Mugabe cherishes leadership that must not be held to account

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At the core of the country’s problem lies a guy who many, if not all, Zimbabweans don’t know well. He is not translucent and he is hideous. In many instances he uses proxies to say or direct things which he may later recant or vilify.

An example of this is where he used the Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa to announce the suspension of civil servants bonuses as an austerity measure. When there was widespread condemnation among the civil servants, the government recanted by way of him embarrassing the minister.

Of late President Robert Mugabe is in the habit of talking and giving orders through his wife, First Lady Grace Mugabe. This is his method of putting in front a sacrificial lamb as a way of judging the turf.

Rarely does Mugabe appear in public nor allow to be interrogated through press conferences. Sahara TV’s Adeola Fayehun dared to snatch a chance to extract answers to important questions concerning his rule in Zimbabwe. Mugabe, in keeping with his standard remained aloof.

They were not comfortable questions for him to answer anyway. If the questions had been about the feigned western sanctions he may have stopped and answered. But for sure it was a very uncomfortable moment for him and his entourage but the questions remain important and critical, even if he dodged them. Eventually when he returned home, Mugabe acted as if nothing happened in Nigeria where he had gone to witness real democracy at play. Mugabe cherishes leadership that must not be held to account.

What happens in Zanu PF seems to portray an impression the ruling party belongs personally to Mugabe. Events on the ground seem to confirm this especially after Mugabe ruthlessly fired Zanu PF top brass when it looked certain that a democratic process would usher in Joice Mujuru as Zanu PF presidential candidate for the 2018 elections.

Mugabe flexed every muscle to fire all provincial chairpersons who were likely to vote for Mujuru and replaced these with those who he was sure would endorse his candidature. Mugabe also, without due process, refashioned the Zanu PF constitution to give himself ultimate powers to solely appoint vice-presidents and politburo members.

Giving himself appointing powers allowed him to navigate the “outcome not certain in an election” that was very likely to propel Mujuru to party leadership. At some point in the past Mugabe acted as if he was grooming Mujuru for ultimate takeover, but by acting thus it clearly showed that it was mere pretence, a manoeuvre to keep Mujuru loyal or to suppress a possible alternative. Mugabe is playing juggle, manipulating Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Mujuru. The essence of members choosing leaders after their own hearts is alien to Zanu PF.

Whether there are people pushing Mugabe to hang on or he is driving himself is less certain, for the President and Zanu PF are not freely open or welcome to both criticism and scrutiny. He is so arrogant that he has told both advisors and critics the same “go hang”. So he won’t present himself for an uninhibited, spontaneous press conference, for his standpoint is indefensible given the country’s unchecked corruption, high unemployment due to general negligence and poor, destructive policies that government has orchestrated. Everyone who does evil will not come to light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

The economic demise is largely attributed to his misrule. Mugabe himself is so old that he can hardly run around to attend to problems bedevilling the country.

Besides, Mugabe himself is not the one who formed Zanu PF. he joined midstream, but he has managed to take excessive control of the party and its people through persecuting opposing figures while rewarding the loyal ones even if they were criminals or incompetent. Mugabe and his “thuggish” party have taken centre stage and have assumed, in the background, the control of the State media, electoral processes, security forces and judiciary — the key sectors that enable him to manipulate his election.

The second part of the problem is that Zimbabweans generally tend to be “cowards and selfish”. Change will not come if Zimbabweans wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we have been waiting for. Zimbabweans are the change that they seek.

Yet Zimbabwean people would rather suffer silently under oppression, they would rather all run away and seek refuge in other countries, than openly confront Mugabe thereby fixing the economy and ensure adherence to set procedures. Zimbabweans frequently brag about being an educated lot. But educated people take care of their responsibilities. Contrary to the assertion, right in their eyes, service delivery has deteriorated to almost nonexistent. Ultimately it is the responsibility of the citizenry to monitor and adjust the level of service delivery by holding accountable the government they hired to manage the service delivery.

It should be in the best interest of the government to heed the signs of economic collapse and come out of its denial phase. Mugabe’s intransigence and obstruction to open politics and sound economic policies has precipitated this vending phenomenon such that if he truly want to serve the people, then he should resign and pave way to a new political dispensation that is inclusive, that respects the will of the people. The indicators that the situation is so bad in the country are on the surface, hardly unnoticeable. The situation is getting out of control rapidly such that it should be easy for Mugabe to realise that it is futile to continue in this manner and still expect the state of affairs to improve.