Zim poised for regression and sterility

via Zim poised for regression and sterility by Tendai Biti, MP

IF THE election of Jacob Mudenda as Speaker of Parliament is anything to go by, then Zimbabwe is heading for reversal, regression and more sterility.

This man has been around for a long time. Now in the late summer of his life like most of them, he has not been known for anything associated with progress and uplift meant of our people.

He was Governor for Matabeleland North during Gukurahundi, and those who know him well speak of his complicity and downright co-operation as the forces of evil decimated lives and rearranged destinies, playing God with souls.

Since February, he had been controversially appointed chair of the important Human Rights Commission, a body which unless there is a fundamental paradigm shift is all but dead.

With such a rich history of nothingness, the man is now the Speaker of Parliament. Heaven forbid!

How long is this country going to be tied to the primitive reward system of patronage over competence and ability? An incentive system based on the loyalty of boot-licking as opposed to the loyalty of delivery and performance? A system where meritocracy does not exist but the length of one’s tongue and the reach of the same.

I see that Arthur Mutambara has joined this band wagon. At least his side kick, Larry Mavima, had the courage of openly joining the Revolutionary Party and riding into Parliament on the back of some seat in Gokwe. The rocket scientist prefers the rickety but smelly route of using his long tongue.

I thought those of our generation would remain true to some modicum of principle, but in these days of immorality, values of chivalry, consistency and ability to stand up to one’s cause have really gone to the dogs.

I thought this was the essence of the October 4 generation and values from same. Lovemore Madhuku, Munyaradzi Gwisai, the late Sam Matsangaise and others must be puking somewhere. Our children’s children will desecrate on our graves. Shame.

But the shamelessness is not a monopoly of local actors. They do not come as poorly written and as mendacious as the latest report from SADC Election Observer Mission. It is not even clear what the document is. Recall that an interim report was given and therefore the whole world is waiting on a final report of the July 31 election. This is not SADC’s final report but a poorly-written four-page document headed: “Summary Statement of the SADC Election Observation Mission to the Harmonised Elections in the Republic of Zimbabwe Held on 31 July 2013.”

The document is not and does not purport to be a summary of the Final Report. In fact all references to factual issues are derived from the Interim Report. Put in simple terms, it is not based on any fresh facts other than those contained in the Interim Report.

Without any new facts being proffered, the document is an opinion, an attempt to fill in and twist new conclusions not supported and not made in the Interim Report. What are those conclusions that have to be made even though no new evidence has been supplied and no final Report has been produced?

Well the report itself is very open on this, it says: “As you may recall the main message in the preliminary report was that the elections in Zimbabwe were free and peaceful. However, we had reserved the two issues of ‘fairness and credibility’ deliberately waiting for the compilation of the reports from our Observers in the covered constituencies. Therefore, that is what I am going to do today.”

You can fool others sometime, sang the late and great Bob Marley, but you cannot fool everyone all the time. As said before, no final report has been produced. Bernard Membe, the Tanzanian Foreign Minister, makes no reference to the Observer reports he alludes to above, other than the Interim Report.

Then following a tortuous process of dishonest reasoning, he arrives at the dishonest new conclusion that the election was FREE, PEACEFUL AND GENERALLY CREDIBLE” (my emphasis).

What in the world does GENERALLY CREDIBLE mean? It is either credible or not. The point is that credibility pertains to legality, correctness and sustainableness. There is no middle of the road. Credibility is not a subjective concept, it is a legal objective concept. The concept of FREENESS is one that is subjective, flexible and elastic.

The interim report cited so many things that impeached on the credibility of this election. These included:
# the issue of the flawed voter registration exercise
# the failure to provide the voters roll to the parties
# challenges around the special vote
# the media challenges
# challenges with printing of ballot papers
# use of voter registration slips

These are things that cannot be washed away. They are real. Where in the world do parties go to any election without a voters roll? Under what circumstances do you call that credible or generally credible?

Why not, Mr Membe, measure these elections against SADC guidelines? The thing is Mr Membe, one plus one, no matter what you do, can never be equal to seven. It can never be “generally seven”.

But why are all these shenanigans being done even at this late stage? The point is that of legitimacy. As long as the elections have remained stuck with the suffix of free, fair and credible, legitimacy will always be an issue.

The consequences of illegality are that Zimbabweans should be allowed once again to choose a leader of their own choice. The consequences are that no normal, self-respecting country can properly engage with our country at a time when massive capital is required. The consequences are that we will remain mired in the quagmire of predatory, exhausting politics.

But legitimacy will not be bestowed from a poorly-written statement from an individual. It is important for SADC to be fair to the people of Zimbabwe. It is important for SADC to respect the people of Zimbabwe and to recognise that Zimbabwe is bigger than the interests of Zanu PF. It is important for SADC not to debase its legitimacy and credibility.

More importantly, it is important for us Zimbabweans to resolve our issues amongst ourselves at times, to avoid unsavoury exposures to dubious interests.

Do some people genuinely want to see Zimbabwe progress or rather they prefer to see us continue to limp as an outpost of conflict and division, unable to produce goods that can threaten their grip on the region’s export markets?

I wonder, I really wonder.

But more importantly it is important for a change to put the country and its people first. The country is suffering. The economy is stagnating, retrenchments are on the increase. The informal sector continues to grow.

Above all, let us resolve the albatross of illegitimacy so as to move forward. The clouds are gathering. It will be a long winter of despair. But this is avoidable. If only good sense, wisdom, and genuine selflessness and patriotism can take charge. Even for a second. If only!

Tendai Biti is the MDC-T secretary general and MP for Harare East. He was Finance Minister between February 2009 and August 2013



  • comment-avatar

    Good article Mr Biti, unfortunately there are not may more like you in Zimbabwe who can make it a great country. God bless

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      Biti, best of luck. It doesn’t look good for anyone except those that are profiting from this morass.

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    zimbo 9 years ago

    I have read many of Mr Biti’s articles.Tell it like it is sir,tell it like it is.Can’t wait for the next one.

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    manford 9 years ago

    zimbabwe is good as a non existing country, the country will never be as it was before 2000,

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    Rocks tone 9 years ago

    But you must be very care ful mr Biti the more you become vocal ,slowly they will be trailing and tracking till they nail you down ,the mass still need you & be watchful

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    Africanson 9 years ago

    Prophet of doom. You don’t wish your country anything good. I am not surprised that you also contributed in punishing your country with sanctions. Remember you did nothing for the farmers and you expected them to still vote for you. This is the time to wish the country well while preparing your party for the next elections.

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    chimutengwende 9 years ago

    Cry my beloved country

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    Your article is great , you have got all the qualities that we need to take Zim to another level ,were you not given this kind of an opportunity to table all this while involved with ZANU PF government for the last four years? As you are a highly profiled person i have got a feeling that you have got to refrain yourself from this web site people will take advantage of you and that will not be good at all .

    Tell us about the way forward , don’t cry like us better give us hope ,lead us forward and strategies for the future of the party . MDCT confronted the elections so divided thats why they so many independent candites from the party , what are you doing now to bring all members together , what explaination to have to us as the supporters which might have resulted to our loosing apart from allegations that elections were rigged.
    Mr Biti remember that these articles you keep on writting doesn’t reach to the required destination but only to people who have got the necessary resources (computers). Millions of people out there are waiting for you to say something , start working on that and visit them with a word of confidence ,you are a highly profiled person stop this and protect your status .

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    tendai 9 years ago

    Usually if you see someone once promising starting to hang around with low lives and daft idiots..you will know there is something wrong somewhere….That’s Mugabe who started off with a five star all inclusive cabinate in 1980 and ended up with the filth he has now….started off with Sally and now ended with Yondo Sister…..its the measure of the man…..no constructive individuals last around him…a sign of impending doom….

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    Jackson 9 years ago

    You are that kind we refer to in our culture as ‘vanonovhiyiswa mbudzi padare’. How so out of touch you are with reality. What a loud discord your response is.

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    Thanks Tendai, You are a shameless agressor of the truth and we need you sir, and to never let the perpitrators of evil forget that they are indeed very evil. “One thing for the triumph of evil is when good men do nothing” You are a good man…keep doing! The Lord Bless and protect you.

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    Africanson 9 years ago

    Jackson, i was in Zimbabwe and only left February 2009. I have been doing my budgets annually for my department. We were doing our budgets after a good presentation from known economist like Robertson etc. I saw my budget being affected with the kicking in of sanctions. why don’t you ask Biti he will testify for you that sactions did affect the country not ZANU PF. I dont support parties i support and defend the truth. May be if you could expalin what you mean by out of touch?