by Vusimuzi Sibanda – lib Dems Zimbabwe.

We have gone through the press statements of the War Veterans of Zimbabwe. We have listened to political commentators, we have listened to political outcasts from the ruling party or from disintegrating political parties, we have observed the body language of those falling out of favour with any of their parties. One thing has come out very strongly, none of those that are under a dark cloud have ever shown signs of dissatisfaction against their party whilst all was well. It is only when they have been kicked out that they begin to vilify the policies and practices of that party.
Interestingly many of them are kicked out kicking and screaming protesting their innocence.

This behaviour has been surely outdone by a man then so uneducated, a man seemingly so naïve and gullible but he did it in style. The Julius Sello Malema of South Africa EFF, in our view he has no head over his shoulders, speaks without thinking most of the times but he has not shown that he misses ANC. He was fired and he never looked back. In Zimbabwe, all the fired show that nonchalance to live, they show nostalgia, they clearly are walking but ever peeping through the windows to see what is happening back at home. They behave like a divorced partner who prays for the other partner to suffer until they return to them.

It is understandable because they have not learnt to live, they mainly were free loaders, living on borrowed time at the expense of everyone else. The War veterans today, reject Mr Mugabe, in particular the ones issuing the Press statement in Sandton, but they were rejected by him first. Even the current office bearers were water cannoned last year or so. The Mutsvangwas now appeal to all Zimbabweans even in the diaspora but they were behind denying the diaspora vote, they told people in the diaspora to come and vote at home or they would never vote. They now know Dabengwa after throwing him under the bus a long time ago. Mr Mutsvangwa stands for Mr Mnangagwa but never stood for Mr Dabengwa, but wants to appeal to him because he hopes now to appeal to a sector of the Ndebele people which is often exploited by those in political doldrums/wilderness.

He vilifies Mr Jonathan Moyo passionately as the sole cause of this fiasco and along mentions Kasukuwere and Dr Amai but you can sense the thin veil. The same war veterans supported the bashing of people and looting of farms and vote rigging. They all hailed Mr Mugabe because they were under ZANU PF. It is our sincere hope that Zimbabweans do not have such amnesia to forget the last dreadful seventeen years. Unfortunately in our case, Zimbabwe, we thrive in confusion, the current situation in Zimbabwe with no cash, no business activity has brought up the law and practice of agency, where one would ask the way to a particular spot, that person would be charged by an unemployed youth who will say I will take you there as though that person did not have their own feet, interestingly in this case such youth will jump in your car and say drive let me go show you, and you pay for that.

The money situation, the shortage, in most cases the ‘money changers’ help create shortages indeed, are they wrong? No! They understand the principle of economics of supply and demand. They need to feed their families and the only job they could find is that and they will defend it to the last breath. Unfortunately, most of them are runners for politicians who are the main benefactors who enjoy the big loot. The government in some cases is trying to come up with policies but, they are unschooled to handle the problem at hand. There is serious sabotage in Zimbabwe. It is everyone for himself. Everyone has had to find a means of survivng and there is a population that does not want the situation to change because they fear the prospects of a functional country where they do not know how they would behave. They can hardly see themselves doing a decent day’s work to earn a living but rather know what they call hustling.

In a functional country everyone has to work, and many cannot afford or commit to finding a job, the transport touts, they will wait on the bus stop to pass on passengers to a motorist who wants to pick a hiker. These touts forcefully demand payment from the motorist as if they created the trip for that person or forced him to travel. At the border, just to get your passport stamped to cross or complete a T.I.P, someone offers to help, when you consider the person they are in some case less literate and can hardly write compared to you being offered help. Once you have a little luggage, they work closely with immigration officials who frustrate you so that you can use these touts so you can pay a bribe where you are not even supposed to pay a bribe. The country ultimately loses income at ZIMRA, ZIMRA has serious leakages, including all sources of legitimate revenue streams, because of the mentality of our people.

It is the same kind of nonchalant behaviour towards our political situation that kills us Zimbabweans. You will find parents bragging about their child in UK, how they travelled to visit the child in UK or South Africa. They do not care to understand the trouble the child goes through to make a living, but rest assured the child suffers. They even put pressure on their children to go out of the country as if that was a milestone so that they can say, “aah wangu ari Joni kana ku UK” – ‘eyami ingane iphesheya’, as if there is a medal for being abroad. Ultimately, we have a generation that is non-patriotic and knows nothing and cares less for Zimbabwe.

These are the effects of our political situation caused by the ruling party, all its members, the War veterans and all beneficiaries of the system. We are not going to sympathise nor ever trust these people. We saw them in action, they all killed, maimed, looted and now they are not fighting for our freedom. They are fighting to get back to the helm and continue looting. If recalled to ZANU or given positions not even one of them will turn down the offer. Professor Jonathan Moyo is a typical example, he was hurt when expelled but as a true political science person he fought his way back and will avenge his cold days. Who wouldn’t? Vilify him all you want but he is a true reflection of yourselves except he can fight his battles and continue being useful for as long as favour is on his side and once he falls out of favour he has to fight. It is yesterday when he was being thrown under the bus for the ZIMDEF thing. He had to fight to survive unlike many spineless outcasts. You can’t fight your battles but want to use us ordinary suffering people, shame on you, when in the sun, you never thought of us as anything worth a second glance.

Fellow Zimbabweans, the only job in this world that does not consider qualifications seriously is being a politician. However, this does not mean people must not use their brains to elect people to offices. Politicians are elected based on promises. The question is can you trust Mutsvangwa? Can you trust ZANU? 2 million jobs? Can you trust Mujuru? The list is endless. All we are saying is, a reasonable person must look at the word of these people and see if they stand by their word and if things go wrong do they come back to the people to explain themselves and account for their actions? Are they accountable to you as the electorate? African politics, and we the people allow it, turn office bearers into demi-gods, we do not take them to task for their promises, and yet we only engage those people based on their promises. If that is all you can go on to trust a person, due diligence will then impose on you the task to consider seriously the past behavioral tacts of this person. Has the person always behaved honourably? Can their word be trusted? Is the person known for any leadership qualities that are notable? Are they a thief? Are they egocentric or people-centred in their approach to life?

We owe it to ourself as Zimbabweans to change the course of history. We have no liberator other than ourselves. No one can fall from heaven or outer space to come and redeem us from this political quagmire. The solution lies with us. We have to begin to use our brains and stop being instigated to act on the bases of tribal inclinations or racial grounds. Unless we accept the wrongs that we partook in and self-correct and call a spade a spade, we continue the downward trend of socio-economic and socio-political decline and degeneration. Unless we take to task and impute blame where there is blameworthiness and stop blind loyalty that say I support so and so and will hear no evil and see no evil where this person is concerned, then we are going nowhere and we are even passing a legacy of stupidity to our children. Our Children wonder daily when we complain of hunger, starvation, unemployment and serious economic decline and yet they hear us speak highly of the political players of the day. We confuse these children. We blame other countries and fail to take accountability for our kleptocratic tendencies and non-meritocratic appointments. What do you expect from Mr Chombo, who stole half of Zimbabwe while in lands, now give him finances, what will he do? Mr Justice and Parliamentary affairs, then boss of the terror group the CIOs, what will happen now with the legal system? How different is he from Mr Mnangagwa?

The things we worry about are misdirected. What hurts many of us is the coming in of Dr Amai! Really! If she has the qualities and capability why not? The issue is not about her! She is no worse than any of the people that are holding offices now. She is being made noise of simple because the envisaged primogeniture in political succession in ZANU PF and its patriarchal nature has been toppled and you and me are used to fight that battle because those ZANU PF men have been spineless and could never challenge Mr Mugabe or advise him but have always been ‘Yes Sir’ pundits. This is not our battle. Our battle is proper governance which we demanded a long time ago albeit silently in most cases and never got from anyone of the people crying foul now.

The one person this far that has challenged our President is his wife. She has done the unthinkable. She did not sit down and say I am a woman and will just roll over for men to walk all over me. She got there and asserted herself. She is indeed a goal getter. You think she sacrificed her marriage for nothing? You must think again. She has gone through so much pain not for you to walk all over her. She knew what she wanted, she is calculative and smart in a way. She has been on the chess board from the day she decided to marry the President. She is ambitious. Who is not? Many of you fight her out of envy and jealous. Let’s stop it.

Having said that we do not see anything better coming out of her. Ambition is not necessarily a good think if you lack certain traits but she is much better than all ZANU PF this far put together. We need a way forward and the opposition is not providing that. It is busy with the big brother mentality and the I came in first nonsense which is no different to those fighting Mrs Mugabe and each leading their own outfit to make money from funders. Our country needs sobriety. We need people, all of us, to act selflessly towards our country. We need to stop thinking about positions in government and think about productivity of the country and everyone’s livelihood. We need to stop thinking about getting favours and tenders from friends in government and start thinking about hard working to earn a living. We need to change our electoral laws, we need to revamp how we govern or are governed. The centre of power must shift to its rightful position, the people, but the people need to learn to be accountable first, because power without accountability is dangerous. With rights comes responsibility.

A new Zimbabwe is possible but let’s not focus on the distractions. A Zimbabwe with equal opportunities to all is our responsibility to build.

Dr Vusumuzi Sibanda (LDNC Chair).

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