When one flies back into Zimbabwe, it is like going back in time. It is depressing and difficult not be angered on how President Robert Mugabe has over the years destroyed opportunity and development of our beautiful country.
GUEST COLUMNIST VINCE MUSEWE
The sad part is that most poor Zimbabweans have gotten used to this poverty and those who continue to support a Mugabe dynasty clearly demonstrate that they cannot even imagine a better Zimbabwe that some of us want.
I am amazed, intrigued and certainly disappointed that we are letting Mugabe treat Zimbabwe like his backyard. Now we have the very likely possibility that Zimbabwe will belong to the Mugabes while we stand aside and look.
The exuberant support of the pending appointment of First Lady Grace Mugabe as the head of the women’s league by Zanu PF provinces certainly demonstrates that constitutions and competence do not matter anymore and poses a huge risk to democracy in Zimbabwe.
Having said that, I guess members of Zanu PF, like any other political party, have the choice who becomes their leader. I am still to understand their thinking and motives, but poor masses hardly make informed decisions. However, we who are outside Zanu PF can only anticipate the impending self-manufactured leadership disaster which, unfortunately, will have a negative impact on our country.
Our only responsibility can therefore be to ensure that Zanu PF ceases to be a majority political party in Zimbabwe. In fact, it would be preferable with them completely out of the political picture because this organisation has destroyed livelihoods and continues to pursue policies that are arresting our potential as a country.
In order to achieve that, we must only have fresh new elections after electoral reforms. These reforms must take away sole control of the voters’ roll from
Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede, reconstitute the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and, as far as I am concerned, Zec chairperson Justice Rita Makarau should go. We also cannot have a partisan police force which means that Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri must go.
We must also see a totally free media. These are the tools of oppression that Zanu PF continues to use and as long as they control them, we are wasting our time and building unachievable expectations for those Zimbabweans who want change.
No dictatorship has ever been negotiated out of power. What is critical is for a broad base of democratic forces to emerge and force for political change.
I expect that a convention of democratic movements and civic bodies will happen soon. We must ensure that such a body achieves its objectives and that it is led by credible people with no vested interest in achieving personal political ambitions. That will remain our challenge.
I continue to point out to many Zimbabweans that unless we each take the responsibility to change our country, nobody else will. What we will get instead is the entrenchment of the Mugabes; that is utterly disheartening because they have nothing good to offer to this country.
As the economy collapses, we have seen that Mugabe does not really care nor does he have the capability to turn around our economy. We must also realise that ex-Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai does not have a concrete plan besides entrenching himself as the president of the MDC-T in September.
The renewal team is certainly promising, but again, in my opinion, they cannot have the sole responsibility for the task ahead. Opposition parties have no resources to speak of and most do not have a vibrant membership base and can only fight through Press conferences. Those in the Diaspora are ready and willing to make things happen, but are waiting. We cannot fight a dictatorship through Press conferences, what we need is decisive action on the ground.
We can only build a sustainable inclusive democracy in Zimbabwe through a fundamental change in our political institutions; this will then lead to the emergence of an inclusive economy in the future. Unfortunately those who created these exclusive political institutions are not about to go away.
Personally I do not accept that Mugabe represents my future anymore, I also do not accept that First Lady Grace Mugabe represents the future and can lead progressive women in Zimbabwe. In fact, I do not accept that Zanu PF in its totality and anyone associated with it for that matter can create the Zimbabwe we all want.
I know many of you out there agree with this, but without unity, action, purpose and courage to save our country, we will not prevail. There is really nothing stopping us except our imagined fear and the pursuit of selfish ambition by most of our opposition leaders.
Zimbabwe can prosper, but only without Mugabe and his relatives at the top.