Mugabe re-election suicidal


THAT President Robert Mugabe is seeking a fresh mandate in office in the 2013 plebiscite is not only terrifying but suicidal for the entire nation.

Tapfuma Mandeya

It is indeed a wonder how Mugabe, who turned 89 in February 2013, intends to carry national business to the next level of economic prosperity.

Mugabe’s poor acquittal at the Harare International Conference recently, characterised by persistent blips, lapses and omissions, all culminated in a major embarrassment when the time honoured Mugabe forgot to launch the National Youth Policy after delivering his speech.

Mugabe’s showing at the function certainly raises questions about his health and capacity to withstand the rigours of a presidential election campaign, let alone the enormous task of leading and redeeming a country ravaged by decades of social, economic and political malaise.

Surely at 90 years, how Mugabe thinks he can come up with a vision and policies that resonate with today’s generation which has had to endure years of economic plunder, poverty and unemployment under his rule, is disturbing for any right-thinking Zimbabwean.

How Mugabe and all those Zanu PF hangers-on and apologists can ever entertain the thought that Mugabe will one day come up with policies which conform to current global economic trends which Zimbabwe desperately needs now, is stranger than fiction.

Even if anyone wants to believe the widely-held myth that Mugabe is intelligent, which of course is propelled and over dramatised by the State media and Zanu PF sycophants, logic will show even the most foolish, that the same regime led by Mugabe cannot fix what they destroyed.

It is therefore a serious act of cruelty for any right minded Zanu PF member, if there is any, to religiously follow and indeed endorse Mugabe as the sole candidate within their rank and file who can carry the hopes and aspirations, not only for Zanu PF party but for the entire nation, at 90 years.

By continuing to restore Mugabe, Zanu PF is openly endorsing a state a of paralysis and in the process sealing its fate as a failed party.

But the most compelling reasons for Mugabe to quit is to do with his own fallen standing in and outside the country. Worse Mugabe’s health has been subject of much speculation particularly when he goes on his numerous medical checkups to the Far East. If the truth be told, Mugabe now lacks the vision, stature and energy to effectively run his party, let alone the country.

Mugabe’s current state of being has invoked more uncertainty in an already volatile nation. He is without compassion, maybe because he is now too old, too tired and not in the best of health. Zimbabwe would certainly be worse off if Mugabe wins a fresh term, as he is likely to continue with his damaging policies that have militated against economic growth and has ensured the country lags behind its neighbours.

Mugabe’s official opening speech of the last session of Parliament had all the indications of a tired and bankrupt old man. Besides the peace message and the arrogant insistence on the March 2013 poll, the speech was void of any reference to the cocktail of reforms contained in the Global Political Agreement.

Other than the envisaged new Constitution, Mugabe’s legislative agenda is silent on contentious amendments such as the Public Order and Security Act and the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
The old and tired Mugabe also skirted around calls to reform the security sector, media laws, revisions to the electoral laws, cleaning up the voters’ roll as well as the reconstruction of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

All these are conditions which will ensure a free and fair election and the deliberate omission of these in Mugabe’s plans, yet he is pushing for elections without reforms, which shows Mugabe’s arrogant unrepentant demeanour is hell bent to repeating the 2008 elections which were violent and bloody. The frail octogenarian is determined to cling on to power at all cost.

His antiquated ideology will not make this country competitive in the 21st century. From all discernible indicators, the octogenarian has lost influence and is now viewed with suspicion or cynicism, or both, by his peers in the Sadc, Africa Union and across the developing world where he used to enjoy considerable authority.

While the rest of the world is embracing new ideas and opening up new avenues for the dissemination of information, Mugabe’s regime continues to close up avenues for the free-flow of information and ideas.

Of course, Mugabe is still respected as an old man and he still makes very interesting bombastic speeches that are applauded more for their entertainment value but very little at the level of policy and action emerges.

Like the famous playwright William Shakespeare puts it: “It is like a story told by a madman, full of sound and fury but signifying nothing.”

While our neighbours in the region are looking both East and West for investment and trade opportunities, our own Mugabe is busy pursuing selfish isolationist policies of the “look East” nature which have not benefited the country much, serve for a near recolonisation of Zimbabwe by China.

Given the forgoing, Mugabe has no reason whatsoever to continue in office as that is no longer in his best interest and is most certainly not in the national interest. As such retaining Mugabe would be the height of lunacy and will certainly be suicidal for Zimbabwe.