The violent street protests that have grip Zimbabwe these last few weeks is the people protesting the country’s worsening economic meltdown that has seen unemployment a nauseating 90% plus, 76% of our people living in abject poverty, etc. Meanwhile mismanagement and corruption, the root causes of the economic meltdown, are getting out of hand. The regime has just admitted to $15 billion being looted by the Mujurus consortium alone, according to the public statements by Ministers Kasukuwere and Jonathan Moyo and Grace Mugabe.
The people have resorted to street protests to draw this Mugabe regime to their economic suffering because all peaceful means of registering their suffering have been denied them. Instead of Mugabe listening to the people he has elected to tease them by asking them to vote him out of office if they so wished.
“I am at the service of the people,” Mugabe told his party supporters in Bundura last week. “If the people say go, I will go!”
He knows that the people of Zimbabwe have no meaningful say in the governance of the country, never did and thus lies the heart of Zimbabwe’s problem, How do the people tell a tyrant he/she must go, when they have no meaningful political voice!?
Mugabe has yet to hold free, fair and credible elections as former Midlands Governor, Cephas Msipa, has since admitted. Mugabe was soundly defeated in the March 2008 elections, the nearest the country had come to holding free and fair elections. Mugabe withheld the results for five weeks before he finally released the “cooked” results giving Tsvangirai a lead but not enough to avoid a run-off.
During the next three months of the 2008 presidential run-off, Mugabe subjected the nation to the worst wanton violence the world has even seen in his operation “Mavhotera papi!” (Who did you vote for!) The violence was designed to force the electorate to reverse their earlier vote for Tsvangirai. Millions of people were forced to go into hiding, hundreds of thousands were beaten and/or raped and over 500 were murdered in cold blood. Tsvangirai was forced to withdraw from the race and Mugabe “won” the one horse race!
“What was achieved by the bullet cannot be undone by the ballot!” Mugabe boasted, encouraging his war veterans and party youths who were the storm troopers in operation Mavhotera papi supported by the Police, CIO and Army personal who carried out the heavy duty operations of direction the troopers, abducting and murdering.
Even the SADC and AU election observers renowned for turning a blind-eye and deaf ear to Africa’s culture of all manner of vote rigging and elections violence could not pretend the 2008 run-off was free and fair and the result a true reflection of the democratic wish of the people of Zimbabwe. SADC and AU forced Mugabe to agree to raft of democratic reforms which, if implemented, would result in free, fair and credible elections whose result would be a true reflection of the democratic wishes of the people.
Sadly, not even one of the reforms was ever implemented throughout the five years of the GNU so in the 2013 elections Mugabe was able to blatantly rig the elections. He used the billions of dollars he looted from Marange and Chiadzwa to bankroll a very elaborate and expensive vote rigging scheme.
So when Mugabe told his audience he will go if the people said so, he laughed because he knew as well as anyone else that the people will never ever ask him to go. He has the whole electoral processed rig so that “nothing accomplished by the bullet can be undone by the ballot!”
Since the economic meltdown is set to get worse and not better Mugabe can be sure of one thing the protests too will get worse as the people cry even louder until they are heard because it is in the nature of human being to seek redress and not to go quietly like sheep to the slaughter. Zimbabweans have endured economic hardships and political repression that few other nations would have tolerated but, there is no doubt, even they have their limit.
By closing the door to peaceful democratic change Mugabe has left the people of Zimbabwe with no other option but to resort to violent protest. It is a great pity that the nation has been left with no other route to ending this corrupt and repressive reign of terror that has lasted these last 36 years now. What Mugabe and his useless MPs, Ministers and party thugs must know is that they will be held responsible for all the destruction of property and loss of lives that will ensue from the violent protests.