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A view beyond the Zimbabwe coup

17/01/2018 00:00:00
by Mutsa Murenje
 
 
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There is a mistaken view that all Zimbabweans supported the coup that brought Robert Mugabe’s tyrannical rule to an abrupt end. And somehow, we are being forced to accept that the leadership question has been adequately dealt with in Zimbabwe and that nobody should question the legitimacy of the unpopular Harare regime.

I don’t buy into this idiotic stance. The same mulish stance has been extended to the Gukurahundi atrocities and several political crimes committed since the dawn of the new millennium. “Let bygones be bygones,” we have been told so that we may embrace an illegitimate and brutal regime that used violence, murder and brutal tactics against its enemies. This isn’t the way to build a nation. A nation founded on violence against one’s enemies will not stand the test of time, it waits to fall when those on whom violence was used also seek to revenge.

We need to continually interrogate our positions and see if it is a constitutional or factional democracy that we are fighting for. For genuine writers, we “… are not here to conform. We are here to challenge. We’re not here to be comfortable – we’re here, really, to shake things up. That’s our job” (Jeanette Winterson). That notwithstanding, it has to be pointed out, from the outset, that some of us had wanted Mugabe to leave power for a long time but not under the circumstances in which he eventually left.

The extraordinary circumstances of his departure will be deeply etched in our minds especially when taking into account that the supposed reasons for his departure were only a ploy by the coup perpetrators to replace and entrench dictatorial rule in Zimbabwe. I invite you, dear readers, to consider a view beyond the Zimbabwean coup because, as H.H. Rowley reasoned, “I have frequently observed that problems which appear simple on the surface often prove to be very complex on examination ….”

Towards the political events that humiliated and ended Mugabe’s political career and careers of others close to him, I had been paying rapt attention to the factional politics at play in fractured ZANU PF. ZANU PF had become weaker by the time the likes of Simba Makoni and Dumiso Dabengwa left it.

Joice Mujuru’s departure further weakened it and since Mugabe was believed to have been the glue that united the revolutionary party, Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ascendancy via the bullet and not the ballot has destroyed it and his victory is thus hollow to the extent that he only won a factional fight albeit violently.



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There are serious allegations that he stands accused of. He has been implicated in the 1980s Gukurahundi atrocities that saw the demise of Jonathan Moyo’s father, Job Mlevu and the infamous violence that made Mugabe obstinate and refuse to leave power when defeated by the MDC in 2008. Moyo is wholly opposed to Mnangagwa and his (Moyo’s) recent interview on BBC Hardtalk with Zeinab Badawi has further put Zimbabwe on the spotlight.

Love him or hate him, I strongly share Moyo’s views. A constitutional democracy can never allow the imposition of leaders on the nation. A coup is still a coup whether or not you deify its perpetrators. As for me and others alike, I will only recognise a legitimate administration, not impostors.

Indeed, SADC, AU, the UN and whoever has recognised the illegal regime in Zimbabwe is making a grave mistake. Zimbabweans should be allowed the opportunity to elect their representatives in a transparent, free, fair and credible election. The argument that the High Court sanitised the coup and that nobody has challenged the legitimacy of the violent regime in court ignores the fact that the judiciary, like several other state institutions, has been captured by the Lacoste faction. This also explains why opposition lawyers are even representing victims of political purges by the Mnangagwa regime.

Mnangagwa doesn’t tolerate dissent and having been outmanoeuvred by Moyo, it is him and not Moyo who is bitter. Should it be true that Moyo is a bitter man, then I am convinced it is for a good cause. The Zimbabwean constitution has been grossly violated and it is our duty to protect it against military encroachment. Power in the hands of an irresponsible person will be used to exterminate his opponents. Mnangagwa has just demonstrated that he will stop at nothing to get to his enemies.

Who, then, is safe under these circumstances? The Mthwakazi protestors have since suffered flagrant violations of their human rights on the pretext that they were sent by Moyo to demonstrate against Mnangagwa’s involvement in the Gukurahundi atrocities. The Zimbabwean opposition in its entirety will have to be really worried. In politics, there is no such thing as permanent friends, but permanent interests. In the history of this world, there has never been a man, dead or living, who staged a coup for the benefit of another. Therefore, the foolish sense of entitlement continues even under the pretensions of Zimbabwe being in a new era. This is a “new error” we are in and the solution needs to be found before Zimbabwe really becomes a “Banana Republic.”

We hadn’t seen him for a long time and it had been long too since we had last heard from him. Thanks to the Lacoste faction backed by the military! We finally had the chance to see and hear from Morgan Tsvangirai following a visit to his residence by the coup perpetrators. Various writers before me have since addressed the visit and its implications. I am not going to get into this. I will address, here and now, the matters concerning the MDC Alliance, in view of the impending 2018 elections. The Alliance needs to have Tsvangirai replaced and ensure that all matters pertaining to political or electoral reforms are addressed because we can’t afford to go into an election when these matters haven’t been duly attended to. Tsvangirai needs his rest and recovery time. It’d be even good to dedicate the 2018 elections to him and others who founded the MDC in 1999. The Alliance has a good chance to wrestle power from the military and return our country to constitutional rule and not martial law.

In conclusion, the postponement of elections by the illegal regime is therefore out of question. Mnangagwa can’t buy more time to extend his illegal rule on Zimbabwe. Thus, citizens who have rejected or questioned Mnangagwa’s legitimacy deserve our gratitude, whether or not we find their challenges to be justified or not. As I see it, it is imperative that we keep questioning and continually re-examining illegitimate regimes so that we have legitimate administrations and not those imposed on us by the vitriolic actions of the military. May God help Zimbabwe! The struggle continues unabated!

 


 
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