Farai Maguwu | ‘Operation Restore Legacy’ nearly became Operation Restore Legitimacy when the masses were ‘allowed’ to march through Harare and demand that Mugabe steps down. Whilst some of us were very clear that Zim was cascading down to hell, to many Zimbabweans the 18th November march was the greatest moment there ever was in the fight for democracy in the country. But those who thought this was the dawn of a new era ignored many questions they should have answered.
‘Operation Restore Legacy’: Whose Legacy and whats in that legacy?
Whilst the military was very clear in their objective, more than 99% of the people who took to the street or supported the coup from their homes, including the excitable opposition establishment, never asked whose legacy the military sought to restore. Even more worryingly, none dared to question whats in that legacy.
The military said it wanted to restore the legacy of revolutionary elements within ZANU PF. These revolutionaries, claimed the army, were being unfairly kicked out of ZANU PF by G40. The military was also concerned by what it termed instability in ZANU PF. Thus it sought to restore the legacy of war veterans and senior ZANU PF and military officials that was under threat from the Grace Mugabe led G40.
At the heart of the Zimbabwe crisis is the question of legitimacy. ZANU PF has claimed its legitimacy to rule from the 1970s liberation struggle. When Mugabe was soundly defeated by Morgan Tsvangirai in 2008 he declared the pen can’t defeat the gun – a double reference to the liberation war and the current partisan military establishment that silently staged a war against the MDCT supporters till Tsvangirai capitulated and accepted to serve Mugabe under the Inclusive Government. By reversing the MDCT victory in 2008 the Zimbabwe National Army restored ZANU PF legacy.
The fight to ‘restore legacy’ was also witnessed in 2002, on the eve of the 2002 presidential election when the Generals, led by Vitalis Gava Zvinavashe declared that they would not salute a leader with no liberation war credentials.
This legacy is littered with so many graves of innocent Zimbabweans whose only crime was to belong to the opposition. Its the same legacy that led to the Gukurahundi atrocities of the early 80s. No one must feel sorry for Mugabe. He also committed so many atrocities in the name of preserving ZANU PF legacy – their claim to be anointed by a certain macabre god of violence and corruption to destroy our beautiful country till they drop dead. It is this legacy which majority of people ignorantly marched to preserve.
Dawn of New Error!
Now the full fledged militarization of the State, never mind the cosmetic war on corruption which will yield nothing, will perpetuate the ZANU PF ruinous rule for a few more years. The expected elevation of the unelected General Chiwenga to the position of Vice president will complete the subversion of the will of the people or the raping of the nation. There will be more corruption under the military rule than ever before – ask the Nigerians! By allowing the military to subvert the constitution, Zimbabweans committed themselves to a very uncertain future.
The accelerated demise of ZANU PF
The militarization of ZANU PF and the state is the last stand of ZANU PF against the Zimbabwean people. The not so new government will continue to cut out corrupt deals that only benefit themselves and their foreign benefactors. Already reports from Marange say the Chinese are being seen loitering in the community. If the Chinese are back to extract diamonds in Marange, who did President Mnangagwa consult before making that decision? Were the people of Marange, let alone Manicaland, consulted?
Until the military coup, ZANU PF had died due to its failure to transform itself from a liberation movement to a democratic political party. It lacks both internal democracy and the commitment to compete for power with other political parties. This sense of entitlement emboldened the party to plunder the nation’s resources as their fat check for liberating the country from British colonial rule. Hence Zimbabweans were united against the party by the squalid economic conditions created by the ruinous policies and corruption by party officials.
Now with Generals masquerading as cabinet officials, the biggest weakness of Mnangagwa’s government is capacity. The Generals will continue to see everything through the military lenses. Failure is certain. Violence shall be used to suppress dissent but violence has a threshold and this limit will be reached soon.
Thus the military coup is only but a painkiller that will momentarily suppress the ZANU PF illness without taking it out. The demise of ZANU PF is imminent as the party has no capacity or desire to reform. ZANU PF has failed even to learn from fellow liberation movements such as ANC which has cultivated a rich culture of internal democracy. Only yesterday Cyril Ramaphosa won a hotly contested ANC election whilst ZANU PF spent millions of dollars to ENDORSE Emmerson Mnangagwa as party first secretary and President whom they mandated to APPOINT his Politburo. In ANC the top 6 was elected by the Congress but in ZANU PF they are appointed by an individual. This is the hallmark of an outdated and dying political institution.
ZANU PF will fall from power within the next 5 – 10 years and thereafter the party will be in the same category with the Nazi party of Germany.