Zimbabwe’s new dispensation…what legacy was restored?


THE ‘new dispensation’ in Zimbabwe today was ushered in by ‘Operation Restore Legacy’ carried out by the courageous men and women of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) under the able leadership of the then ZDF Commander General Dr Constantino G. Chiwenga (Rtd).
A number of Zimbabweans have cynically questioned what legacy there was to restore.
Let us unpack some of the elements of this momentous event.
Some citizens, notorious for their anti-Zimbabwe sentiments, cite the continuing economic challenges while others who were benefitting from the rot and corrupt activities are bemoaning the passing of, what to them, were ‘good times rolling’!
For these elements, the suffering of the people was imaginary.
For others, such as the so-called opposition elements, any political changes taking place should have seen them also coming into Government, perhaps another ‘Government of National Unity’.
They forget that ZANU PF was always in charge.
There were no conditions favouring sharing of power with so-called opposition elements.
Even the churches thought restoring legacy meant passing political power or sharing it with the clergy.
Perhaps they thought Government had become ungodly!
If so, they were expected to pray harder and preach the gospel so the people going astray would fall back into line.
The truth is, even many elements among the men of the cloth were also busy fleecing the vulnerable common people, making millions of dollars on the back of the people’s suffering!
What of ‘minana’, miracles and all!
But there was no justification for such expectations.
True, the law was no longer being effectively enforced.
Mutemo wakanga usisina basa.
The law was being sidelined!
How else do you explain the fact that criminals were looting national resources with impunity.
Some in high offices were specialising in ordering the release from custody of their protégés caught siphoning resources from national coffers.
All that which is considered bad practice in governance and financial practices seemed to have become the accepted way of doing business.
The youth were now convinced that dishonest deals (kukiyakiya) was the way to make money.
One did not have to sweat that much to make money despite God’s instruction to man that ‘uchadya cheziya’!
Innovation meant finding ways to steal from your employers, to cheat your business partners, to award yourself excellent perks and huge but unsustainable salaries.
Many court cases were decided on the merits of the accused’s depth of pocket.
Justice had been thrown out of the window and replaced by cash transaction!
Only the poor went to jail!
A commuter omnibus with faulty brakes could be allowed to proceed on its journey overloaded with passengers for a small consideration availed to the officers manning the numerous roadblocks!
It did not matter that brake failure could lead to loss of lives and property.
Indeed such accidents leave many orphans, widows and widowers with no-one to look after.
The impact on the national economy is devastating!
Fake licences, fake permits, non-payment of taxes and other Government revenues were the order of the day.
Land barons, vanamambo, vanasabhuku (chiefs and village heads) were laughing all the way to the banks, cashing in on ill-gotten gains from selling land that belonged to Government and the people.
Jobs for sex in industry, marks for sex in schools and colleges, degrees for cash, especially masters and doctorates were awash!
Who needed to burn the midnight candle studying?
And imagine these highly ‘educated’ Zimbabweans taking leadership of national institutions and corporate entities!
What would come out of that cocktail of ignorance and incompetence of non-qualified corrupt ‘un-educated’ leaders? What development initiatives could the nation expect?
And what innovations?
In a kiyakiya economy, who needs entrepreneurship skills?
You need dealers and crooks!
But as the looting of national resources continues, a stage is reached when the drum gets empty.
What legacy then do we leave for succeeding generations?
Such is the path that Zimbabwe was teetering on, ready to fall any time!
It could not continue, hence the need for ‘Operation Restore Legacy’!
Certainly the comrades in the armed forces, themselves veterans of the liberation struggle had always dreamt of a prosperous Zimbabwe with opportunities for all to achieve a better life!
While it has been argued the gun is subservient to politics, it is still true that politics needs the protection of the gun.
Can anyone imagine how the soldiers, the freedom fighters of the Second Chimurenga could have sat and watched while all the things they fought and died for (the legacy) were being torn to pieces by people who openly dissociated themselves from the liberation struggle legacy?
People who said because they were in their 40s, they had nothing to do with the war of independence but they wanted to rule the country and benefit from the sweat and blood of the liberation fighters and the povo.
So, let us understand that the ruling party was re-adjusting and re-inventing itself.
Its cadres in the armed forces made sure that the legacy was retrieved and preserved.
In the process, ZANU PF was discarding those of its elements who were diverting from the correct path, ‘gwara romusangano’.
Our revolutionary defence forces called the ruling ZANU PF to order.
In the process, they rescued the people from the ravages of the hijackers of our revolution.
The operation arrested the run-away wanton destruction of existing party structures through selective dismissals and victimisation of individuals viewed as aligned or sympathetic to the then Vice-President, now President and Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Ominous threats from the G40 cabal leaders to similarly target civil servants could have rapidly disabled the whole Government system and allowed rampant looting of our national resources by a cabal bent on reversing the gains of our independence.
The legacy of orderly Government had to be restored.
That is why all the people celebrated the peaceful intervention by our armed forces!


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