Monday, 15 March 2010


“How do you confront a dictator using democratic means?” Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai asked. He was speaking at the launch of “Cries from Goromonzi – Inside Zimbabwe’s torture chambers.”

This should have been a rhetorical question for the PM, after all he has spear-headed the nation’s confrontation with Mugabe for the last twelve years. Sadly this was a genuine question from a man who clearly has the foggiest idea as to what the answer is. As the report clearly shows, ten years of Tsvangirai’s type “confrontation” has very little. Mugabe’s hold on power and his dictatorship is stronger than ever!

What people should be asking Tsvangirai today is; did he ever ask himself how he was going to confront Mugabe when he first assume the mantle of leader of MDC, Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader and therefore main challenger to Robert Mugabe’s continued rule twelve years ago? By then, Mugabe’s reputation as a ruthless dictator was well established and beyond doubt. Tsvangirai should have had a clear strategy on how to deal with the dictator from the word go; after all he was not the first person to face a dictator.

“How do you confront a mad man, wielding a stick?” That is a challenge that Caveman has faced since the dawn of time.

“Knock him down, disarm him and pity him afterwards!” is the answer.

With time the stick has become a spear, a Samurai sword, an AK rifle or, God forbid, a nuclear weapon. And instead of just one madman the number has grown from a handful of gangsters to dictator with an army a million strong. The answer, however, has remained remarkably the same; knock him down, disarm and pity him afterwards. There is nothing in Tsvangirai’s political career to show he had mastered any of these basic rules.

If the mad man is threatening the peace and/or human life; then “knocking” him down in some cases will have to mean killing him. Violence begets more violence and therefore the use of force must be considered only when all democratic and peaceful means have been exhausted and failed. It is the nature of ruthless dictators to refuse to see reason and thus seem to continue in their destructive and selfish ways; they will become even more arrogant if they are certain no force will ever be used against them. Therefore, the use of force must never be ruled out in the confrontation with a ruthless dictator.

Tsvangirai had no army and it was not a viable proposition for him to start some insurrection. His biggest stick with which to hit Mugabe and his cronies was to remind them that they will be called to account for all their past human rights violation no matter how long it took to end their reign of terror. Instead of being firm and uncompromising on this, Tsvangirai has been weak and feeble; keener to appease Mugabe than to end the latter’s dictatorial rule.

Tsvangirai has used “none violent” confrontation as any excuse for doing nothing. Mugabe has moved from having the Police turning a blind eye to the lawlessness of Zanu PF thugs to the Police, Army and other State Security organs playing an active roll in the political violence and murder of Mugabe’s critics and opponents. Whereas the real champions of none violence Mahatma Ghandi and Dr Martin Luther King Jr, for example, would have organised peaceful demonstrations to expose this serious breach of the Police duties and responsibilities to the public. Tsvangirai has done nothing.

Tsvangirai’s greatest chance to “disarm” Mugabe was in June 2008 after the sham presidential runoff. Mugabe declared himself the winner but the international community refused to acknowledge him as the “dually elected” president of Zimbabwe. Mugabe was on the hook and here was a really chance to force him out of office and end the nightmare of his rule. It was Tsvangirai who left him off the hook!

The legitimacy of the Zimbabwe government was to be based on September 2008 GPA, a power sharing agreement, between Tsvangirai and Mugabe. In the GPA, Mugabe got all his dictatorial powers back and, to add salt to injury, Tsvangirai has been trying to sell the white-washed dictatorship as embodiment of democratic change the nation has been seeking all along!

The past ten years of Tsvangirai leadership has been a repeated lesson on what one should never do when confronting a dictator – appease him! The desperate political situation in Zimbabwe has played a part in pushing the people into accepting Tsvangirai as their champion to confront the dictator Mugabe. But Tsvangirai’s pathetic political performance in the last ten years shows he has neither the strategic plans nor the common sense to confront a canning fox like Mugabe.

Zimbabweans must now look for some one to get the nation out of this mess; Tsvangirai’s blundering has only help give Mugabe the time and space to regroup when the dictator look weak and vulnerable.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010


Does Tsvangirai ever stop to think before he makes all these outrageous public statements! So Tsvangirai is “adamant” free and fair elections are only possible after we have produced a new constitution. What nonsense!

1) The GPA gave the GNU 18 months to produce a new constitution. The GNU is now 12 months old and nothing, absolutely nothing, has been done. And it is not the people but the politicians who are holding back the whole process. At this rate we could wait for another four years and still have nothing to show for it. This GNU was imposed by politicians like Tsvangirai on the people it is ridiculous to hold the nation hostage to a process that was imposed on them.

2) Even if the people were to accept for this torturous constitution writing process to run its course; what guarantees do we have that it will be any better than the one we have now? None. Mugabe wants – and there is a man in this GNU who has always got what he wanted - the new constitution to be based on the Kariba draft, which is just a rehash of the present constitution.

3) Even if Mugabe was to be pressured – at present I can not see where that kind of pressure would come from, but let us just assume it was done – into accepting a people driven constitution. What is there to stop him using violence during the referendum to ensure the new constitution is rejected. According to Tsvangirai, there can not be free and fair elections without the new constitution. By extension, there will therefore be widespread violence during the referendum since the new constitution will not be active then!

4) Even if a new democratic constitution was passed after passing through all the hops and the loss of hundreds, if not thousands of lives; what is there to stop Mugabe disregarding the new constitution and once again use violence to achieve his political goals? We are in this pickle precisely because Mugabe is a law unto himself, he is not going to have a Saul-to-Damascus type transformation just because someone flashes in his face a new constitution.

The GNU was Tsvangirai’s idea and it has proved to be a total disaster. Instead of admitting that and move one; all Tsvangirai is seeking to do is extend the life of the GNU under the pretence that it must write a new constitution.

Zimbabweans must address the thorny problem of how to ensure national elections are free and fair now. Tsvangirai’s hare-brain schemes are designed to kick the problem into the tail grass on the vein hope that the problem will go away. Of course that will never happen, indeed time was made Mugabe even more arrogant and ruthless!

Saturday, 6 March 2010


A jovial Mugabe announces last week that he will stand for re-election in the next Zimbabwe election if his party, Zanu PF, nominates him.

The GNU has allowed Mugabe the economic and political space and time to reorganise his party and reinstate his iron grip on power following the economic melt down leading to the 2008 elections and the sham presidential run-off.

Mugabe had never held free and fair elections since Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980; the March 2008 elections were not to be any different. Still, when the results started coming in, Mugabe realised he stared election defeat in the face! In the presidential run-off Mugabe stepped up his campaign of intimidation, rape and murder to a new frightening level never seen in Zimbabwe or in any other country in modern history. For the first time the Police, Army and the other State Security Agents were not only used to back-up the traditional Zanu PF party thugs; this time, they spear headed the political violence. For three months the nation was turned up side down, millions of people were affected and over two hundred were murdered in cold blood.

The level of violence was so great that Tsvangirai, Mugabe’s challenger, was forced to withdraw giving Mugabe a clear run. Mugabe’s victory was roundly condemned and the international refused to accept him as the legitimately elected president of Zimbabwe.

By signing the power sharing arrangement with Mugabe and forming the GNU; Tsvangirai got him off the hook.

The GNU allowed Mugabe to force his ever demanding and wasteful cronies to accept the close down of his money printing crazy to adopt some basic economic policy changes which had fuelled the country’s run-away inflation and economic collapse. These simple changes have ended the hyper inflation and allowed the shops to fill with food and other commodities.

Mugabe had the upper hand in the GNU and he blocked the far reaching changes economic changes for a full economic recovery. And the political front, the Zanu PF dictatorship has remained untouched; he blocked all democratic reforms. Indeed Mugabe has even managed to consolidate his own political power by getting a lot more Zimbabweans to share in the looting of the country and, worse still, get some to soil their hands with serious human rights violations. As for MDC, he has successfully discredited them forcing them to accept responsibility for the West imposed targeted sanctions.

Mugabe has good reason to be buoyant and talk of fresh elections with confidence; his electoral prospects are infinitely better now than even he could have dreamt possible in the last ten years. The GNU was a marriage of convenience for the old fox, Muage; he inherited the rich dowry Tsvangirai brought. Tsvangirai got nothing but a heart break out of the arrangement. And the people of Zimbabwe, who are the real victims of this failed GNU, they lost a real chance to bring meaningful democratic change in Zimbabwe. They had believed in MDC and had risked their very lives in giving them the greatest electoral mandate to any opposition party in Zimbabwe’s history. It will take a long time and more sacrifices to build up a similar head of steam!