“The students should also find from The Struggle Continues that some of the most negative personal ascriptions in the English language aptly fit Mugabe: tyrannical; murderous; mendacious; disingenuous; manipulative; vicious; conspiratorial; reptilian; greedy; psychopathic; cunning; dissembling; selfish; cowardly; destructive; shameful and shameless - and all of these to the superlative degree, in recognition of his considerable but warped intelligence,” wrote Jan Raath in his review of Senator David Coltart’s book The Struggle Continues: 50 years of Tyranny in Zimbabwe.
Both Raath and Coltart are absolutely right, Mugabe is a monster is every sense of the word! My disappointment with Senator Coltart’s book is that it tells half the story and gloss over the rest.
Senator Coltart was very careful to avoid any mention in his book that the MDC’s principle task in the GNU was to implement the democratic reforms and to draft a new DEMOCRATIC constitution and thus ensure Zimbabwe’s the next elections will be free, fair and credible. The GNU was set up to save the nation from a repeat of the 2008 elections which was marred by vote rigging and wanton violence. The Senator’s book is supposed to be an accurate and historic account of the democratic struggle and yet he shameful and shameless said little or nothing on the issue.
Whilst he has gone into great detail about the overflowing toilets in his ministerial office on the 14 th floor, how he had to walk up there because the lifts were not working, etc.; where are the details of why MDC failed to implement even one democratic reform in the five years of the GNU?
David Coltart admitted the new constitution granted Mugabe, State President, excessive powers without the usual democratic checks and balance, that it was racist discriminatory, etc., and yet he still maintained it is was a good constitution. He and his fellow MDC members campaigned for a YES vote in the March 2013 referendum insisting it will deliver the free and fair elections the nation was after.
The test of the pudding is in the eating. Mugabe went on to blatantly rig the 2013 elections and the Senator Coltart witnessed the vote rigging from a front-seat as he was a contestant in that election. He described in his book how many of his supporters were denied the vote because their names were not in the voters roll although they had lived in the constituency for twenty years or more. Near one million other voters up and down the country were denied the vote for the same reason.
It turns out Mugabe had paid NIKUV, an Israeli outfit, a cool $10 million to tamper with the voters roll, deliberately posting suspected opposition supporters’ details into other constituent voters roll rather than the constituency the voters expected. The unsuspecting voters did not have the chance to have this put right because the voters roll was never released a month, at the latest, before voting day as the law states. Indeed Mugabe stubbornly refused to release the 2013 voters roll to this day!
Mugabe blatantly rigged the 2013 elections because MDC leaders failed to implement the democratic reforms. Why? Well because they are breathtakingly corrupt and incompetent and they sold-out. They were all “too busy enjoying themselves in the GNU, they forgot why they were there,” as SADC leaders remarked soon after the rigged elections in sheer frustration.
Only one or two MDC leaders have acknowledged that MDC failed the nation by failing to implement the reforms. Samuel Sipape Nkomo, himself a former MDC minister in the GNU, admitted that SADC leaders had indeed warned MDC on the need to implement the reforms and MDC leaders ignored the warnings. The rest of the MDC leaders have continued to flatly deny it was their responsibility to implement the reforms and get angry with all who remind them that they sold-out.
Talk of why MDC failed to implement the democratic reforms during the GNU and MDC leaders will very quickly change the subject. They will talk until the cows come home of how it was them who brought the national economy from the brink follow the 500 billion per cent hyperinflation, empty shop shelves, etc. In the case of Senior Coltart, he has spelt out all the smallest details, spared the readers of none, of what a big mess Zimbabwe’s education system was in when he took office. It is all nonsense, of course, because these MDC leaders know perfectly well they could have done all this excellent work on the economic, education, etc., and still implement the reforms! The GNU lasted five years for Pete’s sake instead of the original eighteen months; there was plenty of time to have implemented all the reforms!
Besides, not even one of these MDC buffoons would deny the futility of saving the country’s economy from the brink during the GNU years only to have it fall straight back into abyss again as happened in July 2013 because Mugabe had just rigged the.
“This book should be prescribed as essential reading for students at Fort Hare University (SA) who greeted President Robert Mugabe with wild acclamation when he visited there in May, as the man who gave the white man a good thrashing,” recommended Jan Raath.
I recommend the book to everyone, especially to every Zimbabwean for generations to come, as essential reading for a totally different reason. Book gives details of the human misery under the corrupt and murderous tyrannical rule of Robert Mugabe, how MDDC leaders wasted time instead of attending to the important task of implementing the reforms to end the Mugabe dictatorship and, last by most important of all, how MDC leaders like Senator Coltart have attempted to falsify history to hide their breath-taking incompetence during the GNU.
Implementing the reforms is the key to the nation getting out of this hell-hole Mugabe has dragged us into. MDC leaders, some of whom are in parliament and senate, have not given the task of implementing reforms the serious and urgent attention the matter demands. Even with the benefit of hindsight many still do not appreciate the importance of the reforms, the few who do prefer to sweep reform under the carpet so as not to draw attention to their failure to implement the reforms during the GNU.
Indeed Zimbabwe is right now heading for yet another rigged election in 2018 because we still do not have even one reform implemented. How many more rigged elections are we going to tolerate because we will not demand the implementation of the democratic reforms because all talk of reforms exposes MDC leaders’ historic failure to implement the reforms during the GNU?
The title of Senator Coltart’s book is misleading; struggle for democracy and good governance in Zimbabwe is not just against the tyrant Mugabe and his Zanu PF thugs but even more so a struggle to reject Tsvangirai and his MDC friends for the corrupt, incompetent useless leaders they are. Yes Mugabe has dragged us into this hell-hole but MDC have played their role in keeping us into the hole by failing to implementing the reforms necessary to end the Zanu PF dictatorship!