Thursday, 19 May 2016

Mawarire #thisflag social media sensation evokes Arab spring memories and panic in equal measure. By W Mukori

Higher Education Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo is accusing the US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Harry Thomas Jnr, of fanning Arab Spring type of social media unrest in Zimbabwe. The Minister is responding to the #thisflag social media started by Pastor Evan Mawarire in which Zimbabweans have been complained about the country’s economic hardships and corruption – row nerve for a corrupt and incompetent regime.

 

“US envoys ignited social media revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, whose common outcome was bloodshed. (US) government declares Zimbabwe poses a continuous security threat to (its) interests. And some people think that’s okay. If these images don’t tell the story of the evil ways of US interference in Zim affairs, none will,” twittered Professor Moyo.

 

As Zimbabwe's economic meltdown is the one problem this Zanu PF regime has been warned was not sustainable ever since the regime assumed power after the rigged July 2013 elections but it would not listen. Pastor Mawarire talked about his despair at failing to raise enough money to send his children to school; his posting have gone viral because millions of other Zimbabweans can relate to his suffering because they are in the same boat with him.

 

An economic situation in which unemployed has soared to 90% plus, where millions are living in abject poverty, there is no clean running water for weeks even months on end, regular electricity power cuts are the norm, etc. is not sustainable. The situation becomes totally unbearable considering the millions being squandered by the entourage that has been in the Far East for over a month for the birth Mugabe’s grandson, billions looted to bankroll rigged elections, etc.

 

In March Mugabe admitted that $15 billion of revenue from Marange diamonds was looted. $15 billion that is the nation’s GDP for Pete’s sake! He did not seem concerned and so far, two months later, the nation has heard of no one being arrested but, worse still, there is no reason to believe the looting has stopped!

 

 

In two months-time the economic situation is set to get even worse with the introduction of the bond notes; Z$ by the back door. The bond notes will fall in value compared to the basket of foreign currency because people will be chasing the latter needed to pay for imports given we import a lot more than we export. Any attempt to reduce imports will result in price rise and/or shortages of food and goods; taking the nation back to the 2008 days! The people's outcry then, be it through #thisflag or whatever, will go up a few more decibels.

 

We are in this economic mess because for the last 36 years this Zanu PF regime has found comfort in excuses or finding scapegoats for the nation’s problems instead of addressing them with the seriousness and sense of urgency they demanded. Minister Moyo is blaming the Americans for the social unrest caused by the worsening economic situation out of habit; old habits die hard especial if they are dirty too! Unlike in the past this time the economic situation has reached crisis point; this time Zanu PF will have no choice but to do something to address the worsening economic situation.

 

Since Zanu PF itself has run out of solutions to deliver any meaningful economic recovery the party will have no choice but to accept meaningful democratic reforms followed by free, fair and credible elections. Mugabe and Zanu PF have resisted regime change for the last 36 years. It has taken the economic meltdown forcing unemployment to soar to 90% plus, forcing millions into abject poverty and forcing millions to scatter all over the globe to escape economic poverty and/or political oppression to force the regime to finally loosen its iron grip on power. Regime change is finally upon us!

 

It is the economy stupid!

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