Has Zim entered a ‘winter of discontent?’


TWO years ago, on Independence Day, a little known pastor, Evan Mawarire, draped himself in Zimbabwe’s Flag and took to facebook lamenting Zimbabwe’s decay under former President Robert Mugabe, stoking patriotic fever with a hashtag (#)ThisFlag.
Mawarire began a cyber movement that caused waves across the country and saw both ZANU PF and MDC reacting differently in a bid to stem the changing political tide.
Mawarire became a ‘household’ name and youths across the country took to his message as it resonated with them and provided an outlet for all their pent up anger and frustrations.
Realising it risked losing potential voters, the opposition sort to ride on Mawarire’s popularity and this saw some of its youth leaders seeking positions in the protest movements; the likes of Promise Mkwananzi went on to lead #Tajamuka, only to be dropped along the way, following some allegations of abuse of donor funds.
I digress, Mawarire became a rallying point for the opportunistic opposition as he was a means to an end.
There was talk of an ‘Arab Spring’ type of revolt in Zimbabwe as those who were pushing the regime change agenda realised that Mawarire could be the new leader of a resistance movement in Zimbabwe.
Post the July 2013 elections and the MDC’s dismal performance at the polls, it became evident that nothing short of a miracle would pull the opposition out of the political doldrums.
The July 6 ‘strike’ provided some form of hope that much like the ‘Arab Spring’ demonstrations, Zimbabweans could be pushed into overthrowing their Government through unconstitutional means.
The notion that ZANU PF could be removed from power through constitutional means had always been the opposition’s plan ‘B’.
When one traces the opposition’s roots from the labour unions, it becomes obvious that protests and demonstrations are plan ‘A’.
From the beginning, the late Morgan Tsvangirai was never enthusiastic about elections, but wanted ZANU PF to hand over power.
His statements range from: “What we would like to tell Robert Mugabe today is, if you don’t want to go peacefully, we will remove you violently,” to “We want to make sure that this regime faces the end. Now, how will this end? The endgame will come in two ways: the first option of the endgame is the violent endgame.”
In fact, when one looks at most of Tsvangirai’s public addresses, he rarely focused on beating ZANU PF at the polls, but wanted power to be handed to him outside of the confines of the Constitution (ultra vires).
He called for the ‘mother of all demonstrations’ time and again, then there was the ‘final push’ and of course the backroom talks of foreign military interventions by his then foreign sponsors.
We fast-forward to the post-Mugabe era, where the two protagonists, Mugabe and Tsvangirai, are now out of the picture as one has retired while the other is late.
It is interesting that another dawn of protests has once again hit the country.
Doctors went on strike for close to a month; nurses also went on strike; while teachers are also threatening to strike.
While it can be agreed Zimbabweans have genuine grievances that need the attention of the new Government, the timing of these strikes and threats of protest action is suspicious.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa came into office barely six months ago in a country that has been ravaged by economic malpractice and mismanagement.
Zimbabweans have lived through periods of extreme inflation, empty shelves and biting hunger. One could say Zimbabweans have seen worse, but no one went on strike.
Surprisingly, at a time when Zimbabwe, through the new Government, is engaging former enemies and making new friends on the international scene and attempting to attract investors to the country, that is when all hell breaks loose!
One would assume there is a political hand behind the latest round of protests.
It has not been lost on many that at the forefront of the current round of strikes and demonstrations are political figures whose goal has always been to remove ZANU PF from power.
Nurses learnt a very valuable lesson this past week, as many woke up to the reality of joblessness after having swallowed hook, line and sinker the mantra of political opportunists who sought to use them for political expediency.
The people who, under Tsvangirai, believed the opposition could not remove ZANU PF from power through elections are at it again.
Attempts to make Zimbabwe ungovernable such that the Government would be forced to step down continue.
In Marange, the Chiadzwa people are suddenly demonstrating — holding up neatly printed placards in eloquent English.
Not that the Chiadzwa villagers are incapable of expressing themselves in English, but I am sure those who actually organised and sponsored that demonstration did not think things through.
It is no secret that Mugabe-bashing was big business.
Since the inception of the Land Reform Programme, the anti-Mugabe industry has created a new class of individuals whose livelihoods was linked to demonising Zimbabwe and ZANU PF.
With Mugabe gone, a new ‘enemy’ has to be created so that these political activists can continue to earn a living — can continue to be relevant.
I believe these political activists make up part of the cabal that is presently fomenting protests in Zimbabwe.
Another arm of this cabal are those who realise they do not have the political clout to make it in the arena and can only attain power through the back door.
These include those who have been talking about a ‘Transitional Authority’ running the country until such a time when the environment is suitable for the holding of elections.
The very same individuals who are proposing the setting up of a Transitional Authority are also offering themselves as the most qualified to take major roles in that vehicle. Their argument has always been that the country is unstable.
However, once again, with Mugabe gone and the coming in of the new dispensation that argument has fallen away.
The only recourse those pushing for the Transitional Authority have is to make the country unstable.
What many citizens in Zimbabwe seem to forget is that opposition leaders and political activists operate using the scorched earth policy.
These people would rather see Zimbabwe burn, than have ZANU PF remain in power and bring meaningful progress.
As for those now leading the MDC-T, all I can say is: These former student leaders who had no qualms defecating and urinating in the same refrigerators that were used to store the meat they consumed at university as a sign of protest; these same student leaders who had no problem with destroying the very furniture that they would need the next day have taken their student antics nationally and those who follow them are in for disappointment big time.
Student politics of protesting and destroying property (which Government has to replace) has no place in national politics.


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