Thursday, 31 July 2008


Zimbabwe economic is in deep, deep trouble and the people are suffering and dying. It is really intolerable that Tsvangirai should be talking of a soft landing and honourable exit for Mugabe.

Mugabe and his cronies’ life styles is well know to be total luxury- they have everything. A friend of mine was talking the other day of a relative who is mistress of a Zanu PF junior Minister; she has four cars, has a large farm (although the farm only produces a tiny fraction of what it used to) and is forever going up and down to South Africa and Botswana on shopping trips. You can bet Mugabe himself all money can buy. Is it any wonder these people have shown they would do anything, even commit the most sacrilege of all crimes take the life of an innocent human being in defence of their ill got wealth!

What the dickens is Tsvangirai blubbering about give these people a soft land! If there is one thing Mugabe and his cronies are, it is comfortable. Luxury is something that will nag one’s conscience, even if it is honestly earned. But when the luxury is from taking bread out of a starving child it is criminally obscene.

What honour is there in a leader who has the blood of 20 000 to 30 000 innocent fellow countrymen and women on his hands from the 1980s. And today has the fresh blood of over 120 Zimbabweans following the world’s worst shameless act of election fraud.

It is telling that Tsvangirai should be concerned about the discomfort of Mugabe and his cronies who will have to give up their luxuries but not the millions facing starving because the nation’s wealth is wasted on these luxuries.

Zimbabwe is in the political and economic mess it is in because Mugabe never got this nation beyond the first base- where every Zimbabwean from rich in their ivory towers to the rural poor in their pole and mud hovel all can enjoy the basic and fundamental rights and freedoms. In particular the right to a meaningful say in the governance of the country and have the right to life; both of which Mugabe have shameless and repeatedly denied the people of Zimbabwe.

The situation in Zimbabwe can be compared to that of the Children of Israel during Moses’ time. They had live for generation in bondage denied all human dignity. The top priority was for every men, women and child to be free and have their human dignity. Therefore Moses demand to Pharaoh was clear and unambiguous “Let my people go!”

The end of slavery was going to cause serious hardship for the Pharaoh of Egypt and his people; who was be doing the back breaking tasks for them for no pay? To the slave, perish the thought!

Tsvangirai’s demand for an end to political violence is so form of half-way house, at best. Instead of demanding the full restoration of all the basic and fundamental rights of Zimbabweans which would not only mean stopping all the violence but that the militia are disbanded the Police return to their proper duty of up holding the law not be at the front of those undermining it! After thirty years of waiting for the freedom and liberty others take for granted Zimbabweans will have to wait a bit longer because Tsvangirai’s demands will never ever get Zimbabweans off first base!

There certain basic issues that should never ever be negotiated and batter; Moses understood that Tsvangirai clearly does not. The people’s basic human rights are not for anyone to give, withdraw or deny, period.

The people of Zimbabwe were pretty desperate to have elected the likes of Tsvangirai; the country’s economic and political situation is pretty desperate that mush is true. Ironically, it is during desperate times that the greatest care and attention should be paid to electing the best there is. So before Tsvangirai is even sworn in as leader of the unity government or whatever arrangement with Mugabe; the people of Zimbabwe must now search for a more competent person to replacement him!

Tsvangirai must not lead Zimbabwe after the next free and fair election. The nation was too desperate to have elected him this year, what excuse we will have then! It is his sheer incompetence that has allowed Mugabe to do as he pleased, and the nation has paid dearly for it.

Sunday, 27 July 2008


If Moses’ demand to Pharaoh had been “Do not whip my people so!” Then, would say the children of Israel better odds of their deliverance from Egypt than I would give the people of Zimbabwe today of their deliverance from repression given Tsvangirai’s feeble demands to the dictator, Mugabe!

The story of Moses and how he led the children of Israel out of bondage and slavery in Egypt is, without doubt, the greatest story on mankind’s fight for life, freedom, liberty, justice and human dignity. It has inspired many similar struggles ever since! It is no surprise then that throughout Africa, the struggle to end colonial rule, oppression and exploitation has been compared again and again to that of the children of Israel and the continent’s leaders compared to Moses. Sadly the comparison has to start and stop with the tragic suffering of the people for none of the African leaders have shown any of Moses’ leadership qualities or vision.

The day Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt, every one of them was a free man, woman and child, equal in human dignity and worth before the law and God. In the days ahead they faced the big challenge of crossing the Red Sea, finding their way to the Promised Land, nation building, etc.; challenges they faced and have faired a lot better because of the gift Moses gave them on that historic day – freedom, human dignity and liberty. Moses got all the children of Israel past first base. Something many African leaders, for all their chest pounding self importance, have failed to do.

Whilst the Biblical Moses had core values he such as his abhorrence of slavery and bondage and value of human dignity; Africa’s leaders have shown they have no such inhibitions. They would condemn the same injustices today when they are the victims only to perpetrate the same injustices or worse tomorrow for personal gain. They condemn slavery in one breathe and condone it in the next even to the point of enslaving their own their own kith and kin! And in spite all that, as if to underline the sorry extend of their moral depravity; African leaders like Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe still consider themselves national heroes, the Moses of Zimbabwe!

The right to have a meaningful say in the governance of one’s country is, in today’s world considered a key and fundamental human right. Deny anyone that right and the individual will protest and so further measures, denial of more human rights and freedoms, will be necessary to silence them. But when these “necessary additional measure” include the harassment and beating of 250 000 people and the cold blooded murder over a hundred people in four months, as has happened in Zimbabwe, there is cause for serious alarm. During a similar period in the 1980s there were over 20 000, some say 30 000, political motivated murders! That says what kind of leader Mugabe is.

What Mugabe and his fellow Zanu PF leaders cared about is absolute power. He never cared safe guarding the human rights and human dignity of ordinary Zimbabwean. To retain his own strangle hold on power Mugabe has shown that he would stop at nothing not even the sanctity of human life!

So Tsvangirai is cast in the role of the new Moses here to liberate the people of Zimbabwe from the grasp of a repressive and brutality dictatorship of Mugabe. Tsvangirai’s enfeebled demand on Mugabe to end all violence is not exactly the equivalent of Moses’ unequivocal “Let my people go!” A comparable demand by Moses to Pharaoh would be something like “Do not whip my people so!” Of course the children of Israel would have had good reasons to be disappointed with Moses because that would have never brought the deliverance they were seeking. The people of Zimbabwe are disappointed with Tsvangirai for the same reason.

Yes, the Tsvangirai – Mugabe talks are the only show in town. That is so, but that is hardly a reason to expect any good to come out of the talks. Evidence show, this is just another chance to finally get Zimbabwe off first base wasted!

Tsvangirai demanded that all politically motivated violence should stop and all political prisoners must be freed and the frivolous changes brought against them dropped before any talks between him and Mugabe could take place. Mugabe ignored the demands and long behold the talks have since started. Why does Tsvangirai, again and again, make these demands when he does not have the political spine to see them through! The face serving position now is that he should refuse to sign whatever is agreed at the talks until his demands are met. The truth is the demands are so feeble, it really does not matter either way.

So if there was a day, a whole week even, with no reported beating or murder would Tsvangirai then be happy to sign? Mugabe can go further and dismantle all the militia bases, recall the Police, Army and other State Security operatives he deployed throughout the country after the 29 March 2008 election fiasco. That would all mean nothing as long as Mugabe or someone else can turn round and redeploy the militia, Police, etc. as he did before.

So Tsvangirai’s demand to the end of violence should have been one to end violence now and forever. The kind that would guarantee the people of Zimbabwe their fundamental right to have a meaningful say in the governance of the country without ever fearing political violence for exercising that right. In other words Tsvangirai should have sought to deal a body blow to the very systems that has made political violence possible.

Tsvangirai should have demanded an independent investigation into all politically motivated violence and murders and that all those found guilty of these heinous crimes must be arrested. Particularly attention would be paid to role played by State Security organs like the Police and Army in these violent acts. The nation has gone to the dogs because there is no law and order, how could there be if those entrusted to police it are themselves the ones breaking the law?!

It is not that as a people we do not know what is right and what is wrong. We do. The problem is the current political culture which has forced good and decent Police Officers, Army officers, etc. to turn their backs on the people and do what they know to be wrong for fear their will lose their job if they did not. We need to free our people of this ominous and contradictory demand on their loyalties! There is only one reason any political leader would not want to address this problem; they, like Mugabe, want to use the system for their selfish gains.

Whilst Tsvangirai has suffered for years under Mugabe’s brutal regime he is still nonetheless reluctant to condemn the political system giving the ruling elite absolute power and nothing to the ruled because he is close to joining that exclusive club of the ruling elite. Of course the whole machinery of state violence is something Mugabe will not willingly give up and Tsvangirai is too weak a leader to demand of him and so will settle for the subordinate role.

Without political power the people will have little chance to force the economic reforms necessary to get the national economy back on track. So their economic hardship will continue.
The talks in South Africa will settle whether it is Mugabe or Tsvangirai who will hold the thick end of the whip. To the whipped, the ordinary Zimbabweans; stuck on first base where their basic human rights and dignities are totally at the mercy of the ruling elite, the talks are a matter of indifference

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Mugabe wants the status quo: MDC talks can have any outcome provided it is status quo!

The chance of anything good coming out of the Zanu PF - MDC talks is nil. Mugabe's demeanour and demands contrasted with those of his adversaries said it all.

Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara were both frightened and thrilled to bits; shaking hands with Mugabe. Mugabe patronised them and enjoyed every minute of it.

Tsvangirai’s demand that all violence must end, political prisoners released, etc. followed by the threat of not taking part in the talks is an old song. Mugabe, as usual, ignored the demand and Tsvangirai, true to form, forgot he ever made the threat.

Tsvangirai’s second demand was that “abusive” language should stop. His ego was roughed by being called a puppet. Mugabe in his reply said the British and Americans not interfere with a theatrical pause at the end pregnant with hidden meaning- “ Or their puppet!”

Arthur Mutambara said nothing, at least nothing of importance that any of the main media considered worthy. He was probably overwhelmed by the occasion, for once he was speechless!

As for Mugabe he was totally relaxed and in jovial mood. He should be; he just bully his way into State House forcing a quarter of million out of their homes, thousands were beaten up and over a hundred murdered in the process. But he has never ever cared about anybody; all he cares about is that he has absolute power! What tickled Tsvangirai and Mutambara is a mystery to me.

Mugabe made his demands: 1) His land reforms must not be touched. There is one overriding reason why the land issues must be reviewed; Zimbabwe has faced food shortage year on year ever since the 2000 farm seizures. Clearly the land reforms have not worked and so why should the whole nation starve? Mugabe does not want the subject reopened because many of the farms were given to his cronies and not the landless peasants as he has often claimed.

2) Mugabe wanted sanctions lifted. He has two reasons for this; the lifting would facilitate the expatriation of wealth accumulated by his cronies. Out of the misery of the majority a few have made staggering fortunes. Secondly, he wants attention focused on sanctions as the root cause of the country’s economic melt down and away from the real causes; i.e. years of gross mismanagement and rampant corruption.

In his statement to the media after signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Mugabe said he wanted the country’s political and economic crisis solved “The Zimbabwean way!” He has bullied his party so he sees himself as Zanu PF, since Zimbabwe is now de facto one-party state he is the Government of Zimbabwe and now sees the very embodiment of the Zimbabwean people. And Mugabe’s way of course is the use of brute force. So Mugabe’s brute force delivery system; the Police, Army, CIO, the militia, etc. are to remain.

The depoliticization of the state security agents is a must if democracy is ever to take root in Zimbabwe. If anything there should be a thorough investigation of the serious human rights violations, especially when those entrusted to hold the law and defending the people and the ones committing the human rights violation.

Mugabe has faced more formidable opponents in Ian Smith and Joshua Nkomo in the past and he managed to grind them into the ground. What more of some feeble like Morgan Tsvangirai. Mugabe has set his bottom line – the status quo is to be maintained. Little wonder the talks are set for two weeks; what is there left to talk about?

Sunday, 13 July 2008


Even by African standards, what Robert Mugabe has done in Zimbabwe to retain power is totally unacceptable and therefore he can not be accepted as legitimate President of Zimbabwe. So why, oh why, all the talk of Government of National Unity and power sharing as if the country had a free and fair election whose result left no individual political party with enough seats to govern on its own? For any black African, especially from Sub-Sahara Africa, the talks are perfectly natural.

In Sub Sahara Africa, people never tackle a problem head on preferring instead a more circumspect and roundabout approach. If the problem involves someone in position of power and authority then the whole process must be overlaid layer upon layer of African tradition and cultural relationship between the two parties. The only power worth having in Africa, it seems, is absolute power. And so the contest is often between the mouse and the cat in which the later is also the judge, jury and executioner. Little wonder then that in African the agreed facts of the case often have no bearing to charges, the conduct of the proceeding and judgement at the end of the day.

So if you asked Morgan Tsvangirai and his fellow leaders in MDC if they were at all surprised at what Mugabe did? Are they surprised that President Thabo Mbeki and the AU are demanding that there be power sharing in Zimbabwe? The honest answers to both questions will be, no. Ask the people themselves and they too would answer no. They all had low expectations and worked for failure and disappointment and are reaping just that failure and disappointment; the self fulfilling prophecy. If anyone should answer yes then they must explain why …. I am getting ahead of myself!

If people in African are serious about democracy and the values and principles it espouses then we must bring democracy into our homes first before we try it at a national level. African family life is dominated by father and he exercises his power and authority like a tyrant. Next to taking his wife the next thing one can do to an African man to insult his manhood is question his power and authority!

A wife would never tell her husband directly to blow his nose. She would tell a child, loud enough for her husband to hear, to blow his or her nose. If the Husband does not take the hind, she would repeat the instruction with a note of urgency in her voice. The poor child, not yet school in our culture, would no doubt be alarmed at this special when his or her nose was clean along! The child would cope-on when they notice “caterpillars” crawling out of their father’s nose.

Well may be I should have qualified the paragraph above starting, “A wife . .” with “ A wife, two three generations ago, ..“ Few African husbands would identify that wife with they one they have in their home. The modern African wife has the confidence to look her husband in the face and tell him to blow his nose. But on many other matters of importance the women would agree it is the husband who decide, and more often than not, without even consulting her!

The image of a all power domineering father head appealed greatly to Africa’s leaders and they have transferred it from a family setting to a national level. Women in their role as wives and children had no problem related to all powerful male head. One of the most enduring image of President Kamuzu Banda of Malawi and Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia is one in which the two are completely surrounded by a sea of women supporters all sporting similar dresses and headgear with their portrait! Something Mugabe was quick to copy.

Give the women the vote and even play some divide and rule tactic by giving women a greater voice in their own homes. And if the electorate should ever show signs of impatience let lose party thugs paid to intimidate, beat and murder and the women voters would be carolled back into the party fold like sheep. Unlike in other countries, in African woman got their vote without ever having to fight for that right but over the years many would regard it as a curse!

The men, as Africa’s dictators know only too well, are not so easy to carol and dominate; not in the same way as women. A reasonable dictator would surround himself with a number of men to whom he gives dictatorial powers as long as they ultimately defer to him on all matters.

Among themselves African men do not speak plainly, they would skirt around. Chinua Achebe, that illustrious son of Africa, describes this beautifully in his book “Things Fall Apart”. The scene has Okoye calling on his neighbour, Unoka, to collect the debt the later owed him. Did Okoye come out right and say that? No, no definitely not! The two went into a long and elaborate greeting ritual, and then talked about this and talked about that. When Okoye finally, finally got round to the reason why he had called; even then he used proverbs; talking of if you see a frog hopping in broad day, something must be after its life! Proverbs are “the palm-oil with which words are eaten” Achebe says. May be; but I sure wish all debt collectors were like Okoye we the poor would be riding pedigree racing champions!

When there is dispute; African men would resolve it using the same elaborate system design more to wear one party down then to settle the right or wrong of the matter. Unoka, in the story above for example was know for borrowing and not pay back, people still continued to lend him against their better judge. Unoka humoured would be lender in much the same way a vampire bat anaesthetize it victim.

If the dispute is between the ordinary and the all powerful dictator, such was the case between Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe, then African culture and tradition says it is the wishes of the powerful that matter above all else. Morgan Tsvangirai and MDC’s have always acknowledged and accepted this – forget all the public posturing and bravado. It was this acceptance that gave Mugabe the confidence to “steal” past elections and he did. And this time he has crossed all bounds to “steal” the recent election and, again, he will probably get away with it.

It is easy to cheat, short change, etc. someone who half expects to be cheated, short changed, etc.!

What would one have expected Morgan Tsvangirai and MDC- if they had the political spine- to do? Lead from the front and not be led by the nose like a donkey by Mugabe!

MDC should make its position very clear talks will discuss the formation and nature of the Transition Government. There can not be any GNU given the circumstances of Mugabe’s election; a GNU would directly or indirectly endorse his illegitimate arrangement.

Mugabe or more explicitly the Joint Operation Command (JOC) would increase the violence to pressure MDC to accept the GNU option. That is as one would expect.

Again Tsvangirai and MDC should show some quality leadership and that they have a complete grasp of the complex issues here and act accordingly. Ever since the formation of JOC Zimbabwe has had two administrations; normal one composed of the Parliament, Cabinet and the President and JOC. JOC made all the important decisions further weakening an already powerless Parliament and Cabinet. In a GNU MDC would be allocated a few Ministerial posts and Tsvangirai would be Prime Minister running Parliament and Cabinet. JOC will remain and, of course, will report to “President” Mugabe. People should not be fooled by terms like Titular President – Mugabe and his cronies will retain all the real power in GNU.

As for the threat by JOC to increase the violence; Tsvangirai should deal with this head on. If he had done so, I am convinced it would have dead away by now or better still it would have never occurred!

To start with those who resort to political violence to achieve political ends must know that they are committing a treasonable office of denying the people the basic right to free and fair election and, by their, acts are trying to hold the whole nation to ransom. No nation worth its salt can ever accept that! These practices have been noted in past elections and Zimbabwe will put a stop to these criminal acts once and once for all. There will be a public inquiry into all politically motivated violence and those found guilty will be punished!

Reports of Commanding Officers demanding to see how the rank and file in the Police, Army, etc. had voted in the recent elections is proof, if any proof was needed, that many Zimbabweans are not happy with what is happening. If these men and women are not happy with voting as they are told they are even more reluctant to beat and murder an innocent person. Why do it?

There is no paper trail accompanying all the violence and killings that has been sweeping Zimbabwe for months now. None of the Commanding Officers want to leave any self-incriminating evidence and tomorrow they will vehemently deny they ever issued such ridiculous orders! Do not be the fool who carried out the order and, without solid evidence, will be the one to pay the full penalty alone. Ask for written orders. And even if you get them refuse to carry them out- it would be better to be dismissed now then to hang tomorrow!

Mugabe and President Thabo Mbeki have bullied Tsvangirai so much that the later has lost all credibility as a negotiating party in the political talks taking place in South Africa. Whatever they agree must be disregarded in the future. What has happened in Zimbabwe must be thoroughly investigated and those responsible for the heinous crimes must be held to account. Democracy demands a healthy relationship between the ruler and the ruled, the incumbent and the challenger. Before Mugabe, Tsvangirai, unfortunately, see himself as a mouse in a cat’s paw! The people of Zimbabwe see things differently and a full political investigation will prove this- for this matter will not go away until it is properly addressed, not this time!

Thursday, 10 July 2008


With all the good will in the world, a Government of National Unity (GNU) in Zimbabwe will not work for one simple reason: there is not a milligram of good will in Robert Mugabe’s whole being!
Mugabe has already vowed that “Only God” will remove him from office. And anyone who thought this was only election campaign rhetoric had a rude wake-up call. Here was a man who not only threatened to throw the whole nation into lawlessness. He did just that. He did not only threaten to beat up and murder people. Hundreds of thousands has been beaten and bones broken and over hundred have been murdered.

Mugabe has enjoyed undiluted political power ever since he led Zimbabwe’s first black majority regime. Over the years he and cahoots of equally self-serving demagogues close to him have grown to love that power, the prestige and financial benefits it brought. They have become so intoxicated with it all that giving all this up is simply unthinkable.

In a way Mugabe has prepared himself for a GNU he had one with his own ruling party on the one and his security operatives on the other. The party official held all the normal government positions such as Ministers, Governors. This gave the regime all the public façade of a normal administration; in reality, however, none of them hard any political power. All political power in Zimbabwe has been exercised by the Joint Operation Command made up of heads of the State Security Organs such as the Police, Army, Air Force and a selected others such as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Gideon Gono.

Mugabe would want to remains President of Zimbabwe – call him titular if you wish! MDC can share with Zanu PF party leaders the Ministerial and other public offices. These are all purely symbolic real political power will rest with JOC. And JOC will remain faithful to one man and one man only- Robert Mugabe. In fulfilment of yet another repeated pre-election promise “not to salute” Morgan Tsvangirai made by State Security Chiefs all in JOC.

Robert Mugabe’s bottom line is that he remains President and his own parallel administration JOC is unofficial and therefore not open for negotiation. He has no intention of contesting another election ever again and therefore a Transition Government with a life span of a year or so will fly like a lead balloon. He needs a secure tenure of office of a minimum of five years. MDC can negotiate all it likes but Mugabe will not budge an inch on this.

Whatever Zanu PF and MDC agree to the reality on the ground will be nothing short of Mugabe's bottom line. If good will means Mugabe must give up on his bottom line then he will tell you himself with pride that there is not a milligram of good will in him!


In January 2008 Kenya's Raila Odinga was pressured into accepting a bed fellow who snores like a pig.
Of course many of us ordinary people in Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa said nothing.
The ordinary people of Kenya said no but their voices and wishes were ignored.

Today Zimbabwe's Morgan Tsvangirai is being pressured to accept a bed fellow who too snores like a pig.
Zimbabweans are passionately against the Government of National Unity because for the next five years Zimbabwe will not move.
But they voices and wishes are too being ignored.

Who will be the next new leader to be forced into bed with a snoring bed fellow?
It could well be you next in South Africa.It could well be you next in East Africa.
It could well be you next in West Africa.It could well be you next in West Africa.

In Kenya the African Union set a dangerous precedence in which losing seating candidates can be allowed to stay on.
This could well be repeated and reaffirmed in Zimbabwe.

Speak out now, for tomorrow when its you being short changed, it might be too late!

Sunday, 6 July 2008


75% of Zimbabwe’s economic melt down and political paralysis to Robert Mugabe and his ruling party Zanu PF and the military Junta. The other 25% must be laid at Morgan Tsvangirai’s door, his MDC party and the passé of absolutely unless advisers. Before you say anything or read further; please listen to Violet Gonda talking to Professor John Makumbe, on SW Radio Africa 4 July 2008 programme “Hotseat” (available on the internet till 19 July) and judge for yourself.

“Mugabe is an illegitimate leader,” Professor Makumbe said. He went on to explain how Mugabe had used violence and murder to force Tsvangirai out of the race. “.. so you can not really have a Government of national Unity (GNU) led an illegitimate leader,” he concluded. The only legitimate result was the 29 March vote which Tsvangirai won and so Tsvangirai should lead the GNU.

Violet rightly pointed out that Mugabe has cleared refused to accept that. “he wants to rule, let him rule!” was the Professor’s answer.

“Another five years of Mugabe rule?!” fired Violet followed by grunt of sheer disbelief and great disappointment- if it had been on television, no doubt she would have fallen off her chair. Perish the very thought of it! But this is precisely what is wrong with Tsvangirai and MDC – no sense urgency or purpose!

“He will ruin Zimbabwe,” was Professor Makumbe prediction, as if that had not happened already. Professor Makumbe had two possible outcomes if Mugabe continued to rule: either country’s problems become so bad that Mugabe “capitulates and begs” Tsvangirai to form a GNU or he soldiers dragging the nation with him through it for a further five years. So either way things will get a lot worse in Zimbabwe.

The people of Zimbabwe voted for MDC and Tsvangirai to end the Mugabe dictatorship and their suffering it has brought as quickly as possible. The last thing they want to hear is that Mugabe will rule for another day longer and that their almost impossible lives will have to get a hell lot worse until such times as Mugabe decides to go.

Violet: “And what would MDC do meanwhile?”

Professor Makumbe: “MDC has its work cut out … it has the responsibility to govern!” The Professor was referring to MDC’s majority in Parliament and a clean sweep in Council Elections, particularly in urban centres.

It was my turn to fall off the chair! Harare’s elected Councillors have since been sworn-in and have elected the Execute and Deputy Mayor so MDC MPs will do likewise and form its on parallel administration complete with all the ministerial appointments.

Last year when the then Minister of Finance Samuel Mumbengegwi (himself a former University of Zimbabwe Professor in Economics no less) presented his national budget, with all the usual pomp and ceremony, he gave the nation something to laugh about! Laughable because the budget did not take into account the single most important issue thus rendering the whole budget a jumble of meaningless figures- and that issue was country’s runaway inflation. Inflation then was 20 000% today it is 200 000%, MDC Councils and Ministers will have more that their work cut out producing anything resembling a budget!

Violet went on to question Professor Makumbe on other topical issues with equally eye-popping answers. He claimed that Tsvangirai was the “winner” and President Thabo Mbeki and Robert Mugabe as the losers of the recent AU Summit resolution calling for GNU in Zimbabwe. He went on to heap praise on the few African leaders who had publicly condemned Mugabe’s failure to hold free elections. But we all know of course they were in the minority and so the resolution was more Mugabe and President Mbeki.

Many people, including me, have complained of Tsvangirai’s poor leadership, he lacks vision and initiative and so follow wherever events or Mugabe leads him. Here is proof; where is the vision in MDC’s “let Mugabe rule” approach? The party has held this line in fact since the 2000 election.

MDC said the 2000 election was not free or fair and many people agreed. What everyone else wanted then concrete steps to end Mugabe’s illegitimate rule. MDC wanted to “let Mugabe rule” and he did “ruin” the country. Exactly the same thing happened in 2002 elections and again Mugabe was allowed to rule and again he ruined the nation. Same thing again happened in 2005 with the same disastrous consequences. Now the nation is expected to do the same yet again, another five years of Mugabe rule.

The people of Zimbabwe elected Tsvangirai and his MDC party in 2000 and each subsequent election after that to end Mugabe’s dictatorship, period. Little did they know Tsvangirai would facilitate Mugabe’s continued rule to see just how deep the economic and political morose Mugabe would drag the nation before finally freely capitulated and handing power over to him. Indeed, Professor Makumbe’s logic, the longer Mugabe last in power is only another farther in Tsvangirai’s cap!

When it comes to our leaders even the most respectable African intellectuals, like Professor John Makumbe, (once respected but now vilified) Professor Jonathan Moyo, Professor Samuel Mumbengegwi, Professor Walter Kamba, etc. all lose their objectivity and professionalism. Instead of telling the erstwhile leaders the truth they say only what the later want to hear. Listening to it again, Professor John Makumbe will, no doubt, be ashamed his own performance on 4 July 2008 on SW Radio Africa.

Yes, the situation in Zimbabwe has become so desperate that even a mediocre leader like Morgan Tsvangirai compared to Mugabe would look like knight in shining armour. But if it has not dawned on Zimbabweans that their Don Quixote knight is busy fighting windmills instead of slaying the beast, it will soon! If Zimbabweans had quality leadership from MDC as far back as 2000 then Mugabe’s rule would have ended years ago!

Friday, 4 July 2008


I refer to the latest news of Mugabe demanding that the Opposition must drop its claim for power and threatening Zimbabwe's neighbours who dared to criticise him at the AU. This is really intolerable.

I hope President Thabo Mbeki and all the rotten egg heads at the AU Summit who supported and appeased Mugabe when they should have been firm with him are happy now. Mugabe is not the sort of individual not to be appeased, he will see that as a weakness and, like all cowards, he thrives on others' weaknesses.

What Mugabe wants out of the political talks with MDC is a white wall. All real political power is to remain firmly in his hands. He is a megalomania who has already shown will kill to stay in power and to ensure the truth about him is not divulged. Zimbabweans are dying to end his rotten political system which has pushed the national economy into new world records and inflation soaring into the stratosphere. Never mind his ego, maintaining the status quo is simply not an option Zimbabweans can even consider for one second!

Once again this is not the time for indecision; it is time for firm and decisive action all round. The people of Zimbabwe should take mass action; mass stay-away is the best course for three reasons: 1) an public gatherings will only be met with brutal force. Mugabe is already on a war footing and we do not want to give him the excuse to escalate it. 2) the economy is Mugabe’s greatest weak point. He has been relentless on the political front because he knows; if he eased there the next everyone would be talking about is the economy. And there he has no answers.

The West and G8 countries should freeze some of the aid given to AU and SADC countries that continue to prop up Mugabe economically and politically. Direct pressure will force these African countries to act more responsibly it their dealings with Robert Mugabe.

Mugabe is the archetype villain who will go down quietly; he has to go down with all his guns blazing. He is itching for a fight; we must give him no excuse to start one. He is getting restless and shrill in his demands to be president; the answer must remain an unequivocal NO! Followed by a firm and unequivocal GO!

Tuesday, 1 July 2008


I must say, I am really disappointed by the complete lack of enthusiasm and passion by the ordinary Africans. It is as if the only African with a voice and with anything to say are our leaders.

What do the ordinary South Africans think of what their President Thambo Mbeki, is doing. As a Zimbabwean I have always looked at SA’s free press and freedom of expression with envy. But what good is a free press and freedom of expression if when it matters all is heard is a few disgruntled murmurs. Many South Africans may well be saying “There is no crisis in Zimbabwe!” as President Mbeki said. After all Zimbabwe is many miles away and off their radar; even with an estimated 3 million Zimbabweans now living in SA. Still, when President Mbeki blundered along on the aids issue a few years ago, this was a serious problem in their own houses; the was but a public murmur.

My advice to my South African brothers and sisters is; freedom of expression is like talent; use it or you will lose it!

The AU Summit was held in Egypt and I thought Egyptians across the board would have dismissed the whole thing initially as just another Africa talk shop at the Egyptian tax payers’ expense. But when they heard the Zimbabwe election fraudster was in town they sat up and paid attention. After all when was the last time Egypt held free and fair elections!

So the Egyptians, like so many other Africans who have been denied an meaningful say in the governance of their country, would be interested in how Mugabe was treated. They would have cheered and applauded the strong condemnation of Mugabe by PM Raila Odinga and the Vice President Mompati S Merafhe of Botswana. As such condemnation would be sending a very clear message to the Egyptian President, the dictators and despots at the Summit that failure to hold free and fair elections will no longer be tolerated.

There is dying need for a vibrant and heated debate in which we, Africans, take an active part. Our leaders (the only ones really enjoying freedom of expression), hold animated discussions; of one fearful of saying the wrong thing and of, one day, being caught out. So some of them, like Mugabe have taken the added precaution of banning all foreign press they could not control. Among themselves their have taken great comfort in singing each other’s praise “great achievements” even in the face of overwhelming evidence of incompetence, corruption and failure.

By openly criticising Mugabe’s failure to hold free elections what the few African leaders was more than just speaking the truth. They were demonstrating that Africa had come of age for the courage to self-criticise is the true mark of maturity. Mature enough to know and understand that there is nothing to be gained by pretending not to see one’s weakness and that by dealing with one’s shortcomings openly one will emerge an even stronger person.

The internet was definitely opened great opportunities for ordinary people throughout Africa to interact and exchanges views. In a country like Zimbabwe where most of the print and electronic media are government controlled- there is only animated debate allowed- the internet should provide an invaluable outlet. Yet there is hardly anything happening on this Blog or any other web site. Having been denied a say for all our lives now we find we have lost our voice and can think of hardly anything to say. Even on such matters as free and fair elections on which the destiny of a whole nation is determined!

I pray and hold that more and more Africans will find their voices, reclaim freedom of expression as their own and use it so that they are well informed. And well informed, hold our leaders to account.