via ZIMBABWE POLITICAL CINDERELLA SEQUELS UP UNTIL 2013 (Part One) January 9, 2014 By Andrew M Manyevere
Zimbabwe political failures could well fit into the world as a Cinderella story with numerous sequels. A typology of the 2004 American teen romantic film called, and still known as “A Cinderella Story.” The story was done and it still goes on in sequels. Zimbabwe politicians emerged as stars in a political liberation struggle that had been partly led by none military leadership. Indeed it appeared a romantic story of two very dialectically opposed lovers, namely; the settler regime on one hand and the black majority in quest of emancipation to self-rule on another.
For those who may not have read the Cinderella story I have copied the synopsis of it from WIKIPEDIA ENCYCLOPEDIA so you can see the sense to the comparative analogy even though somewhat different it, however, ironically has similar circumstances, except that one is fiction and comedy while the other is an actual tragedy which revolves around romantic hatred.
Looking through the short narration, Cinderella story hits brighter moments in money making. Reflect on the Southern Rhodesia moments when liberation struggles received world understanding and sympathy; putting millions of dollars together as well as having thousands of lives at stake because colonial settlers would not let go to administrative power. The union government created in the 1980s with Rhodesia Front Army sitting alongside with ZIPRA (Zimbabwe People’s Army) Zapu* wing in the liberation struggle and ZANLAR (Zimbabwe National Liberation Army) Zanu* wing in the armed struggle, attracted millions and millions of dollars to close a bloody and ugly struggle and build the ‘new’ nation of Zimbabwe.
Similar to sequels in the Cinderella Story, the Rhodesia Zimbabwe sequels from colonial to post-colonial had their phases, albeit both exciting and none exciting by the same breath. We begin with a tragedy of an armed struggle and go through sensitive yet romantic period of building a Zimbabwe supposedly free of hate. Based on reconciliation of people who had taken time fighting against each other to attain political harmony and build prosperity for all Zimbabweans never became a marriage of lovers but of struggling partnership that was to go on in a different style. It unfortunately ends with a tragedy of a government who run the country economy and the factories and land production capacity to absolutely negative growth leading to closure and relocation of many elsewhere.
As much as we saw the bad in the colonial legacy to the extent of fantasising the ugly part of it, I wish we could intellectually admit to our thirty years of inexperienced muddling through that has led to a management cul-de-sacs and inability to focus better on improvements. Given the depth of managerial failure experienced by Zanu, the turning around has been impossible in order to get a balanced and objective view of what democracy does and mean. In the absence of objective analysis and if we keep measuring progress by what has and is currently going on, we cannot afford, again, to recklessly close our eyes until the economy is collapsed. All Zimbabweans need engage and work a new plan urgently.
Unfortunately with more minerals being discovered in Zimbabwe and with more and more lip service given to uprooting corruption, the desire for change in Zanu is remote and the love to care is factually no more there. Zanu and Mr. Mugabe want to entrench themselves. They want to own everything including Zimbabweans literally. This is and will remain Zanu’s failure, not realizing that people cannot be owned, even slave trade bore evidence that it failed in making ownership of people permanent dismally, except for exploitation of their labour. One can control people through ignorance or denial of information but only for a set time. However long it may take, history has proven that people cannot be docile and fed on political cubage for ever. History continues to negate that world outlook, so we have to be kind firstly, by being honesty to ourselves and to those we govern even if they appear docile. The Libyan rebellion after forty two years of oppression by one person rubs in this concept. Secondly, we have to be kind on the future by progressively debating shortcomings openly and rejecting incompetence upheld through corruption. We have to rid ourselves of corruption, in the complete sense of corruption, in order to unchain the nation from the ransom by unfaithful leadership.
We cannot come out of the underdevelopment siege Zanu has taken the country into, except as we admit that we are not objective against the weakness we have gone and are going through now for over twenty past years. Educational programs are required that emphasise accountability and responsibility while backed by the strong planting of the practice on the rule of law. We need a common vision, not about owning two farms, three Mercedes Benz etc. and to be a Wendy boy to Robert Mugabe. But to educate ourselves into thinking of self-reliance and contribution back to the national budget for every project we engage on. Remove the mentality of being political and government parasites, sustained from government funds instead of making a contribution back to government budget. This will cut down on recipients of corruption proceeds from government in turn reducing corrupt leaders through rigorous accountability program that government will police through a strong auditor general office. In the context outlined above the Cinderella Story to readers will help bring close similarities on how wrong methods in governance can be romanticised and used to hide government incompetence and failure through corrupt leaders supported by corrupt officials.
The brief scenario captured below of the Cinderella Story presents a corollary relationship in infamous blackmail of romance relationship between truth and hypocrisy as it yields none cooperation and in- difference building up hatred of efficiency (what is good) contributing to inefficiency (corruption). That in worst cases scenario in Zimbabwe it contributed to leadership bigotry and personal aggrandizement constantly supported by violence through the use of force. It supports the reason why in real life comedies end up tragedies. Zimbabwe a mixture of both comedy and tragedy in real life can take lessons from the fiction story on Cinderella and the ups and downs to build an ideal governance system.
“A Cinderella Story is a 2004 American film……. The film’s plot revolves around two Internet pen pals (Duff and Murray) who meet at a school dance and fall in love but two different worlds keep them apart. It received negative reviews from critics, but was a commercial success and has since gained a cult following
In its opening weekend, the film grossed $13,623,350 in 2,625 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking #4 at the box office……. By the end of its run, A Cinderella Story grossed $51,438,175 domestically and $18,629,734 internationally, totaling $70,067,909 worldwide.
This was taken from WIKIPEDIA-The Free Encyclopedia)
On numerous occasions reference has been made to how strong the value of the then new Zimbabwe dollar was in contrast to the American dollar, as an example. The fact that the country was without debt irrespective of the fact it was under world economic sanctions from 1965 when Rhodesia White settlers broke away from the British government declaring a Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI). I was then a high school student and my political awareness was beginning to beg for an involvement beyond just the reading of newspapers and listening to radio analysis.
At independence (1980) Zimbabwe had the highest number of graduates apart from ordinary degree holders than any colonized African country at the inception of independence. Obviously this helped for a smooth transition from colonial to post-independence era. The failure to conceptually analyse the issues involved in building ‘new’ Zimbabwe needs rested squarely on the inability to learn due to pride exhibiting in Mr. Mugabe throughout the three and half decades he has held control over the country affairs.
Given that Zimbabwe had just come out of a ten years guerilla-military offensive battle in which out of the three major armies the majority soldiers were blacks it is obvious we had a civil war. Unifying three armies into one logistically kept the country tense for a while. To show the peaceful nature of Zimbabweans the military integration went rather smooth than the unity between leadership. It must be underscored here that Robert Mugabe had displayed his stubbornness and uncompromising tempers, as what he did when called home from Ghana to participate in home politics.
While articulate the question community has never had answered was whether Robert Mugabe had a commitment to the common good of ordinary people. Did he have natural love for people’s social justice or was he too conscious of his person and ego, as for example, aiming to always be on top of the pile? Careful observations of Robert Mugabe political mood and inconsistences reveal the man is a survivor than he is a people lover who sacrifices self for the better of others. When viewing his statement in the context of what he said of Joshua Nkomo when he is dead and buried (December 2013: Nkomo honoured: Zimbabwe Herald). Mr Robert Mugabe underlined the fact that Mr. Nkomo was a humble man which is why he refused being a ceremonial president in 1980.
It was the most stubborn, unkind political rhetoric cunningly presented as though a eulogy for Mr J Nkomo when actually it hid more of the Machiavellian character on Robert Mugabe. To people with little cognitive skills it sounds a humble statement of facts. Our community and society had decayed from two issues:
- Zanu has denied people opposite views by suppressing any media other than state media and radios to feed selected propaganda on community.
- Zanu built real fear through state machinery and corruption of bribery upon those who are loyal to it.
Coupled by the fact that opposition did not exert any pressure than be wooed into politics of reconciliation prematurely, they made community more complacent whether opposition understood issues involved or not. Masses spoke openly but opposition leadership were supposedly deeply immersed in the selection of new homes, new vehicles offered by unity government. Once that happened it meant opposition would slowly die, even though it would not accept this view point. Opposition begun defending status quo. Memory became really short and soon elections were called and opposition had not achieved all she was supposed to have gotten to make elections free and fair. It made people revise their commitment to opposition. Zanu has always played the game of increasing numbers at rallies because they know it plays the opposition parties fools when actually their supporters publicly look many when they are Zanu card holders who aim at killing genuine support for opposition.
Trying to tell any opposition of what is happening they would question, where you get this information when we who are here do not read that situation on the ground. Intelligence is not a property of one man.
Opposition politics is dying in Zimbabwe because all leaders share from the same cup, corruption spoils and differ in their public pronouncements. Their personal and political problems of lack of support is the same except that those in power have special privilege where they use government budget to make their case and suppress others not to talk, sharing the spoils. Is it true that MDC or real honest opposition person talking of actual Zanu ills is safe in Zimbabwe today? Why should a chorus of silence come from all opposition except from an old woman, Sekai Holland, who from experience talks the truth and point out that MDC is not politically safe at all, which is true. We do not need to debate the obvious or else good intentioned people will be confused. We need to remain constant on one message: Zanu is unfair in dealing with Zimbabweans. She divides people as though others were born in the west and other in Rhodesia, when all of us are born in the country poorly run today and cast to dogs under guise of majority rule.
Many Zanu people are not genuine about liberation struggle and that is why Robert Mugabe looks as though the only one left, a true revolutionary. It should not be difficult to understand that very few revolutions can be done by someone at 90 years old. I honestly believe that being in the liberation struggle was just a chance at the right moment. Today is showing the true colours of who Robert Mugabe is, as despotic leader who cares not whether or not the country goes burst for as long as he is the leader. Leaders have given way and allowed a system to grow that can make changes and be flexible still to allow others input their views. No matter how poor, the GNU period showed that if Zimbabweans tolerated each other for the sake of the country progress we will progress. Zanu has begun on the spiral to fail using the same sequel of violence, corruption and western blame politics. Bearing true credence to the old proverbs that:” A leopard does not change its colours.” Ask for example: Why Mr. Mugabe did not take the ceremonial presidency job in 1980 while Mr.Joshua Nkomo took the Prime Minister position? Everybody in Zanu will laugh and tell you that is suicidal. How could it ever have been worse than what we keep seeing under our watch, such political incompetence as shown over and over by Zanu? It is ironic that Robert Mugabe suggests of Mr. Joshua Nkomo humility in his grave when he chased to kill him when he was alive.
Talk of politics as a game of selfishness, Robert Mugabe displayed a sense of self-preservation always seen through in his standing aloof from the crowd only coming in when he knows his roles are clear. He loves to be praised and have women ululate and shout slogans on his name. Mugabe O y e e e e e! Jongwe O y e e e… so goes on the liturgy of his personal praise and glorification by the poor masses. Then he looks so piety and humble, a true posture of hypocrisy. Many people are offended by the way Mugabe walks and talks to people. They know he talks down on people and does not talk with people.
In Zanu, people know of the big contrast between Mugabe and Muzenda for example. No doubt Muzenda was a people person, even though some would want to suggest that it is education which made differences between Mugabe and Muzenda. I disagree and believe it was their personality. Muzenda could relate to workers and could talk and sit and drink with them easily. Muzenda had that simple human background, just like Zvogbo would eat and drink with people in the industry (so it has nothing to do with education of a person). Muzenda could dance with rural folks, sit and eat with them identifying as one with them. Robert Mugabe is artificial, he does not look real. He learnt the Machiavellian tactics of keeping people at a distance, more so those who are subordinates. Subsequently his ministers do not relate to him, they worship him and beg for mercy, always. Perhaps it accounts for why he is an accountable and never given as one advisable even by the SADC leadership.
One time in Nigeria (1979) both Mr Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe were given opportunity to come and meet with the Nigerian authorities. It was close to the London Lancaster constitutional talks. The Nigerian authority were going to feed these two leaders and their delegates when Robert Mugabe claimed that Nigerian authorities should feed all of us or just forget about it. The Nigerian authorities, from a budgetary point of view, forgot about it and Robert Mugabe went hungry in solidarity with us who had come to give him support. It then explained as it has always, that Robert Mugabe was not an economist nor a good administrators, but highly emotional individual who aims at pleasing to gain popularity. I was then close to the late representative of Zanu in Nigeria who agreed with my assessment, but for fear of his privileged position he would not dare say anything about it.
This is the political behaviour typical to all Zanu central committee and members. They know the weaknesses of Mr. Mugabe yet they dare not say it to preserve their positions. Dzikamai Mavhaire once strongly questioned Mugabe’s succession story arguing he was overdue for retirement. He was thrown into political ‘cold’ and was brought back into a political position after.31 July 2013 elections. He has not forgotten what he said except that if he has to survive on politics of corruption, he cannot make it without going along with Mugabe thinking styles. To argue any otherwise is being unrealistic particularly when Mr. Mugabe can have you crucified alive publicly.
The answer is simple but requires sacrifice not to be corrupted by short term loans Mr. Mugabe gives to people who should own the source of the loan itself. There has to be strong alliance between honesty people who see the future more than today benefits in corruption. The people of Zimbabwe need work together now, only now, to cross this bridge by deposing Zanu and her blindness on corruption in governance and install a people government. The alliance between Diaspora and strong forces of good in the country has finally to win over corrupt and incompetent lot currently taking the country to the old road of bankruptcy again.
Much thinking on solutions is required than on wanting to lead when actually there is no clue on direction to take. The Catholics almost got it right again; by suggesting to get a conference among Zimbabweans who matter and talk the future. There are people who have shown their strong will on matters of governance inside the country. There are people who have shown their strong cause for democratic governance in the Diaspora. Bring these together and remove Zanu from controlling state machinery. Establish a neutral force supervised by United Nation to allow transition from autocratic to democracy. Establish strong rule of law to foil corruption finding it easy to come back. It may come back but I am saying we should make it difficult for it to come back. We are far much better experience in governance than when Mugabe and his cohorts, who have run our country down, were when they took power in 1980.
This is part one of my two part series. In part two I will raise fundamentals for good governance that went missing by Zanu blessing the military supremacy over rule of law and the constitution in Zimbabwe. It is a long road and it will only become clearer when we believe we are all equal to participate in the politics of the land with equal voice and to let masses who have been oppressed for far too long take a vote openly and honestly. All people should vote so we settle a direction once and commit to complete separation of powers governance procedures. Power belongs to an educated people, given guidance and direction by selfless tested leaders in commerce, industry, social profit sectors and politics who want the future good for all. We can and will do it. You cannot fail a persistent people. We have to persist and remove Zanu constitutionally out of governance after repeated failure.