via Congress was all about saving Mugabe 10 December 2014 by Vince Musewe
We must collectively challenge Mugabe’s rule on all fronts or he will have his dynasty soon.
Like little children queuing up to meet Father Christmas, they all filed up to be congratulated by the Mugabes for being elected into the central committee. I still cannot believe that these seemingly grown men and women have accepted that a 94-year-old can represent the future of Zimbabwe.
The endorsement of Mugabe as Zanu (PF)’s presidential candidate for 2018 shows a political party that has been denied the opportunity to re-engineer itself into a more progressive political entity. Whether this will be to its disadvantage or not will largely depend on what we do in the short term. My fear is that we will do nothing.
Mugabe remains extremely manipulative, devious and calculating. Having realised that he indeed could be challenged, he diverted the storm towards Mujuru and her allies, simply because they dared to believe that Zimbabwe’s future could no longer be left in his hands. I don’t blame them at all for daring to think that, it is about time and in fact, they are correct. But unfortunately, that does not make them saints, something we all should be very careful of.
If there is anything we can learn from the purging of Mujuru’s allies, it is that Zanu (PF) members are weak, simple-minded cowards who dare not face the truth. Mugabe knows this and year in year out he has taken advantage of it. He has surrounded himself with cowards whom he dominates through instilling fear, spying on them and threats, while dangling carrots. It always works.
Those who were selected to the central committee are forever grateful and will never challenge him or Grace. This especially applies to the 10 members he personally nominated to the central committee. We must write them off because their fate will always be in his hands. Mugabe does not do favours for nothing. These men are naïve and will remain totally disempowered and forever beholden to Mugabe’s whims. I pity them.
When leaders surround themselves with underlings who dare not challenge them, standards deteriorate because loyalty becomes more important that honest dialogue. I therefore do not expect any changes in how Zanu (PF) operates and thinks.
I also noticed that, in all the speeches at the congress, the minister of agriculture blamed the weather and MDC-T for bad agricultural performance, while the minister of finance blamed sanctions for the economic meltdown. In other words according to their narrative, Zanu (PF) has had absolutely nothing to do with the economic problems we are facing. That is their only language – blame everyone else out there and take no responsibility at all.
“The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside,” said Allan David Bloom the American economist.
In my opinion, this is exactly what Mugabe has achieved by surrounding himself with those who believe that there is no outside. We have dismally failed to remove him through the vote; his party has also failed because he diverts attention and changes the rules each time he is confronted with reality. This he has done since 1977.
We now have Rugare Gumbo, who was expelled from the party, telling us what we have been saying all the time. In my opinion he represents a sorry character, who having been thrown out of the wedding party starts to rebuke the bride and groom. To him I must ask “Where were you all this time while Zimbabwe fell apart and you waxed lyrical about your dear leader who has now expelled you like a little boy?” I remember Gumbo bragging that Mugabe was supreme just a few months back. I have no respect for those who are now complaining simply because they are no longer part of this evil system. We must ensure they never lead again.
We must collectively challenge this system as a matter of urgency. I have no doubt it will crumble very quickly because it is based on imaginary fears. Our problem is that we are not working together and where some of us dare to take the risk, we are not supporting each other.
We must challenge Mugabe’s rule from all fronts and this includes our civic organisations and churches, which continue to complain but are prepared to do nothing. I do not think that most Zimbabweans will accept Grace as President, yet our apathy will result in us doing nothing while we watch her rise.
The next few months will determine whether our politics change or not. Much of it will be determined by what those that have been purged do, particularly Mujuru, and whether MDC-T comes to the table with the masses or not. – Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You may contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org