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A PROMISE AND A VOW TO THE PEOPLE OF ZIMBABWE!
Monday, 4 June 2007
WHITHER ZIMBABWE??? PROPOSALS BY MR INKOSINATHI MGUNI!!!
The Halifax Proposal
2. Finding the solution
· The third party solution
· Fresh elections
· Back door solution
· Regime change
3. The Halifax Proposal
· The Political Parties act
· Thabo Mbeki, COSATU, the SACP, and SADC.
· The role of the opposition
· The role of the ruling party after Mugabe
· The role of the international community
The Halifax proposal
Since this my first work in the United Kingdom, I feel that it will be in order for me to introduce myself to the readers and philosophers first.
My name is Inkosinathi Mguni but my mates call me Nkosi. I was born and bred in Zimbabwe and as such my writings will be basically to do with the situation there. My parents were both teachers, and they had been for as long as I can remember. Thus it was almost to be expected that I would be close to the books throughout my youth. My parents watched over our progress like hawks and this was made easier by the fact that we used to go to the same schools where our parents used to teach.
It was at Mzingwane High school that my life was to undergo a drastic overhaul though. This is a boys' only boarding school and the institution and its rules made the place feel more like a military institution than a place of learning. Excellence was the benchmark for enrolment and excellence was the expected end product. The worst student from Mzingwane could have easily been the best in the next school. Thus I became and still remain a product of the institution.
I subscribe to the school of thought that believes that when the oppressor is tired of oppressing his people, and the oppressed are tired of fighting the oppressor, but none is willing to give ground, then it is time for a diplomatic solution. It is time for talks and the grounds and parameters for such talks have to be laid out and an enabling environment created for such talks.
I have tried and recapture the spirit that I had when I was at boarding school and push myself to fathom what I think may be the way forward for my troubled homeland. I have worked so hard researching and putting this paper together and I hope that it will contribute in no small way in helping end the Zimbabwean meltdown.
I would also like to acknowledge the contribution made by my neighbour, Victor, in putting this piece together. He has been a great inspiration and debating mate. Most ideas solidified after having had a chat with him.
I have wanted to give up on finishing this article a number of times but I have found a lot of inspiration from the fact that I am inflicted with some very cruel afflictions and I may not have a chance to put my ideas across if I do not do it now. I have arthritis in two areas of my neck after suffering some horrific injuries. I also remain with a degenerate disease called chronic osteomylitis, which is a chronic infection of the bone also a result of the injuries I suffered. I am also an asthma patient. So I thought to myself that I do not have anything to loose by applying myself a little more. If my ideas work that will be fine. If they fail to get recognition then I may just turn the proposal into a novel and turn it into my epitaph. But I will be able to hold my head high as I walk to the sunset of my life, knowing that I gave it my best.
This is The Halifax Proposal, so called because there is this guy who does adverts for a certain bank, I believe his name is Howard. People at work say the fellow is a spitting image of me but I guarantee he looks nothing like me. I am more handsome. Anywhere people at work used to call me Halifax or mdala Halifax as my friends would put it. So to deflect the name from myself I decided to name the document that I was working on The Halifax Proposal. The ideas expressed in the document are my own views and as with the norm in any democracy, I will agree to listen to those of a differing opinion but at the same time acknowledge that I have the right to hold these views in the first place.
In the early 80s the country was dragged through some very muddy times. The government deployed the North Korean trained 5th brigade to my region of Matebeleland to allegedly quell the banditry that was going on. To say the army unit wrecked havoc in the region will probably be the undertone of the century. That the unit operated under the direct command of his imperial majesty, Bob himself is an open secret.
Ethnic hate was preached openly with the Ndebeles bearing the brunt of the wrath of the government. The Ndebeles were vilified by the regime for supporting the then opposition Zapu led by the late veteran nationalist Joshua Nkomo, and allegedly sympathizing with dissidents. Thousands were massacred. Some were pushed into disused mines and grenades thrown in; some were squeezed into grass-thatched huts that were then set alight. There was never a shortage of gruesome methods for these people to use in their quest to humiliate the Ndebeles. Neither was any effort made to avoid casualties among the women and children.
Mugabe was using one policy that he was to employ effectively throughout his iron-fisted rule. It is the policy of divide and rule which, paradoxically, he had inherited from his former Rhodesian masters. He just perfected the art and employed it constantly to keep himself in power.
At independence he drilled into the psych of the majority Shona that the Ndebeles were dissidents who were burnt on enslaving the former as did the Ndebele kings before the advent of the Europeans. This worked wonders for him until he agreed to a peace deal with the opposition Zapu. This resulted in the signing of the Unity Accord and suddenly Mugabe's rhetoric had to change.
Faced with the hardships presented by the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme, Mugabe had to find a new enemy to deflect attention from him. The industrialist was the next to bear the brunt of the government's wrath. They were demonized for forming cartels that increased prices of basic commodities without due regard to the suffering of the generality of the Zimbabweans. They were also accused of hoarding basic commodities in order to gain advantage with the government when it came to negotiations for price increases. This did not seem to sell that well as the population became restive and a series of anti-government demonstrations followed.
This one was not going to wash and was obviously not working. Bob needed to sink his fangs into something juicier. He had to find something that would move the people with him and recapture the revolutionary spirit of yesteryear.
Then eureka he had found the one with the cherry plum, or so he thought. He discovered that he could try and milk the land question as dry as possible because he knew that there was a general hunger for more land from the peasant farmers. In keeping with tradition, if he had to found an issue that was going to help him stay in power he had to find the devil that created it. Mugabe thrives on humiliating his enemies and the white farmer was not spared this treatment.
The white farmer became the devil in our midst, together with the newly formed MDC and "Tony Blair and his gay gangsters". This, he thought, was going to be a winner and he could count on the support of the rest of his fellow African leaders as they could easily identify with his predicament. Unfortunately this is the one move that proved to be his undoing.
Throughout all this Mugabe has been quick to point a finger at everybody else but himself and his governments ineptitude and corruption. Throughout all this what Bob has not told the country is the fact that soon after the 1980 elections, which he won, he had to ask Lord Soames to stay on as Governor as the incumbent had no idea how to run a country. He begged Lord Soames to stay on for a further year while he learnt how to handle the reigns of power. He did not know how to run the country then and he still obviously does not have a clue how to do that now. And because of this one fact Zimbabwe is the disaster that it is now. The President has had twenty-five years of apprenticeship on this job and judging by the angle of his learning curve, this guy will die first before he learns anything about the art of governing.
The people are angry but they are powerless to effect the long overdue change. The system has been organized in such a way that it is impossible to dislodge Zanu-Pf through any ordinary means. In this article I will attempt to explore a few ways in which a solution can be found to this impasse. Somewhere in all this debate lies the answer to the Zimbabwean nightmare.
It is often said that a solution to a problem always lies within the problem itself. It therefore imperative that when one is faced with a problem one has to first of all come up with a proper diagnosis of the problem as a misdiagnosis will result in one giving the wrong prescription. Consequently, the situation may either remain unchanged or side effects will develop. The worst-case scenario is that the problem will become more acute and the virus mutates and the solution becomes more complex. One is then left with the burden of the original ailment plus the side effects brought about by the failure to accurately assess the problem. These may further compound the situation by developing into problems themselves that need to be also addressed independently. Thus in trying to find a solution to the Zimbabwean problem we have to first of all come up with an accurate diagnosis to the country's ills. We have to be able to ask ourselves what exactly is wrong with the country without talking about the symptoms. The question has to be addressed squarely without any attempt at complicating it.
What is wrong with Zimbabwe?
This at face value appears to be a very straightforward question that would require a straightforward answer. But because of the importance of the question this time around, I will dig deeper to ensure that whatever answer I come up with will be the closest to accurate as ever can be.
The problem with Zimbabwe is not the rule of law or the lack of it; this is just a symptom of the problem.
The problem with Zimbabwe is not the land issue; this is merely an excuse to divert attention from the real problem.
The problem with Zimbabwe is not the economy or the little that is left of it; this just a manifestation of the gravity of the problem.
The problem with Zimbabwe is not the rigging of elections and the way the government is conducting them, that is just an attempt at entrenching the problem.
The problem with Zimbabwe is not Zanu-Pf or its thugs running amok in the countryside; that is but an attempt to prolong the existence of the problem.
We can talk about demolitions of people's homes and livelihoods, or the undeclared move towards traditional fundamentalism currently being pushed down the throats of an increasingly docile Zimbabwean populace. We can discuss the collapse of the health delivery system, education, transport infrastructure, and the non-existence of opportunity for work. But all that these factors are not what is really afflicting Zimbabwe, they are just by-products of the real crunch of the matter.
We have all concentrated on addressing the symptoms and results of the problem because it is so easy to overlook the real problem because it appears to be too obvious. We try and prescribe complicated solutions because we are always looking for a complicated problem. Thus the obvious is overlooked in favour of some imaginary complicated situation.
This is my diagnosis and I do not expect every reader to agree with me, but every time I read about developments back home it always breaks my heart. I cannot but bemoan the destruction of our beloved homeland and the subjugation of its peoples by the Zanu-Pf government. The motherland ceases to be our motherland if its spirit is ripped out and so we must fight to re-ignite the flame that keeps the spirit of our beloved country burning.
I have read about the South African experience and their fight against a system that brought the country to the very fringes of hell. I found a lot of inspiration from the personal sacrifices made by people from both sides of the divide. People were set against each other by system that thrives on hate and deception. I read about the arrests, torture and murder of a number of people whose only crime was voicing disquiet about a system that was essentially immoral and violated their rights as citizens. I was also inspired and humbled by the heroics of a people united in their quest for sweet freedom regardless of the odds staked against them. But by far the greatest lesson that I extracted from the South African experience is the fact that it finally dawned on all the citizens of the land that their destinations were inextricably entwined and as such they had to find a way of working together. The South African people realized that they have a common history and a shared future; that they are the same people and that their survival depended on the fact that they either sink or swim together; that the truth about what really went so terribly wrong should be sought so as to ensure that future generations do not repeat the mistakes of their predecessors. That forgiveness is a necessary process of healing the old wounds and opening up to a different future that takes care of the aspirations each and every individual without regard to race, creed, or religious affiliation. But most importantly I learnt that it (unity of purpose) could be done. The South African people proved that it is possible to rescue a country from the edge of a precipice notwithstanding the forces that were staked against them.
But the first step for all will be the acceptance of the fact that there is a problem and that if the problem is not solved it threatens to strangle the life out of the country. It is obvious that there is something terribly wrong with Zimbabwe at the moment and there has been for a number of years. Mugabe knows it, Tswangirai knows it. The ZanuPf stalwarts are aware of this and so do the opposition supporters.
The problem with Zimbabwe is that the country is not working. I know it's a borrowed cliché but there is no other way of describing what is afflicting Zimbabwe today. The country is not working. Period.
The country is in a coma and is actually on the death knell, and that in my view is the simple answer to the question that I raised earlier on. The country is just not working. Absolutely nothing in the country is working. From hospitals, to mines, government institutions, to banks, to the industry, and to the people themselves. The country as an institution is not working.
If one was to ask Thabo Mbeki if Zimbabwe is working , even he will tell you that it is not working. Ask Tony Blair, or the Chinese or the Malaysians they will tell you that the country is not working. Everybody knows that Zimbabwe is struggling for every breath and has for some time been on a life support system. The country is just not working.
This fact is easy to ignore because it appears too obvious. Thus analysts and politicians end up misdirecting themselves by trying to address the symptoms without soberly focusing on the problem. It appears a simple answer but it is when you take it under the microscope that the situation begins to unravel. It is then that the complexity of the problem can be appreciated and the correct prescription ordered.
The next step after locating the problem is to find the root cause of the problem. I must stress that only by addressing the problem squarely and soberly, and without any prejudices can a lasting solution be found.
Finding the solution
Now I will try and develop the point that I raised earlier on concerning problem solving. That's the assertion that a solution to a problem often lies within problem itself.
There is nothing wrong with failure, it is failure to learn from failure that is wrong. This is just an appreciation of the fact that we learn more from what does not work than what does. So if we are to come up with a proper anti-dote to our situation we have to know the nature of the venom that has been injected into our country's life. We have to identify the actual nature of the problem in order to come up with the proper anti-venom.
In my opinion the reason why the country is not working rests solely with the country's President. Mr. Robert Mugabe is the only reason why the country is not working today. Every other issue that people may raise will either be only peripheral or by-product of this one factor. The President is solely responsible for the situation the country finds itself in today. It is not the British government, it is not the MDC and the white farmer, it is not, believe it or not, Zanu-Pf , nor is it the police and their failure to maintain law and order, nor is it the international sanctions, nor the war veterans. The buck must stop with Bob. He is the man who was given control of the steering wheel and he has driven his country like a mad man and he has lost control of the situation on the ground.
W. B. Yeats in his ode The Second Coming, wrote
"Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world"
If the center cannot hold, things fall apart. Things have fallen apart because the center failed to hold, cannot hold, will probably never be able to hold. In fact, there is no center. Because the center has never known where to hold, because the center still does not know where to hold, things have fallen apart! Mere anarchy has been loosed upon the world.
When I say that Mugabe and not Zanu-Pf, is solely responsible for total melt down the country is going through, I suspect that I will not endear myself to a lot of people. But I will beg you to hear me out first before making your final judgement. You see, collective responsibility has never come across to me as a genuine attempt at self-evaluation. The buck has to stop with the person who issues the orders to kill and not the foot soldier that pulls the trigger. Both the person who pulls the trigger and the person killed or injured are all victims, though from different perspectives.
If the Tsholotsho meeting is to be used as a barometer of the current mood within the ZanuPf echelons of power, then the power don't live there anymore. The tsholotsho debacle has shown that there is a very strong undercurrent of rebellion against the centre going all the way up to the politburo. It has shown that the majority of senior ZanuPf figures are willing, individually, to organize themselves to resist some of Bob's directives but they lack the courage of conviction to go all the way. This is a weakness that should be exploited to the fullest for there will be very few occasions that such fissures will manifest themselves so abundantly clear. I will dwell on this issue in detail later in the document and in subsequent documents that I hope to produce. But I cannot over emphasise the fact that we must tape into these divisions and become increasingly predatory in approach and psych. The time to do that is now.
Attacking what Bob regards as his strengths will catch him off balance and since his hold on power is precarious it might just tilt him over and into the bottomless pit of political oblivion. We have to look seriously at the main factors that may militate against any attempt to push him out of State house. For it is said that the strength of any material is also its weakest link. These factors are both internal and external and these need to be explored thoroughly if this plan is going to work.
All the arms of law, that is, the police, army, air force, and the courts have been Zanuinised. Positions of influence in these important sectors have been allocated on the basis of political patronage. Hence it would be very difficult for any other administration to maintain law and order without the control of these arms in the event of the capitulation of the Mugabe regime. A constitutional crisis would arise where the executive would wield no power over the constitutional law enforcement agencies. The incumbent may face a situation where the countryside will run amok with armed gangs without possessing the muscle to order the police or the army to re-establish order, a situation that will suite Mugabe perfectly well.
This situation is not only restricted to the arms of law but it transcends the whole spectrum of government ministries. So it would make perfect sense to try and work along the grain. We have to use ZanuPf to disentangle its own monsterous creation. At the same time offer the opposition increased participation in the country's political arena.
Do not misunderstand my drive to mean that I am for sustaining the current government in power, but read The Halifax Proposal in its entirety in order to understand it. This document is the culmination of a lot of research and soul searching. It is a tragedy of the human race that the only thing that we have learnt from history is that we do not learn anything from history. This has been the curse of man from time immemorial. But I am determined to bring up experiences from the past and extract lessons I believe must not be lost to history. Otherwise all the struggles that man has undertaken and conquered will all have been in vain and future generations will be forced to reinvent the wheel all over again, so to speak.
Imagine what would have happened in South Africa at the advent of democracy, if the ANC had attempted to vindictively push the National Party totally out of politics. And that at the time when the AWB, the Vlakplaas gangs, Koevoet, the Freedom Front, and all the other neo fascist organizations and paramilitary groups were still intact. Remember also the Inkatha Freedom Party and the violent function that they served during the transitional years. Wrestling all the power from the Afrikaaner would have confirmed the propaganda that was being peddled by these right-wingers and pushed the country into violence. Even the average white South African would have felt disempowered and total loss of power by a ruling elite in caste system always results in some form of resistance. The Iraqi situation is classic example of this.
I have to emphasise that the South African situation was not about taking power away from the white men. It was about giving the oppressed black men power and self-respect. In other words it was not about pulling the white man down, no, but it was about pulling up the disadvantaged black man so that he could come to the level of the white man.
It is not about people and their respective colours, it is about a system of government that is essentially evil. It not only the MDC people that are going through this hell, but ZanuPf supporters and those who have lost faith in the country's political system as well. Thus it is imperative that the Zimbabwean populace realizes that they are the same people and that they are in the same boat and it is taking some water yet it remains full steam ahead towards the deeper and murkier waters. Any misadventure by one party will result in the demise of all. We have to turn the ship around irregardless of the convictions of the captain of the ship for he is mad. It is time we headed for shore and the safety of dry land for the direction that we have taken will result in death for all. We have to listen to the voice of reason and work together to put this nightmare behind us.
The solution to the country's problems will not come from wrestling power away from the ruling party at moment. If we do so, we will have to call into question the results of the elections, which the AU has endorsed and that would be playing into Mugabe's hands as he has been selling the notion that the Zimbabwean crisis is the result of a western conspiracy to colonise the country again.
Fine, the elections were rigged. So what? If the rigging was so massive then how come the MDC is contesting the results of only 16 constituencies? Could it be that we need to take the results of the elections back to the courts as we did in 2000 and 2002? That would be totally unwise because we know that this has never worked, does not work, and will never work under the current dispensation. History has taught us that this does not work and as such it is ridiculous to keep trying to do something that we know does not work.
I am convinced that if we concentrate on the man's strengths, that is, the factors that have kept him in power, then our day of freedom may be even closer than you think. The factors are both internal and external as I have previously stated. Internally, Bob has relied heavily on politics of patronage to maintain his tight grip on power. The Zanu Pf leadership is afraid of challenging him on any subject for fear of losing power. Political patronage has been Mugabe's biggest weapon with one of his subordinates even going as far as calling him the second Son of God. ( The fellow who said this got a cabinet posting pronto. After that he sang the praises loud and long and, what do you know, he kept his job as long as he still had a voice to sing praises to the emperor). If you take away this hold that Bob has on them, then you will see him for the weak and feeble 81-year-old man that he is. We have to rise above petty party politics and deal with the evil in our midst as a people. We need a new and radical approach to the issue. We must court the ruling party to come with us on this journey. In South Africa, the apartheid system was undone by the very party that gave birth to it – the National Party. But first they had to forcibly remove one of the strongest proponents of the system from the Presidency in order to give change a chance. The NP knew that they had to remove P. W. Botha from both the leadership of the party and the country because he was dragging both parties to their doom.
If Mugabe cannot threaten his subordinates with loss of power, then the power he wielded over them will be gone. If he has to be removed from power soon, then the people best placed to do this are very people that he has relied on for strength. ZanuPf itself must do the job. This would also help sway some party supporters who had swallowed the whole idea that the country was being given back to Britain (not that anyone still believes this but there will always be the gullible among us). Patronage is Mugabe's biggest asset and as such it must be undermined at all cost. The ZanuPf leadership has to be encouraged to push the old man out because they are the people best positioned to do what the MDC and international sanctions have failed to achieve over the past few years. But the removal of Bob from power should not be seen as an end in itself but a means to the end.
The other factor that has had a telling effect on Mugabe's position is the support that he enjoys from Thabo Mbeki, in particular, and the SADC region as a whole. I must hasten to state that Mbeki has increasingly become the biggest apologist for the excesses of the Harare administration. He is even said to have gone as far as donating one million Rands to the ZanuPf election campaign at a time when COSATU, the governing ANC's partner in government, was demonstrating against the immoral and unjust system obtaining just north of their border. This should say a lot about the way the South African President regards his partners in government.
Assuming that COSATU represents the aspirations and opinions of the majority of the South African labour force, then the attitude of most of its citizens is that the Mugabe regime has lost respect for its people and that the South African people feel a new and tougher stance needs to be adopted to reflect these feelings. The South African President has constantly ignored all advise on handling the Zimbabwean crisis preferring to call it an internal issue. He calls it an internal issue when he is called upon to act in a manner that would offer protection the poor Zimbabwean people, but he sees imaginary foes when it comes to arming Mugabe to suppress his own people. At a time when people are dying of hunger and poverty Thabo Mbeki supplies Mugabe with helicopter spares and other military hardware which will be used in acts of repression. If his interest is with helping the Zimbabwean people could it not have been a more prudent move to donate food and shelter for those displaced by Mugabe's insane programmes.
Thabo Mbeki has ignored the revered Nelson Mandela on the same subject of Zimbabwe. He has also ignored his partners in the governing coalition, namely, COSATU and SACP. He has ignored the entreaties for help from the Zimbabweans. He has ignored professional opinion about the causes of HIV/AIDS preferring instead his own backyard theories that might have fooled some gullible South Africans and at a very high cost. The big question that remains is that, is Mbeki a man that can be relied on to make proper and informed decisions on his own regarding crucial issues when he has been getting it so wrong all the time?
I believe that COSATU have been mandated by the people of South Africa to tell Mbeki that his alliance with Mugabe is unholy and does not represent the aspirations of the its peoples. COSATU leaders have to tell Thabo Mbeki to get off his laurels and go and tell Bob that its time for him to go. They have to ask Mbeki to take the bull by its horns and tell Mugabe to step down for the sake of the country's future and that of the region. Bob must be shown the only sensible way out for the sake of the country's posterity. He must leave the question of reforming the country's constitution to the people of Zimbabwe. He cannot be part of the constitutional reform as he is the man behind deforming it in the first place. Mugabe must be made to realize that he does not possess the monopoly of wisdom and the country is in a mess because of him and we, the people of Zimbabwe do not want him to part of the solution to a problem that he created.
Outside Zimbabwe, the South African President is the only person best positioned to tell Bob to go. He has an obligation to do it, if not for the sake of the Zimbabwean people then because then because the people who put him in power have asked him to do so in no uncertain terms. If he cannot listen to the majority of the workers in his country and goes on to ignore all the sensible advise on this one critical issue, then democracy in South Africa has a date with the intensive care unit and COSATU have a responsibility of reminding the president where the real power in a democracy lies.
I hope to dwell on this point in more exhaustive way in the later sections of this document but the underlining factor is that Mbeki is the power behind Mugabe. Mugabe's strengths must be undermined and turned against him at all cost. Mbeki must be whipped into line. Cyril Ramaphosa, the veteran activist who was also tipped to take over the reigns of power from Mandela, has been on record recently saying that the country's authorities must act on the situation to the north of their border. Why has Mbeki been so determined to turn a blind eye on the travesties to justice being carried out by his mate? Once Bob loses Mbeki's support he will be left severely exposed. But Thabo must tell Mugabe to step down because he has become a disgrace.
This is the key to the reforms that I am proposing. The approach that we use to the Zimbabwean crisis has to be revised and a more wholesome approach employed. This is the end game!! The president must be told to step down and we also need to court his lieutenants to help us in our endeavours.
The Third Party Solution
There has been a lot of talk lately about the third party solution being possibly the only way out for the country. Geoffrey Nyarota and Trevor Ncube first mooted the idea, and the former Minister of mis-Information, Jonathan Moyo, has added his voice though I believe that he is doing it for very different reasons.
I have, for some time, been of the opinion that this idea came about because people from this school of thought felt that having two main parties was the cause of the problem. They might have concluded that this has caused the country to be polarized with two highly charged antagonistic blocks facing it out at the expense of the welfare the country's citizens. The assumption that they may have made is that the introduction of a third party would dilute the polarization and thus create a pseudo level playing field. They assumed that the problem with the country is that of limited choice.
This is a very dangerous prognosis because it addresses the result of the problem and not the primary cause. Thus the solution that they are prescribing was not only short sighted but gravely misses the point. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with forming a political party; it is permitted to do that in any democratic dispensation. By calling the various parties and organizations the third force you are assuming support that you have not yet courted. You are assuming that the party that you form will automatically be received by all and sundry yet at the same time the platform for such a launch has not been created.
If the main concern of the general populace is the way they are governed then I fail to see how the introduction of a third force would address that. If the proponents of this idea thought that with the introduction of a third player, both the MDC and ZanuPf would loose some support to the new comer and at the same time dilute the political tempo. How wrong could they have been!!
If anyone is still voting for ZanuPf now chances are that they are not very likely to change unless something really drastic happens. If the hunger, violence, the house demolitions, and the general feeling of despondency that has been running through the country the past few years has failed to change them, then something as cosmetic as a new party would never sway them. Therefore the only likely scenario would be that the new party would get its vote from people who are dissatisfied with the MDC and the direction it is taking. Basically, this would be a very counterproductive move, at the moment.
What we need now is people with a vision from any party who can come together and unite to oust Mugabe from power then we can sit down and address the issue of governance. The point I am trying to make will become clearer as we progress.
Enough debate has been done on this subject and the initial reaction has been a total rebuff, but then it has increasingly begun to take root. My feeling is that now is not the time for this launch but a concerted effort has to be made to try and put pressure on both the MDC and ZanuPf to reform themselves in a way that will reflect the drive towards democracy. If we fail to reform these two organization by lobbying foreign governments to support our drive and most importantly engaging the leaders of both parties on the changes that we feel are necessary for normalcy to return to our motherland then we will have a platform from where this third party can be launched but its policies must reflect that people are moving away from the Dynamos mentality where people just want to enrich themselves and think little of the institution they represent. We must look for man and women of honour to carry this touch for us. But the first step is to agree with both parties that Bob must be forced out of office.
It is easy to form a political party, but the problem is that our whole approach to politics has been contaminated by the way ZanuPf is running itself. Most parties that have emerged after the demise of Zapu have all been based on personality cults. Tswangirai has started showing signs of intolerance to challenge to his leadership just as the guy on the opposite side of the fence. This is the mentality that we need to defeat first if we are to make any meaningful change. We can form as many parties as possible but as long as our way of thinking remains the same then we will still have substituted one party with another that operates along the same lines. What's the point?
When sanctions were first imposed on Zimbabwe, they were meant to whip the ruling party into line and probably bring forward the ouster of the disgraced regime. Paradoxically, the sanctions have had exactly the opposite effect of pushing Bob completely away from the line and prolonged his stay in power by making him appear as a victim of a western conspiracy to recolonise Zimbabwe.
The sanctions have had the effect of breaking the peoples backs and left them at the mercy of the system that they are trying to fight against. The turnout in the last elections was testimony to the feeling of helplessness that the people are feeling now. The country is not working but still the turnout in the elections is so low that one will be mistaken for thinking there were no serious problems in the country. But people preferred spending the day looking for food to put on the family tables instead of participating in an election that they had no faith in. To make matters worse the shortages are direct spin off from the international isolation and Mugabe has taken full advantage of this. It is an open secret that the government uses food to buy votes before elections and after the elections it uses food as a weapon for subjugating people.
The ruling party has always used food as a political button stick and the more acute the shortage the better the situation for them. Remember in the early 80s when there was a drought in Matebeleland and that was during the time that the region was under siege from the North Korean trained 5th Brigade. There was no food allowed into the region for months on end and people were reduced to eating roots and their domestic pets. They were not allowed to gather food from the bush as there was a round the clock curfew. Mugabe is a very sad individual and he has no compassion whatsoever. Sanctions have played right into his hands and now he is using them to hang on to power.
Make food available and Mugabe looses the only hold he has on the rural folk.
Sanctions have never been known to bring about democratic change anywhere where they have been employed. Instead they have always resulted in the lowering of the standard of living for the general population. Leaders targeted by these sanctions almost always escape unscathed. Iraq, Cuba, North Korea are just but a few examples where western democracies impose sanctions that end up achieving nothing except increase the rate at which people die unnecessarily because of this misguided principle. Substituting action with needless procrastination by way of sanctions has never worked, and will probably never work. The sooner we begin learning lessons from the past and use them for the betterment of future generations the better we will all be as people.
The last time I checked about 6 million people were facing starvation if food aid was not delivered within weeks. I am not blaming sanctions for the food reserves mismanagement but I believe the international community has a degree culpability in the whole affair. The sanctions, as far as I am concerned, have outlived their usefulness. The ZanuPf government is not going to rerun the elections so if the lifting of sanctions depended on the removal of the regime from office, then the next five years will be hell for all Zimbabweans. Let us just face it, there will be no rerun of the elections. The courts will not overturn the results of the elections we were better off working along the grain.
I am not proposing that sanctions be lifted unilaterally but that as a precondition to normalizing international relations, the ruling party has to be made to see the wisdom of shoving Bob out of office. Like I said previously, attacking the arms he is using to keep himself holding on can only loosen Mugabe's tight grip on power. That is simple logic. The majority of the ruling party's leaders want the country's downward spiral to stop, but they either have no idea how to effect the change or they are too cowed to effect it. If a good incentive like the lifting of sanctions, among other measures, can be dangled as the proverbial carrot to try and spur the 'Tsholotsho rebels' into action then we may just the opening we were looking for. This is the group that we need to tape into. We have to employ them to dig the ground from under the old mans feet. They are the weak link that offers us the best chance of booting bob out.
The sanctions that are in place are now increasingly being seen as an international conspiracy to commit genocide against the Zimbabwean people. Yes, the government has messed up by the way they handled the land reform programme but sanctions are now killing people. I am really surprised that Tswangirai is still calling for stiffer sanctions. People are now eating roots and deaths from starvation have increased very dramatically, and then someone is still calling for stiffer sanctions. This guy must have been dropped on his head as a kid. Surely there must be a better way of approaching the problem.
I believe the best part the international community can play at this stage is to actively engage the Harare government and try and make them see the wisdom of retiring the president. Parliament must come together from both sides of the house and pass a vote of no confidence on the president.
There has been a lot of clamouring by the opposition MDC for fresh elections to be called as they feel that the government did not create an enabling environment for the conduct of a free and fair election. This I assume will have to be done after the courts have agreed that there were irregularities during the elections and thus order the rerun in the particular constituency where the violations are said to have taken place. There are numerous questions that arise because of this assertion.
Firstly, Mugabe has made sure that he appoints judges that he knows will always tow the party line. Therefore it would be a Herculean task getting the courts to rule against the ruling party and government. Even if they choose to play to the international media and allow themselves to lose just to create an impression of an impartial judiciary, they then go on to win the rerun with an even bigger margin if past elections are anything to go by. If they cannot win the election out-rightly then will achieve the result they need the crooked way. But they will not allow themselves to be defeated by the MDC. ZanuPf will only give the opposition the number of sits that they are willing to part with, and no more. Going into the 2005 elections ZanuPf needed a two-thirds majority to change the constitution and they got the exact number that they required plus a small bonus.
Secondly, the opposition MDC is, at the moment, embroiled in serious feuding of its own
and is in no position to contest an election. Other than the internal bickering, the MDC is, has been for some time, in no position to challenge for power because they are not organized and they have tried to model their organization on the premises of the ruling party. The leadership of the MDC is not yet ready to engage in change that is based on democracy and they are showing signs of intolerance to any dissenting voices within their party. Just take a look at the reaction of some of the members after Tswangirai's position was challenged following the defeat at the just ended elections. They decided to attack those individuals they thought are likely to be named as successors to Tswangirai. Now they have even gone further and cancelled the party's annual general meeting because the leadership of the party would have been up for grabs. People have for long questioned the suitability of Morgan to continue leading the opposition after having failed to make any headway in trying to dislodge ZanuPf from government house. He obviously does not know anything about participatory democracy and for him to be left in charge of an organization that calls itself The Movement for Democratic Change is scandalous.
My contention is that elections will just be a waste of funds that the government does not have and will also be a waste of people's time and hopes. Mugabe will never run a fair election because he does not know how to play fair, has never played fair and is not about to learn now. He has always reminded me of a guy who has been in the nicking business for so long that he prefers to use the window to enter a house even when the door is wide open; someone who has been cheating at exams for so long that he will copy an answer from the fellow adjacent to him even though he knows the answer. That's Bob for you.
It is senseless to keep doing something that you know does not work. One can blame Bob for cheating, but what do you say about the person who is always volunteering himself to be cheated again and again without trying to change the way he approaches the contest?
Elections will not work at the moment without some major reforms being undertaken.
There has been some canvassing by some to allow the MDC to form a new government since the present government has been accused of cheating at elections. This would be achieved by a sustained international and domestic campaigning on the scale seen recently in the Ukraine during "the orange revolution". The argument is that since the MDC is the largest opposition party it should be given the right to replace ZanuPf as the party in government.
These people have all the right in the world to hold these views as is to be expected in a democracy. Admittedly, ZanuPf has long lost legitimacy to remain in power as they have increasingly refused to identify with the aspirations of the peoples of Zimbabwe. But as I have stated before, now may not be the time to carry out such an action. We need to approach the problem in a smart and less destructive way.
Mugabe has been aware of his vulnerability for some time now and to counter any possibility of a serious threat to his government, he put in place measures that would make it impossible to stage a smooth transfer of power in the event of capitulation. It is said that in order for a coup to be possible there are certain conditions that need to be present. Namely that there should no force that is willing to establish law and order, and Zimbabwe wins hands down on that aspect.
These conditions were created by Bob deliberately to ensure that in the event of losing elections, the winning party will not have control of the arms of law and thus making the country susceptible to a military coup or civil war. His ambition of life presidency is guaranteed by this one factor. This point was made more evident before the 2002 presidential elections when police, army, air force, and prison services chiefs announced at a press conference that they were not going to salute anyone with no liberation war credentials. This of course may be forgotten to many, but in order for any government to function these arms of law have to be working to compliment government efforts. Without them any administration is doomed to failure.
Secondly, and more importantly, the focus has to fall on the MDC itself. The spotlight has to be focused on the party's organizational structures and the kind of leadership that is running it. We need to look at the party's guiding principles and whether or not these exist on paper without actually being implemented on the ground.
The opposition MDC has modeled itself on the lines of ZanuPf in each and every manner imaginable. The party has a leadership that think that they have a preordained right to be the perpetual leaders of the opposition and that only they have the wisdom to remove Mugabe from power even though all the evidence thus far points in the opposite direction. Talk of change in the composition of the leadership is considered taboo and anyone who raises such an issue will be risking some very dire consequences. It has become clear to all and sundry that Tswangirai has lost sight of the party's initial goals and is, at the moment, more of a liability than an asset to the party. He has become an obstacle to the progress that people had made towards the realization of democracy and the full emancipation of the Zimbabwean people. People have been questioning the wisdom of continuing to allow Morgan to lead the opposition at a time when most people feel he has failed dismally the past six years to try and unsit the incumbent. Some have even gone as far as questioning his ability as a leader, especially so after it is widely believed that Morgan made some kind of a deal with Mugabe during his treason trial to keep the opposition at bay. No wonder the rhetoric from the ruling party about the MDC has gone down. Tswangirai has become a lame duck leader at time when the generality of the Zimbabweans are baying for stronger leadership that they can identify with. A leader with a strong vision and who is nationalist in approach is what the people are calling for.
To begin with, the MDC has not been allowed to evolve over the years. It suffered from stunted growth because the people who were put in the initial executive viewed the formation of the party as an end in itself instead of the beginning of a process. The party was formed from the remnants of former student activists, labour movement, and various pressure groups. It has not been allowed to grow into a fully encompassing organization with clear structures for recognition and rewarding of emerging talent. Well, some will argue that ZanuPf has not changed leadership since independence and the same individuals have been recycled time and again. True, true. But that is precisely what we are fighting against, that is what has destroyed the country. ZanuPf cronyism and corruption has become so embedded into the peoples way of life that it is easy to assume that what they are doing is normal but its not and we must call a stop to this kind of thinking for the good of the country and the region.
It is okay for the MDC to complain about Mugabe staying in power for too long and refusing to give someone else a chance to lead, but it is taboo to talk about Tswangirai giving somebody else a chance. It is okay to condemn the ruling party thugs for beating up people and destroying property and becoming a law unto themselves. Yet there is deafening silence when MDC youths go about harassing people that they think have an eye on the leadership of the opposition. Their excuse for leaving things the way they are is that now is not the time for a change of leadership because of one reason or the other. One of the most common excuses is that if the opposition changes its leader it would weaken the party, but from where I am standing, leaving him in charge of the party will not strengthen the party any more than it has done over the past six years. Tswangirai has presided over a party with a lot of potential initially and he has overseen the demise of that potential to a point where there is none worth talking about. If anything the party has a lot of potential to wilt even further.
The above excuse sounds so familiar but the difference is that often when it is said it is from the ZanuPf camp. "Now is not the time, our leader is still fighting insurgency in Matebeleland (1985)" "…..our great leader is still consolidating our unity with Zapu". "…. we need him to see the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme through". "…..we need him to steer the enhanced structural adjustment programme through". "…we need him to ensure that the country is not given back to the British". Or arguments like, if we remove him now it will weaken the party.
These are but some of the excuses used by the incumbent to remain in power for the past 25 years and still counting. The MDC has already started making the same excuses for not changing its leadership and that is the way it all starts. We need to nick the issue in the bud.
We must stop advocating change for the sake of change. If there is to be change in Zimbabwe it must be change that should revolutionarise the way people are governed and that has to start with the governance of the party structures. It has to be a wholesome change that involves changing the way people view leadership, be it the ruling party or the opposition. Both parties have to first of all embrace the fundamental guiding principles of democracy. They have to start by demystifying the office of the president and secondly that of the opposition leader. It has to start with both organizations embracing the fact that it is okay to change leadership of any party. Both parties must also appreciate that there is no one person who is endowed with the monopoly of wisdom. That a party that looks for and recognizes the talents of some people even at grassroots level leads to the identification of future leaders which eventually translates to the prosperity of the party and conversely the country. This is the only way we can come up with our own version of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
What I am proposing is that Morgan Tswangirai has failed to achieve the job that he was mandated to do by the opposition supporters and the country and he has to politely step down if his party is to remain relevant to the country's future. I propose that when Mugabe is asked to step down, the opposition leader must face the same fate as well. This will give both the MDC and ZanuPf a chance to reform themselves without the over imposing figures of these two fellows. In my opinion these two characters have become the biggest obstacles to the country's progress towards democracy and normalcy and they should be asked to remove themselves from the active political arena.
The idea of change for the sake of change will never wash with me. The MDC is not ready for government yet and they will not be for a long while yet. Unless they radically change the way they conduct their business, they continue to disgrace the name of the party, as the organization has no semblance of being democratic at all. They are just the flip side of ZanuPf and, as Raymond Majongwe put it the other night, they are just ZanuPf with an English name. This is why the masses in Zimbabwe have lost confidence in the party's leaders and have become increasingly disillusioned by the direction the party has taken lately.
In most western democracies opposition leaders who fail to lead their parties to victory at elections always give another person a chance to try his hand at what the incumbent would have failed to achieve. Al Gore had to give up his position as leader of the Democrats even though elections had to be finally decided by the courts after a rather prolonged process. He thought he had been cheated but still he had to step down because of the appreciation of the fact he had been mandated to win the elections by the Democrats and he had failed to get an outright win. He stepped down because he realised that maybe the next leader may have better ideas about how to campaign against the sitting president. He stepped down because the society he operates in is democratic and it accepts that a change of leaders from time to time is healthy for the party and country alike.
What I am driving at is the fact that the MDC is not a democratic institution and that it must be given a chance to evolve into an organization befitting of its name before it is allowed onto government through the back door. Otherwise with its current thinking, if given power, I have no doubt that Tswangirai will make Mugabe look like a kindergarten kid with his excesses. He has already shown all the potential and 'talents' that have won his adversary such infamy. He is dangerous for democracy and he, together with his more prominent adversary, must be pushed into the dustbin of political history.
I will be making some proposals that I think would help create a more conducive atmosphere for the fostering of democracy in the country. These proposals will be discussed under "The political parties act" later in the main proposal.
There has also been a lot of debate about whether or not the language spoken by the prospective presidential candidate should really matter. The debate is centered on whether the language spoken by an individual should be considered when placing people into positions of leadership in Zimbabwe or not. This debate surfaced once when the MDC leadership was under review a few years ago. Most people felt that Morgan was not making the right kind of noise and that under his leadership his party had lost both bite and buck. Other than Gibson Sibanda, the party's vice president, the other candidate being mentioned is the party's secretary and local university law professor, Welshman Ncube. When their names are mentioned some sectors of the party feel that because these two fellows speak Ndebele they are therefore not suitable for office, as the party would lose the support of the majority Shona.
This is a very dangerous development and it is a by-product of the ruling party's policies in the 80s. Mugabe used the mathematical fact that Shonas are the majority to his advantage and to the greater detriment of the country. In order to remain in power he attacked the Ndebeles and appealed to the pride of the former in order to subjugate the latter. The policy of divide and rule has been used extensively by Bob to keep himself in office. But he will sooner realize that you can fool some people all the time; you can fool all the people some of the time; but you cannot fool all the people all the time.
I believe that God gives all of us our different talents when we are born. Some are born to teachers, some nurses, some to be footballers, and some, believe it or not, are born to be leaders. Because these talents are given us at birth there is no amount of practice that can make one excellent in a field where you are obviously not talented in. There is no amount of practice that can make me a good footballer because I know I am not gifted in the field. Equally, there is no amount of education or practice that can give someone leadership qualities. Leaders are born not made. It is either you got it or you don't. Period.
There was nothing wrong with the Jews in Nazi Germany in the early 30s to the mid 40s but they were degraded and dehumanized because it was profitable for the politicians at the time. Never mind the question of the morality of it all. The people who were given positions of authority by God misused their positions to the detriment of the image of the power that placed them there in the first place. They failed to use the power given to them to glorify their people and to give them pride and self respect. So because of their leaders actions the German people had to walk around with their heads hanging in shame for generations because of what their leaders had done in their name.
In the same vain, there is nothing wrong with the immigrant in the UK but he will remain vilified as long as it is profitable for the politicians to do so. But history will judge these people harshly and the British people are the ones who will be left to hang their heads in shame because of the way they have treated their fellow humans. They will be shamed by the fact that the people that they had chosen to lead them would have used the authority given to them to the detriment of the image of all. Thus it is imperative that people who are placed in positions of leadership must choose policies that will not bring shame to their nationals but policies that will work for the good of all. The strong and the weak must all have a space for operating. There will always be the vulnerable among us and these people need to be properly guided and not led astray.
When details of the atrocities that had been committed by the Mugabe regime in the early 80s were made public, most Shona people were shocked beyond belief at what had been done in their name. They realized that there was nothing evil about their Ndebele counterparts but that the government had demonized them because it was convenient to them at the time. But we must refuse to be slaves to history. We have to learn from it and put in place measures that will ensure that such prejudices are never visited upon our people again. A Shona speaker leads the MDC yet the majority of the party's supporters are from Matebeleland. So why should we be afraid of choosing our leaders on merit without regards to race, colour, creed, or ethnicity. We have to lift the yoke that has been placed on our shoulders because it is meant to enslave us and refuse to forever remain slaves to one man's twisted imagination. Forget everything that Mugabe has put in our minds in order to divide us so that he can rule over us eternally.
There is more that unites us than that which divides us.
Everybody is agreed that what Zimbabwe needs now is change and no specific method of achieving this has been ruled out yet. I was shocked at the number of people who are frustrated to the point where they are prepared to take up arms against their own government. The most shocking aspect of it all is the number of people who were prepared to go this road of removing Bob violently from power. I have of coarse chosen to politely disagree with them because I have looked at various logistical and otherwise factors that would make this method of effecting the change unsuitable. But of coarse people have a democratic right to express their opinions irregardless of what I think about them.
The reason why an armed assault on the Harare regime would be unsuitable will be because, first and foremost, it would set a bad precedent and the institute of democracy will remain forever subordinate to the threat of violence. We must learn to solve our problems without necessarily resorting to violence.
Secondly, the situation on the ground in the country is such that it would be almost impossible to organize such an armed insurrection. Some people will argue that if it was possible to remove Ian Smith from power by force yet he was better armed and better organized, and his economy was working better than that being run by Bob, then removing Bob should be a walk in the park. The simple answer to that is that when we dislodged Smith from power we had the support of the neighbouring countries but this time around we have none. We were protected to a certain extent by international boundaries and as such it was possible to train people in the use of arms and turn them into a semi organized guerilla movement. At the moment all countries appear stupefied by Mugabe's power and they are not going to allow their territories to be used for such actions. There is also the SADC policy on violent change and the way the organization views governments that come into office through this route makes the method even less desirable.
So if training facilities cannot be obtained from neighbouring countries then the only alternative route left would be to carry out the training internally and that is an impossible task. Mugabe has a modern army that is battle hardened and there is no chance of a disorganised rebellion succeeding. Besides the countryside is crawling with war veterans and green bombers (paramilitary youth brigades) armed to the tooth and any attempt to carry out any training there will be suicidal to say the least.
Thirdly, as previously stated, Mugabe has placed his supporters in commanding positions within the army, air force, police and prison services. Even if you were to be successful in dislodging the regime from power it would be impossible to control the country without authority over the uniformed forces. The countryside is now being run by war veterans and green bombers, and the cities are at the mercy of a partisan police force and the army. Besides war is a very ugly business and should only be resorted to when all else has failed.
There are some who have called for regime change along the Iraq lines. What the proponents of this idea seem to have forgotten is the amount of destruction that has been visited on Iraq and its peoples because of this ill advised action. More than 200000 people have paid for this so called regime change with their lives and we are still counting. Besides, neighbouring countries would never allow their territories to be used to attack a fellow African, especially so because the Zimbabwean problem has largely been viewed as a black versus white problem. It would create an outrage throughout the subcontinent and further divide an already divided international community over the crisis.
By far the most important factor to consider would be the fact that there will always be some form of resistance from the ruling elite and their beneficiaries to absolute loss of power. This would lead to years of protracted resistance, instability, and destruction of the country's infrastructure, as was the case in Somalia, and more recently in Iraq. The atmosphere that has been created by Bob now is not conducive to violent change. Change has to be achieved by consensus because only ZanuPf can peacefully disentangle the web that they have spun. They have to be used to undo the mess that they have created.
At times it is not about working hard, but working smart. We can defeat ZanuPf by making it appear to be winning, by appealing to the greed of the other leaders of the party who may be feeling that they have been sidelined for too long from the leadership contest and feel that their leader has overstayed in power. Look at how the CIA undermined the might of the USSR. They did not have to launch a single nuclear warhead at the Kremlin but they used its strength to undermine it. The strength of the Soviet Union was it size and its size was also its major weakness. There was hunger for power from some individuals and this was used by the west to destroy the unity of the union. Boris Yelstin was the answer that the west needed. In his strength lay his major weakness – His hunger for power. All that the west had to do is to encourage him in his endeavours and the rest was history.
By assuring the rest of the ZanuPf leadership that their positions will safe if they push the old man out of office, among other incentives, Mugabe will lose his hold over his lieutenants and the rest will be history.
The other problem with the idea of regime change Iraq style is that the west has always been good at exporting change without necessarily attending to the democracy aspect of it. People must stop seeking change for the sake of change. Instead, what people should concentrate on is exporting democracy with all its tenets. This is the only guarantee that we have of maintaining peace and stability in the world today.
If ever there is to be change in Zimbabwe then that change must not leave us in the same position as we were before the change was effected. In the following proposal I will attempt to deal with this problem and hope that, at the end of the day, the way we manage our transformation and what we achieve after that will be a model for all African states to follow.
The Halifax Proposal
What I will try to do in this section is to propose a number of measures that have to be undertaken by both the Zimbabwean people and the international community in a bid to rescue our country from the jaws of hell. It has become clear that at the moment the Zimbabwean people have no clue whatsoever as to how they are supposed to extricate themselves from the spider's web they find themselves trapped in. The most important aspect of this proposal is the demand for the president to be forced to give way prior to any of the other measures being implemented. He has to be forced to step down because he has shown clearly that he is not capable of doing this of his own volition and he has become an obvious hindrance to the country's march towards the full emancipation of its peoples. From there both the ruling party and the opposition have to undertake to adhere to certain principles that I am going to propose under "The Political Parties Act" in whatever amended form.
This document will lay down the guidelines for each and every political party and should help lay the foundations of a truly democratic dispensation. If this proposal is implemented correctly it should serve as a model for other African states to follow
I will also propose that during the time that these proposals are being implemented a peacekeeping force should be put in place to oversee the pacification of both the rural and urban areas. The peacekeeping unit will have to oversee the disarmament of the marauding armed gangs of war veterans and other government militias like the green bombers.
I will also propose the establishment of a special peace keeping international police force that is going to be responsible for the restructuring of the Zimbabwe Republican Police (ZRP) and also act as a watchdog for excesses or acts of bias by the police force. At the same time a commission has to be established to oversee the orderly land re-allocation and the sourcing of resources that will help reestablish the country as the leading horticultural and agricultural exporter in the region. There has also been talk of an independent Truth and Reconciliation Commission that could be established under the auspices of the United Nations.
I have deliberately left out the AU because I believe that they have been complicit in the whole Mugabe debacle and their neutrality will forever remain questionable in the eyes of the Zimbabweans. All this must be achieved by consensus between all the stakeholders.
The Political Parties act
As I have said previously change for the sake of change is pointless. The fact that you have removed a hated dictator does not automatically translate into the bettering of the lives of the people involved. More often than not, you will just have substituted one form of a brutal and unaccountable government with another. A classic example is Kenya where democratic elections have been held and the long time dictator Daniel Arap Moi was removed from power only to be substituted by an even worse dictator, Mwai Kibaki. Admittedly there has been change in Kenya but is it the kind of change that the Kenyan people were yearning for?
The PPA is my own attempt to ensure that when change does come to Zimbabwe, it will not be the same kind of change as we have seen in Kenya where things changed for the worse instead of them being otherwise.
Tswangirai is already showing signs of intolerance towards any challenge to his authority (that is if he still has any) and if we are to learn any lessons from the Kenyan debacle then measures have to be put in place to ensure that we do not fall into the same trap. These proposals have to apply to both the ruling party and the opposition parties. The point that I am trying to make is that it is okay to change leadership of any party and that there is no one person who is gifted with monopoly of wisdom. It will also address the issue of opposition parties that believe that it is only the ruling parties that have to change leaders periodically while they are not running their organization on the same principle. If we are to move towards full democracy then we should embrace it with all its dictates.
I am proposing that:
The longest that a leader of the ruling party should stay at the helm of the in government should be a maximum of two 5 years terms if his party is re-elected to parliament and provided the party chooses him to stand for consecutive terms
The leader of any opposition party must only be allowed to contest a single election. If his challenge is unsuccessful then he is to step down in keeping with acceptable international norms. But if, after staying in opposition for five years or such shorter periods as the party supporters may determine, he is victorious in elections then he will be allowed to serve the constitutional two terms in office. After which he is to step down and allow the next person to take over the reigns in the event of the party being re-elected.
In the event of the governing party being defeated in an election the incumbent leader of the party is to step down as well to allow the party to elect a successor to lead the party in opposition.
Every party must have clear guidelines on the recognition and grooming of talent so as to encourage some gifted individuals to challenge for positions because they will be emboldened by the fact that they stand a chance of recognition. This will encourage prospective candidates to work hard and that will be very healthy for the country in the long run.
All parties must have clearly laid down guiding principles so as to help people to make informed choices. This will also ensure that we do not have parties that are based on personality cults like ZanuPf and the MDC in Zimbabwe, Renamo in Mozambique, just to name but a few. Personality cults give birth to unaccountable regimes and in turn promote cronyism and corruption as these individuals are given the status of demigods.
Any member of any party who indulges in politically motivated violence must be arrested and brought before the courts. Such individuals, if found guilty, must be given custodial sentences of no less than 12 months and be banned from voting and holding public office for periods of up to 10 years. The sentence should be reduced if the individual(s) can identify the person in a position of leadership who would have incited such an act and his evidence result in a conviction for the offending officials.
Any leader or person in a position of authority in a political party who is found guilty of inciting violence must be given custodial sentences for periods of no less than 12 months with no option of a fine. They have to be banned from voting and holding public office for up to 10 years. This is meant to encourage responsible leadership and encourage people to exercise their right to choose their leaders without any pressure being brought to bear on them.
Chiefs have to be depoliticised so as to ensure that the tradition of chieftainship is not brought into disrepute as they are supposed to be neutral arbitrators on issues affecting their subjects. Otherwise they should just be reduced to ceremonial chiefs without any right to settle disputes because their neutrality has already been compromised.
Any party that is victorious in an election must cease to represent only the interests of the ruling party but the aspirations of the whole nation without regards to political affiliation. The party must immediately change its stance and assume a nationalist approach to governance. The spirit behind this being that, in a democratic dispensation, even the aspirations of the minority have to be taken into cogniscence.
Thabo Mbeki, COSATU, the SACP, and SADC
If political patronage is the single factor that has strengthened Mugabe's hold on power domestically, then on the international scene he has always counted on Thabo Mbeki. The South African president has not only been the disgraced Harare regime's biggest apologist but he has gone on to bankroll the ZanuPf election campaign at a time when COSATU, a crucial partner in the ruling ANC government, was demonstrating against the injustices that were being visited upon the Zimbabwean people by their government and the way they were conducting their build up to the elections. Of late he is said to have authorized the sale of helicopter spares and other military hardware to the embattled regime in a deliberate violation of the international ban on arms sales to the country.
If you are waiting for Thabo Mbeki to come up with a solution to the Zimbabwean problem, I will advise you not to hold your breath because it may be a while yet before he does anything. In the words of Sahra Ryklirf in his essay entitled "Does the emperor really have no clothes? Thabo Mbeki and ideology", he says of Thabo Mbeki,
"In a collection of comments in a recent analysis (Corrigan 1999: 75-85) he has been described as inter alia, consistent, inconsistent and/or ambiguous, chameleonic, and manipulative"
"…….primarily a strong manager, one who prefers technical solutions, and one who seeks accommodation without due regard to ideological fault-lines – all of these suggesting that he is ideologically and politically weak"
Mbeki has supported Mugabe openly, yet he also supported the suspension of Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth. He dines with the west when he is advocating for NEPAD during the day and sleeps with the worst during the night in the name of African unity. Political decisions are better left to politicians and Mbeki is not. But as long as he remains the leader of South Africa we must question him about his unholy relationship with the ageing Zimbabwean leader. He must be questioned about the various rescue packages that he has given to the regime and the morality of it all. Pumping money into the coffers of corrupt and unaccountable governments is counterproductive and as such governments that support such regimes must be brought to account for their actions
We had a window of opportunity that was presented by the G8 summit on aid to Africa that was held in Gleneagles Scotland earlier this year. Mbeki and his cronies in the SADC should have been told that there would be consequences for supporting renegade regimes. The cancellation of the debt owed by all SADC countries should have been tied to the countries taking a deliberate turn towards the respect for human rights and how they relate to governments that violate human rights like the Mugabe regime. The west had only to specify that they were not going to give rebates to countries that have bad human rights record and those countries that support repressive governments. The SADC heads of state have ganged up in support of a government that has torn to pieces the very soul of the nation it is meant to serve; they have chosen to stand with their backs to the cries of a people who now live on their knees begging for life, because they want to be politically correct. But at what price and for what end? How much more unnecessary suffering and grief before these leaders realize the actual cost of their actions or lack of. These leaders have to brought to bear for their continued paramilitary and diplomatic support to the disgraced Robert Mugabe.
This has to be the end game. All loose ends have to be tidied up. Everybody has to speak with one voice in order to end the madness in Zimbabwe.
This is not a call to arms but a call to action. Not doing anything about a situation is doing something because you make a choice to ignore what is happening. So by proxy, you become a player in the game as well. The problem with inaction is that it does not bring results but allows the situation to deteriorate. We have to make a deliberate move to normalize the situation in Zimbabwe.
Thabo Mbeki has to be told in no uncertain terms that the region risks losing out on debt cancellation and aid if they support repressive governments like Mugabes. The SADC leaders must be made to take responsibility for the way they govern their citizens. Aid must be given or cancelled using a points system based on the country's domestic human rights record and their foreign policies with specific regard to the way they relate to despotic regimes. They cannot be allowed to bury their heads in the sand and pretend its business as usual in Harare when its not. They cannot pretend that things are not going terribly wrong, with the likes of Benjamin Mkapa, the Tanzanian president, selling tonnes and tonnes of tear gas to Mugabe knowing full well that these things were going to be used for repressive purposes. The SADC heads of state must be made to account for their actions. You cannot expect honesty from politicians but you can hold them accountable to their ethics. The SADC Organ on Politics and Security was set up as a guarantee for regional security, but they can never be security in the region in the absence of justice. These leaders have turned on their own people by not adhering by their joint undertakings to uphold human rights because basically their own people are not affected. In the case of others like Mkapa, they managed to get away with it because his country got a debt cancellation soon after supplying Bob with tear gas. Am I the only one noticing the paradox in all this.
All for one and one for all. That is the way the SADC leadership 'trade union' wants it; we have to let them have it. If you impose sanctions on Zimbabwe then sanctions must also be imposed on the governments that support the brutal regime. This has to be the end game.
I am also convinced that if we want to get lateral movement on this issue the focus has to be firmly on Thabo Mbeki. He is the only person who can change the direction the region has taken over this issue. He is also the hand that keeps Mugabe standing upright because he keeps shading him from the barrage of criticism from all over the globe. If he cannot make a u turn on his own accord then he must be forced to take the turn because the time for weakness is long past. The pressure on Mbeki must come from all angles because the stability of the region is riding on this. The situation must not be allowed to explode because it will start a fireball that will engulf the whole region in its flames.
We have to give COSATU and the SACP undiluted support on their stance regarding the South African government policy on Zimbabwe. Mbeki has to be forced to take decisive action on his comrade through sustained pressure. The Zimbabwean situation is not an internal matter just as apartheid was not an internal issue for the South Africans. It is a matter of a great mockery of justice that is keeping the Zimbabwean people straining even for a breathe of fresh air. The Zimbabwean people are calling on the world to hear their laments and come to their aid for they have huffed and puffed but Bob is not giving any ground.
Mbeki must not be allowed to get away with masquerading as the champion of good governance and the African renaissance by day yet by night he walks hand in hand with Mugabe oblivious of the corpses that line their way, oblivious of the hungry wails of children serenading their night. The people of Zimbabwe are reeling under a system of government that is both immoral and unjust. I know Mbeki has been described as being "chameleonic" meaning that he has no sense of self-identity but assumes the colour of his environment but he should at least feel stench of death that always accompanies his nocturnal activities with his northern neighbour We have to call on COSATU to take up our freedom cry and refuse to associate with the ANC if it does not stop supporting the Mugabe regime. They have to tell Thabo what the majority of the South African workers think, but they must find strength in knowing they have the support of the Zimbabwean public and the international community. They have to carry the torch to other labour movements within the South African Customs Union (SACU) and beyond. They (the unions) must send a clear message to their presidents to take urgent action on the Zimbabwean situation. This is the time for the regional people to recapture the spirit of yesteryear when they fought against the apartheid system as Frontline States. The front has not changed but the line sure has. The fight will not be over until the oppression of the regional peoples by their governments is confined to the dustbins of history. We must take up the fight against the Mugabe government to all the regional capitals and ask the regional leaders to act. They must know how the generality of their citizens feel about their protection of the embattled Robert Mugabe at the expense of the Zimbabwean people. We must unite, reorganize, and fight against the evil in our midst.
This is not a call to arms but a call to action. We have a responsibility to our posterity to preserve their heritage, as did our forefathers before us. We have to defend our legacy else history will judge us harshly. This has to be the end game.
If G8 leaders want to alleviate poverty in Southern Africa they have to first of all address the Zimbabwean problem because the country is a pivotal pressure point in that development. With the country working the dream of poverty alleviation in the region is a much more feasible goal. The country's roads and rail infrastructure are the gateway to most of the Southern African hinterland. With the systems functioning effectively the delivery of goods and services to most of the region would be expedited. Zimbabwe has to be brought into the fold but deliberate action needs to be taken to normalize the situation there. The underlying factor being that Mugabe must be forced out of office.
The Role of The United Nations
If another man-made catastrophe that will make Darfur in Sudan look like a kids party is to be avoided then the United Nations has to be seen to be taking a more active role in avoiding famine and an outbreak of an epidemic in Zimbabwe. Towns are now going for months without water and sanitation; a proper recipe for the fostering of disease and an outbreak of unparallel proportions is just a matter of time away. With tens of thousands forcibly removed from their homes and their sources of livelihood destroyed we have a very grim situation unfolding. With he rainy season beckoning it is really sad that we have whole families sleeping in the open without any protection from the whether elements. The UN must condemn the Zimbabwean government openly and ask them to change. If the report produced by the UN envoy to Zimbabwe is negative, the organization must seek to pass a resolution that will bind the Mugabe regime to act within certain parameters and be forced to democratize. The UN has condemned the actions of the Zimbabwean government but it appears for now they are just content with these pronouncements. The UN must start being proactive by envisaging such man-made disasters before they actually happen to get out of hand. They must stop acting as an organization that comes in to do damage control after lives have been lost. In other words the UN must stop being reactive and become more proactive as damage avoidance is always better than damage control. The organization needs to pass a resolution that checks the excesses of the Harare government and also condemn in the strongest of terms the administration's acts of wanton destruction and madness.
How long is the international community going to watch in paralysis while people are being systematically abused and raped by the very system that is sworn to protect them? Serious human rights abuses are going on everyday in the full view of the world press but no one wants to do anything about it because they say it is an internal issue. When does a situation graduate from being an internal issue to being an issue that can be classified as international? Does it depend on the body count or maybe it has something to do with who is at the receiving end? Can you imagine the kind of abuses like the ones occurring in Zimbabwe being allowed in mainland Europe or Eastern Europe at that?
The Secretary General should be seen to be taking a leading role in trying to bring sanity to the Zimbabwean debacle. His role is not only to visit areas where you find starving people like in Niger, or coming into areas because there have been natural disasters like after the Tsunami, he has a responsibility to be an ambassador for peace as well. The Zimbabwean people are asking you to be involved while they are still on their feet not when they are on their backs, too weak to do anything because by then it would be too late for most. Koffi Annan must fly to Harare, after consultations with other international players, and talk to Robert, and ask him to stand down for the sake of the country and the region. If the ZanuPf senior members realize that the international community is now resolute about the removal of Mugabe they will descend on him like vultures on a feeding frenzy for they have been circling around him waiting for a sign of weakness.
The important thing is that there should be increased diplomatic shuffling between New York and Harare. This issue is not about land nor is it about blacks against whites like Mugabe and his associates like portraying it. It is about a system of government that is essentially evil. It is about a system of government that has ripped apart the very soul of the nation that it is supposed to guard.
If the UN does pass a resolution on Zimbabwe they must also include some form of sanction on countries that are still supporting the Harare government, as it would have officially become a pariah state. The resolution should bind all countries to concentrate their energies on entreating Mugabe to step down instead of pampering him and selling him military hardware when the real need in the country is peace and justice, not war. The Secretary General must also stress to the likes of Mbeki and Mkapa that they have a responsibility not only to their nationals but to the Zimbabwean people as well. They must not be allowed to get away with selling military spares and hardware that they know will be used for repressive purposes and then declare themselves champions of the African cause. The UN has to whip them into line. These leaders have to be seen to be working to help free the Zimbabwean people from bondage instead of crucifying them. Whose side are they on anywhere?
The UN also has a responsibility to organize a peacekeeping force to oversee the pacification of the countryside and be responsible for disarming of the militias in the event of Bob either agreeing to leave office or being forcibly removed. The UN should also help in streamlining the country's army and turn them into an efficient professional unit that serves the country and not the party or a single man. The military and the police have to be deZanuinised.
The UN also needs to take a leading role in planning for a post Mugabe Zimbabwe. The Zanuinisation of the civil service transcends all the ministries and government departments. The organization has to take into cogniscence the fact that the country has suffered a massive hemorrhaging of its skilled human resources base. Nothing is working in Zimbabwe and the UN needs to take a leading role in campaigning for governments to stop the deportation of Zimbabweans. Instead the respective governments should be encouraged to put in place programmes that will train people in the areas that will need revitalization in the post Mugabe era. There must be programmes to train police officers, for example, who will be attached to the host governments forces for specified periods before they are finally repatriated to Zimbabwe. The same can be done with the nurses, doctors, accountants, teachers, engineers, and all the imaginable sectors that may need revitalization. Deporting these people back to a hopeless situation is counterproductive. People with failed claims should be encouraged to register for programmes that will mean that they optimize their abilities because then they will be able to use their qualifications to the benefit of both the host governments' tax coffers and the future of Zimbabwe. The UN has to be at the forefront of such schemes. Instead of sending people back home where they will become part of the problem because they will not be in a position to contribute to recovery, host governments can train them and give them working attachments for specific periods so that they become part of the solution. The UN must be seen to be taking a leading role in this regard. When we fight our wars we must also realize that victory is not an end in itself but the beginning of another process – rebuilding.
The world body must take responsibility for overseeing the reform of the political parties to reflect a new dispensation. If the reform of political parties is done properly and exhaustively with genuine effort being put by all stakeholders, then the country has a genuine chance of success. It has a chance of reforming itself in such away that it could be used as a model for countries caught up in strife.
The Role Of The Opposition
The opposition MDC must take this opportunity to reform itself and try to recapture their lost support base. If the party is to remain relevant to the country's political scenario it has to undergo some kind of metamorphosis. There has to be a radical change in the way it carries out its business, and the first thing for them to do is to stop modeling themselves like ZanuPf. The opposition party will do well by removing first of all Tswangirai and other under performing executives from the helm of the party. The party desperately needs a new impetus and that can only be achieved by allowing in new people with fresh ideas and a bit of energy to burn.
The current crop of leadership appears to suffer from some form of paralysis when it comes to making important decisions. I was really amazed when I watched Morgan Tswangirai being interviewed on BBC about the outcome of the elections earlier in the year. He was asked what his party's next course of action was going to be since he was claiming that his party had been robbed and the guy did not have even the vaguest clue what his next move was going to be. What kind of incompetence is that? He is supposed to inspire confidence in his leadership by showing confidence in himself. Honestly, if Morgan has any grey matter still left in his head, did he ever imagine in his wildest dream that he was going to win the 2005 election? It did not require a crystal ball for one to predict that the opposition was going to be thrashed. Surely Morgan should have had some contingency plan for such an eventuality if he was taking his job seriously. Maybe for him it is just a ride on the gravy train, which might explain why he is now inviting his cronies to come and supper him.
I am positive that Tswangirai is dangerous to the survival of opposition politics in Zimbabwe because he is now already picturing himself in the shoes of the great emperor himself, the only thing missing from his picture is an empire. Let us make it stay that way. The MDC must allow itself to evolve. They must make democracy their guiding principle and at the same time accept that the only thing that is permanent in this world is change. Whilst pursuing the goal of democracy, the party has to accept that somewhere along the way there will have to be some change because change ensures the survival of the party and, conversely, of democracy. If we are to learn anything from nature, a species that does not adapt to its changing environment is doomed to extinction. The dinosaurs failed to adjust to their changing surroundings and they became victims of their own inability to change. Even a pride of lions will only allow a dominant male to lead as long as it still has the authority to lead otherwise the survival of the whole pride will be at risk. It is a natural thing to hand over the baton stick when you have run your part of the race, its not a disgrace to hand the baton to someone else to run his part of the race, and him to the next until the person best positioned person carries the race to the finishing line. The sooner the MDC realizes this the better.
Undoubtedly the MDC has a very important part to play within the Zimbabwean political scenario and its survival is important to the fight for the total emancipation of the Zimbabwean people. It has to reform itself and prepare to make a realistic challenge for government. It must, in the interim, live a door open for talks with the ruling party aimed at firstly pushing Bob out of power, and secondly, to form a transitional administration that will oversee the reorganization of all the country's institutions. But the right to sit at these talks should not be automatic. Parties have to be seen to be making an effort to reform the way they govern themselves and the way they want to govern the country.
After all is said and done, the MDC should just forget about wrestling power from the ruling party because they are in worse of state than the ruling party. ZanuPf is at its weakest but they have stayed in power because the opposition is weaker. The ruling party has to be part of the solution to the problem that they created. It is only with their connivance that a smooth transfer of power from the Mugabe era to the next age can be guaranteed. Let us tape into it.
The role of the ruling party after Mugabe
The leadership of the ruling party has an obligation to the Zimbabwean people to restore law and order in the country but not in the style that we have witnessed recently. It also has got to reform itself in line with the new dispensation and move away from the self-destructive confrontation with the international community. ZanuPf is also obliged to put in place well thought out programmes and policies that will not result in disasters like the Congo adventure and the ill advised manner in which land reform was conducted. The Political Parties Act would ensure that political parties spell out their guiding philosophies and policies and thus make it easier for people to make informed choices at election times. The party's leaders have a responsibility to assist the international community to restore order and security to the countryside and the cities. They have to take an active role in dismantling the paramilitary green bombers and the marauding hordes of war veterans. They have to play this part themselves because that is maybe the only chance for peace in the country.
The new ruling party leaders must derive lessons from the National Party in South Africa, which had to ditch P. W. Botha as its leader because he was obstinate and was standing in the way of peace. The NP removed Botha from power because they finally listened to the voice of reason. Many had viewed F. W. De Klerk with skepticism because they believed that he was a chip off the old block. But he surprised many by the liberal stance that he took towards the anti-apartheid groups. He lifted the ban on anti-apartheid movements and started negotiations with the majority blacks to pave the way for a new South Africa.
I say the emperor has no clothes and he is as weak as he has never been. Let us kick him out in order for the country to move forward.
The role of the international community
The world governments must make conscious move towards removing Mugabe from power. There is no other way that Zimbabwe is going to come back from the brink with Bob still in power. The guy has lost the good will of both the international community and the Zimbabwean people. There is no reason to hope for a miracle or a miraculous turnaround in the performance of the incumbent. He does not have it in him to turn the country around.
I believe the international community should start putting together a rescue package that they have to dangle openly to the Zimbabwean politicians but the package should only be accessed after certain measures have been fulfilled. The most important of these being that Mugabe must step down. Everybody in Zimbabwe desperately wants the country to return to normal. The world can offer this aid if the ruling party and the MDC unite to pass a vote of no confidence in the president. The parties have also to be asked to reform themselves if they are to receive further assistance.
Whilst we are plotting the ouster of Mugabe we should not forget about the rebuilding exercise. We have some people with good qualifications who are living in hiding because they do not have a legal status in the UK for example. This is the potential that we need to tap into by giving these people training in the various fields that have been all but destroyed by Mugabe's actions. The UK government will also be able to bring back some ghost immigrants to their books. Thus they will help these people by giving them a life after they return home and at the same time help achieve the goal of poverty alleviation in Africa and reduce permanent immigration. Most Zimbabweans want to just work here for a while and then go back home.
Britain needs to be at the forefront of this effort because of the historical ties between our two countries. As the former colonial power some of the problems that the country is experiencing now are products of the actions, or lack of action, of the former colonial power. The British government cannot dodge the fact that they have a degree of culpability in the whole problem. Ducking the responsibility will only make the issue more difficult to solve. Besides, the UK is uniquely positioned on the European front as the country holding the presidency of the European union. This puts Britain in a position where it can take a commanding role in pushing for a resolution of the Zimbabwean problem by lobbying other European partners to take a common stand and action.
As I said before inaction is an act that produces no activity and thus changes nothing. Engage the Harare government and then we have a chance for change. The time for action is now.
This has to be the end game.
I will not assume that this plan will find favour with all the people, or most of them at that, but what I have tried to do is take you into my world. What I am really interested in is to see if this plan can really work. I can be accused of failing but I will not be accused of failing to try. I have painstakingly researched this article, which I started with a lot of gusto because I was working purely on adrenalin. And then I stopped and questioned my ability to finish it but then I realized that if I give up, all the research and sacrifice would have been for nothing. Thus with a newfound energy or the little that I could muster, I pushed myself on. I may not have finished my article the way I wanted to but it is now getting into my nerves and is beginning to run my life. But before I move on, I would like to make a few parting shorts.
I have always had a feeling that Mugabe's intelligence is overrated and that he is not as powerful as most people would have us think. I hope the Halifax Proposal has exposed some serious weaknesses of the Zimbabwean tyrant, and if the proposals are applied soberly will usher in the new day that the world has been awaiting for so long. Antjie Krog said of Botha when he came to testify before the truth and reconciliation commission in the 90s
".and for a split second I look back into the flat, mud-coloured surfaces of his eyes, grotesquely enlarged by his glasses. And I know this man, who has had Mandela offering to accompany him to the Truth Commission, who has had Tutu begging him to assist the commission, who has had the world media chasing after him...is dom. He is not senile, or old, or suffering from the effects of a stroke: he is a fool...And we have been governed by this stupidity for decades"
You will be forgiven for thinking that she was actually referring to Bob but I also hope the similarity in descriptions will not end there.
We must remove Mugabe from office and expose him for the fool that he is. He must not be allowed to threaten anybody with his 'crocodile teeth' anymore. We must choose freedom. Bob must not be allowed to dehumanize us and then tell the world that he is doing it in our name. Not in my name. I refuse to have Mugabe do anything in my name ever. But I will not hang my head in shame because my conscious is clear. This man must be brought to account for what he has done to the people of Zimbabwe. A Truth and Reconciliation Commission has to be put in place, not out of a spirit of retribution, but as a precaution for the future. People have the right to know what went wrong so that they can avoid the same pitfalls tomorrow.
It is said that when you find yourself in a hole you must stop digging.
Not Bob. The guy must have been a mole in his past life because I can almost swear that he was born to dig. So maybe, just maybe, it is not his fault, because it is in his nature to just keep burrowing. But, surely, we can blame the people who keep following around on his digging missions when they know that they should not have gone into the hole in the first place and, secondly, that they should have left him in the hole ages ago and climbed out.
Maybe they need a rope to be lowered into their pit to show them that there is life out of the hole. Perchance they might decide to abandon their futile mission and their doomed leader.
This is my proposal. This is The Halifax proposal.
Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
It might just work!!!!!-
FIRST COMMENT (4th MAY, 2007)
Yes Mguni I have read your article and I have this to advise you as an ambitious politician.
-Do you know the odds that Morgan and co operate against when you just say they have failed. Do you know that there is noone who has challenged Mugabe to the extent of what Tsvangirai did.
Tekere and Nkomo, Sithole and many others did nothing better.Ask your colleagues in the Mutambara faction that, they thought they could do better now they are stuck. The can't go past 1000 votes (Its a fact).
They have all the campaign tools they need, noone is holding them
-If you doubt this, go ahead and form your party, you will be one amoung numerous, UPP, etc.
-Don't say Morgan must retire because he was recently elected at the congress by his party to lead the party fo the next five years. Don't try to hijack his party, FORM YOUR OWN!!
-If you want him to go, why didn't you come to the congress and try to campaign.
-It is clear at this stage that he is the most priced asset that the opposition have.
-Wish you good luck malume.