Revolution gone awry: Zanu PF's last supper

HARARE - This is the end game. Robert Nesta  Marley once sang that “you can fool some people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all of the time’’. He was right.

From the time Zimbabwe attained independence from British colonial rule on April 18, 1980, the Zanu PF had been feeding the people on a consistent diet of lies, hate, fabrications, propaganda, intolerance and looting.

Between April 1980 and February, 2009, when Zanu PF was solely in charge of government, Zimbabwe experienced an unprecedented decline in the people’s standards of living as the government threw all caution to the wind and legitimised, in fact, popularised, looting, thievery, corruption and greed.

In Zanu PF circles, it was just fine to be a crook and a thief.

All you needed to do was to chant the party slogan, “Pamberi’’ and thereafter, you would have acquired a passport to looting, thievery and all the political chicanery that you can think of.

As time went on, Zanu PF functionaries began to believe that corruption and looting were normal occurrences in their government operations.

In fact, if you are not greedy and inherently corrupt and crooked, you cannot survive for long in Zanu PF.

This is true as was frequently testified by the late revolutionary and nationalist, Edgar Zivanai Tekere.

May his departed soul rest in eternal peace.

At independence in April 1980, the Zimbabwe dollar was slightly stronger than the US dollar and it was one on one with the British pound sterling.

The Zimbabwean economy was the second biggest and most diversified in southern Africa.

The University of Zimbabwe was a den of academic excellence that attracted students and lecturers from all over the world.
Indeed, Zimbabwe was a paradise in Africa.

Our roads and general public infrastructure were the envy of the rest of Africa. Potholes were unheard of.

The public transport system in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru and Mutare was run so efficiently it could easily compare with, if not surpass, the public transport system in big cities such as London and New York.

That was the Zimbabwe that the Zanu PF government inherited at independence.

It didn’t take long before the Zanu PF “revolutionaries’’ began doing what they know best, that is, pilfering and looting public resources and enriching themselves.

We all remember how the War Veterans’ Compensation Fund was looted dry.

We clearly remember the Samson Bernard Mashata Paweni scandal of the early 1980s when the then minister of Labour and Social Welfare connived with the late Paweni to loot from the government by over-pricing maize imports during the serious drought of 1982. That former minister of Labour and Social Welfare is still alive and he even sits in the Zanu PF politburo.

He was never arrested and/or investigated for corruption. Only Paweni was used as a sacrificial lamb and taken to prison for a very long time.

We also remember the Willowgate scandal that was so thoroughly unmasked by the famous Sandura Commission.

A number of Cabinet ministers were implicated and some were brought before the courts of law for prosecution.

One senior Cabinet minister committed suicide in total shame. I suppose he felt abandoned and neglected by his erstwhile comrades.
One of these disgraced former Cabinet ministers was promptly pardoned and he evaded prison.

In typical Zanu PF fashion, this thoroughly discredited individual has since been recycled and he is now the Zimbabwean Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China.

This is Zanu PF for you. Vintage Zanu PF. If you steal and/or commit acts of corruption, you are not punished or reprimanded. In fact, you are promoted.

The people of Zimbabwe are not fools. By the late 1990s, they had had enough of Zanu PF misgovernance, corruption and greed.

There were massive food riots in 1998 that were ruthlessly crushed by the police.

By then, the government had lost all moral legitimacy to continue in power.

In 1990, the Zanu PF government, against the advice of leading local academics and the labour movement, stupidly adopted the notorious Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (Esap).

This decision will go down in history as the worst decision ever taken by the Zanu PF government.

It is difficult to understand why the government adopted Esap when all the evidence provided by specialists clearly showed that Esap had never succeeded anywhere in the world.

However, if you talk to Zanu PF mandarins today, they will tell you that Esap was forced down their throats by the “evil” Western bodies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

They will not admit the fact that they were forced to approach the IMF and the World Bank for a financial bailout package primarily because by then, the economy was in a shambles largely due to mismanagement, unchecked corruption as well as misguided economic policies. Thank God there were no “illegal sanctions” then!

The formation of the popular people’s movement, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in September 1999, was indeed, an inevitable and necessary consequence of Zanu PF kleptocracy and obscurantism.

The MDC, led by the firebrand trade unionist, Morgan Richard Tsvangirai, became the people’s salvation from Zanu PF thievery and autocracy.

Against all odds, the MDC quickly reached out to the downtrodden masses and it grew into becoming the biggest and most popular political party in Zimbabwe.

From the time that the MDC was formed, Zanu PF has never won any elections in Zimbabwe.

All elections from the year 2000 going forward, were systematically and unashamedly rigged by Zanu PF.

In this rigging mechanism, the office of the Registrar-General played a leading role by bastardising the voters’ roll.

The voters’ roll was deliberately tampered with and thousands of ghost voters were registered.

The Presidential election of 2002 wins the dubious distinction of the most rigged election.

Only a mentally challenged person will believe the absolute fallacy that the Zanu PF candidate beat the MDC candidate by more than 400 000 votes.

Little wonder, therefore, that the Registrar-General, who has long since surpassed the mandatory civil service retirement age of 65, still keeps his job.

This is a big “thank you” for his sterling efforts in ensuring that, by hook or crook, Zanu PF remains in power.
When the historic elections are held in June 2013, Zanu PF will be relegated to the dustbin of political history by the resurgent MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai.

The massive crowd that attended the MDC 13th anniversary celebrations at White City stadium in Bulawayo on September 29, 2012 is clear testimony of the fact that Tsvangirai will be the new tenant at No.1 Chancellor Avenue, Harare, come June 2013.

Some sycophants and recycled Rhodesian agents, of late, have come out guns blazing.

These lost souls, who were wining and dining with die-hard Rhodesians in some law firm somewhere in the then Salisbury when their peers were participating in the armed struggle, have suddenly become latter day “revolutionaries” and hardliners.

These are shameless and absolute losers who have never won and will never win any election in their lifetime.

We know them very well because they served in the sell-out Abel Muzorewa regime as deputy ministers.

Now these same political turncoats and charlatans have been quoted saying that Tsvangirai will never be allowed to take over power even if he wins the elections next year.

We are not surprised by the shrill sounds coming out of these turncoats because they know that the end game is near. They should start packing.

Only a miracle will prevent the MDC led by Tsvangirai from resoundingly winning the historic elections that will be held in June 2013.

The people of Zimbabwe know that Zanu PF is beyond redemption. Indeed, this is their last supper. - Obert Gutu

*Obert Gutu is the Senator for Chisipite in Harare. He is 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.


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