Tanonoka Joseph Whande
September 27th, 2012
Zimbabwe, the nation, has bravely struggled to stay alive. Abused since it was “liberated” in 1980, the nation and its resilient people have shown strong determination and staying power since that inglorious day in April 1980 when we were all fooled into believing that the nation and its people had become independent.
Our country and our people have faced the most abject political misery.
For decades, we have watched our so-called liberators mete out cruelty, ill-treatment, violence, not to mention neglect and exploitation of the defenceless citizens who sacrificed the little they had and their lives to liberate the country.
We lost so many of our compatriots during the war of liberation yet to this day, those who fought so hard, those who perished from the enemy’s onslaught and those who were killed by their own comrades remain largely unacknowledged as we are fed drivel about Robert Mugabe liberating Zimbabwe.
There was so much praise of the man; there was so much hype about the political party he led.
Today, ZANU-PF stands as a monument to the depths and the heights of failure. This party, particularly its leader, Mugabe, failed the people and showed the narrow-mindedness, the selfishness and greed of those who trumpeted themselves as revolutionary leaders.
This really is not the Zimbabwe we fought so hard to liberate.
These are not the revolutionaries who came into our homes and received all the assistance, food and protection they required.
But, yes, these are the freedom fighters who defiantly slept with our under-age daughters and sisters; the same ones who took our chickens, goats and cattle to feed themselves while we starved in our effort to contribute to the struggle.
Yes, these are the very same people who are now denying us our right to vote. These are the same people who came to us when we were at school abroad begging for money and support but who are now saying those of our people outside our borders do not deserve to be accommodated to vote in elections of their own country.
The liberators have become enemies of the liberated because of greed, abuse, violence, graft and because the liberty we fought for has been denied us.
These same people failed to maintain what they inherited from the colonial governments. They have failed to carry out national projects that were mapped and pegged by the colonial governments.
Worst of all, they have failed to deliver justice to their own people; they have failed to work and to provide for their country.
Why are countries that are poorer than us doing much better than us?
Why are less educated presidents doing fine jobs as compared to our own leaders, whose president trumpets the number of degrees he has yet fails to put anyone of those degrees to use, with some universities already revoking the degrees they had given him?
Mediocrity was consummated as excellence; now look at where we are.
Our leaders do not possess the sense or wish to serve but to be served.
We are now told that government business has ground to a halt because Mugabe, among other things, “hasn’t got round to reopening parliament” but can find time to go on a jaunt in New York for a useless gathering of world leaders who bore each other to death by preaching silly rhetoric that no one listens to instead of paying attention to the immediate demands of their nations’ problems.
Because of the retrogressive and ridiculous idea of putting everything in the hands of one man, Zimbabwe now fears that there may not be enough time before the end of the year for parliament to deal with several crucial issues that are pending.
And Mugabe is in New York on a totally useless trip that does not benefit the nation.
Mugabe did not care to attend to urgent national business and now many issues have been left hanging, retarding the nation and causing a lot of problems for the functioning of government.
Among the issues affected by Mugabe’s carefree attitude are next year’s budget, which parliament has to deliberate on, the debate on the new draft constitution and ratification of the Human Rights Commission and Electoral Amendment Bills.
Even some of the Bills that parliament passed are gathering dust on the shelves as they await Mugabe’s signature for them to become law.
This is the result of putting everything in the hands of one man who is further not required to be answerable to anyone or to any other authority.
There is absolutely no reason why Mugabe has not opened parliament. This is treason because this negligence is affecting the running of the government and, as such, is causing a great deal of distress to the citizens of our country.
If that silly Draft Constitution does not deal with such irresponsible behaviour, if it does not limit the responsibilities of a president and make him liable and accountable to a higher authority, then they should take that piece of paper and shove it.
There have to be checks and balances; Mugabe, or any president for that matter, must be held accountable for such things and there must be punitive measures in place to control wayward presidents.
Unfortunately, Mugabe is not alone.
There are two others in this government of national unity who appear to be more concerned about their positions than with fulfilling their mandate in the coalition government.
They are all talking elections and are not too concerned about the disastrous direction our nation is taking.
Mugabe is not fulfilling his mandate as president and yet we hear token statements from the leaders of the two MDC formations.
They are now into election mode even though the voters’ roll is in shambles, with people like former Prime Minister Ian Smith, who died five years ago, still on the voters’ roll.
The heart of the matter is that the three coalition partners have let the nation down and none of them should be allowed to contest for any political office. We have seen first hand how they work as individuals and as coalition partners. None is any better than the other. They are all comfortable to remain in or continue with this untenable arrangement for as long as it is possible.
They certainly do not mind this because there is no accountability. How can service to the people be delivered when those in authority ignore the fact that 39 constituencies are vacant and that 27 districts have no parliamentary representation? At the same time, it is being reported that more than 160 local authority seats are empty.
Is there anything more important than this?
Is this not treason, killing our nation slowly?
Yet none of the three cares a hoot about tackling the real problems the nation is facing. They do not mind because none of them has any authority to remove the other and there is no authority in the country to remove all of them from power.
Both Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube are as guilty of negligence of national duty as Mugabe is. They agreed to be part of this arrangement despite people’s reservations and they failed to deliver.
We cannot talk about elections before major issues, such as the constitution, voters’ roll, army and police, oppressive laws, violence and others, have been resolved.
We want a proper government, a properly, fairly and freely elected government. We do not want another coalition government and it appears to me as if this trinity of coalition partners would not mind continuing with such an arrangement even after the elections.
Ncube and Tsvangirai heard about Mugabe’s utterances from New York about “elections at the end of March 2013” at the same time we mortals did. They had not been consulted and yet they go around yapping about elections when nothing is in order to make it possible to hold such elections.
As we talk, political violence is on the increase with people being murdered for attending political rallies.
Each city and town is now having its own vigilante group affiliated to ZANU-PF factions. We are reminded, once again, that the March elections Mugabe announced in New York will not be anywhere near free and fair.
And yet the coalition partners have other priorities other than the wellbeing of Zimbabwe and the welfare of fellow citizens.
We must brace ourselves for another Government of National Unity because there is nothing that these three men would love more than an extension of their moribund coalition government. We must really watch out for they have nothing to lose.
Zimbabwe’s wellbeing has been sacrificed; we mourn for ourselves.
I am Tanonoka Joseph Whande and that, my fellow Zimbabweans, is the way it is today, Thursday, September 27th, 2012.
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