Mugabe has turned a “jewel of Africa”, as President Julius Nyerere called Zimbabwe back in 1980, into the basket case of failed state. Life expectancy, the universally accepted qualitative and quantitative measure of a nation’s standard of living, has dropped from 68 years to a merger 34 years in 2004.
Zimbabwe used to grow enough food to feed all her people with plenty left over for export. Today the nation is suffering under the double whammy; we are failing to grow enough food and are too poor to imported food. We are starving in what is, by all accounts, the Garden of Eden; the greatest testimonial to Mugabe’s failed leadership.
So if Mugabe is a corrupt, incompetent and failed leader then why has he remained in power for 35 years and counting, even in the face of physical and mental frailty due to old age and ill health?
Answer: ignorance and fear!
Mugabe has one of the most secretive regimes in the world, his regime is like a black-hole where nothing escapes its gravitational pull and, once in, nothing ever comes out. It was former MDC Finance Minister, Tendai Biti, who first revealed Mugabe’s secretive parallel government, the Joint Operation Command (JOC), a Junta complete with its own source of generous funding, for example. The Junta is composed of the top brass in the security services, a select few in government and the party and headed by Mugabe himself.
The Junta is getting billions of dollars from Marange diamonds amongst other sources. In 2012 Mugabe alone received $2 billion according to Partnership Africa Canada so together the Junta may be racking in as much as $4 billion a year. Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa’s national budget last month was $3.8 billion in other words the Junta gets more money than the formal government!
Mugabe and the Junta has been making all the decisions, parliament and cabinet are there for window dressing and rubber stamp the Junta’s decisions. Even then, Mugabe has never allowed, in all his 35 years as head of State, even one cabinet meeting to go ahead unless he was there to chair it himself. Whatever decision the cabinet would have made, nothing would have been actioned without his go ahead of course and yet he still wanted to be there. He was just rubbing it in that the toothless cabinet was dispensable.
Mugabe blatantly rigged the 2013 elections but very few people, if any, know even half of what really happened. People like Joice Mujuru and Didymus Mutasa although they held very senior positions in the party and government, VP and Minister to whom CIO reported respectively, do not know much about the rigged elections which is why they have said nothing even after they were booted out of the party.
JOC is not legal body and so there are no formal meetings with minutes and Mugabe meets individual members he is the conduit gathering all the information and making all the decisions but to make sure that he alone has total control of everything he deliberately keeps most of the information to himself. Junta members are told the bear minimum on the basis of need to know to complete their set task.
Mugabe has spies and moles everywhere he knows “even what is happening in the private of your home”, as Didymus Mutasa boasted, before he was booted out! Mugabe’s detailed knowledge of his colleagues has given him power over them; knowledge is power as ignorance is powerlessness.
Where there is ignorance there is fear! To say Zimbabweans across the whole political and societal divide fear Mugabe is an understatement; they all tremble and grovel before the tyrant. Simon Muzenda, Morgan Tsvangirai, Emerson Mnangagwa, Tendai Biti, Welshman Ncube, Joice Mujuru, Augustine Chihuri, you name them; none of them have ever stood up to Mugabe regardless his terrible track record as a corrupt, incompetent and murderous tyrant. They have all time and time again grovelled to Mugabe like serfs because, under that potato skin deep mucho and democrat modernity, they are all medieval serfs!
“Mose muri vakadzi vaMugabe!” (You are all Mugabe’s wives!), complained Margret Dongo. She was expressing her contempt at how her former Zanu PF colleagues had allowed Mugabe to ride roughshod over the people and the leaders themselves.
In African culture the wife is subservient to her husband. If the woman is unlike to have an abusive husband then she will turn to the village elders or her own people to stop the abuse. The poor woman (povo) is in serious trouble if the abusive husband (Mugabe) bullies the village elders (political leaders) as easily as they too were his wives!
Mugabe is a corrupt and incompetent leaders and the political and economic mess he has created should have disqualified him years ago from holding public office. He has been in power for over 35 years now and is determined to continue regardless of the nation’s crying need to replace him with a competent leader because he has “his wives” in cabinet, parliament, Police, ZEC, judiciary, everywhere whose primary task is to keep him in power.
If we are serious about ending Mugabe’s dictatorial rule and get out of the political and economic hell-hole he has landed us then we must implement the 2008 GPA reforms designed to sever the undemocratic links Mugabe has create which have corrupted the Police, Judiciary, Public Media, etc. turning them into Zanu PF departments in all but name. It is only after implementing the reforms that we can hope to have free, fair and credible elections and elect competent leaders to replace these Mugabe “wives”.