Robert Sigauke remembers Robert Mugabe ouster: A year on

Robert Sigauke remembers Robert Mugabe ouster: A year on
Published: 06 December 2018 (292 Views)
The streets of Harare reminisced the scenes of independence celebrations close to four decades ago. While the incidence of tribal, character and colour differentiation cannot be undone, it is the realization that when a people are faced with a common enemy, they coalesce by convenience for common security. The ill-famed Reverend Jones for his infamous part in the annuls of history convinced hordes of families to drink poison and die, as they all faced a common enemy. Theirs was not a political agenda or movement but rather a religious one, otherwise how the story unfolded would have been much different today.

The factional fights of the then Zanu-PF had reached their crescendo, things simply could not have gone on like that. The economy was in tatters, national security was at its most threatened, corruption bled government and state enterprises. Mugabe was no longer in control, that much was evident. The then president's name carried more weight than his actual oversight and this allowed his name to be abused by all chancers aiming at their own big breaks in the big projects in the provinces. As things later unfolded, clearer it became that Mugabe was now all but tacit in control, power was borrowed elsewhere across town. In the words of the current president himself, Mugabe could not even remember that he had fired ED, it is said he was shocked to hear of this during a telephone conversation between the two men from either sides of the Limpopo. If Mugabe did not fire Mnangagwa then who did? It is either that Mugabe was now too old than we all thought to remember anything, or that it was the last kicks of a dying horse, realizing the little corner he had been confined to by the army, and wanted to use "ignorance" at firing Mnangagwa as a bargaining convenience with the army. Or yet still, it could have been one sinister culmination that everyone in the country was now convinced of, that there had been a bedroom coup in Zimbabwe and power had shifted hands, traded even with the G40 across town.

Mugabe became a prisoner and victim of the very system he created and benefitted from all these years. Factionalism was his natural creation, he became its biggest beneficiary in that its strategic convenience of weakening succession processes ensured that he remained undisputed and weighed down heavily on the natural processes of succession contestation within the party amongst ambitious minions. What caught up with him ultimately was that he was outpaced by the growth, ambition and capability of these minions. Minions became giants, or maybe minions they never were. November 2017 was not an event, it was a process.

While the old man is gone and resting in his peace, the system he created remains haunting the country and government. The catfights playing out in public are indeed telling of the more dramatic scenes in the shadows of the night. The Mutsvangwas, Matemadandas, Lumumbas, Tagwireis, RBZ drama and even the shootings inquiry. Zanu-PF failed to rid the party of factionalism by dispensing with Mujuru. Solomon's mystery still is surrounded with a lot of loopholes, but it ultimately points to the fact that it was not an inferno accident. After the fall of the general, the group emerged much stronger under the captaincy of his widow. So strong it became that the old man had to strengthen the hand of the other grouping, the then Mnangagwa faction. Mnangagwa's time for being demolished came too, albeit he would not go down without a fight. Mugabe does not sit behind the desk of power today. Gone. Still, there could be another third force surging at the moment in Zanu-PF. No penny for guessing.

Mugabe's legacy will remain one of divisiveness, corruption ravaging and pillaging organs of government while nobody serves time for it. It is what took us to this today as a country and moving away from all this will need a whole revamp of the system upside down. At the end of the day the question that confronts us all and needs the biggest answer is what will work for the day in order to move forward as a country. It absolutely does not matter who rules or who doesn't, what matters is finding the right panacea that cures our political and economic ills. Firstly, Zanu PF has had too much of the dance that there is absolutely no hurry in them to bring wholesale policy shifts to alleviate high poverty levels, Zanu PF has gone too deep into hell to correct its own mistakes. Not even a reformed Zanu PF, DNA does not lie. It has survived many attempts at its own lifespan even, to even activate emergency economic rafts.

Secondly the world does not have confidence in anything with a Zanu-PF DNA to either invest or borrow the much-needed cash injections into the sickly economy. Thirdly, the crisis in the country has always been about the legitimacy of government. The issue of legality can be satisfied by use and manipulation of prevailing laws, they are the laws of the day by the way, but legitimacy goes beyond these and seeks to harmonize that the ruling office be because of a freely given mandate from the people. The apartheid government of South Africa were well acting with the "laws" that parliament made and were thus legal but the fact remained that it was a racist, minority government that survived each day on the back of disenfranchising millions of natives. Drawing parallels within Zimbabwe the continued incidence of disputed elections on every turn remains an issue that eats and feeds on the legitimacy crisis affecting the country and its economy. It does not matter how good Mthuli Ncube may be but the political credentials of those he answers to will work against his every effort. The markets do not have confidence in the government at all.

It certainly is not prophetic to note that Zanu -PF is living on borrowed times, it has failed to reform itself and cannot reform itself. It has gone too deep into hell to do that. The world's capital lack of confidence in Zimbabwean political processes, the legitimacy crisis prevailing and commonplace corruption will be permanent features, only fundamental policy shifts and a new constitutional order founded on legitimacy, rule of law, anti-cronyism and economic solutions not founded on popular sentiment will see this country move forward and catch up with the rest of the developing world.

Robert Sigauke is a political commentator, author, legal professional and entrepreneur. He writes from Cape Town and can be contacted on dialogue@highveldmail.co.za WhatsApp +27713348876.

- Robert Sigauke

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