Tanonoka Joseph Whande
Monday 06 January 2014
Here comes 2014 and I do not know how many Zimbabweans out there expect a new beginning, especially burdened with the kind of brainless leaders we have on both sides of the political divide.
We did not notch any achievements in the just ended year. Now we have to start a new push. We wipe the slate clean and set some new goals to achieve during the year just started.
It is traditional that, at the beginning of each year, people who intend to make the New Year better than the previous one make resolutions. This might be in terms of improvements at work, health, personal issues or any other matters of notable interest to individuals.
Unfortunately, however, most New Year resolutions are forgotten as soon as hangovers dissipate.
Be that as it may, making New Year resolutions gives a glimpse of what one would have liked to achieve in the following twelve months and, from that, we might get an idea about what someone is up to.
So, I am just wondering what New Year resolutions Robert Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai and other political and government leaders made silently to themselves.
Zimbabwe, as usual, was off to a bad start when Mugabe did his disappearing act and left the country, presumably for a holiday. Some opposition politicians cried foul, saying Mugabe was being insensitive to go on holiday when the country was gripped with economic tensions and when there was so much else to be done.
The MDC was quite vocal about it with its spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora, saying Mugabe’s going on holiday at this time was “immoral and abnormal”.
As the Daily News reported, the MDC pointed at the “biting liquidity crunch, cash flight and unfulfilled constitutional requirements” as situations that would force any serious president to postpone a holiday and deal with the issues at hand.
But Mugabe, who has always been as arrogant as the wind, left like he has always done since becoming Head of State.
That, however, does not preclude him from listing a few items for his New Year resolutions. But it appears to me that Mugabe has never known what is good for Zimbabwe. If we were to look back on Zimbabwe’s last 34 years, we would be hard pressed to find a year that was better than the one before it.
Each year has steadily, without fail, been worse than the one before it. Mugabe’s heart is no longer in Zimbabwe. Maybe in Singapore, but not in Zimbabwe. The man seems to have lost his marbles and is no longer in control of either his party, government or family.
What is being used is his name and it is being used in worse ways than what he himself did at his prime. Mugabe is now more of a shield than a spear, with many in ZANU-PF and government hiding behind him. ZANU-PF is in for heavy self-cannibalising starting with protocols at his funeral.
I do not see what resolutions, apart from decimating Zimbabwe and its people, Mugabe might have.
The New Year could not have started any worse for Emerson Mnangagwa. I do not think the man is thrilled whenever Joyce Mujuru becomes Acting President. I, therefore, can only imagine what Mnangagwa’s resolutions are, having taken a battering from Mujuru’s faction in 2013.
Did he plead and reminded the gods that this has to be his year, that the year 2014 is written his name all over it?
Conversely, I wonder what Mujuru’s own resolutions are. I hope the public relations victories she enjoyed over Mnangagwa last year did not lull her into a false sense of security, knowing ZANU-PF as we all do.
But did she also tell the gods that 2014 is her year? Did she plead her case asking the powers yonder what else they want her to do? What was her shopping list, I mean the one she gave to Father Christmas? Did the list include ownership of a certain piece of real estate somewhere along Borrowdale Road?
And what about Mr Tsvangirai; what was his Christmas wish and what did he resolve to prioritise in 2014?
I fear the man has too much on his plate to worry about fairy tales. My wish for him, however, is that he gets control of himself. The bad things that have happened to him in the past continue to be the same ones dogging him today, albeit with different actors.
Mr Tsvangirai’s New Year resolution must be to clean up his image because he is making it difficult for his own supporters to take him seriously. He should slow down and let things settle. He should not even bother fighting to mend issues with his current wife but should stop right in his own tracts and give himself time.
It is not a secret that his personal life has persistently done him bad and has eroded a lot of support and trust from his personal self. Many doubts have been created about his judgment after he found himself embroiled in romantic dogfights with women he wanted to marry and that he married. Of course, of concern also is how he ended up with women who are so close to ZANU-PF’s top echelons of power.
The first time around, it was understandable and accepted as it was but the second time raises a lot of questions.
And yet these are not issues about his advisors; these are issues that require his own personal decisions and judgment.
Mr Tsvangirai must respect his followers and supporters and clean up his act right away, whether or not he remains as party leader.
The heart of the matter is that our political leaders in both government and parties are so polarised against each other that I do not see anyone of them working well with the others.
There is evidently a lot of friction and ill will among our political leaders and this puts Zimbabwe in great danger. Whatever Christmas wishes and New Year resolutions all these politicians made, names of all the others did not appear on anyone else’s list. I am convinced that all our politicians are totally fed up with each other to the extent that they wish each other ill.
Yes, would Mugabe not breathe easier if Tsvangirai was not there anymore? I mean “not there anymore” in the real sense.
What of Mnangagwa and Mujuru? Would their “get well soon” messages to each other be honest ones were one of them be lying in an intensive care unit of a hospital somewhere?
Our demise has always been the inability of our politicians to put Zimbabwe first and their inability to work together for the good of the nation.
But what do we expect when more than half of our legislators were not elected by anybody. Many more are not answerable to anyone except to Mugabe who appointed them to parliament, which, to me, is criminal.
Zimbabwe is starting off 2014 badly. Cabinet ministers confess to attempted bribery. There are unacceptable reports of escalating deaths during childbirths. Poaching. People are unable to withdraw they money from the banks. And threats of strikes are already ringing.
Zimbabwe is being run by organised crime.
I am Tanonoka Joseph Whande and that, my fellow Zimbabweans, is the way it is today, Monday, January 6th, 2014.
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