FELLOW citizens, comrades and friends, it is my sincere hope that I find you all well and in good health. I am quite alright and writing, in this submission, to interrogate the feasibility of what I have considered to be a logrolling approach to the crisis bedevilling our country.
By MUTSA MURENJE
I have noted, in particular, that the so-called crocodile of a Vice-President we once had has since skipped the country and is in self-imposed exile, running away from the same dictator whose power he ironically entrenched when he proposed his nonsensical “one-centre of power” policy.
The one-centre of power that former Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa supported was a “bedroom coup” that guaranteed First Lady Grace Mugabe’s political ascendancy in a manner not seen before in pre- and post-colonial Zimbabwe.
Grace is now presenting a series of headaches to those inside and outside Zanu PF, including members of the military, whose interference in civilian matters continues to undermine State security and the very democracy that they claim to have fought for.
Hiding behind its criticisms of foreign agents working to surrender our sovereignty to the influence of our former masters, some members of the military are clearly dabbling in partisan politics.
They seem to be forgetting that we are politically diverse and that the Constitution that they undermine whenever it’s convenient to do so was produced by a diverse group of Zimbabweans, thereby reflecting the very diversity that needs to be respected.
To, therefore, see Zanu PF as the alpha and omega of our national politics is fundamentally wrong. It’s inimical and antithetical to our democratic aspirations and desires.
It’s not up to the generals in the army to determine who leads us. We, as the people of Zimbabwe, reserve the right to elect our own leaders without the army threatening our peace and security.
If ever the people of Zimbabwe prefer a leader without the so-called liberation war credentials, such a decision must be respected because it would have been reached via constitutional means and not undemocratic means that have always been supported by those calling themselves defenders of our national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Unhelpful remarks by the likes of Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Constantino Chiwenga are cases in point. A few generals in the army cannot hold millions of Zimbabweans to ransom just because they want to secure their ill-gotten wealth at our own expense.
Grace’s ascendancy has seen Zanu PF faithful members falling by the wayside, growing on rocky political ground and among thorns that hindered and interfered with their political freedoms, let alone ambitions.
Mnangagwa’s inglorious and incognito exit from Zimbabwe’s political scene has once again demonstrated beyond doubt that he lacks the aggregate qualities of valour and virtue that his bootlickers continue to preach to those of us who are politically repentant and have seen the political light to the proverbial land of milk and honey for our oppressed and impoverished citizens.
I reiterate that Mnangagwa is no messiah and any serious citizen opposed to the establishment of the Mugabe dynasty in Zimbabwe should look beyond Mnangagwa because he has failed to lead.
Besides, his alleged implication in several murders, including the Gukurahundi massacres, disqualifies him from running for office outside Zanu PF. This, he would have done easily had he continued to enjoy the protection of the murderous regime.
Now that he has been elbowed out, we should start looking at ways to bring him to account. He must pay for his sins committed in post-colonial Zimbabwe.
Though inglorious, Mnangagwa’s political exit and eventual flight from Zimbabwe provides us with essential opportunities for redress for various human rights abuses suffered by our people, particularly those from the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.
Mnangagwa will not return to lead anyone, but his return will be to face justice in our courts. At present, he is a fugitive from justice. He who has nothing to hide does not run away from justice. He faces it and waits to be exonerated for any wrongdoing.
As things stand, Mnangagwa has been reckless in the treasonous statement attributed to him following his flight from Zimbabwe. He must show bravery, return from his hideout and answer to the allegations he is facing.
Former Vice-President Joice Mujuru suffered the same fate that has visited Mnangagwa and it is quite hypocritical for the likes of Chiwenga to choose to intervene now when they couldn’t do the same when Mujuru went down this political path alone.
What has happened now to necessitate such a misguided Press statement from the army? Partisan involvement of the armed forces is one thing that we will continue to vehemently resist.
Stay in your barracks and leave civilians to enjoy their peace. You chose the military, so stay there and should you need to be a civilian, please remove your uniform Chiwenga and we will face each other in the political turf. Stop abusing the defence forces to support your parochial agenda.
There are growing calls for MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai to pass the baton to a younger leader.
Some of these calls have come from unlikely sources. It isn’t so much the source of such calls that matters, but the idea behind them.
I don’t think Tsvangirai is being disrespected here. Every right-thinking Zimbabwean understands the role played by Tsvangirai and what is at stake. As I see it, it is abuse of the electorate if we were to be kept guessing whether the current leader would be fit to run for political office in 2018.
Tsvangirai has already been absent from key political events and his continued absence has deleterious effects on our politics and the MDC Alliance he leads. Thus, out of respect for his privacy, let him be given time to recuperate from his illness.
At the same time, his party needs a new leader whose activities should not be curtailed by accusations of taking over while Tsvangirai is still at the helm.
This is the only chance we have and the MDC Alliance partners can still decide on who should lead them if the MDC were to have a new leader. Given its political strength, the MDC should still provide the leader for the alliance.
And I have some advice for our opposition parties. Consider this advice to be the logrolling approach alluded to earlier in this monograph. We have witnessed fragmentation of the opposition in Zimbabwe and our major weakness to date has been the pursuit of:
“A winner-takes-all and loser-loses-all approach to the resolution of conflicts and in pursuing our goals. Politics has been perceived as a zero-sum-game, as it were. We have not considered both the winner and the loser as part of the same family, which in truth they are . . . As a people and as a nation, we will continually face internal contradictions. They are a perennial part of the body politic. Unless we have a formula or sets of formulas for dealing correctly with contradictions (both internal and external), we are doomed to live in a society or polity where life, as described by Hobbes is, nasty, brutish and short.” (the late Masipula Sithole).
The opposition movement in Zimbabwe carries the hopes, desires and dreams of millions of Zimbabweans at home and abroad. Will they rise to the occasion and show the kind of leadership we badly need at present? Only time will tell.
May God help Zimbabwe! The struggle continues unabated!
Mutsa Murenje writes in his personal capacity