“We have an opposition that asked for sanctions, an opposition which has been cohabiting with countries that seek to undermine our development trajectory,” said Patrick Chinamasa, Zanu PF acting spokesperson and former Minister of Finance.
by Nomusa Garikai
“I would want a categoric statement from Mwonzora on sanctions to say he was mistaken and he must apologise to the Zimbabwean people for causing pain, something that has affected our development.”
Chinamasa was responding to the recent statement by the new MDC-T President, Douglas Mwonzora, calling for the lifting of the targeted sanctions imposed of Zanu PF leaders by the USA, UK and their western allies.
The sheer hypocrisy of Zimbabwe’s ruling elite reminds me of what Chinua Achebe said about the privileged.
“Privilege, you see, is one of the great adversaries of the imagination; it spreads a thick layer of adipose tissue over our sensitivity,” said Chinua Achebe, without doubt one of Africa’s priceless jewels.
Patrick Chinamasa and his fellow Zanu PF ruling elite’s layer of adipose tissue is so thick and hardened they are devoid of all sensitivity.
Oh, Chinamasa and his Zanu PF colleagues will claim that they are sensitive to the millions of ordinary Zimbabweans now living in abject poverty because of the country’s economic meltdown. They lack of sensitivity is subtle; they blame the economic meltdown on the sanctions imposed on the regime by the west knowing fully well that is a lie!
The real cause of the country’s economic meltdown is the gross mismanagement and rampant corruption. In a healthy and functioning democratic country, the people would have booted the corrupt and incompetent Zanu PF regime out of office a long time ago. Zimbabweans are stuck with the corrupt regime because Mnangagwa and company rig elections.
And so if Zanu PF ruling elite were being honest and sensitive to the suffering of millions of ordinary Zimbabweans now living in extreme poverty; i.e. they cannot afford one decent meal a day let alone education for their children and health care; they too would be demanding free, fair and credible elections as the only way to end the corruption and misrule endemic in the de facto one-party dictatorship.
The anti-sanction band wagon is full of hypocrites! Consider the following:
Turn back the clock to the period before Zimbabwe’s independence and most blacks including Zanu PF leaders supported the UN sanctions imposed on Rhodesia’s white racist regime of Ian Smith. The sanctions were to pressure the regime to dismantle the racist political system.
Sanctions, targeted or not, will disrupt the country’s economic activities and so many more people will suffer. The whites made a big song and dance about how much the black majority were suffering because of the sanctions.
The black majority accepted the economic hardship brought about by the UN sanctions knowing fully well that these hardships were nothing compared to those brought on by the white racist oppression and exploitation.
Zanu PF has vehemently maintained that the country’s elections have always been free, fair and credible. SADC and AU refused to endorse the 2008 elections as having been free and fair and Zanu PF was forced to go into a GNU which was tasked to implement a raft of reforms designed to end the curse of rigged elections.
Sadly, not even one reform was implemented and hence the need to retain the sanctions on the regime.
If the UN sanctions against the white ruled Rhodesia were justified; then sanctions are equally justified against this corrupt and equally oppressive Zanu PF government!
The UN sanctions were more austere than the targeted western sanctions, Mugabe confirmed this with his “look East” policy, and therefore it is rich to attribute Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown and the tragic human suffering it has brought to the western sanctions.
The root cause of Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown is decades of gross mismanagement and rampant corruption. In 2016 Mugabe revealed just how rampant corruption was when he admitted the country was being swindled US$ 15 billion in diamond revenue alone. Mugabe never arrested even one diamond swindler or recover one swindled dollar.
Mnangagwa promised to root out corruption after seizing power in the November 2017 military coup. Three years since the coup and he too is yet to arrest one diamond swindler or recover one swindled dollar. Indeed the blueprint used in the looting of diamonds have now been extended to other areas.
It is corruption that has bankrolled Mugabe’s sprawling US$ 2 billion mansion and his extravagant lifestyle and that of his fellow Zanu PF cronies. And, naturally, Zanu PF will never acknowledge corruption is the root cause of the economic meltdown because they are the Godfathers of corruption and don’t want it stamp out.
As long as Zanu PF remains in power corruption and mismanagement will remain. The only sure way to end corruption and mismanagement is by implementing the democratic reforms, end the curse of rigged elections and hold free, fair and credible elections.
The western imposed sanctions have been one way of put Zanu PF under pressure to implement the reforms.
The best opportunity to implement the reforms was during the 2008 to 2013 GNU. MDC leaders sold-out and failed to implement even one token reform in 5 years. Douglas Mwonzora was one of MDC- T MPs and senior members involved in sell-out.
It is ironic that the people of Zimbabwe have risked life and limb to elect MDC leaders into power on the understanding the party will deliver the democratic changes, as the party name implied, the nation was dying for. MDC leaders have not only failed to deliver even one democratic change in all their 20 years on the political stage; but worse still, they are now campaigning to have all other measures to force Zanu PF to implement reforms removed.
“Mwonzora must apologise for sanctions imposed on Zanu PF by the West!” MDC leaders have done a lot more than that by making sure no reforms are implemented and by participating in flawed and illegal elections thus giving the vote rigging Zanu PF regime legitimacy!
The moral of this tragic tale is that Zimbabwean must take the business of electing competent leaders with the seriousness the matter demands and that starts with the understand the issues of the day. For example, the only sure way to get the democratic reforms implemented fully is if we, the people, know what these reforms are!
Democracy and good governance are all wonderful and beautiful but they come with a price tag – a well informed and diligent electorate. It is now time for the people of Zimbabwe to stand up and be masters of their own destiny!