Mugabe turns on his own

HARARE - At a time when everyone is agreed that life in Zimbabwe is bad and there is need to re-engage with other countries, President Robert Mugabe is actually thumbing his nose at the West, something that both his friends and foes say is a sign that the 92-year-old has lost his marbles.

Just last week, the nonagenarian appeared determined to scuttle his broke government’s re-engagement efforts with Western powers, saying that Zimbabweans would rather suffer than accept conditional assistance from the international community.

Mugabe’s position is a stark contradiction to Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya who have been engaging international lenders such as the International Monetary Fund.

Analysts canvassed by the Daily News said the nonagenarian leader is not concerned with the current economic decline but more worried about maintaining his grip on power.

Political analyst Maxwell Saungweme said “Mugabe is surrounded by liars who are feeding him with lies”.

“...Mugabe may fail to appreciate the plight of the people because he has everything at his disposal. He gets all he needs. He is also of advanced age and is oftentimes misinformed by those surrounding him who tell him untruths to cover their own flaws, incompetence and corruption. We can’t really blame a man of his age for failing to understand fully what’s around him.

“He is also isolated from reality and often made to see only positive things by his advisers and ministers. Leaders by their nature get isolated; more so when their energy levels to visit the people on the ground start waning due to advanced age.”

Saungweme said Zimbabwe desperately needs the international community and donor partners to avert a crisis.

“The majority of our people are suffering and are leading undignified lives due to poverty and hunger. There are no jobs for them to provide for basics needed for a life with dignity. At the same time human rights continue to be stamped upon by both State and non-State actors. This must change and we can’t go it alone. We need external help. We need donor funding, we need foreign aid, and we need NGOs and UN to come in.”

Another political analyst Shakespeare Hamauswa said Mugabe is ever in a belligerent mood and has seen the worst of economic decay under his watch so much that he has ceased to care.

“I think the Zimbabwean situation regarding that issue goes beyond Mugabe’s character. It has to do with how the political discourse has been constructed since the formation of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

“The West was then labelled enemy and the coming of sanctions cemented that conception. Therefore, parameters of re-engagement from Mugabe’s view are different from the generality of Zimbabwe. Nevertheless, the character of Mugabe has an effect on how he responds to such issues. He seems to be on the revenge side and ever ending fighting mood.

“I also think Mugabe has seen the worst of economic decline such that he is not pushed by the crisis but presumably by what he calls economic struggle. His position in power seems unthreatened by the developments currently obtaining in the country so he has nothing to fear.”

The Welshmen Ncube-led MDC spokesperson Kurauone Chihwai also chipped in saying the only solution for this country to go forward is to make sure that Mugabe resigns.

“It is imperative for Zimbabwe to substitute Mugabe with an energetic player who will score the required goals. Zimbabwe has a documented governance crisis regardless of our position on literacy rating in Africa.

According to Chihwai, Mugabe’s vitriolic attacks on the West are not justified given the situation on the ground.

“Mugabe is too pompous and flamboyant for nothing, thumbing his nose at the West while Zimbabwe burns. He has failed to arrest the chaos that has erupted as a result of his corrupt ministers and a decomposing economy.

“He should speak for himself not for us because Zimbabweans are not interested in his sludge. The MDC has a plan to normalise relations with the West and unlock economic growth. Our desire as MDC is to see Zimbabwe leaping forward.”

The analysts’ sentiments cement what Chinamasa said this week when he appealed to Zimbabweans to put aside their differences and work together in wooing investors from across the globe.

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