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Mr President, you hold on power through brutality

Opinion & Analysis
President Emmerson Mnangagwa

DEAR President Emmerson Mnangagwa,

Your Excellency, Zimbabwe has long been in socio-economic dire straits. Her citizenry are rendered economic wanderers. Even children of liberation veterans are also scattered in the diaspora.

Sadly, the multitude in South Africa, whose residence and work permits will not be renewed beyond their next expiry dates in June next year are dreadful of repatriation. They are rather content with xenophobic attacks than abject poverty back home. A quirk of fate haunts them.

Your Excellency, nothing is as fraudulent as the oftentimes recited blame of the woes on targeted sanctions. As I see it, it is ponderous to attribute the economic meltdown to the targeted sanctions that were imposed by Britain and her Western allies.

Admittedly, Zimbabwe was in economic throes before the imposition of the targeted sanctions. It is factual that the economy was already structurally broken in the 1990s when government ran the Economic Structural Adjustment Program  (Esap).

Granted, the targeted sanctions were never meant to be a punitive economic embargo on trade and investment initiatives. If truth be frankly told as it ought be, the imposition of targeted sanctions were necessitated primarily by gross human rights violations.

Your Excellency, it has to be said from the onset that targeted sanctions were not illegally imposed. Rather, they were judiciously enforced on some carefully identified individuals and entities within the ruling elite who were grossly enriching themselves through plunder.

They were imposed as an apt act of last resort for violations of human rights. Their intended objective has plainly been to essentially isolate individuals and entities who were collectively engaged in unleashing political violence, deprivation of human rights and corruption.

Plainly, contrary to government humdrum, targeted sanctions were never intended to encompass a universal ban on trade and investment with Zimbabwe. They are not a punch below the belt. Actually, it was amid the backdrop of unremitting march towards total dictatorship coupled with unbridled corruption that targeted sanctions were imposed at the turn of the century, in 2003 to be precise.

An avarice gang whose cupidity knew no boundaries had emerged within the ruling elite. It consolidated its hold on power through brutality as citizens progressively sink into abject poverty.

Your Excellency, the peddled misinformation that targeted sanctions were imposed illegally is a mirage. Methinks, relations could have thawed had government had the contrite spirit. Yet, it chose to be haughty. It was injudicious for your predecessor, the late former President Robert Mugabe who then devised the reactionary Look East Policy.

If government had searched its heart, it could have come to terms with the spirit and letter underlining the imposition of the targeted sanctions. It could have realized the magnitude of its waywardness. But, given his insolence, Mugabe responded in his brassband trademark.

Fast forward to the said “new dispensation”  . . . Your Excellency, not until you earnestly resolve to address the targeted sanctions, the impasse will outlast your presidency. As I see it, it is time you conducted yourself with maturity and sincerity. It takes honesty to be credible.

Unlike the radiance of the new covenant that sparkles with restoration that is revealed in the  New Testament, there is nothing new about your so-called “new dispensation”. A mindset that prides itself in drilling boreholes as did Jacob back then, has no claims to newness.

Your Excellency, apparently, your mulish stance towards the targeted sanctions does not exhibit any newness that can give credence to your said “new dispensation” claims. Like Mugabe, you are obstinate. Indeed your belief that Zimbabwe is being victimized is altogether folly.

Yet, it is a fundamental principle in the diagnosis for remedies to seek a thorough understanding of the problem prior to recommending solutions. Truly, there was need for diligence in the search for effectual solutions for the targeted sanctions.

Aptly, probit would not you have regarded lobbyists as a strategy to resolving the targeted sanctions impasse. It could also not have considered the anti-sanctions marches and all-night vigils as options. It was ridiculous for the regional leadership to schedule an annual day for rallying support for the removal of targeted sanctions. All these are not winsome strategies.

Your Excellency, most of your endeavours for resolutions of targeted sanctions are merely a recycling of the old. If your policy of engagement and re-engagement centres on seeking for solidarity from regional leaders, God forbid. It simply does not suffice.

Calls for the removal of targeted sanctions by several Heads of State from Africa at the recent United Nations General Assembly in New York were basically hollow, without merit or substance. Their blind patronage dulled their pleas. Granted, they offered no counsel at all.

It is crucial for a true brother’s keeper to be objective. Impartiality is of essence in delivering wise counsel. Yet, the Heads of State who called for the unconditional removal of the targeted sanctions were utterly prejudiced, devoid of equity.

As I see it, in their deliberations,  they were duly convinced that their brethren was unjustly treated. They deemed it their kinsman duty to be in solidarity with their victimized fellow son of the soil. It was inevitable that their pharistical warped approach drastically failed them.

Your Excellency, if your government is truly a new dispensation, methinks the burden of proof for the newness is on you. It is incumbent on you to demonstrate conceptual strategies. Yet, like the old, you are content with solidarity calls by regional peers.

Ideally, regional leaders must confront you head on on the need to implement reforms. It does not present them as worthy of attention to stick their necks out in defence of a wayward colleague as they did recently at the UN General Assembly.

They owe it to themselves to bid you to look at yourself in the mirror. Methinks, it will dawn on you that targeted sanctions are not the route cause for the economic meltdown. As reports by the government author-general confirm that corruption has become cancerous.

Your Excellency, scripture declares, “By calling this covenant  new, God had made the first one obsolute and what is aging will soon disappear.” (Heb 8:13). Verily, it is my fervent conviction that  the upcoming Zanu PF elective congress is opportune for the aging to give way for the youth.

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