True Democracy for Zimbabwe

ImageIt is my sincere and earnest hope that I find you well. You know what it is like to be a writer: one engages not only with the inside world but the outside world as well. For this reason, it is very normal to miss one’s readership, although I don’t get to meet them one by one physically. Writing remains an interactive process and I would like to continue interacting with you through the mightiest power of the pen. Were I a war veteran in Zimbabwe, I would probably rely on the sword (violence) to put my message across. Fortunately, I am not a veteran of the struggle that brought ‘independence’ to Zimbabwe. I am also not a member of the security forces, Central Intelligence Organisation, or the youth militia. All these groups have in one way or another unleashed untold suffering and violence on the oppressed and peace-loving people of Zimbabwe. They haven’t stopped because anybody without liberation war credentials is a puppet of the West and an enemy of a State that is trying to reverse the gains of ‘our hard won independence and protracted liberation struggle.’

As a young Zimbabwean, I grew up admiring certain personalities. I looked up to them as inspiring examples of selfless and responsible citizenship. Some of them remain my role models even up to this very day, although I might not have been successful in doing exactly what they have done in the professional sense. The late Professors Masipula Sithole and John Mudiwawashe Makumbe influenced my political thinking until their deaths in 2003 and 2013, respectively. I particularly liked their political writings. Their works are comprehensive and incisive in analysis. They also provoke an intelligent and purposeful debate on both the present and the future of Zimbabwe. The gap these men left won’t be easy to fill. People like Chenjerai Hove and Sydney Masamvu influenced me in ways that I can’t even begin to explain.

And then came, Lovemore Madhuku! I admired him greatly until the time that he allowed himself to be used by the rotten, brutal, cruel, unjust and intolerable dictator, Robert Mugabe. Madhuku has been behaving strangely in recent times and I am failing to think that it is the same man that I thought could one day lead us as well. My opinion of him has drastically changed and apart from the madman Jealousy Mawarire, it is Madhuku who has influenced this piece. Were it not for them, this article would not have materialised. I would, perhaps, have written a different piece. It’s up to you, dear readers, to thank Mawarire and Madhuku for behaving the way they did. I have no kind words for the duo. They have behaved in a manner that can even reverse our democratic gains of the past 14 years.

Mawarire approached the Constitutional Court to compel Robert Mugabe to proclaim election dates. The court of course ruled in Mawarire’s favour on 31st May 2013, and most of us concluded that he might have been used by ZANU PF so that elections could be held early, without the necessary reforms governing democratic elections. Madhuku defended the court judgement as correct. He never stopped there. He went further to call for a flawed election rather than not having one at all! Madhuku’s behaviour should, however, be put in its rightful historical context. He has been typically immersed in the struggle for a free, just and democratic Zimbabwe. He has been and still is at the helm of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) fighting for a new and democratic constitution for our country. Unfortunately for him, we already have a new constitution that Zimbabweans voted for overwhelmingly on 16th March 2013. He had campaigned against the adoption of the constitution. He feels his irrelevance and to be relevant, Madhuku has been making a lot of noise as ‘a legal expert.’ Some of us even went as far as thinking that he might have been hired as Mugabe’s legal advisor! Those watching Zimbabwe Television (Ztv.) tell us daily that Madhuku is always part of the news upholding the court judgement and by implication, calling for elections to be held on or before 31st July 2013.

As expected, Mugabe used some draconian piece of legislation, the Presidential Powers (and Temporary Measures) Act (Chapter 10:20), to proclaim an election date allegedly ‘to comply with the Constitutional Court judgement.’ Madhuku, again, went all out to defend the manner in which the President handled the whole matter. Prior to the proclamation, Madhuku had actively encouraged the use of the draconian piece of legislation. And one is compelled to ask: Is Madhuku doing all this for the benefit of the people or it is an attempt to line his pockets? I believe it is the latter. In addition, he seems to be fighting a personal war against the people’s President (Morgan Tsvangirai). Madhuku is power hungry and has somehow realised that his education isn’t enough to propel him towards the leadership of our great country. He has made mistakes in the process. His positions are unpopular as they make the people hate him more. We have suffered for a long time and we want the dictatorship to go as soon as yesterday. A flawed election will prolong the tyranny and it is unfortunate that Madhuku has chosen the way of tyranny over democracy.

I am totally enthused, however, that the special SADC summit held in Maputo, Mozambique on 15th June 2013 placed at the centre of political option the interests of the people of Zimbabwe. Conditions for free, fair and credible polls haven’t been met and the inclusive government should, before its dissolution, institute the necessary reforms to enable the country to move forward and not backwards as we have seen in the past few weeks.

Conclusively, I call upon the leadership of the Republic of Zimbabwe to engage in positive activities that will move the country forward, ensure its progress and stability after having gone through 33 years of tyrannical government. I put it to you! God bless you all.

By: Mutsa Murenje