HomeEditorial CommentEditor's DeskTime for Zimbabweans to move country forward

Editor’s DeskTime for Zimbabweans to move country forward


“I lay my head on a sleepless pillow”. Idiomatic English meaning the subject had a sleepless night! But look at how the pillow has taken the blame when in reality it was the head that in fact was so worked up it couldn’t get any rest throughout the night! It’s the pillow that has become “sleepless” rather than the head. This is a figure of speech called the “transferred epithet”; the epithet or adjective (sleepless) has been transferred from the noun it must describe (in this case, the head) to quite another (the pillow) to dramatic effect.
We have seen, in the past few years, the same figure of speech applied, by politician after politician, to the Zimbabwean situation with the result that issues have become so clouded we no longer know what exactly defines the Zimbabwean problem.
The government of national unity (GNU) born out of the global political agreement (GPA) has variously been described as a “problematic marriage”, an “evil coalition”, an “unworkable arrangement” and so on. The GPA, which was supposed to give the country a soft landing from its decade-long political and economic crisis has now become the villain when it is the protagonists, the signatories to that agreement, who are in fact problematic, evil and impossible to work with; in short, insufferable. The GPA was supposed to be the “pillow” on which to lay our heads while we recovered from the crisis at the same time working out a way forward. Instead, it has become the stage where unfruitful political bickering is taking place.
An alien would be forgiven to think that the Zimbabwean problem is the GPA considering the huffing and puffing we have had recently with every political player blaming the arrangement, and not themselves, for the state we find ourselves in. For goodness’s sake, the problem is not the GPA, the problem is centred around an incorrigible political clique which sees a threat to its own survival in the revival of the country. It is a clique which has entrenched itself like a virus in the spinal code of the nation. It comprises a bunch of political oligarchs whose only claim to fame is their spurious contribution to the anti-colonial struggle, which claim they have exaggerated to the extent of distorting the role of the masses who in fact bore the brunt of the liberation war while they enjoyed themselves in the safety of European capitals.
Events of the past few weeks show that Zanu PF never had the desire to hold early elections contrary to the pronouncements they have made over the years. During their past two national conferences held in Mutare and Bulawayo in 2010 and 2011 respectively, high on the agenda was the call for harmonised elections within a year. It turned out this was a ruse to actually postpone them until they had achieved the main goal, namely to have President Robert Mugabe rule for life.
The ruse worked this way: as they feverishly and unreasonably called for elections their political rivals played into their hands by opposing them. The more Zanu PF called for elections, the more public opinion was cemented against them and the international community played along. To show that Zanu PF never had any intention to hold any elections, under any constitution whatever, they have refused to endorse the draft constitution and move forward to the referendum. What is obvious now is that the elections will be held next year when President Mugabe has served his full term together with his unelectable cabal of expired politicians who are where they are simply because of the violence they unleashed on the voting public before the March 2008 elections. It is now clear the public will not vote for this lot simply for its contribution to the liberation of this country; voters are looking for people who would drive the country forward by confronting the problems afflicting it head on and coming up with workable solutions. That this is true is demonstrated by the fact that Zanu PF secretary for information and publicity Rugare Gumbo, for example was, despite his war credentials, defeated in the last election by a mere newsreader in Mberengwa. He is not the only one who in futility still depends on the past for political survival!
After setting the election timetable through deceit and chicanery to suit its self-serving agenda, Zanu PF has won the day and it has become obvious the Kariba Draft will prevail. It is the draft — more or less — that will be put to the referendum and all parties in the GNU will campaign for the yes vote. For the common people, despite the fact that their will would have been subverted, there will be no choice but to give the new constitution the nod. The people are tired of the political bickering and they now know a constitution is only as good as the governmental institutions that back it; so there is really no need to be held back by a phantom.
It has become patently clear that the Sadc mediation of the Zimbabwean crisis has come to nought; it has not delivered the Zimbabwe we want. As the Zimbabwean crisis plays itself out, it might turn out the next trouble spot on the subcontinent would be South Africa itself, which had been mandated to midwife the delivery of a new Zimbabwe. The consequences of the Marikana Masacre in which close to 40 demonstrators were shot dead by the police last week 100km from Johannesburg are too early to quantify but that they will have far-reaching implications on the stability of that country is without question.
This brings to the fore the question; is it possible one country can bring lasting solutions to the problems of another? In the political quicksand of Africa this is well-nigh impossible, meaning any country’s destiny is in the hands of its own people.
In the past few years Zimbabweans have been battered, duped and criminalised by the same people supposed to lead them. They have been hounded out of their beloved country; they have had their homes destroyed and they have had their future and that of their children decimated. Between now and the elections, whenever they will come, under whichever constitution, Zimbabweans must lay their heads on a sleepless pillow, so to speak, reflecting how they can influence the birth of the future they want. Passively waiting for deliverance from Sadc or our political parties, will keep the country stuck in a time warp.

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