Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Grace rides the 1m men march wave to re-launch G40 not knowing Mugabe has lost his veto on elections.

If anyone thought Grace Mugabe’s “meet the people” rallies – a polite name for her accelerated programme to launch her political career which started in earnest in August 2014 with her ruthless attacked on former VP Joice Mujuru and now has shifted focus on VP Mnangagwa the next threat to her ambition to be the next president – were over following three months of inactivity, the rallies are back and with a bang.


Grace is having a two-day meeting in Bulawayo this Friday and Saturday at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair and no fewer than 15 ministers and two deputy ministers have been collar to attend. Purpose; “the ministers will explain how the city can continue to benefit from ZimAsset and other government programmes,” we are told.


“Can continue to benefit”! What nonsense is this? ZimAsset is dead in the water. Zanu PF promised the nation 2.2 million new jobs in five years following the 2013 elections and three years down the line the party has failed to create even one new job instead the country has lost over 300 000 jobs. Neither Bulawayo nor any other city, town or growth point up and down the country has been saved from the economic hardships of the economic meltdown so the purpose of the rallies is not what we are being told it is.


Zanu PF is now locked into this North Korea mentality in which the powers that be are totally focused on presentation and they do not care about content and substance. Hence the reason the party has been spending a lot time, energy and very much treasure staging these one-million men march, no expense spared meetings with war vets, meet the people rallies, overseas trips, conferences, birthday parties, etc.  All staged with the usual fan-fair, glitz and publicity but nothing of substance is ever accomplished.


The two-day Bulawayo meeting is Grace Mugabe re-launching her G40 faction and her bid to be the next president of Zimbabwe. Her campaign had taken a serious beating when the war vets backed by security chiefs had told her husband they were “the stockholders of Zanu PF and Zimbabwe and he was just a stakeholder who comes and goes!” Grace is banking on the one-million men march as proof that the war-vets were wrong, her husband is still the only stockholder and everyone else is a stakeholder who will come and go at his whim as has been the case ever since Mugabe assumed the leadership of Zanu back in 1974!  


What Grace and Robert Mugabe, as has all the other Zanu PF members engaged in this factional dog fight, have failed to see is that the country’s political centre of gravity has shifted considerably, it is not going to be Mugabe and Mugabe alone who will decide who will rule Zimbabwe as has been the case until now. The 36 years of gross mismanagement and rampant corruption have resulted in a serious economic meltdown that has forced the populous to demand a meaningful say in the governance of the country.


The economic situation with its 90% unemployment rate, 76% of the population living on $1.25 or less per day, health and education services that have all but collapsed, etc. is socially, morally and politically unsustainable. Whether Mugabe or anyone in Zanu PF likes it or not the country’s economic recovery is now right on top of the nation’s political agenda.


Since Mugabe and Zanu PF have failed to rig economic recovery, all these expensive presentational but no substance shows have accelerated economic decline instead of bringing recovery; the people want to see meaningful regime change. Mugabe and Zanu PF have found comfort in the opposition’s incompetence and failure to implement even one democratic reforms and thus leaving the door open for him to rig the 2013 elections. Since no reforms have been implemented since the July 2013 rigged elections Zanu PF is hoping to rig the next elections too. The 2018 elections are increasingly looking like they will be a repeat of the 2008 elections.


The worsening economic meltdown is hardening the people’s resolve to have regime change just as it did back in 2008.  By reintroducing the bond notes, the Z$ by the back door, the regime is recreating the 2008  economic backdrop of hyperinflation, shops with empty shelves, etc. that fired the people to risk life and limp to vote for change back then. They will be doing exactly the same come 2018!


In the desperate effort to retain power there is no doubt Mugabe and Zanu PF will once again resort to the same wanton violence they used in 2008. One has to remind the regime that the whole world including SADC and AU refused to accept its electoral victory as a true reflection of the democratic wishes of the people of Zimbabwe. Zanu PF was forced to join MDC and form the GNU as the price for international recognition and legitimacy. If there is wanton violence in 2018, Zanu PF will not be let off the hook so gently!


The nation is being told a lie that Grace’s two-day rally in Bulawayo in to discuss any substantive economic issues. The rally is a futile attempt to re-launch her bid to succeed Mugabe as president. Little does she understand that unlike in previous rigged elections in which Mugabe imposed his no regime change mantra the people will have a meaningful say in the next elections even if that means risking life and limp as they did in 2008!


One way or the other the people of Zimbabwe are going to have a meaningful say in who rules Zimbabwe in 2018. Mugabe has lost his veto on who rules Zimbabwe and not even a hired one-million men march can change that!


The serious economic meltdown, and all these expensive gimmicks by government have made the situation worse, is forcing the people to risk all for regime change and economic recovery.  


“It is the economy stupid!” said US President Bill Clinton. He was right, in the end it is the economy that is going to force regime change and derail Mugabe and his wife’s ambitions to rule Zimbabwe.  

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