Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Will Mnangagwa scrap the offensive "one centre of power" clause - his first real test N Garikai

Zanu PF is a de facto one-party cum one-man dictatorship and there in lay the seed of its own destruction. Robert Mugabe, being the control freak he is, has become obsessed about controlling everybody he has given those below him fancy position such as Vice President, Minister of this, CEO of that, etc. but never delegated to these individuals any real power and authority to do anything. He was so fearful of someone else out shining him.

People soon learned that doing a good job in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe was a curse that would cost you your job.

After surrounding himself with mediocre performers with himself as the star performer out shining them all; he was the sun and everyone else was just a distant star whose luminosity is so low they are invisible as long as the sun is visible. Mugabe became the one centre of power. The problem is very little was ever done, and hence sowing the seed of self-destruction.  

President Mnangagwa has reportedly instructed his ministers to pick one or two projects in their relevant area of responsibility the would like to do from the list of outstanding projects discussed in cabinet but never acted upon because the control freak Mugabe would not delegate the power and authority. After 37 years of mediocre or none performance it is little wonder the country is in a serious economic mess.

For 37 years the country has gone down a ruinous path and no one in the party dare tell Mugabe to change direction for fear of being fired.

It came as no surprise that at the party’s first Central Committee of November 19, since the forced removal of Robert Mugabe as party leader, Zanu PF resolved to amend its constitution to remove any notion of one-centre of power.

“A few weeks after its supreme law-making organ sat in Harare to show a radical departure from the old order, the party now appears split in two minds over the idea,” reported Zimeye.

“Zanu PF’s secretary for information and publicity, Simon Khaya-Moyo, told the Daily News recently that Mnangagwa will have the discretion to appoint VPs and the national chairperson – which goes against the spirit of discarding the one-centre of power principle.

Oh dear! This is where it takes a visionary leader, capable of putting the commonwealth's interest above their own individual selfish interest, and scrap this offensive constitutional clause. 

Even before Mugabe formerly changed the party’s constitution in 2014 to give himself power to appoint the two VPs and party chairperson, Mugabe had always tempered with the constitution to suit his insatiable appetite for absolute power. He saw to it that only his name was in the hat for the top post of first secretary of the party. So instead of there being an election it was always a coronation. He manipulated the process to fill the three senior party positions in the same way. So, instead of congress electing the candidates it rubber stamped his chosen candidates.

“Why should the party impose someone that a leader can’t work with? It becomes dysfunctional. A leader should be able to choose his team,” said Alex Magaisa.

“Democracy should always be tempered with mechanisms that ensure sound and efficient administration. If it’s the ruling party, his cabinet should as far as possible reflect the party scenario.”

Mugabe selected everyone he wanted and, being the control freak that he is, he made sure they are all simpletons like Simon Muzenda and Joice Mujuru. For the last 37 years Mugabe has dominated his party and government to produce one of the corrupt, incompetent and utterly useless administrations in human history. Margaret Dongo once called Zanu PF MPs, cabinet members and senior party leaders "vakadzi vaMugabe" (Mugabe's subservient concubines) and she was right.
 An administration in which everyone has the confidence to express their view without fear of being fired is a positive and necessary for a competent government. A political party belongs to all its members and not just the party's top dog and all the members must have a meaningful say in who leads them.

Zanu PF lost the popular support of the nation because a party in which no one was allowed to do anything was doomed to fail to delivery on its key promise of gutsa ruzhinji (mass prosperity). So, to stay in power the party had no choice but to deny people their freedoms and rights including the right to a meaningful vote.
After 37 years stuck with one corrupt and useless tyrant Zanu PF members should be demanding the scrapping of the one-centre of power which is just a more subtle way for one-man dictatorship. The party members’ demands are the same as those ordinary Zimbabweans are making; the implementing of democratic reforms to scrap the one-party dictatorship.

Sanctions to remain and Zanu PF blame Biti for it - deal with cause not messenger

We have had the debate on whether the targeted sanctions on Zanu PF leaders to pressure them to uphold human rights including holding free, fair and credible elections are justified or not. The debate has been reduced to meaningless one because of the denials of the facts and verbal diarrhoea coming from Robert Mugabe, his Zanu PF cronies and apologists.

“I can understand and forgive Peter Godwin for calling my President Mnangagwa names, I can forgive Senator Booker for being trigger happy and wanting to keep punishing the people of Zimbabwe with more punitive measures, but it’s unforgivable for Tendai Biti, who claims to have the suffering masses of Zimbabwe in his heart, to call for sanctions to remain till elections are held,” wrote Harare East Zanu PF MP Terrence Mukupe in Zimeye.

“How could any serious putative future leader of our country ask that ZIDERA remains in place?” added Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Retired Major General Dr Sibusiso Moyo.

This is just nonsense because:

1)   All this talk of the opposition calling for the sanctions is nonsense because the West are perfectly capable of making their decision on foreign policy without farming it out to someone else specially Zimbabwes corrupt and incompetent opposition. As soon as MDC leaders joined the GNU in 2009 they started lobbing the West to lift the sanction and the latter ignored them.

Instead of addressing the real issues that led to the imposition of the targeted sanctions serious human rights violations including failure to hold free elections ; Zanu PF is doing what it does best, forget the message attack the messenger even when he is just a tea boy.   

2)   Mugabe and all his Zanu PF cronies are hypocrites because before independence they all supported the imposition of sanctions on the Ian Smith regime as another way of applying pressure on the regime to accept political reform. The White regime argued then, just as vociferously as Zanu PF has argued, that the UN sanctions cause more suffering on the black majority, but most blacks still supported the sanctions regardless because continued white rule caused even more suffering.

If anything, the suffering from Zanu PF misrule has caused even worse human suffering than that caused by Smiths racist regime whilst the suffering brought by the targeted sanctions have been nothing compared by that brought by UN sanction.

3)   Argument that the sanction should lifted to give Mnangagwa and his team the benefit of the doubt that they will embrace democratic change is another nonsensical fallacy. Last months coup was about stopping Mugabe handing over power to his wife and the G40 factions and, in the end, it was necessary to replace Mugabe himself and a few others close to him. Power was restored to the Join Operation Command (JOC), the Junta that has ruled the country with an iron fist all these last 37 years.

The Junta has masterminded and executed all the vote rigging and political oppression to secure absolute power for the partys ruling elite and coordinated and corruption to secure wealth for ruling elite and their family and friends and cash to bankroll the partys vote rigging activities. The coup was about restoring JOC members dominancy in the Zanu PF dictatorship and now that the task has been successfully completed the vote rigging, etc. will continued as before.

President Mnangagwa is well aware of the demands to implement the raft of democratic reforms to designed dismantle the dictatorship and create a democratic Zimbabwe. He has said nothing about implementing any reforms in his inauguration speech or since. He knows Zanu PF will not win free, fair and credible elections and, just like his old boss Mugabe, he has no intention of giving up power and hence will not implement any reforms.

The corrupt and ruthlessly oppressive Zanu PF dictatorship of Mugabe days has changed the top dog but otherwise nothing else has changed, of that we can be 100% certain. To therefore suggest we should lift the sanctions to give it the benefit of the doubt that is has changed when all the evidence on the ground says it has not changed one iota is being plane stupid.

Foreign Minister Moyo has certainly played his role in JOCs treasonous vote rigging and looting activities in the past. He is the one who announced the military coup on ZTV. No doubt his ministerial posting is his reward. After decades of rigging elections it is naïve to expect someone Minister and his putsch to suddenly give up JOCs carte blanche power to rig elections and risk their new found political power after just a few months in power!

The Americans have decided that the sanctions against targeted Zanu PF leaders must remain in place and will be reviewed after next years elections; they are clearly not stupid.

4)   Last but most important of all, the root cause of Zimbabwes economic meltdown behind the 90% unemployment rate, the poverty that has left 72.3% of the population living on US$ 1.00 or less per day, etc. is the 37 years of gross mismanagement and rampant corruption under Zanu PF rule. The nation has been stuck with the regime all these years because Mugabe assisted by his right hand man Emerson Mnangagwa and others in the Zanu PF dictatorship have denied the people their freedoms and basic human rights including the right to free, fair and credible elections.

The white regime of Ian Smith was under tougher UN sanctions and the economy then never sunk to the depth it has under Zanu PF although the sanctions are nowhere near as tough. Mugabe has been blaming his failure to get financial assistance from WB, IMF, etc. on sanctions when the truth is they cancelled all credit lines because his regime was failing to service its debts. Even the Chinese, his all weather friend, have long stopped lending Zimbabwe for the same reason.

Mugabe admitted two years ago the country was being swindled US$ 15 billion in diamond revenue. No one has ever been arrested and not one cent recovered. We know the swindling has not stopped because a year ago Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, told parliament he was get 1/6 of the expected revenue from diamonds. No nation, under sanction or not, can sustain this level of economic haemorrhaging much less thrive; it is no wonder the Zimbabwe economy, with its mere US $10 billion GDP, is in total economic meltdown.

The frankly the targeted sanctions have been an inconvenience at most in limiting the richs shopping trips to sanction busting UN meetings, for example. Other than that, the fat cats have become filthy rich; they have mansions, vast business empires and have lived lavish lifestyles. The targeted sanctions been God send for Zanu PF, regime was blamed the sanction for all the nations ills.

Instead of lifting the targeted sanctions, they should have been fine tuned to include the ruling elites family members, for example, who have been the conduit to siphon the looted wealth into the West in violation of the sanction.