Let us strive to save Zimbabwe

HARARE - These are some of the adjectives that one can use to describe the MDC participation in the so-called  “inclusive” government.

I am exactly two years and three months old as a deputy minister in this government.

My  experience as a minister in this apparently unique type of government will be fully disclosed when I write my memoirs.

Suffice to state that, it has been a roller coaster experience of frustration, provocation, anxiety and the occasional spasm of sheer ecstasy and enjoyment of one’s job as a poorly- paid public servant.

The way the inclusive government operates has taught me one fundamental lesson, and this is — to know and appreciate that one should never be too trusting and take everyone you interact with as an honest, patriotic and well-meaning government operative.

For, quite unfortunately, this government has, amongst its ranks, sharks and looters who do not care one iota whether or not the ordinary citizen can afford at least one square meal a day.

Amongst us, we have plunderers, greedy and thoroughly corrupt bureaucrats who have absolutely no shame as they selfishly continue to bleed this otherwise beautiful country, dry.

These are women and men with no shame. Their fat overseas bank accounts and some other such ill-gotten wealth will make the likes of Mo Ibrahim, Strive Masiyiwa, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett green with envy.

No wonder Zimbabwe’s economy is tottering on the verge of virtual collapse. The reason is quite simple.

It’s not sanctions. Stupid!! Sanctions? What sanctions?

Thirty two (32) years of unprecedented Zanu PF misgovernance, corruption and looting has contributed to the state of penury that Zimbabwe now finds herself in.

A jewel of Africa at independence in April 1980, years of Zanu PF misrule have made sure Zimbabwe is now a complete and shameless basket case. “Mauya mauya comrade.....zvamauya tongai Zimbabwe..’’....

This is a famous revolutionary song that I heard as a young teenager in early 1980 when Zanla and Zipra guerrillas were being bused into various assembly points across the country as the ceasefire was slowly but surely taking hold.

There was an air of excitement and utter, complete joy as these brave daughters and sons of the soil were returning to Zimbabwe to rule the nation.

Alas! Little did these gallant warriors know about the exact intentions of some of their leaders. Some of these leaders were never genuinely interested in liberating the people and ensuring that there would be equal opportunities for all.

Amongst the leaders triumphantly returning from Mozambique were some sheep in wolves’ clothes.

These were fake, fly-by-night revolutionaries who were solely guided by their voracious appetite for corrupt, selfish and primitive accumulation of private, personal wealth.

These were the hoodlums and low lives amongst otherwise genuine and well-meaning revolutionaries who had taken up arms of war to fight the illegal and racist Ian Smith settler regime.

And it is this bunch of fake and latter day revolutionaries that has ensured Zimbabwe became the
basket case that it is today.

In a country where more that 80 percent of the people live on less than $2 per day, you have these fat cats who have corruptly externalised billions of dollars to faraway places in the Middle and Far East.

It is these shameless thieves and looters who have degenerated Zimbabwe and not the so-called sanctions that we always hear about in the Zanu PF-controlled print and electronic media.

Ian Smith was under United Nations-sponsored sanctions since his illegal unilateral declaration of independence in 1965.

However, in spite of and despite these UN sanctions, he managed to establish one of the most sophisticated and industrialised economies this side of the Equator.

Smith designed effective import substitution policies that made sure this country was a very close second to the South African economy. And enter the comrades from Zanu PF in April 1980! What then happened?

It is a pity that the inclusive government did not divest Zanu PF of its total control of the levers of state power.

If anything, Zanu PF has misused and abused the inclusive government to resuscitate its waning political fortunes. They have effectively set up a parallel government which is very handsomely-funded by the proceeds from the diamonds of Chiadzwa and Marange.

My  fellow countrymen and women, please lend me your ears. Let me tell you that this country is being looted day in day out. And for as long as Zanu PF continues to control and manipulate the levers of state power, Zimbabwe is doomed. Trust me.

Going forward, all well-meaning and patriotic citizens should take it as their obligation to make sure our mighty motherland is saved from Zanu PF misrule and cleptocracy.

I do not even want to imagine the impossible event happening next year! Just imagine what will happen to this great country in the very, very unlikely event of a Zanu PF electoral victory in 2013?

That will be  total Armageddon. Should such an unthinkable event take place, then forget about Zimbabwe.

For this country will then be permanently forsaken to the ranks of failed African states such as Somalia.

I humbly take this opportunity to appeal to all patriotic Zimbabweans to take up the challenge and
 ensure that, come the historic elections in 2013, Zanu PF will be relegated to the political dustbin where it rightfully belongs.

I am not hallucinating. This is possible. It can and indeed, it should be done if all we want is to save our motherland from total collapse.

We have to launch a “Save Zimbabwe’’  campaign right away.

This is a peaceful and democratic campaign to make sure that Zanu PF get a comprehensive and thorough electoral bashing at the forthcoming historic polls. The MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai should now up its game.

We have to immediately get into campaign mode. Victory is ours to proclaim. The enemy is annihilated already.

Only a miracle will see Zanu PF win a free and fair election in Zimbabwe today, tomorrow nor in the foreseeable future.

And we all know that miracles don’t easily happen!

When the MDC forms the next government next year ( as will surely and inevitably happen), we have to embark on a comprehensive paradigm shift on issues of governance.

Corruption should be ruthlessly clamped upon. I have absolutely no apology to make by disclosing  that I am a Maoist.

I am a great admirer of chairperson Mao Zedong; the revolutionary who helped in establishing modern China.

Of course, there is some debate as to whether or not Mao was a dictator.

I think he was just a strong and effective leader who ensured that China was removed from a feudal mode of production into a modern and industrialising state.

I agree that some scholars credit Deng Xiaoping with the remarkable economic progress of China in the past few decades.

Whichever way you look at it, in Zimbabwe we need our own Mao’s and Xiaoping’s who will step up and ensure that it is no longer business as usual. We  need something more than a mere change of government.

We need a comprehensive and fundamental paradigm shift in which transparency, accountability, efficiency and competence will be the only benchmarks for placement of people in positions of authority and/or influence. Politics of corruption and patronage should be history.

Zimbabwe should be saved from collapse. I am a patriot.

lObert Gutu is the Senator for Chisipite in Harare. He is also the MDC Harare provincial spokesperson as well as the Deputy Minister of Justice & Legal Affairs.

He is also the Africa Heritage Society Goodwill Ambassador for Justice & Messenger of Peace. - Obert Gutu

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