‘What is this fuss all about? They are only selling cars’ – Colonial Mugabe’s hypocritical response to corruption and poor service delivery

Posted: November 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

Colonial tendencies

Despite Mugabe’s consented efforts to portray Zimbabwe as progressive when he opened the fifth and final session of parliament on Tuesday in Harare, there are so many things that should make us not trust his word. In his typical style of any of his public speeches of late, Mugabe attacked the West for having a hand in Zimbabwe’s ills. For all the years he has done this, one would have thought Mugabe wants nothing to do with the West, especially Britain. Unsurprisingly enough, Mugabe suffers colonial last in his personal life and order as we saw him arriving in a vintage British Bentley surrounded by police on horseback wearing colonial style pith helmets. In the opening procession, Supreme Court justices were clad in the colonial red gowns and off-white wigs called toupees – worn by barristers

Publicly confirming his love for the West – Mugabe enters in style

in Commonwealth countries. To me, this is a typical case of hypocrisy from Mugabe and his government whereby during the day, they tell people to abandon British tendencies yet by night, they so desire to be part of the Westminster way of doing things. How then are we expected to trust his word that for the past decade has seen the collapse of the economy and the country’s citizens being thrown into desperate human beings scattered all over the world while those who remain at home struggle to make ends meet?

Empty peace talks?

While we welcome Mugabe’s calls to shun violence during his opening of parliament, by now, we all know that Mugabe’s left hand deliberately leaves the right hand to do opposite things. In the same proceedings last year, Mugabe preached peace inside parliament while MDC supporters were being beaten by his party hooligans outside. While there was calm this time around, violence was happening somewhere else. As Mugabe urged peace inside parliament on Tuesday, seven officials from the Welshman Ncube-led MDC party were being brutally attacked by a group of suspected Zanu PF supporters while conducting a door-to-door campaign in Chitungwiza. At the same time, Villagers in Midlands’ Gokwe and Mashonaland West, were reporting that uniformed soldiers are forcing them to attend political rallies, where they are being warned that more soldiers with guns will be deployed to punish them if they do not support ZANU PF policies on the constitution and in elections due next year. Given the history of ZANU PF’s election campaign strategies, who in their right mind would believe Mugabe when he says next elections must be peaceful? Further insulting our intelligence is the belief as reported in the media that Mugabe has summoned service chiefs to warn them about consequences of violence in the next elections. I am not trying to pre-empt efforts for peace by Mugabe but I am just working with what we have on the ground.

They are only selling cars – Avoiding core matters

In his speech on Tuesday, Mugabe completely ignored appalling service delivery that he has presided over since he attained power in 1980. He failed to mention the scourge of corruption that has resulted in Zimbabweans living in sham conditions. As we speak, the cities of Bulawayo and Kwekwe have gone for many weeks without proper water supplies reflecting Mugabe’s mismanagement. While others may feel that it is not Mugabe’s problem, under his watch corruption has taken root in our country and those responsible seem to have unending impunity. Speaking at a recent discussion forum on public accountability and corruption at the Quill Club in Harare that was organised by the newly-formed Coalition against Corruption, a non-governmental organisation, Simba Makoni the MKD President described corruption in Zimbabwe as endemic, saying it pervaded political, economic, social and religious spheres and also affected the private sector. To track impunity under Mugabe’s rule, Makoni said corrupt tendencies started manifesting themselves immediately after independence citing the Willowgate scandal in which government officials in the 1990s resold the cars they had received at inflated prices. As a Minister of Finance then, Makoni asked Mugabe what he was going to do about the Willowgate scandal and he just answered: ‘What is this fuss all about? They are only selling cars’. As the saying goes, a fish rots from its head and there is no political will to fight corruption. Today, the same can be said about mineral proceeds in the country especially in the diamond industry which Mugabe has ignored probably saying “They are only selling stones”. With such tendencies, there is nowhere we can find ourselves finding solutions to water problems in the country. This is the very reason why Mugabe saw it unnecessary to talk about consequences and measures to curb corruption and on that note, I believe the old man needs to resign.

Look at home

After the recent Marikana incident in South Africa, Mugabe’s spin  doctors were quick to laugh and point a finger to South African leadership weaknesses but here they are, failing to look at how many people Mugabe has killed in his rule.

Who wants an early election?

In his speech while opening parliament, Mugabe said it was time the constitution making process was speeded up in order to hold a referendum, clearing a way for harmonised elections in March 2013. I find this questionable because ZANU PF is planning to temper with the draft, something which will create even more disputes and not enough time to meet the March 2013 election deadline. Recent utterances by President Robert Mugabe, that the three Principals in the Global Political Agreement (GPA) have the final say on the making of a new constitution for Zimbabwe are not fair to Zimbabwe. These utterances by the President of the country are a clear expression to undermine wishes of the people of Zimbabwe who for years have been working on the process. I believe whoever is not satisfied by what was suggested in the draft must wait for their turn to either vote “yes” or “no” when the time to decide the draft’s fate comes. Mugabe, even in his capacity as the President cannot make changes to what people have said. This tendency, together with many factors such as the voter’s role, free media and campaigns without intimidation remain a major concern whether the upcoming elections will be fair. If our politicians fail to demonstrate a commitment to allow free will, what guarantees do we have that our vote will reflect our choices? In March 2013, Zimbabwe will not be ready to hold elections and I suspect the president is only worried about his age and health; hence a desire to hold elections without reforms. Our country needs to clear the current huddles that threaten to prevent fairness and Mugabe’s calls for an end in political violence are likely to mean nothing if current behaviours and signs indicate that we are heading for another disputed election.

  1. Rejoice Ngwenya says:

    Mugabe says ‘ZANU-PF inotonga’ – so why does he want early elections? To ‘rid the government of MDC’! Good luck, sekuru.

  2. Mathula says:

    The man is old and has lost the plot completely…he he

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