HomeOpinion & AnalysisGrace may be Zim’s President

Grace may be Zim’s President

It might actually come to pass that First Lady Grace Mugabe could one day rule Zimbabwe.

Zanda Shumba

The attitude of Zimbabweans is that of laissez faire kind with regard to what happens in their country or what is done by their government.

We have become so hopeless and so powerless and at the mercy of Zanu PF.

The party does whatever it wants with us, I mean whatever. As far as we Zimbabweans are concerned, we are adrift in a whirlwind, without control of our destiny and only waiting to see where we will end up.

President Robert Mugabe lost to MDC in 2008 but “won” a solo poll after MDC withdrew citing unprecedented violence against its members around the country.

People did not protest. Later Mugabe and former South African president Thabo Mbeki literally coaxed MDC into a Government of National Unity (GNU) promising some reforms. However, of all the reforms stipulated in the GPA only the constitution writing was undertaken.

For this, Zanu PF made sure that the paper was tailor-made primarily to enhance its own interests. We Zimbabweans maintained silence.

In last year’s election, again Zanu PF took advantage of our silence. Supporters of opposition parties were not allowed to register to vote.

Opposition parties contested in an election in which they had no means of verifying the election process. They had no access to the voters’ roll; they also could not freely hold rallies. The security forces openly pledged their support for the ruling Zanu PF and vowed not to let anyone take over from Mugabe. This is not acceptable.

The opposition must insist on reforms first and must not contest in any future elections conducted under skewed settings. We witnessed this in the July 31 elections where the voters’ roll was feloniously withheld, and where the “court” seemed reluctant to compel the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to avail election material to be used as evidence.

As a result, Zanu PF unambiguously and shamelessly rigged the last elections under the very nose of change-deserving Zimbabweans.

Still we have accepted all this hogwash without complaining.
Zanu PF has no clue whatsoever on how to get the country out of the economic crisis that is devastating the livelihoods of ordinary Zimbabweans, but it is still holding on to power.

Unemployment is at 90% and more than 70% of the population lives below the poverty datum line. People have no access to water and roads are in a bad state.

Government raises revenue through unjust means that actually amounts to extortion. The health delivery system is almost non-existent while the education system is highly compromised, seeing undeserving people graduating with PhDs without having studied for them. There is poor remuneration of civil servants with erratic pay dates. Zanu PF has completely failed the people.

Given these conditions, life continues as normal without any sign of discomfort on the part of the Zimbabweans. I talked to a colleague sometime ago.

He said, “Zimbabweans will only be in horrifying danger when they begin to perceive the absence of service delivery as something normal”. We now have reached this juncture. Corruption is normal, so is sewage flowing along the streets; as is garbage accumulation near our homes or potholes on our roads.

When we go to Parirenyatwa or Harare hospitals and find no doctors or medicines, we accept it. We are comfortable with unacceptable situations. Mugabe has ruled for 34 years and this has impoverished Zimbabweans to an unimaginable extent. We still accept him as our leader, he who has done us this great injustice.

Zanu PF realises fully well how weak we are and stretches us to the breaking point still with no signs of resistance. So there is no reason why he cannot leave his wife to lead us, his stooges. We take anything.

To Mugabe, Zimbabwe is his own personal fiefdom. He is like a king. He only uses elections whose settings he fashions so that he always wins to gain some legitimacy in the eyes of the international community.

The election settings are cast in such a way that it is impossible for him to lose. In 2008 these settings were remodelled and panel beaten during an election process when victory for Mugabe looked less certain.

For Grace, it is a matter of whether she is willing to become President or not. Mugabe can do whatever he wants with the Zimbabwean people.

He manipulates both Zanu PF and Zimbabweans for his own personal gain. With Zanu PF being a party where everyone thrives or makes progress through bootlicking the Mugabes, I mean everyone, with no exception, we can see how the way is all open and marked for Grace to the presidency.

There is a good chance that we will all remain indifferent and endure more decades under Grace’s rule.

Recently all who want to seek favour from Mugabe have already nominated Grace for the politburo, while some have urged her to aim for the vice presidency which may ultimately see her become leader if Mugabe feels he is tired of ruling.

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