Saturday, 16 July 2016

Ultimately, street protests are a demand for free vote - secure in 1980 but denied soon thereafter. By Nomusa Garikai

Now that the winds of change are growing stronger and blowing with a sense of direction and purpose we should not be surprised that this corrupt and tyrannical regime has responded by turning up the violence – it’s most tried and trusted response. And to justify the violence the regime has its brainwashed goons parroting their usual feeble excuses.

"We are not going to disclose our strategy because they will do a counter to us. However, those local people (leaders of protests) who are on the forefront are not the enemies, the real enemies are the West and America," Zanu-PF deputy youth league secretary Kudzi Chipanga said.

"We will keep on defending our sovereignty and as the youth league we are watching these developments closely. We promise the nation that we will not stand akimbo when we are under threat. The red button hasn't been press as yet and they day they press it then they will learn their hard lesson."

We have all heard this nonsense before, this is regime that has systematically and ruthlessly denied the ordinary people their freedoms and basic human rights including their right to free and fair elections and even the right to life itself under the pretext that it was doing so to protect the country’s independence and sovereignty.

To spice up their theory of the country’s very survival being under serious threat they have had to throw in the shadowy third hand; after all how can unarmed and simple ordinary people be a threat. The regime then accuses shadowy third force in the form of the West, particularly the British, Americans and lately the French; of pushing its regime change agenda through the “puppet” opposition and brainwashed povo.

So as far as the Mugabe regime is concerned any Zimbabwean seeking to exercise their basic right to free, fair and credible elections which could result in regime change, a certainty in Zimbabwe’s case given Zanu PF’s track record of economic collapse and tyrannical repression, must be possessed by the evil west. The regime has denied any such Zimbabwean their right to a free and fair vote and the brutal violence against such individuals is to exorcise the devil that possesses them and to serve as a warning to the rest of the population what of the penalty of seeking regime change.

There is nothing new in Zanu PF’s denying the people their freedom, human rights and to brutally silence their cries for justice under a cynical cloak of defending the nation’s sovereignty under attack from a fictitious enemy. Ian Smith played the same dirty trick! He too turned up the repression to silence the black majority crying for an end to racist oppression and exploitation under the pretext that anyone calling for change was possessed by the evil communists! He was not fighting to stop black majority rule but rather fighting to stop the spread of communism!

In the end Ian Smith’s white racist regime collapsed because a political system that exploited 80% of the population, denying them a fair share of the nation’s wealth and a meaningful say in the governance of the country was not socially and politically sustainable. This Zanu PF dictatorship is set to collapse too because a political system that is indifferent to the wholesale looting of $15 billion by a few whilst the majority are forced to face a crippling economic meltdown with 76% now living in abject poverty is not socially and politically sustainable.

Chipanga said if people wanted to remove Mugabe then they should wait for the 2018 elections. He accused the demonstrators of fearing elections and thus trying to employ "unorthodox means" to remove Mugabe.

Of course this is a trap! This is a regime calling for elections because it has perfected its vote rigging skill to guarantee it a landslide victory no matter what. In the 2008 elections it cooked the results of the March vote to justify a run-off and then used wanton violence to ensure President Mugabe victory. In the 2013 elections the regime used its vast wealth from its wholesale looting activities to bankroll an elaborate and expensive vote rigging scheme.

What is significant about the political change in 1980 is that the black majority had a political voice; we could vote the racist white regime out of office and that is exactly what we did. The mistake we made was that we failed to secure our democratic right to a meaningful say in the governance of the country.

At the heart of the on-going social unrest and street protest is the suffering brought on by the economic meltdown following 36 years of gross mismanagement and rampant corruption. Although the people were aware Zanu PF’s corrupt and inapt leadership was delivering the mass poverty instead of the mass prosperity President Mugabe kept promising; they was nothing they could do to remove the regime from power. And so for the last 36 years the nation has been stuck with a corrupt, incompetent and oppressive regime.

The on-going revolt will have failed if all the nation succeeds in doing is remove President Mugabe and a few of his cronies from power.  What we must do is implement the democratic reforms to secure the democratic right of every Zimbabwean not just for the upcoming 2018 elections but for all time! 

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