MUCK loves music. All kinds of music, from the golden oldies to Zimdancehall. But one song has been on Muck’s mind this past week while observing the fallout, recriminations and reactions from the elections held last week.
Winds of Change, by the Scorpions, a German rock band, on their 1990 album, Crazy World about the fall of the Berlin Wall and freedom to enjoy sights on the other side of the Iron Curtain.
Zimbabwe, it seems, is still waiting for its own “winds of change” moment because at every election there are disputes, which have always deeply divided the nation.
For more than two decades, the elections have been marred by allegations of vote rigging, manipulation and fraud by those with the means, and the losers complain, and the person on the street is left to fend for themselves, until the next election that is.
Stick or twist?
The Chinhu Changu Chete (CCC) crowd is facing a predicament without precedent in local politics. After winning 73 parliamentary seats and denying the Zany party a much desired two-thirds majority, their leader, Nero, lost the Big One to the Big Crocodile, as he alleges by mostly hook and crook.
They are demanding a rerun of the election with anyone other than the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), something the Zany party would not care for, under any circumstances.
Advocate Fulcrum, he of the pith of the matter fame, has some advice for CCC. He posted on X (a rather ridiculous name for the much cooler Twitter):
- NACZ contributing to arts teaching in schools
- MIHR petitions govt on Lubimbi relocations
- Rising boxer Danzwa braces for biggest fight in her career
- Boustead Beef seeks to end CSC corporate rescue
“You have $100 in $1 notes, a thief snatches $63 and you fight hard to keep the $37; do you hand over the $37 to them in order to make the point that you have been stolen from or you keep the $37 and still try to fight for your $63?”
Some wise words indeed. But has the CCC anger subsided enough to see reason? What will happen when parliament opens and the already broke opposition MPs are presented with brand new double-cab vehicles, loans for shiny new houses and stipends that guarantee some income for the next five years?
Muck sees a rip in the continuum that is Triple C. Muck’s advice? Don’t look back in anger!
Hunt for endorsements
Various concerns on the conduct of Zimbabwe’s elections last week are difficult to ignore. Whichever way one turns, that is the story, ruining the usual beerhall rumblings about how our favourite English Premier League are doing.
Endorsements, it seems, have become the most crucial political capital for our owner after the regional body, the Southern African Development Community election observer mission (SEOM) issued a stinging report on the conduct by his party, its affiliates and that by the body which pretends to manage elections in the country, Zec.
After Sadc, the African Union and other observer groups had finally run out of patience with the antics of our owners to avoid being accountable for their own despicable actions, they actually reported just how shambolic the elections were.
Our owner and his followers were not amused and demanded a retraction. How dare they demand accountability for actions to suppress or deny some people a vote, set up desks at the polling stations to intimidate those trying to exercise their right to vote? Or question the legal shenanigans meant to scare some people from criticising government’s ineptitude? Or the fact that some of Zec’s maths was just wonky?
So, every congratulatory message was seen as an endorsement of the charade and played up in the Herald of absolute truth and what passes for television in this country.
When Muck last checked, only Mozambique, Tanzania and Namibia had congratulated our owner for keeping his seat. South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa also sent his regards, but qualified his message under pressure from a militant opposition in his country.
Same old Zim!
Muck does not want to dilute the following comments from one of Zimbabwe’s business leaders and entrepreneur, Nigel Chanakira, he of the Kingdom/AfrAsia Bank fame.
They echo the feeling of hopelessness for those Zimbabweans, who feel that they are destined to spend another five years in the political and economic wasteland after another wasted opportunity to use the elections as a way of finding a decisive path for economic change.
Chanakira took to X: “So! Elections done and dusted. “Ngoma ndiyo!” (Same old Zim!). It’s back to the grind for some of us; regional and global opportunities look more sustainable from my personal viewpoint so as to diversify and avert earnings, savings, investments, retirement funds and medical aids from being eroded the likely local environment.
“The prevailing blatant and brazen corruption, intolerance, misappropriation of resources, hyperinflation and fragile exchange rate for all who care to see have led me to another fork in the road. Nobody listens and cares anymore within the ruling elite.
“Like most Zimbabweans I used to be timid and private about my political views but I have now become more decisive and openly swayed in a different direction for the sake of our beloved country.
“Folks, we have to engage and dialogue much more with all politicians for a better Zimbabwe. Left alone they will not govern for the people both at national and local government levels, but for themselves. Not that my opinion counts or has ever counted for much, but my prayer is that Zanu PF will reform itself further to become a modern, progressive and futuristic party that is not tone deaf and optics blind.
“Being a rural focused party that does not incorporate the urbanites, the middle class and independent thinkers plus not speaking truth to power, could be its demise. The lack of a 2023 manifesto was shocking to say the least but then, the 2018 election Presidential pledge must have been rather too embarrassing to contemplate a new release.”
Some Zimbabweans, it is obvious, are tired of the same self-defeating politics our new owner has employed since he took over from our previous owner in November 2017.
So bad has been his performance that some Zimbos are nostalgic for the old times under a man who was preparing to “rule over us from a wheelchair”.
Thankfully, the threat from his widow that he would rule over us from the grave has yet come to pass!