Monday, 17 October 2016

EU has never funded "regime change" - as if it is the dirtiest phrase ever! By N Garikai

When one is dealing with a corrupt and tyrannical regime like this Zanu PF dictatorship one has to be extra, extra careful about what one says because good intentions will have unintended tragic consequences when you have a regime like this Zanu PF one that has mastered the art of cherry picking.

"We are surprised that the accusations are that we are propping up the government and supporting activities that are meant to remove it. The truth is the EU has never funded any form of regime change activity and we challenge those who are accusing us to come forward with the evidence," said European (EU) ambassador to Zimbabwe, Philippe van Damme.

In Zimbabwe elections have become a contest between President Mugabe and his Zanu PF government against what President Mugabe has called repeatedly “puppet opposition parties setup and funded by Western governments for the sole purpose to effecting regime change in Zimbabwe, regime change agents”. What Ambassador van Damme has done is deny funding regime change activists but, more significantly, has tacitly confirmed Zanu PF’s claim that there are “regime change agents” out there!

Who are these regime change agents?

The truth is “regime change agents” was conjured up by President Mugabe to label his political opponents and critics to justify his next move to deny them and the ordinary Zimbabwean who might have wanted to vote for them the right to free, fair and credible elections. So statement like that of Ambassador van Damme is only helping Mugabe get off the hock of having to explain who these regime change agents are by suggesting that they exist and they are not a figment of his tyrannical imagination.

What Zimbabweans should have done from the word go is challenge President Mugabe to explain who these regime change agents are because this is a phrase that has no place in a democratic society where regime change is accept as perfectly acceptable outcome of a free, fair and credible electoral process. An election process that does not produced regime change cannot be a free, fair and credible election because the two concepts are mutually exclusive.

What President Mugabe must tell the people of Zimbabwe is whether or not he still subscribes to the notion that every Zimbabwean has a birth right to free, fair and credible elections.

We, the people of Zimbabwe, have to ask ourselves whether we too truly believe and hold the right to a meaningful say in the governance of this country as a sacrosanct and inalienable right? Because if we do, then it was a criminal negligence on our part to have allowed President Mugabe and him alone unilaterally deny us our right to free and fair elections repeatedly these last 36 years under the falsehood that we would never freely seek regime change! Of course we had good cause to seek regime change, given Zanu PF’s pathetic record in government!

President Mugabe is a corrupt and murderous tyrant and decades of his misrule has reduced the country's once promising economy into ruins with millions out of work and basic services like health and education have all but collapsed. Zanu PF has remained in office for the last 36 years not because the people of Zimbabwe did not want regime change; by repeatedly rigging elections President Mugabe has made it impossible to have regime change.

The nation is now desperate for meaningful political change, it is totally unacceptable that Zanu PF should be allowed to maintain the status quo by denying the people their fundamental right to free, fair and credible elections under this falsehood that regime change is incompatible with the nation’s aspiration for freedom, justice, liberty and good governance.

Europe and all the democratic countries in the world hold free, fair and credible elections which have resulted in regime change. There is not one democratic country in the world that has retained a corrupt and tyrannical regime for 36 years; name one, just one, and I will eat my horse-hair wig! So why are people like Ambassador Philippe van Damme going the extra mile to distance the EU from regime change as if it is the dirties phrase in politics!

Just because President Mugabe does not want regime change regardless of his performance and the democratic wishes of the people of Zimbabwe does not mean we, the people of Zimbabwe, must abandon our demand for free, fair and credible elections with regime change as a distinct possible outcome; even if all the democratic nations out there should seek to appease President Mugabe agreeing with him.  

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