Professor Stephen Chan, of world politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London says VP Mnangagwa will have to make his bid for power this year because he too, like Mugabe, is growing old.
“If Mnangagwa is going to make a bid it really has to be soon, probably in 2016, as younger factions can only gather steam as he grows older. A man in his 70s succeeding a man in his 90s is not going to look like generational change,” Professor Chan told the Daily News.
“But using the war veterans and his military contacts is also looking backwards to support from the past. The problem is that the G40 has no real ideas about the future either. The tragedy of Zimbabwe is that no one has a plan for the future. A nation that thinks and fights as if it were the past will just continue to live in the past as the world moves into the future.”
Professor Chan is stop about the G40 having “no real ideas about the future either,” and what better proof of that then the faction’s insistence that Robert Mugabe, regardless of his advance age at 92 years of age and ill health but worst of all with his pathetic record as a corrupt, incompetent and murderous tyrant, must remain in power to serve his current full term but must be the party’s candidate for the 2018 elections too. Grace Mugabe, the G40 faction’s undeclared candidate to succeed Mugabe, told the Zanu PF one-million man march rally that Robert Mugabe would rule from behind the grave; talk of being stuck in the past!
Before independence people dreamt of freedom, justice, liberty and economic prosperity; the Zimbabwe of the last 36 years, Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, has been worse than many had thought possible. 36 years of gross mismanagement, rampant corruption and lawless have destroyed the country’s economy sending unemployment soaring into 90% plus and forcing millions into a life of abject poverty.
A country that used to pride itself in being the breadbasket of the region is now dependent on imported food aid. Zimbabwe has some of the best land and good weather to grow all the food we want, our problem is one of poor leadership. Out of greed and envy, Mugabe and his cronies seized the white owned farm for themselves but failed to maintain the farms’ productivity.
“Munda hauzvirimi!” as my late mother would say! (A rich harvest comes from hard work not envy!)
In a time and age when man has turned the desert into a blooming Garden of Eden; we in Zimbabwe are starving in the Garden of Eden – a celebration of human ingenuity on the one hand and damning testimonial human incompetence and failed leadership on the other.
The corruption and looting has left Zimbabwe so impoverished we cannot even afford to pay for the imported food. Last month VP Mnangagwa said the country "requires a total of $1.57 billion with effect from February to December 2016." In March Mugabe admitted that $15 billion of Marange diamond revenue was looted.
Mugabe has stayed in power for 36 years only because he has systematically denied the people a meaningful free and fair vote. In his years in power, he has murdered over 30 000 innocent Zimbabwe to establish and retain his de facto one-party cum one-man dictatorship.
In the last 16 years Mugabe has turned the war veterans and security sector chefs, the heroes and heroines of the liberation war to end white colonial rule, into marauding rogues harassing, beating, raping and even murdering defenceless civilians, to force them to vote for him and his party. These men and women fought for freedoms and now they are no better than Ian Smith’s despised storm troopers, “Dzakutsaku”, who too harassed, beat, etc. defenceless civilians, to force them to support the racist regime.
The same rogue war veterans now want to stampede Mugabe out of office and replace him with Mnangagwa. Imposing Mnangagwa on Zanu PF is one thing but imposing him on a nation desperate to end the reign of corruption and tyrannical oppression is something Zimbabweans are going to resist.
The greatest tragedy of Zimbabwe is that after 36 years of corrupt and tyrannical Mugabe rule with the sand glass finally running out on the tyrant, due to old age and ill health; the nation should find itself in this most unfortunate position of having no plan, vision or hope of free, just and prosperous post Mugabe Zimbabwe. There is a real danger of death ending the reign of one dictator only for a new tyrant to take his place.
If we, the people, do not fight now to stop these latter-day dzakutsaku from replacing Mugabe with another dictator; once the new tyrant has tasted the sweetness of absolute power then forcing him/her to give it up will be another battle royal comparable to the one we have been fighting and lost these last 36 years to force Mugabe to give up power!
For the record, we had many opportunities to end Mugabe’s dictatorship with the best chance coming during the GNU; all Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends had to do then is to implement the democratic reforms. They failed to get even one reform implemented. Not even one.
Mugabe has bamboozled his political opponents and rigged the elections to stay in power but the one thing he has failed to do is rig economic recovery. The current economic meltdown has reached the point where the situation is not socially, politically and morally unsustainable and the only way to stop the economic meltdown is by holding free, fair and credible elections.
Regime change is now as certain as the day following night and this is something that Mugabe himself and these dzakutsaku hardliners will have to accept whether they like it or not. The economic meltdown is creating the opportunity which we can use to demand and force through all the democratic reforms MDC failed to implement. This time, we must not waste this golden opportunity!