Time for action – Zimbabwe arise

BY THOMAS CHIRASHA The people of Zimbabwe must come to their senses and realise who among those who aspire to leadership of our country best represent our interests and who represent their own selfish interests. The DRC is still chasing the elusive dream of peace and prosperity because it has nev

er had, apart from Patrice Lumumba, a leader committed to the welfare of his people.

From the early 1980s many Zanu (PF) notables amassed great wealth, unaffordable on the salaries of mere cabinet ministers or senior army officers. At some point Mugabe was interested in being the man of the people. Now his moment is gone and he knows he can never cherish such dreams again.

This article will focus on action plans that can be taken by Zimbabweans as individuals rather than collective action  which is hampered by the cunning and repressive legislation of the current regime.

Every individual has the opportunity of studying this article, refining its ideas if need be and passing it on to others to effect a potent programme of action. The time has come for ordinary Zimbabweans to make a stand, and make an impact.

The disintegration of Zanu (PF) into the Mngangagwa/Mujuru camps is a blessing in disguise, because it means change can still be realised. The intellectual back-up within the ruling party may also be dwindling due to the acrimonious relations it has had with Ibbo Mandaza, domestic problems being experienced by Chombo; Charamba; Chinamasa etc and Thabo Mbeki’s internal problems – which imply that he may have to defend his own integrity and office, not that of Mugabe.

The demise of the MDC appears imminent, and this is a disappointment to all the people who have stood and suffered with them. Because it appears more of an inside job rather than Zanu (PF)-orchestrated, people have to be forgiven for having the life goes on attitude, and looking in another direction.

The Mugabe/Mujuru camp is no longer operating as a modern political party. It is more of a political (think religious) cult, which believes it has the unquestionable authority to act as it will, answering not to the nation nor to the international community. The key features of such a cult are:

” Many members, former members, and supporters are not fully aware of the extent to which members may have been manipulated, exploited, even abused

” The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law

” Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.

” The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel

” The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with wider society,

” The leader is not accountable to any authorities e.g. separation of powers, democratic vote, regional legal considerations, international law, religion

” Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends (Nabanyamas disappearance allegedly linked to Nkala, Zanu (PF) war veteran and his brother in-law)

” The most loyal members (the true believers) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.

When you are dealing with people who have no conscience, interested only in their own welfare at the expense of the whole populace, there are acute measures that have to be adopted. This is what Zimbabweans have done so far:

” expressed resentment at the way the country has been governed and the lack of accountability by mass demonstrations of the 90s

” welcomed and joined the MDC at its inception

” strengthened the work and impact of the civic society to try and attempt to bring local, regional and international focus on the excesses of the regime

” fled from the country en-masse on foot, by road, on bicycles, by air to become expatriates, asylum seekers and illegals in foreign lands

” given up hope and exercised political apathy hoping that the regime would see the peoples inability to change the status quo, expecting the regime would not attack unarmed people in straightjackets

” striven as individuals to remain alive after various legislations and the complicity of the African leaders made futile any means of resolving the crisis.

In the early 1980s the Shona did not believe there was ethnic cleansing in Matebeleland because it was not targeted at them. When during the 1985/1990/1995/2000 elections opposition members were disappearing, tortured or having their houses burnt, many people thought they were not affected and should not be bothered.

Now, all and sundry are being targeted by the cult. So let not those in the diaspora, the employed, the executives, the church-going say this is an issue for politicians or for those interested. It is an issue for all Zimbabweans.

What should we do now? I believe our only hope is in this action plan:

” demystifying the ideological background and strength of the Mugabe cult, unseating and disempowering the individuals who in their different individual capacities sustain the cult through the system of patronage and fear e.g. youths, councillors, MPs etc

” dismissing any apologist argument or way of thinking from the rogue academics, state media and Zanu (PF) propaganda machinery, including seemingly plausible arguments because they have proved beyond reasonable doubt they are not interested in the welfare of Zimbabweans.

” withdrawing civility, courteousness, politeness and any form of co-operation from active functionaries of the Mugabe cult within Zanu (PF).

” making life difficult for any cult functionary in neighbourhoods, streets, and any form of social encounter within confines of the law. This can be done by virtually anyone, from their maids who can spit in their food, to members of the public who can frown at sighting them and health workers who can refuse to give them services.

The successful implementation of this action plan will ultimately be taken up by the uniformed forces who are also fed up with poverty, the rape and murder of their own relatives, basic shortages and lack of hope about national recovery and the prosperity we enjoyed in the yesteryears.

The role of the uniformed forces under the guiding principles of the action plan are as follows:

” be disobedient to any orders that are not for the good of Zimbabweans;

” document acts that you know are in violation of local and international law for use in criminal prosecutions when sanity and order is restored;

” inform members of the public through close family members of any impending criminal acts against the countrys nationals by uniformed and intelligence forces;

” treat anyone on the wrong side of political law with consideration at the expense of loyalty to evil.

Bureaucrats, civil servants and parastatal employees have a role to play that should come into effect immediately. The success of the implementation of any covert or overt policies by the Mugabe regime relies on effective implementation by senior and junior officers in whatever department or unit.

It has been proved that all policies, governing such simple issues as traffic tickets, customs duties, arrests, riot control and charging passengers on ZUPCO buses are meant to stifle the normal way of life for the ordinary man and to raise revenue for arms that will be used on civilians.

The kind of leadership that Mugabe has exercised on the Zimbabwean people is the same that the next leader could possibly emulate. A new constitution and parliament may limit the nature of leadership but certain trends may continue. It is the responsibility of every Zimbabwean to act against this, by making sure that everyone who takes political and administrative leadership of this country is accountable to the people and the people make him or her account. Perpetrators of evil should never feel safe to walk among their victims.

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