Is this our 'impunity' era?

HARARE - Almost all countries claiming to be “squeaky clean” democracies have periods during which they seem to be obsessed with an “impunity craze”.

In our case, the attachment to a real obsession with democracy could be what some critics might call “a sometime thing”.

Zanu PF could pander to the essential tenets of democracy, once in a while, but deep-down, where their thinkers really live, it is …a “sometime thing”.

Patrick Chinamasa, the minister of Finance, recently displayed this side of Zanu PF in a Parliamentary performance that must have won kudos for mediocrity and high-handed politicking.

His apology for his “mischief” in presenting his Mid-Term Economic Policy was not enough for any right-thinking citizen to forgive him. He was taking the whole country for a ride, making them look like saps.  

In other countries which take their voters seriously, he would have been fired.

He was really put down by the critics, but it wasn’t enough, according to many people who take politics more seriously than Chinamasa and his ilk seem to. His performance took me back to the July 31 elections in which Zanu PF won what was regarded as an incredibly sizeable vote of approval by an electorate that had almost thrown them out of power previously.

There are still only a few Zimbabweans who regard that Zanu PF victory as anything other than “a fixed thing”.

President Robert Mugabe’s party had done nothing to persuade even the first-time voters to cast their ballot for the “patiyeropa”.

So, it would seem that our “era of impunity” was launched with that victory. Other events which occurred later seemed to confirm that, as the gangsters would say, “the fix was in”.

How Mrs Grace Mugabe became leader of the party’s Women’s League came as something of a shock to many people.

Until then, she had not evinced any fascination with politics, let alone to actually stand on a platform and excite a crowd with a scintillating delivery style. 

There were odd noises of protest from people who thought things were moving too fast to make much sense. Something seemed to be pushing events out of kilter.

In any situation where the idea is to act with impunity over any matter of substance, there is little time to pause and examine things closely.

There is a certain disregard for time and niceties when what concerns you the most is to get things done fast.

As its incompetence as a government, could have won the July 31 poll with such a thumping majority.

It was as if the MDC-T leaders, their candidates, their campaigners and even their voters had gone on one huge skokiaan binge for the entire election period.

When they all woke up, the voting was over, bar the counting.

There must come a time, pretty soon, when the people who care enough about Zmbabwe’s future, ought to regroup and sort out what is turning out to be a real mess.

Clearly, the doctrine of handling the country’s problems as if all they need was to apply the “impunity” formula is likely to land us in disaster, if we are not on the brink already.

Zanu PF must know that it is living on borrowed time: its policies have failed disastrously and the international community may not be patient with them.

Now is the time to pull the rug from the party’s feet — fast, somehow. 


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