those who would argue that criticism a luxury the nation can ill afford because it will sap the energy which should otherwise be spent on fighting to end the dictatorship. The opposite is in fact the case, open and vigorous debate and criticism will allow every move and strategy to be carefully and thoroughly scrutinised and every possible outcome considered. The same through process is adopted throughout the implementation stage and corrective measures taken as necessary. And afterward the event, an equally through post-mortem. So once again debate and criticism will serve to distil the move and fine tune it, increasing the chance of success.

In 2000, 2002 and 2005 MDC showed the party did not have a plan B, what the party would do if Mugabe rigged the elections. If the party had allowed rigorous debate this shortcoming should have been picked up at least after the first election. This year, 2008 again the party still did not have a plan B! This very serious shortcoming has allowed Mugabe to seize the initiative from MDC and deploy his thugs and consequence is the wave of violence, intimidation and murder now sweeping Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwe I would like to see is one in which there is rigorous and open debate in public, within the parliament, inside Cabinet and even within our private homes. Out of all such debate will come out the best well thought out policies and ideas – the true and solid foundation for a free, democratic and prosperous Zimbabwe. Man is a thinking animal and that is why mankind is lord over all other living things; those who stifle debate stifle the very essence of the very thing that makes us, humans, special!

Just one more thing, critics have a thankless job; very often they will find themselves hated by those on either side of the fence but also by those seating on the fence too!

Monday, 14 April 2008

Mugabe has pushed his lucky and should not get away with it!

Zimbabweans must not let Mugabe get away with his contemptuous disregard of their expressed electoral wishes on 29 March 2008. If Mugabe thinks Zimbabweans will just roll over and let him ride, rough shod, all over them as he has done so many times in the past then he should know; not this time.

There is only one logical explanation why two, three days maximum after the 29 March elections the nation still did not know the results- Mugabe did not like the results and hence did not want them made public. Eve the “dumbest” can see what is going on, said former Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Election are not about what Mugabe or anybody else for that matter liked; it is what the electorate want that matters.

When Mugabe cheats, it is not just Tsvangirai and his fellow MDC members and supporters he is cheating. He is cheating the whole nation. There are certain values which go beyond party-politics and fair play in public office is one of them. Fair play, justice, respect for human life, etc. these are values we must uphold and defend because the well being of the whole nation depends on it. And anyone who fails to up holds these values then he or she must be roundly condemned.

There has been a lot of talk of whether or not there would be the same violence in Zimbabwe as happened in Kenya following the disputed elections early this year. The general consensus was that this would not happen because “Zimbabweans are peace-loving people!” Zimbabweans have shown great patience and tolerance, rightly or wrongly, with Mugabe’s oppressive regime. It would be a great leap of faith to believe their failure to react as proof that they will never ever react. In fact the is historic support for the contrary; Zimbabweans took part in a bitter war to end white colonial oppression. And they are rightly proud of that!

No nation should ever rule out any option, including the option of direct action, in defence of the core values without which nationhood and life itself can not stand. The decision of direct action is not one to be taken lightly, admittedly, but which if the situation demands must nonetheless MUST be taken. Woe the man or woman who forces the nation’s hand to take such a tough decision.

There is a economic reason too why Zimbabweans must now act against Mugabe’s recent electoral fraud. Zimbabwe’s economic is in total melt down. Mugabe is responsible for this and as long as he remains in power things will get even worse. The Zimbabwe economy will need outside help to get it back on track and none such help will be forthcoming as long as Mugabe or his self appointed stooge remains in State House. And secondly, Mugabe is going to “reward” the few individuals who have helped him in subverting the electoral will of the electorate. He will give them ownership of the few functioning factories and shop, the only thing left for him to give away - all in the name of black empowerment.

Mugabe has show great skill and mental agility in the way he has always managed to use the historic fact of white colonial oppression to justify or cover for his over dictatorial oppression. He has managed to twist black Zimbabweans’ cry for freedom, justice and human dignity into one of “puppets” calling for the return of the white colonial masters. All his wizardry will not change one iota of the Zimbabwe economic reality of hype inflation, empty shops and a destitute nation!

It is intolerable that Zimbabweans should ever have to endure such tough and miserable lives. And many have died. We do not have to endure another day of this let alone another year - Mugabe did not rig this election only to hand over power to his chosen stooge a week later.

Zimbabweans can cut short Mugabe’s rule by simply staying home and bring the whole country to a complete stand still. In this days when many live from hand to mouth it would cause great hardships, yes. But whatever the hardship, these would be nothing compared to the sum total of what we all have to endure- many will not live to tell the story – of one more year of this mess!

The stay away will last as long as it takes to convince Mugabe and his cronies that the game is up! The full knowledge that victory is ourselves should see us through all the trials and tribulation. Our goal and victory is end Mugabe’s dictatorial rule so that as a nation we can, at last, start addressing the country’s many problems in a meaningful and purposeful way. Whilst Mugabe and his cronies occupy all the best land seized from the whites, for example, this very important resource will not be put to productive use – a key plank in Zimbabwe’s future economic recovery programme.

MDC should refuse to take part in the presidential run-off, it will foolish to do. Whilst the top leaders will be safe the same can not be said of their poor party officials and supporters who will have to face the War Veterans and other Zanu PF thugs in the remote rural areas. The elected MDC official must boycott parliament- the one thing Mugabe would not want right now is the prospect of a bye-election in half the parliamentary seats!

MDC should show they are a force worthy of the people’s support by taking some initiative and not be so naïve and predictable. A change of leadership is long over due!

There is a time in every nation’s history when it must make a stand: for Zimbabwe this is that time! Even the dumbest can see we are being short changed, the question is, are we going to let Mugabe get away with it?

Thursday, 10 April 2008


If Tsvangirai is hoping that SADC will rein Mugabe on Saturday he may well find himself the one eating humble pie!

The good election results should have left Tsvangirai buoyant and full of self confidence and decisive. If they did, the effect did not last very long. Ever since Mugabe has shown that he was not ready to give up power Tsvangirai has looked down cast, confused and weak.

The people of Zimbabwe had voted for change but, it seems, it is Tsvangirai himself who was not ready for change. I believe the people would have come out in their millions to defend their vote if MDC had called for mass protest. It was not impossible to ensure the protest were peaceful and well organised so that even Mugabe would have hesitated using violence; particularly with the whole world watching. MDC could have gone for stay-away and shut down the whole country and force ZEC to release the results.

By doing nothing and discarding the only real options he had Tsvangirai left himself looking weak and helpless.

Mugabe has since seized the initiative. He has deployed the war veterans, his shock-foot troop. There are reports of Police, CIO, Army and the other state security forces who are know to double up as Zanu PF election agents are been deployed country wide. Most of these people, particularly the low ranking individuals, probably voted MDC and Tsvangirai on 29 March 2008 – after all it is only the high ranks who are benefiting from the Mugabe patronage now. But now with Mugabe back on the ascendance they are now forced to tow the line.

Mugabe’s thugs are ready to flex their muscles to remind all who is boss. He is now in a position to serious security problem nationwide. If Tsvangirai had mobilise the people Mugabe who be sweating worrying about their resolve and determination- he had underestimated it on 29 March and would not want to do that again! As things stand he does not have to worry about that!

Tsvangirai will NOT be able to maintain law and order if Mugabe thugs should step up their lawlessness. No SADC nation will want to be sucked into Zimbabwe’s chaotic situation. Come Saturday Mugabe will be back in the driving seat.

He will want two things: 1) the result of the vote recount in the 21 Parliamentary Constituencies Zanu PF has already ordered be honoured (a result that would give back Zanu PF the parliamentary majority) 2) that there must be a presidential run-off. As a sop to SADC, Mugabe will order the immediate release of the presidential result – no candidate will have the 50% plus 1.

SADC will force Tsvangirai to accept Mugabe’s demands. After all his scuttle diplomacy arguing SADC to mediate Tsvangirai is hardly in a position to now reject SADC’s recommendations. MDC is on record saying any vote recount now is unconstitutional. And the party has also said Tsvangirai was NOT going to take part in any run-off because Tsvangirai won the election “hands down”. MDC may well be the ones dining of humble pie.

As a sop to Tsvangirai, SADC leaders will promise an election monitoring team – but we all know what a paper tiger that is!
By ruling out mass-action Tsvangirai shot himself in the leg – that was his only hand and it was a winning hand too. And by going to SADC he may well have executed a perfect coup de grace on himself!

Wednesday, 9 April 2008


Mugabe crossed the Rubicon back in 1980; it was too late to turn back now!

There is a rumour going the rounds that it was Mugabe’s security chiefs, the Police Commissioner, Army General, etc. who told Mugabe he had lost the 29 March 2008 presidential vote with a very big margin. The story goes that Mugabe was prepared to resign but the security chiefs told him in no uncertain terms that he could not do that. When Mugabe met his own Zanu PF ruling body, the politburo (not that the it has ever made any decisions of course) they too realised the game was up.

When Mugabe took over the chain of office following Zanu PF’s 1980 election victory he made conscience decision then that intended to stay in office for keeps. He could have dropped his one-party state ticket, particularly now that the country’s constitution called for a multi-party system. He wanted absolute power and was not going to let anything; the constitution, human rights or even the sanctity of human life itself stand in his way. So from the very first day in office, he started scheming and single minded carry out his evil plan.

He did achieve his objective; 28 years of absolute power. The price was heavy; a totally subjugated nation who has had their dream of peace, freedom and human dignity snuffed. A crippled national economy with the world’s highest inflation, highest unemployment rates, etc. and all the tragic human suffering that has gone with it.
Many, many Zimbabweans have lost their lives unnecessarily during the 28 years of Mugabe tyranny. Where there is poverty her two sisters, disease and death, are there with her. Thousands more lives were lost in politically motivated violence orchestrated by Mugabe and his ruling party, Zanu PF.

When Mugabe decided to be a tyrant, a ruthless dictator, he crossed the Rubicon. All those close to him in the politburo, the Police, the Army knew exactly what he had done and they followed him. They too splashed into the water and crossed with him. They too knew they had made a momentous decision.

Even if some may claim that their geography is not so good, they did not realise the river they crossed back then was the Rubicon. They can claim that they did not remember Rome too because they have matched to the city gates and right in the Senate – fully armed. After 28 years of brutality, no one in Zanu PF can claim they did not KNOW what was going on!

Mugabe has rewarded well all those who have remained faithful to his quest absolute power. He shared out some of it and the spoils with them. Some of the more ambitious like the late Edson Zvobgo wanted to have a shot at the top job and vended their frustration but to no avail. Others found themselves holding position far beyond their ability and were content.

As thinking humans, I am sure, all Mugabe’s cronies must have been uncomfortable with contemptuous way Mugabe treated them. Of course Mugabe treated the public with total contempt, as if they were stupid morons – just as the whites had treated blacks before independence. All those who had signed up to Mugabe’s agenda knew that was going to happen but they did not think Mugabe would treat them too with the same contempt. Parliament, Cabinet, Politburo, etc. these are all empty titles with no real power. All power is invested in one man, Robert Gabriel Mugabe.

There must be times, many times – particularly in the last few years when the economy was in free fall and there are so many skeletons – when Mugabe’s followers must have asked themselves why they allowed themselves to be led down this dead end!

The security chiefs have enforced Mugabe’s dictatorial will on the people. Whilst all the other Mugabe cronies are guilty of mismanagement and corruptions, the security chiefs are guilty of all that too but worse still, they have blood on their hands! They had warned that they would not salute a “puppet”, a reference to Tsvangirai. They are absolutely determined that Mugabe stays.

Mugabe and all those who were with him during the fight for independence were heroes and heroines and the nation honoured them as such. Rightly so too! But when they returned to Zimbabwe and turned the gun on the people to impose their dictatorial will they turned themselves from heroes into common criminals, villains. Now they are holding the whole nation to ransom –openly defying the expressed will of the people - like thugs and criminals they are!
Mugabe was always a thug fighting for a just cause did not change his nature, now that the years of darkness of his dictatorships are finally drawing to a close the true nature of the beast, well hidden for all these years, is coming out! “Renemanyanga, hariputirwi” as we say in Shona.


Fire of freedom burns brighter than the Olympic torch!

The Chinese government has subjugated its own people and those in occupied lands such as Tiber for a long time. The Chinese Communist party has used brute force to extinguish the fires of freedom, liberty and human dignity but again, and again the fires have rekindled to burn even brighter than ever. Tibetans, the Chinese national in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the rest of main land China itself; they all want the same freedom and liberty than many others the world over take for granted.

China’s economic boom will, ironically, make the Communist party’s continued strangle hold on political power more tenuous; the party has headed China’s multitudes of rural peasants. They are poor and ignorant. But the party will now find the going will not be so ease to do the same with the growing urban workers. They are better educated and town-wise. The internet, for example, has made it near impossible for the Chinese authority to control what the Chinese public read- try as it may to censor it.

The Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games is just one event the millions on millions of people who feel the Chinese foot of oppression on their neck and their sympathisers will use to highlight this Chinese injustice. There will be many other events and occasions and the protesters against Chinese oppression will be there. The protests that have followed the Olympic Torch in London, Paris, San Francisco and wherever it goes next has sent one clear message that the fire of freedom burns brighter than the Olympic flame.

Kenyans are again holding their breath

In Africa, we have yet to hold truly free and fair elections and therefore when results are announced the losing side often cry foul. For outsiders it is hard to be sure it is not just because they are bad losers. The truth of the disputed Kenya elections will probably never be known.

The Government of National Unity is clearly not working. Even if the two party were finally agree on power sharing; will they work together? What the people of Kenya want is an effective government to address the nation's many problems. Kenya can not really afford to have a ineffective government for the next four, five years or whenever it is Kenya is due to hold its next elections.

For the good of the country both Kibaki and Odinga should agree on holding fresh election. This time there MUST be outside observers and both parties must make a commitment to accept the results!

Monday, 7 April 2008

The new front for the fight for land: who now owns the land?

Zimbabwe's "Battle for land" is not about stopping whites coming back, as Mugabe claims. It about hiding the true identity of those who now own most of farms seized since 2000. It is NOT the landless peasants but Mugabe cronies. The whole world will also know about the vast fortunes these cronies have received in the form of farming subsidies including fuel (sold back on the black market) and tractors. Money paid out when country supposedly had no money immunisation drugs for children!

Mugabe has made the land issue his personal passion, after all that hoo-ha and violence. It is on this issue above all that Mugabe will now be judged! When they know, then they will understand why he is clinging to power with such desperation - even his old friends are blushing!


There is an imposing statue of Abraham Lincoln, US President during the civil war. He has one clinched fist, symbolising his iron resolve to see the difficult task through. The other hand is open and relaxed showing his willingness to welcome the rebellious Southern States back into the Union. The search for justice, for example, should not be an exercise in retribution nor one of appeasement.

Tsvangirai’s repeated overture of love and promise of safety to Mugabe are weighing heavily on the side of appeasement. Mugabe has committed some heinous crimes and he must held to account. To appease him would be to belittle the suffering and lost lives of his victims and to endorse his perverted notion that he is above the law.

Friday, 4 April 2008

The biggest mistake was to fear Mugabe: no more!

Mugabe has successfully rigged the election - no one expected him to win more than a few votes and he has gone on to give MDC a run for their money in parliamentary elections. The same will be repeated in Senate election. MDC got just 2 more seats than Zanu PF. The same may happen with the Senate seats. As for the presidential race; he will certainly stop tsvangirai having a out right win and thus have a re-run.
He is walking talk and has every reason to look relaxed! He is now as confident as he has been for a long, long time. He will no doubt rein in his troups today- sharp. All the discord of the last few months will be a thing of the past. Now he has regained his authority and confidence he will face Tsvangirai head on!
Of course, he may even serve himself all the hassle and instruct the ZEC to declare him the winner.
As for Tsvangirai and the Zimbabwe populous he will punish them in his own way in his own sweet time- he is not a man to be trifled with nor is one to forget!
How he rigged the elections is now academic the fact is he did.
The world, more so Africa in the last 10 years, has refused to see Mugabe for what he is - a brutal dictator who will stop at nothing to have his way. Those who did see him for what he is; they sort to appease him.
If there is anything that is going to save Zimbabweans from further abuse and brutality at the hands of Mugabe and his henchmen it is to show him that we do not fear him. He may have rob us all the basic needs of life: food, fuel, water, opportunity to work, education for our children, etc. Many Zimbabweans lives have been lost as result of the economic collapse and others brutally murdered by his regime. He has crashed our dreams of peace and prosperity and hope of a better tomorrow for our children and posterity.
All we have left is our human dignity that uniquely human quality that has given the down trodden, the slaves, the strength to defy their oppressors and hold the heads high even in death! We are not animals and we MUST not let Mugabe have the satisfaction that he can treat us as such! Never, ever!
We must stand firm and let Mugabe know that he MUST GO. He has over stayed whatever good he has ever done. And that GO HE WILL. He must also know he WILL be held to account for what he did in the past and whatever else he does in the coming days!The biggest mistake we ever made was to fear Mugabe! Like all bullies and dictators fear them and they will make your life a living hell!

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Zimbabweans must stand firm: don't blink!

The scene is set Zanu will be given enough MP seat to win and so will Mugabe. We will saw it coming. The agreed position to declare results at each Polling Station was not worth much, it was ZEC's count that mattered. MDC would successful challenge the ZEC count but the legal process will drag on for years- if it ever happened. MDC would make a farce but that is all. Zimbabweans' misery would get a lot, lot worse.

This time Zimbabweans should stand firm stay home!

The threats by Security Chiefs did not stop Zimbabweans voting for change. ZEC's machination only showed the regime is now desparate. So desparate in fact that it would do anything, anything. But that is only brinkmenship, to see who would brink first the people or the regime. Stay at home on mass- there is nothing there to go out for except slaving for the regime to cream off everything- let the regime go from home to home dragging the people out!

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Zanu PF are not even remorseful!

BBC News 24 19.10 1st April 2008
Zanu PF Deputy Information Minister, Brighton Matonga maintains there are no talks going on between MDC and Zanu PF regarding Mugabe stepping down. This is an arrogant regime that has shown total disregard of the people, their basic human rights, their suffering and human life itself. They have not shown any remorse and yet MDC continue to negotiate with such a party. What MDC is really saying is the people’s suffering and deaths do not matter!

What MDC deal is offering

If MDC's last "deal"- 18 amendment of the Zimbabwe Constitution - is anything to go by, then every Zimbabwean must be really worried to hear MDC is discussing a deal for Mugabe to step down. Least people forget Mugabe is a corrupt and brutal dictator who has cause a lot of suffering and death in Zimbabwe. MDC did not have any Mugabe deal in their manifesto. I fear Zimbabweans will once again be short charged!