I have read some foolish things in my life but what Hopewell Chinono said in his recent article takes the biscuit!
“Elections have done completely nothing democratic for Zimbabwe, except removing the national cohesion and destroying the country both economically and morally through toxic politics,” he stated.
“These elections have cost the country close to a billion American dollars in the past 20 years, and yet they have not brought any peace or development to Zimbabwe.
“This country is now in a perpetual election mode and nothing meaningful gets done as all the major parties immediately switch to election language the day after the Presidential inauguration.”
After the usual rumbling on and on about nothing of note Chinono finally addressed the meat of the problem. “The central question to the Zimbabwean crisis is, why are politicians not willing to move and reform the political framework, something that President Emmerson Mnangagwa used as his clarion call during the election campaign season?
“I have spoken to many senior ZANU-PF leaders both in government and at their party headquarters, and the common thread is that they are afraid that political reforms will expose them to an election defeat.”
In his own confused way Chinono has admitted that Zimbabwe is stuck in perpetual election mode because national elections are rigged. Zanu PF would not contemplate losing power and hence the reason the party has stubbornly refused to implement the democratic reforms and give up its carte blanche dictatorial powers.
So to go back to Chinono’s opening remark, “Elections have done completely nothing democratic for Zimbabwe”; it is Zanu PF leaders who have deliberately undermined the little democratic values contained in the Lancaster House Constitution to impose this de facto one-party dictatorship.
“After the removal of Robert Mugabe, we thought that we would be standing on a positive political cusp, but we have regressed back into deeper toxic politics that has done nothing except breed corruption, incompetence and nepotism within the state and beyond,” acknowledged Chinono.
“President John Kufor asked me rhetorically in 2008, “…why are your leaders not empathetic to their people’s suffering?”
“It is a question that our political elites on both sides of the political aisle should start asking themselves too.”
Chinono did not have the wit to answer the question and so passed the responsibility to the politicians. He is constantly hobnobbing with the political elite and yet, a decade on, is yet to ask even one politician this rhetorical but pertinent question.
The reason why Zimbabwe’s politicians are indifferent to the suffering and even deaths of the ordinary people is obvious; the leaders are not democratically accountable to the people. In a healthy and functional democracy those in public office service the public, the people. The politicians serve the people and are accountable to the people. If the people are not pleased with their politicians they are free to remove from office.
This is not the case in one-party dictatorship like Zimbabwe where the politicians have eroded the people’s freedoms and rights including the right to a meaningful vote and even the right to life itself. In Zimbabwe the politicians are not the servants of the people but are the usurper holding the nation hostage, the blood sucking ticks the dog cannot get rid of.
Since when has a tick ever shown any empathy for dog? The tick is concerned with the inconvenience of poor meal or worse still of having to find another host show the dog die! Zimbabwe’s politicians are concerned about the worsening economic meltdown but only because they are being forced to scaled down on the number of palatial mansions, posh cars, trips in hired luxury jets, etc.
Of course, it is the incompetence, corruption and insatiable greed of our politicians that is the root cause of the country’s economic meltdown. And it is povo who have paid dearly for the misrule through loss of income, economic hardships and now with their very lives. To the filthy rich ruling elite, the country’s growing army of desperately poor people is an inconvenience. Indeed, the ruling elite deeply resent that the poor have not dug themselves a hole where they can suffer and die out of sight!
“If President Mnangagwa had implemented these political reforms last year, he would have seen a positive response from the international community that he is yearning to court, but now that he didn’t implement the reforms, we have to work with what is before us,” argued Chinono.
“We have to work with what is before us!” The system is not working, for Pete sake! How can we continue to work with the system that has completely destroyed the nation’s economy forcing ¾ of our people to live in abject poverty!
“This article is my proposal for the way forward because both ZANUPF and the MDC have failed to govern this country, ZANUPF is in power but it undoubtedly lacks political legitimacy across the world,” continued Chinono.
“President Emmerson Mnangagwa must realize that his current dialogue with the 18 losing Presidential candidates is seen as a comical act that will hold NO political currency at all both home and abroad.
“The real discussion with the MDCA should give birth to an agreement that will do away with elections for ten years and form a United Government of Zimbabwe.”
“This will allow for the required and pertinent reforms to take place because ZANUPF will not worry about losing elections and the MDCA will be on the table governing together with ZANUPF and implementing these reforms.”
This is no solution at all! Ordinary Zimbabweans may be bullied into accepting another Zanu PF/MDC GNU the international community will never accept it. It will be nothing but a rerun of the 2008 GNU that failed to implement even one meaningful reform in five years. Of course, no meaningful reforms will ever be implemented even after the new ten-year GNU because Zanu PF will still want to rule at the end of.
Another ten years of this corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF dictatorship sends a shiver down my spine!
Chinono has been forced to admit some home truths he and many other Zanu PF apologists and hardliners have stubbornly refused to swallow until now. And still he could not help but propose a solution designed to appease Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF junta. He only admitted to Zanu PF rigging last year’s elections and thus being illegitimate after agonising over the issue. He did not have the guts to demand that Zanu PF must step down and is offering instead another GNU, just to keep the regime in power.
The solution to Zimbabwe’s political and economic crisis is for the country to dismantle the discredited Zanu PF dictatorship and replace it with a democratic system of government. The nation must appoint an interim administration tasked to implement the democratic reforms culminating in the holding of the nation’s first free, fair and credible elections.