THE decision by the War Vets to rubbish G40’s nefarious efforts to make war vets idiotic and passive tools for use and abuse by Grace is commendable. They have now been physically abused state machinery and threatened by some Zanu youths. I will start by giving some background facts before discussing options some individuals and institutions have to prevent Mugabe from running the country into further social and economic abyss.
Serious grievances war vets echoed
Recent demolitions of houses evidences breaches of two fundamental values; the rule of law and shameless disregard of universal values of humanity. “Mothers who had just given birth were left homeless, yet the houses were built with the permission of the authorities,” said the war vets. Saviour Kasukuwere decided to disregard Court orders and went ahead with the demolitions. Mugabe has abandoned the Constitution and citizens are justified to take up arms against such a regime.
Tribalism, making false allegations, and declaring a power take-over
I feel pain and sorrow for the Ndebele children who are told by G40 Ndebele politicians that they are not good enough to be Presidents of Zimbabwe. Grace Mugabe, indirectly, attacked Mnangagwa for visiting prostitutes but Zimbabwe knows she had an adulterous relationship with Mugabe who she knew was a married man. She chose to add pain to Sally n- a dignified motherly figure. The walls of Harare hotels know Mugabe for being loose with women before and after he married Grace, and Grace knows that, so she must denounce Mugabe too.
Grace has attempted to create a revisionist view of the civil disturbances in Matabeleland; one in which her husband is innocent whilst others are villains. She thinks she can use corruption allegations against Mnangagwa but that is because she doesn’t understand the fall of Mai Mujuru. Mujuru’s comments against the publication of corruption, substantially contributed to her downfall; no one believed the coup allegations.
Mnangagwa has not made the same blunder. In fact, he is viewed as a pragmatist, loved by both west and eastern governments, domestic business leaders, some Zanu opponents and boasts of strong credibility with war vets. On corruption and abuse of state resources, Grace and Robert Mugabe are no saints. For example, ZNA and state bodies purchase from Gushungo Dairy breaching government procurement regulations and that is a basis to impeach Mugabe, he has no defence whatsoever.
To distribute government-sourced goods at rallies that clearly exclude non-Zanu people is abuse of state resources- there are so many grounds to impeach Mugabe and they include corruption, mental capacity and incompetence. The wife or husband of the President has no powers of any sort. He or she cannot chastise the vice president, army commander, or anybody for that matter. But Grace has declared publicly that she is in-charge.
‘The centre is not holding’ – the war vet said!
That was a most respectful way by the war vets of telling Mugabe that he is failing. Mugabe responded by beating them and savaging their leader – Mutsvangwa. There is a clear case of ‘the centre not holding’ including a failure to focus the nation’s energies on economic development and the rule of law.
He is abused by the Commander-in-Chief’s wife but Zimbabwe knows that the allegations against him are false. Mugabe has a strong counter-coup mechanism with many units in CIO, ZRP and ZNA – let’s call them GM (Grace Mugabe) Units – secretly reporting directly to him – away from the known chain of command. In a way Bonyongwe, Chihuri and Chiwenga are ceremonial lame ducks, and are themselves under permanent counter surveillance (especially now) by these GM Units.
It is likely that Chihuri did not order the beating up of war vets and most likely that if the ZNA beat-up war vets in the future, the orders would be coming from individuals in charge of these GM-Units. When Grace Mugabe attacks Chiwenga, it’s most likely GM Units would have assured her that they can kill or neutralise Chiwenga and Mnangagwa too.
Mugabe’s response – and also lack of response to Grace Mugabe – make it necessary to inquire into the physical and mental capacity of Mugabe including also an assessment of his ability, willingness and commitment to uphold the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
Chiwenga must write to the Parliament of Zimbabwe and the Constitutional Court requesting consultative advice on whether it is still safe and proper for him to take orders from Mugabe. This does not breach the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Act and there are many lawyers who can assist him. He can take this actions as the official ZNA Commander or even after Mugabe has dismissed him. Chiwenga must also write to SADC. Again, Parliament, either as by majority decision or minority members, can put the matter to SADC and AU.
The political cost on Mugabe will be massive. Whoever of the commanders accept to replace Chiwenga or take orders from Mugabe in the circumstances will have questionable legitimacy, the image of ZNA would be ruined and Mugabe would suffer the domestic and international repercussions that will follow. So, despite being a lame duck to GM Units, Chiwenga has power.
War vet options
They are skirting around the main issue. There is a time for clear speak. It is absolutely clear that Mugabe is losing it, that he is the biggest asset of the G40 and that he is the conduit of a major security risk. It is still strategic to keep Mugabe as our Patron? Other options for Patron: a retired patriotic Judge, a respected Church Leader, Umkhonto we Sizwe/ANC commander, Tongogara’s wife, Chissano, etc. By de-appointing Mugabe, he would get the message that he is not indispensable to Zimbabwe and can be defied.
A draft note for the War Vets to Mugabe:
‘Thank you for having been our patron. The security threats the Party and Country face have placed you in a conflicted position; your wife’s judgment and declarations are extremely inappropriate and by virtue of your proximity to her, it is necessary, for the good of the Party and Country, that we have a different Patron. You tear-gassed us up and your justifications and accusations are disingenuous. Mutswagwa remains our Leader. Thank you CDE for your ‘service’’.
It is also time the war vets as an association reach out to the worker’s union – ZCTU. What sort of freedom fighters do they make if they can’t be friends with workers? Jabulani Sibanda was way ahead of us. Yes, he deserved to be disciplined for his utterances because evidence did not support him then. However, a fair punishment would have been a month’s suspension or less. Clearly, Mugabe abused this incident to neutralise the War Vets in line with his long term strategy. Developments on the ground clearly exonerate CDE Jabu; Mutswagwa and the war vets must humble themselves, apologise to the CDE and bring him back.
The Zanu PF women’s league with the likes of ignorant, poverty-stricken and therefore abusable people like Mahoka, is an embarrassment. Its leadership under Grace Mugabe has breached party protocols and code of conduct. Disciplinary measures must take place. Mugabe cannot be a judge in a matter involving his wife; common decency and the fundamentals of procedural fairness dictate so.
Mugabe’s recent press statement in which he was flanked by Mnangagwa and Mphoko was meant to give the impression that Mnangagwa is safe. He also regretted the bashing of war vets. This is typical of Mugabe’s ‘attack then comfort’/ ‘preach peace day time, use violence night time’ tactic. The war vets or others must insist on disciplinary measures against Grace Mugabe and use the courts to bar Mugabe from interfering in the disciplinary process should he try to.
Is time to get the bull by the horn; tell him he is too old, he must retire?
Operation kekushata, kachembere kagonzo Mumwena-pfingira (K3M) (Trap the evil old rat in the hole). Plans to remove uncouth regimes are meaningless if the option of force is not on the table. I suggest a smart armed struggle; specifically – militarily freezing the airspace of Zimbabwe to both domestic and international flights. Smart in that no one will get hurt except those that strongly desire to.
As long as the UN and SADC are notified, it becomes their responsibility to notify airlines that Zimbabwe airspace is a guaranteed shoot down zone. Any SADC country that allows Mugabe to use its airspace must be frozen too – militarily. Travellers (other than Mugabe and wife) will use the roads to and fro airports of neighbouring states.
Pleading with Mugabe won’t work, especially given the wife he has; a seemingly deranged but determined Grace. The fact that Mugabe (assuming he is himself) just beat up war vets clearly indicates his determination to make Zimbabwe his personal property and is an indication of the violence that will occur in 2018.
Our people, the old and the sick are used to travelling on buses from Muzarabani to Jo-burg, (and some swim the crocodile-infested Zambezi) to buy goods for resale – goods Grace Mugabe has grabbed and distributed at her rallies to intimidated villagers. Grace herself flies first class on tax-payer’s money.
Freezing the airspace will bring the end of Mugabe sooner rather than later and also stop a Mugabe dynasty. The money spent on Mugabe’s flights to Singapore for treatment and holidaying would have built a number of world class hospitals in Zimbabwe and so traping him in Zimbabwe would make him regret his choices whilst still alive. Trapping Grace means she cannot flee to Asian countries which Zimbabwe has no extradiction treaties with. She must stand in Court for her declaration that she is charge of Zimbabwe and other likely criminal charges and civil suits.
Same modus operandi for the hotel accommodating Mphoko who has arrogantly ignored Zimbabwe’s outrage at his choices; warn future customers and the hotel owners and then bomb or burn the hotel if they continue to accommodate Mphoko when pregnant women are dying in hospitals due to lack of health care provisions.
SADC presidents are embarrassed by Mugabe. Our freezing the airspace of Zimbabwe, would give SADC leaders a legal basis to get involved. The Chinese prefer that Mugabe steps down but they, like SADC, will not give the first big push; We Zimbabweans must! We can freeze the airspace and this can be defended at the UN including the Security Council, SADC, AU and easily so in Europe and USA.
I now therefore ask the church, political and NGOs, leaders and people to give press releases if they are opposed to freezing the air space till Mugabe and Grace fall. The absence of such press releases means the nation is united in freezing the airspace as a harmless but effective protest. The young Robert Mugabe organised war against what characterises the rulership of the now 92 year Robert Mugabe.
They regret campaigning against the 1999 constitution but they are repeating the same mistake. The politics of vindictivity saw them celebrate the recent bashing of war vets instead of going out to nurture their injuries. There is higher victory in defending your yesterday opponent and say ‘see this is what we fought against and we would like you to understand us so we can join forces to remove this evil amongst us’.
Mujuru mocked Mnangagwa, imagine if she had said, ‘I know Mnangagwa and his supporters are not trying to kill Grace’s children or any of that Grace nonsense. I sympathise with him and I demand principledness in our politics for a better Zimbabwe’. That’s stateswoman-ship and people would have turned against Mnangagwa for not having stood up for her. Smart politics! Instead she came across as a bitter and vindictive teenage girl with an obsession for power politics.
Sometimes people say, ‘If you refused to be a part of my struggle, you can’t be a part of my success’ and that’s fair. Of the Zanu factions, the one with a sickly 92-year-old and a seemingly deranged wife will lose; it’s just a matter of time. It is therefore wiser to struggle with the war vets and bring an early end to the Mugabe regime. That way you have a basis to be part of, say, a GNU that will see the country till the next elections.
If we only worked with ‘nice’ people, we would never work with anyone. The vendors, the home-less whose houses were demolished by the Mugabe regime, the workers, all the ghetto, and all; it’s time to join hands (with war vets even) and remove Mugabe.
This article is dedicated to (a) the late Christopher Giwa – murdered student leader and political activists (b) ZNA Commanders who were murdered by GM Units for suspected coup-plotting. Those commanders deserved a Hearing in a Court of Law, not executions covered as accidents (c) the honour of the young revolutionary – Robert Gabriel Mugabe NEVER the 92-year-old one.
The cost of peace cannot be the continued unabated suffering of the people under a vicious leader with no mental capacity or desire to protect the constitution and/or lead for economic progress for all.