By Tafadzwa Masango
THE adage: ‘A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on’ and the events since election day have dramatised not just the might of fake news, but also exposed that the truth sometimes does not feature high on the list of some of our leaders and the media.
Puppets and resources
Last week I touched on the importance of liberation movements in southern Africa and how they are a threat to the ‘national interests’ of western countries that depend on their vast natural resources.
Zimbabwe remains a key factor in the destabilisation and neutralisation of liberation movements in the region and the because of its centrality.
A few years back, when the regime change project seemed to be gaining traction, there was even talk of setting up of military bases in Zimbabwe by some Western countries.
Zimbabwe is the gateway to southern Africa and once it falls, the floodgates would be opened.
ZANU PF’s chief transgression is that it refused to be used as a puppet by white monopoly capital.
Over the past month, I have exposed various players who have not only been the main drivers, but funders of the regime change project in Zimbabwe not because they believed in some noble cause, but wanted control of Zimbabwe’s resources.
The various individuals have, since the 1990s, used not just their business connections, but political connections to direct the narrative around Zimbabwe’s politics and economy.
The demonisation of the Land Reform Programme, the attempts to deny Zimbabwe the right to trade its diamonds on the international market, sanctions, the funding of illegal activities including smuggling and other underhand tactics have all been efforts to ensure ZANU PF is discredited in the eyes of other liberation movements and thus lose support in the region.
Once the liberation movements are divided and are fighting amongst each other, it becomes very easy to remove them from power. I believe the Americans say, ‘It would be as easy as shooting ducks in a barrel.’
Regime change vs regime realignment
What many fail to recognise is that the ethos of political and economic freedom entrenched in ZANU PF does not reside in one figure but is the embodiment of the thousands who lost life and limb in the fight for freedom ever since the African was driven off his ancestral land to make way for the white coloniser.
Regime change has nothing to do with the so called evils or violations of ZANU PF or its Government because the west has embraced leaders across the globe who have committed far worse atrocities than any alleged against ZANU PF.
Regime change’s ultimate goal is to remove ZANU PF from power and in its place, a puppet government would take over and reverse the gains of political and economic freedom introduced by the liberation movement.
When it became apparent that the one-size-fits-all template was just not going to cut it, the regime alignment approach was adopted to complement the regime change agenda.
Talk of moderates and hardliners was intended to identify and also prop up those who were thought to be the weak leaders within ZANU PF; who could provide the opposition with the legitimacy required to do away with the puppet label.
Interestingly, the so-called moderates formed the backbone of the G40 faction which included those who sought to destroy ZANU PF from within.
Realignment would have removed the stumbling blocks to western corporates having unfettered access to Zimbabwe’s resources, while the local populace would be kept content by its sell-out leaders – the so-called moderates.
Engage the West with open eyes
In Shona they say: ‘Chinokangamwa idemo…’, meaning the victor forgets while the defeated will always be wary and looking for an opportunity to revenge.
ZANU PF has reinvented itself and, like the phoenix, risen from the ashes as witnessed in the recently held harmonised elections.
A new perspective, which is still in line with the liberation movement’s ethos of political and economic freedom, has opened previously closed doors.
ZANU PF moved closer to the centre and diminished the opposition’s appeal to the outside world.
While those who support the opposition in the West realise that they have been out-manoeuvred, this defeat is by no means the end of the regime change agenda.
As Zimbabwe engages global capital, it should realise that it has to look out for predators, wolves in sheep clothing and the marauders who have no interest in beneficial partnerships, but will lay waste to the country in the pursuit of maximum profit.
At his inauguration in 2017, US President Donald Trump informed America and the world that: “From this day forward, a new vision will govern… it’s going to be only America first, America first.”
And 18 months later, he changed his stance and said that as a slogan “America First” was threatening and that he would now focus on the “Make America Great Again” slogan.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said that ‘Zimbabwe Is Open For Business’ and business, locally and foreign, has responded in a positive manner.
The goodwill Zimbabwe has amassed since November 2017 should not be wasted, but with ED’s recent election, momentum should be gathered to ensure that Zimbabwe finds its place among the nations. However, the developed world should never believe that it can bargain in bad faith using sanctions and isolation as threats.
Is the opposition dead!
Events in the aftermath of the announcement of the election results exposed the opposition for having no real plan expect the scorched earth policy which it was fed by their regime change handlers.
Any post-election analysis that will be carried out to explain the opposition’s dismal performance at the polls will contain the following:
– Nelson Chamisa mismanaged primary elections in his faction of the MDC-T. He imposed cronies and relatives at the expense of popular candidates within his party.
– The MDC Alliance was a mess and ended fielding unknown candidates and in some cases double candidates.
– The lack of resources to mount an effective campaign
– Lack of a proper strategy and campaign message. Surely the ‘vote-for-me-I-am-young’ and talks of bullet trains and airports in backyards, did not resonate with a voting populace that wanted tangible promises.
The house that Morgan Tsvangirai built is certainly burning!
Chamisa, a leader who came in through the backdoor — or is it the window — did not have the mental stamina to lodge a meaningful campaign against ZANU PF.
One of Chamisa’s chief mistakes was surrounding himself with yes men, who, much like him, had no real experience in the running of elections and had been mere hanger-ons during Tsvangirai’s heyday.
The other mistake was believing that the international community and foreign media would continue to be on the opposition’s side.
After the opposition’s failure to win the 2013 election, one of the first steps taken by its handlers was to focus on capacitating civil society. Burned by the infractions of opposition leaders during the GNU, donors realised that their puppets were greedy and were squandering funds intended for dislodging ZANU PF on women and other vices. This investment was not bringing in the desired return.
The focus on civil society was part of a long-term plan to lay the ground work for the opposition to penetrate ZANU PF’s traditional strongholds and also to capture the ‘generation democracy’ which was believed to be mostly of youths who are anti-ZANU PF.
This strategy, much like the ‘zones of autonomy’, sought to provide the opposition with islands of support that would gradually grow and provide the numbers needed to swing the election in the opposition’s favour.
In the event of the MDC failing to win the presidential election, it was envisioned that at least it would be able to win half of the parliamentary seats and thereby create a sort of balance of power in the legislature.
Through this balance of power in Parliament, the MDC was expected to curtail ZANU PF and ensure that it and the Executive was kept in check until 2023.
The student has become the teacher
Attempts by Nelson Chamisa and his Alliance partners to maintain international attention on Zimbabwe following the opposition’s poll is right out of the regime change handbook.
For close to two decades, the opposition was coached and tutored on how to delegitimise ZANU PF and it has mastered the art of sabotaging the country for its expediency.
The opposition used to have the Democratic Resistance Committees (DRCs) which were groupings of youths that were used to provoke and commit acts and events that would force law enforcement agents to react and provide grounds to allege the lack of rule of law and abuse of human rights in the country.
These stage managed events ensured that the narrative on Zimbabwe favoured the opposition which was presented as the victims. The media was also used to report on fictional events or to magnify events against ZANU PF.
Now the MDC has graduated and has been stage managing events since the announcement of the presidential election results. The Vanguard has become the DRCs.
Social media provides the platform for opposition propaganda to flourish as, unlike traditional media, there are no checks and balances.
The opposition has also formed and strengthened relations with media correspondents over the years and now feed whole stories without the said journalists bothering to check facts.
It is no longer the diplomats who arrange such actions, the middle man has been cut out.
Where foreign diplomats and dignitaries were met with welcoming arms when they spoke against ZANU PF, the tables have turned.
The very diplomats and dignitaries are now on the receiving end of insults and attacks by the opposition.
It is a sorry sight.
The monster that the regime change agenda created is now eating its handlers.
End of the road for Chamisa
Nelson Chamisa came in through the back door, and is likely to be shown the way out through the front door at Congress.
His dismal performance at the polls means that the opposition has to go back to the drawing board.
It is certainly time for a new strategy — the West has shown that there are no permanent friends, but permanent interests.
Who would have thought that some of the opposition’s traditional backers in the West would call on the MDC leader to accept the election results and move on.
Chamisa’s militant and misguided approach in reaction to his defeat at the polls would have once been applauded and rewarded by the West.
Unfortunately, the realisation that Chamisa is a nutter who cannot be trusted has seen allies turn their backs on him.
Chamisa has proved to be unreasonable and does not have long-term vision.
President Mnangagwa, whom he was contesting, has become President at the age of 75, Chamisa has another 35 years to the age of 75 and close to 6 chances before he reaches President Mnangagwa’s age.
MDC-T ally and former Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade became president at the age of 84 after having been an opposition leader since 1976.
Alleged close ally Donald Trump became president at the age of 71.
One then wonders what is Nelson Chamisa’s rush!
Is it that he has always been aware that he does not have what it takes to lead the opposition movement and is a one-hit wonder?
If that is the case, then the opposition and Zimbabwe have dodged a bullet.