Sunday, 28 September 2008




You start by referring to a Tendai Biti statement confirming that MDC has promised Mugabe immunity from prosecution for all his past human rights violations. (I must be pointed out from the on-set that Mugabe has never ever admitted to any human rights violations. The nearest he has come to that was to attribute recent acts of wanton intimidations and murders to lack of training by the state security agents. But lets put this aside for now.) In other words t it no longer a matter for Zimbabweans to consider this option; it is being presented to us a facto accompli.

MDC did not only take a page from Mugabe’s book in terms of making important policy announcement whilst outside Zimbabwe. They have also copied from Mugabe to make decision affecting the whole nation without even bothering to consult the people- as if the people are simply too stupid to be allowed a meaningful say in anything of importance!

So Mugabe was granted immunity and the power sharing deal signed. The question you should have therefore asked is, will Zimbabwe now be allowed to move on and address the many teething political and economic problems?

It is now over two weeks since the signing of the so called “historic” Zanu PF – MDC power sharing deal. (In 1987 the late J Nkomo signed a similar deal. It was not historic even then; there were countless other sell-out deals before that!) Given the sorry state of the nation and the tragic human suffering, would it be too much to expect the parties to have a sense of urgency. Instead the parties have been bickering about who holds what ministerial office.

You alluded to the reason why granting Mugabe immunity would achieve nothing when you said he would not trust anyone to honour the promise. He has never kept any promise himself all his life and naturally he sees every other politician in the same way. In the case of MDC, of all people Mugabe would know that MDC’s word is absolutely worthless. He was able to get everything he asked for from MDC in the present deal; the party would just as ready hand him over to ICC.

So besides the promise for immunity Mugabe still wanted to remain in State House and in total control of everything. I am not a betting man, but in this case I will bet my bottom dollar on 1000 to 1 that this Unity Government will never achieve even half of the things you predicted in your win-win.

Zimbabwe’s economic and political problems all emanate from one thing, that we are not a principled people. There are some things a principled person would never ever compromise on let alone give away. Starting with Mugabe himself and his fellow leaders in Zanu PF to J Nkomo and PF Zapu right down to M Tsvangirai and his friends in MDC they have all shown that they will trade everything, absolutely everything including the sanctity of human life, to further their political careers!

The principled position is that no one is above; Mugabe and not just his henchmen must answer for the blood of the innocent Zimbabweans on their hands. The only thing one can promise them is that they will all have a fair trial. It was not for them to take one Zimbabwean life and they killed thousands! It is not sheer madness for the nation let alone a handful of presumptuous political leaders to sweep such heinous criminals under the carpet.

Mugabe sanctioned these crimes confident that he will get away with it. What will be there to stop whoever becomes the next President doing the same? Where and when will it all ends? No; we must stand by the rule of law and never ever try to appease dictators like Mugabe.


Yes, Arthur Mutambara’s rise up the political ladder has been meteoric, but only because he has shown that he has absolutely no principles. You would agree with me there are people like the late S Muzenda and many others within Zanu PF who have held on to very senior positions for decades. I would not attribute their political success to “strategic thinking”; because, for the positions they held, they certainly did not have the brains to deserve it!

Wednesday, 24 September 2008


The British Labour Party Conference give the recently elected Speaker to the Zimbabwe Parliament, Lovemore Moyo from the MDC Tsvangirai faction a standing ovation. The truth is the British had little choice here, they could not work with the abrasive dictator, Robert Mugabe, and so they have at least try to work with Morgan Tsvangirai.

In 1995 the then British Secretary for International Development, Linda Chalker was the first to congratulate Robert Mugabe for his party’s election victory. Well that took the wind out of those inside and outside Zimbabwe who had been crying foul for yet another failure by the regime to hold free and fair elections. The British had to explain themselves.

In the past West had routinely accepted Zimbabwe’s fraudulent elections, on the grounds that the election process in Zimbabwe could not be measured using the same yard-stick as that in well established democracies. An extremely patronising stance, to say the least! In 1995 there level and extend of intimidation and other election irregularities were a lot worse than in the past- even by the half-measure yard-stick. (The full account of Zanu PF vote rigging were exposed in Court challenge of the Harare South Constituency result filed by Mrs Margret Dongo.) Ms Chalker knew, she had to come with a better excuse, this time.

It turned out that Ms Chalker just happened to be the first senior Western Government Official arriving in Zimbabwe after the election. She could not avoid saying something about the results (no doubt the Zanu PF control public media who have haunted her till she did). Without the full facts of the election irregularities she had to assume the ruling party had won fair and square. It was more diplomatic to do so. It was probably the last time that any British government official said anything complimentary to a Zimbabwean government figure. The standing ovation given to Lovemore Moyo was more out of relief after a tiresome past with Mugabe than a vote of confidence in MDC.

Even by Africa’s half yard-stick measure, the 27 June 2008 presidential run-off in Zimbabwe was not free or fair. Even Africa’s election monitors who normally see-nothing, hear –nothing and say-whatever the leadership want to hear, condemn the whole electoral process. It was therefore nonsense than anyone should recognise Mugabe as the dually elected president following such a scam. The British and many other countries had made their position clear on this- they will not recognise Mugabe. By signing the power sharing deal with Mugabe; the MDC has changed all that. The British, will have to accept Mugabe as the president of Zimbabwe.

The deal also reaffirmed some of Mugabe’s anti-British rhetoric. Now that MDC has signed on to the deal, Mugabe will pile up the pressure on Tsvangirai, Moyo and the rest of the MDC leadership to speak and act like him. The British knighted Robert Mugabe in hast and lived to regret it. I do not see Tsvangirai in the Queen’s New Year Honours list, the British have learnt the lesson.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Zimbabwe's divided society of Have All and Have Nothing

I was in Zimbabwe a few weeks ago. I sat down and talked to Kodobo and met Mrs Chaya and her daughter; I had but a glimpse of their lives in Zimbabwe today.

Kodobo is probably in his late seventies, but looks much, much older. He can hardly see. He should have had the operation to clear his eyes. In the 1980s this was a minor operation that he would have done at his local rural hospital, Ndanga Hospital. In the 1990s when he should have had the operation it was a then considered a major operation; today could not even have it done in the country’s biggest hospital, Parerenyatwa Hospital.

The country’s health service is in really bad state due to years of poor funding and neglect. Parerenyatwa Hospital cannot even provide something as basic as a drip; patients are expected to buy the kit themselves. An eye operation is clearly something far beyond the capability of the hospital.

So Kodobo’s world has been slowly but surely turning darker and darker. His twilight zone is a few inches deep, beyond that it is pitch black. As he shook my hand, he drew me up close. I saw, smelt and felt his destitute existence up close.

He did not have much beyond the dirty rages he was wearing. He lived alone in a grass thatched hut. He has a married daughter but there is little she could do to help him. She too lives in abject poverty. A kind local villager has been bring Kodobo his merger BACOSSI rations – 2.5 kg of sugar, 2.5 kg of rice, 500 ml cooking oil, bar of soap and, yes, a tube of tooth paste once every two or three months. The last five years he had rely on food from a international organisation but the Zanu PF government chased the organisation away. Kodobo was skin and bone.

I wished I had brought some clothes and food to give Kodobo. Giving him a bundle of Z$ was not going to help him much; he would keep the money for a rainy day only to find it was worthless, given Zimbabwe’s hype inflation rate.

Kodobo in at the very bottom of the Zimbabwe’s ever growing multitude of destitute living on US$1.00 or less a day! There are other Zimbabweans like Mrs Chaya who doing very well, thank you!

Mrs Chaya has a daughter at private college in Harare. The day I met them, the two were a busy shopping trip. That evening the daughter was going to a Beginning of Term dinner-dance at Meikles Hotel in Harare.

The daughter had recently returned from a holiday trip abroad. She had probably bought the dress, shoes, etc. she would be wearing to dinner-dance whilst abroad. There was no shop amongst there still remaining shops in Zimbabwe that would carter for her expensive tastes, anyway. The two were probably shopping for the odd accessories.

Mrs Chaya is the wife of a high ranking Zanu PF leader- a member of the ruling elite. No doubt the Chayas lived in a big house. No doubt, both the husband and wife drove expensive cars and owned one or two large farms, etc.

A single glass of wine at Meikles Hotel would cost a pretty penny; but money was not an issue to the Chayas, at least not on such occasions. They are used to spending lavishly on themselves and their family. On this occasion; it is a badge of honour, a tangible proof of their superior standing in society. The Chayas would probably pay, grudgingly too, their domestic and farm workers the equivalent of one glass of wine a month.

The Chayas are edgy; like the rest of the new-rich in Zimbabwe whose prosperity is totally dependent on the patronage of Robert Mugabe and the ruling party, they constantly worry about falling out of favour with their political masters. They know only too well just how freckle political patronage of a dictator can be. They also know that the sorry state Mugabe has reduced the country into can only mean their own days are numbered- political change is certainly coming, the present setup in which the few are living in total luxury at the expense of Kodobo and millions other is simply unsustainable!

I went to Zimbabwe to visit my mother who was ill. I found her on her death bed. There was no bank of equipment to monitor her heart, breathing, kidney function, etc. The only hospital assistance she had was a drip. She was in private hospital.

In this day and age when the rest of mankind have successful sent man to the moon and back and are conducting experiments to replicate the event that gave birth to this universe itself, why should a hospital servicing millions not have something as basic as a heart monitor. With the most basic medical support, my mother would probably be alive today. Millions of Zimbabweans are suffering for lack of medicines worth a few pennies and every day hundreds die unnecessary.

The money that should be used to buy equipment so that Kodobo would see and to buy medicines saving hundreds of thousands of life is squandered on cars and other luxuries by the Chayas and the rest of the ruling elite. That is not right and should not be allowed to continue for one day longer!

How ironic that the Government of National Unity (GNU), formed to address the country’s totally unjust social system should have spent months squabbling about the power sharing deal, are now spending weeks squabbling about who should run what ministry. No doubt they will be no such disagreement when it comes to spending millions of US$ on new ministerial cars!
Kodobo and the multitude of Zimbabweans living and dying in despair deserve to be treated as humans; whose totally unnecessary suffering and wasted lives must be acknowledged and addressed. This GNU, like the Mugabe regime before it, is not doing that!

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Mugabe's "African Solution to an African Problem": Nonsense

Robert Mugabe was ranting on about “African solution to African problem” and “Zimbabwean solution to a Zimbabwean problem”. Many people have taken up the same phase as “justification” for the acceptance of this ruthless dictator as the President of Zimbabwe. It is nonsense and must be laid to rest!

There is nothing special or uniquely African about the electorate exercising their basic and fundamental right to a meaningful say in the governance of one’s country through the holding of free and fair election to elect their leaders. And having done so, to have their expressed democratic wish respected. There is nothing new or special about some individual trying to stay on in power by cheating or worse still using violence in violation of the said democratic wish of the electorate. History is full of such individuals, in the worst cases, they are called dictators.

Free and fair elections is the foundation of good governance, of peace, justice and prosperity. So anyone who seeks to undermine the holding of free and fair elections seeks to undermine human life and the very survival of the nation. No nation in its right mind would risk the suffering of its people and ultimately human lives to ingratiate the selfish political interests of one or a select few individuals. So anyone or individuals seeking to undermine the nation’s survival must be dealt with harshly, period!

The root cause of Zimbabwe’s crippling political and economic problems is because Mugabe has repeatedly refused to leave office. He has cheated, rigged and even committed mass murder just to stay in power. The people of Zimbabwe have paid dearly for his continued undemocratic rule; surely, surely it was time this madness was stopped.

Robert Mugabe is a ruthless dictator; in his latest campaign of intimidation and terror, over a million people were forced to flee their homes to urban centre or live in mountains, hundreds of thousands were beaten and/or raped and over 200 (many believe 2 000) innocent people were murdered in cold blood. He did all this to force the Zimbabwe electorate to accept him as their leader. The rightful place for Robert Mugabe is before a court of law to answer for his heinous crimes.

Of course it is an outrage that Robert Mugabe should be “rewarded” with another term as President of Zimbabwe for undermining the very foundations of Zimbabwe society with disastrous political and economic consequences! Mugabe can dress it up as “African solution to an African problem”; it is a pig in lip stick nonsense!

1 + 1 = 2 , not 1.5, or 2.5 etc!

As a people, we in Africa are notorious for avoiding difficult issues and when we finally forced to, we come up with fudged solution. President Thambo Mbeki has done some good and bad things during his presidency but his greatest blunder will have to be the fudged deal that retain a ruthless dictator in power. How could he get such a basic and fundamental issue hopelessly and totally wrong!

As for why Zimbabwe’s Morgan Tsvangirai agreed to such a deal; it will suffice to say he is not one of the brightest stars in the Zimbabwe sky. It is Zimbabwe’s cursed lucky that the destiny of the nation should be shared by a ruthless dictator and a feeble-minded man.

It is my sincere hope that South Africa or any other nation will never have the so called “African solution” imposed on her!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

The ZANU PF - MDC Agreement will achieve precious little

The 15 September Zanu PF –MDC Agreements is doomed to suffer the same fate as Zanu PF – PF Zapu Unity Accord of 1987- precious little.

When Joshua Nkomo signed the Zanu PF and PF Zapu unity accords in 1987 there one thing, indeed the only thing the people of Zimbabwe got was the political motivated violence which had seen the death of 20 to 30 000 Zimbabweans, stopped. The accords were on Robert Mugabe’s terms- nothing to do with what ordinary Zimbabweans wanted- and thus he was able to consolidate his hold on political power creating a de facto one-party state.

On the economic front, the one-party state system allowed mismanagement and corruption to become rampant. The consequences of which is the economic melt down will see in Zimbabwe today.

On the political front a one-party state is by it very nature repressive; individual rights and freedoms are subordinate to those of the ruling party. As the national economic continued to nose dive the people became more restless for a government more responsive of their suffering. And so to retain his struggle on political power the violent repression of the pre- Unity accords returned collimating in the debauchery of the post 29 March 2008.

The Zanu PF –MDC Agreement is a Robert Mugabe document through and through. It was certainly drawn on Mugabe terms, full of his usual rhetoric which is not just irrelevant but in most cases a serious obstacle to the people’s dream of a fresh democratic start. Consider the following five points, for example:
a) The Agreements is completely silent on the serious human rights violations that the nation has suffered repeatedly throughout Mugabe’s rule. It is as if the victims were nothing more than ants crushed underfoot! If we sweep this under the carpet again as we did following the pre 1987 Unity Accords then we necessary accept of this whole nightmare visiting us again.

If is falsehood that sweeping past wrong doing will help in the national healing. There can be no healing or lasting peace with justice.

b) So sum total of the parties to the Agreement’ s understanding of Freedom of Expression is that MDC is given equal coverage in the public media and to gag all external media operators then we are in serious trouble. State control of the public media, the Agreement has done nothing to end the State control, is at the very root of the denial of this fundamental individual right.

The whole exercise of writing a new constitution would be lost on the people unless there is open and free public debate.

The independent newspapers and foreign operated radio should disregard this unashamed dictatorial control. If anyone expected the Agreement to grant any individual rights or freedoms then they were hopeless wrong. The people of Zimbabwe will have to fight for the basic human rights now and, this time, never give an inch!

c) The Agreement was conveniently silent on when fresh elections are to be held.
The Unity Government is strictly speaking does not have any policies agenda – of course, in practice it is Mugabe’s policies that are being followed. If there is one thing Zimbabwe can ill afford at this point is to drift!

The new constitution should be ready in 18 months; there is no reason why there should not be refresh elections in 24 months. The people will have to push the parties for this!

No doubt the Unity Government would happily stay on for the next five years, particularly Mugabe!

d) The land issue is probably the single most important item which will determine the rate of Zimbabwe’s economic recovery, if there is any recovery at all. Most of the farms seize from 2000 on are now in the hands of Mugabe cronies and no doubt they would like to keep the farms. Most of these cronies had a hand in the rot that brought the country to its knees and in the violence of the past few months- it would be totally irresponsible if they should now be rewarded by allowing them to keep their ill got loot!

The farms must be taken away from Mugabe cronies for economic reason too; they will never put them to productive use.

e) In the short term, the violence will stop and there would be some measure of economic recovery – anything is bound to show as an improvement given the depth the country’s economy has sunk.

As a nation we must look before the here and now- that is where we wrong in the past and, by God, have paid dearly for it.

“I have signed this agreement because I believe it represents the best opportunity for us to build a peaceful, prosperous democratic Zimbabwe.” Said would be Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on 15 September, 2008 after signing the Zanu PF – MDC Agreement.

What else could poor Tsvangirai have said; admit that he was bulled into signing an agreement in which there was not a single item he wanted included. He had to give the whole sad episode as positive a spin as he could. Spin or no spin; nothing can change that the Agreement was on Mugabe’s terms, on a dictator’s term; a building a peaceful, prosperous and democratic Zimbabwe will remain a pipe dream!

Saturday, 13 September 2008


Whilst the people of Zimbabwe wait to hear the content of the Power Sharing Deal agreed between Robert Mugabe and the two factions of MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara; here is a borne to chew.

Following the 29 March 2008 combined local, parliamentary, senatorial and presidential elections Mr Guchi, the Headmaster of Vudzi Primary School, was allegedly heard whistling, celebrating MDC’s election victory. A few days later the whole country was swept by a wave of political intimidation, beatings and murder following the deployment by Mugabe of War Veterans and party thugs backed by the Police, Army and other State Security Agents. The violence was to punish the MDC leaders, supporters and party sympathisers, people like Mr Guchi.

This was not the first time that Teachers and other professionals in the rural areas were targeted by Zanu PF thugs. This happened in the 2000, 2002 and 2005 elections. Zanu PF has found it near impossible to bribe and/or intimidate the Teachers, unlike the rest of the rural populous. The party lost ground in the urban centres for this reason. Zanu PF considers the rural areas its “strong holds” and therefore could ill afford to lose ground here too and the Teachers and other professionals were considered a serious threat to that.

Mr Guchi had heard that there had been suspicious looking people – unruly gangs of 20 or so young men often high on alcohol or drugs - had visited the School asking for him. He had stayed away.

In mid May, after weeks away from his post, Guchi returned to the School; believing it was safe to do so. He was wrong.

Guchi was picked up from his Headmaster’s House in two twin cab pickups round 7.00 pm. He was heard screaming but no one came to his aid; they all feared for their own lives.

Guchi’s body was found three days later. His post-mortem report said he died of one gun shot to the head. The few relatives and friends who braved the possible reprisals by Zanu PF thugs to collect the body and buried him say his genitals had been cut-off; his eyes were gorged out and there were burnt marks all over his body. He was almost certainly shot after being tortured.

In the five months following the 29 March 2008 Election MDC says up to 180 its leaders and supporters were murdered in the Mugabe orchestrated political madness. People on the ground believe the figure is a lot higher. The Police in Marondera, for example, who were looking for drowned fisherman in a local Dam in late August reportedly, fished out four other bodies before finding that of the fisherman. How many other disappeared-victims have never been found! One would have thought MDC would at least keep an accurate record.

The story of Mr Guchi is true and an eyewitness accord. The real name, the name of the School and other details were changed or withheld to safe guard the lives of many. He did not deserve such torturous death. What kind of people would carry out such a heinous act? What kind of government would condone it? No nation in its right sense would let such barbarism go unpunished!

The only thing on Zanu PF – MDC Talks for Robert Mugabe should have been he and his henchmen would have a fair trial for the cold blooded of Mr Guchi and hundreds others. My fear is the long awaited Talk Agreement would reward Mugabe for his murderous acts.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008


The world is not taking Zimbabwe's economic and political mess seriously because we are yet to show that we are serious about searching for a solution ourselves. Glen Mpani's recent interview on S W Radio Africa is a typical, but not only, example.

For someone who has been studying MDC for four years; Glen Mpani’s shallow and partisan understanding of that party was very disappointing. Particularly so, given this was supposedly a PhD level study!

I know Political Science, Glen’s PhD field, is not an exact science. One can write a whole thesis and get and A+ doctorate and write another thesis saying the exact opposite based on the same political facts and too get an A+. Not so with the exact science like Mathematics, Physic, etc. An electrical circuit board controlling something as simple as traffic lights, for example, will obey the same Ohm’s Law as the circuit board controlling a Space Rocket. Circuit analysis of each board will one and only one correct answer; no nonsense! Glen’s analysis was just that; nonsense.

The one thing, above all else, that has contributed to MDC’s election success is the economic and political desperation of the Zimbabwe people. The people are so desperate for change that they have willing overlooked MDC’s mind boggling incompetence, lack of vision, etc., just to see the back of Mugabe and his Zanu PF party.

The root cause Zimbabwe’s 20 million percent inflation rate, empty shop, none existent health service and shortages of even the most basic goods and services is the nearly three decades of misrule by an incompetent and corrupt regime. The economic melt down has left millions of Zimbabweans destitute and without hope!

Just as MDC’s political success is founded on the people’s despair, Zanu PF’s political success is founded on fear. We are a nation living in fear of what Mugabe will do if what we do should displease him. The fear is real and justified for we all know what depth of depravity the brutal regime can sink to in its effort to retain political power.

Run up to the 29 March vote, the economic hardships- nothing to do with what MDC had said or done- had given the people the courage to overcome their fear of displeasing Mugabe by voting for MDC in large numbers. When Mugabe turned his thugs on the people like a park of wolves on sheep; the people fell back into line quick smart!

On the 29 March the people had delivered electoral victory to Tsvangirai in a silver platter. But that he should have the prize snatched out of his grasp was itself a measure of his political inaptitude. That MDC should have gone into the on going political negotiations without a clear bottom-line minimum demands is further proof of the party’s sheer incompetence.

That the people should be voting for such a mediocre party like MDC is itself a measure of just how desperate Zimbabweans really are!

Yes, Glen acknowledged MDC’s very serious shortcomings but to describe them as merely “weaknesses” is a total misrepresentation of the facts. Just because a pig is as buoyant as a duck does not mean a pig can fly. Its lack of feathers is not merely a “weakness”; it is the clinching proof!

The situation in Zimbabwe IS truly desperate and as such it demands serious and honest discussion. The international community is ready and willing to help Zimbabwe out of this economic and political mess. So far they have not lifted a finger, because we, Zimbabweans, are not serious about solving our problems. So far we have shown that we are NOT serious- not if Glen Mpani type analysis is all we have to offer!

(The full radio interview is available on the web at or ask Violet Gonda for a copy of the transcript)