Is Mnangagwa going the Yahya Jammeh-way?

Is Mnangagwa going the Yahya Jammeh-way?
Published: 18 July 2018 (263 Views)
As 30 July poll beckons, the atmosphere flares up as parties crisscross the lengths and breadths of the country soliciting votes from a poverty-ridden electorate. All candidates mete out plans to revitalize the ruinous economy which is biting its citizenry as the unemployment rate stands at 95% whereas a pantry 5 % is formally employed but earning peanuts amid acceleration of prices of basic commodities and unfettered cash crunch.

At this moment in time, the playing field proved peaceful but very far beyond free and fair owing to alleged opaque voter's roll and ballot paper misnomers that stimulated ferocious pandemonium amongst rival camps. Despite that ZEC is not anyway moved by opposition demands and indications are that the stalemate won't be resolved days before the polls because time is running out.

However this scenario triggered my reminiscence of former Gambia ruler, Yahya Jammeh, a junta leader like one of our own Emmerson Mnangagwa who was deposited by people power on December 2016 polls. Like Mnangagwa, Jammeh had power and influence over the country's election commission and all arms of state but he was defeated all systems out.

Now what will happen if compromise fails, could the future holds for Zimbabwe? Can Mnangagwa do the Yahya Jammeh if he is defeated? My suspicion is that it will be disaster for our country because 30 July should be the opportune time for us to define our future peacefully. But Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF are dragging their feet on all issues that drives the nation to free, fair and credible elections. To them, it means life and death as it's common knowledge that Zanu-PF strives on rigging and intimidation since inception of vibrant opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

It's no surprise that Zanu-PF may resort to violence if the first round produces no winner. Mnangagwa will use his influence in the military sector to unleash violence against opposition supporters so as to maintain clout in government. Even in circumstances where the opposition would garner resounding victory on first round, Zanu-PF will never submit without a fight.

However, if Mnangagwa is sincere on reforms why is he dragging the whole nation to a farce election? Should he dangles on fair vote if he commands majority? Why is he afraid of fair play? I think the old man must depart from the old and embrace statesmanship if he wants the majority to take him seriously unless or otherwise he wants to follow Yahya Jammeh-way. It's high time the incumbent breaks from the past, swallow his pride and do the rightful thing now in order to conceal humiliation on July 30.

He should conscientize the English wording which says; "you can cheat all the people some of the time or you can cheat some people all the time but you can't cheat all the people all the time". Such is true in our case, Mugabe tried it throughout his political life but tumbled in the end. He maneuvered against perceived opponents like Josiah Tongogara, Joshua Nkomo, Edgar Tekere and Morgan Tsvangirai, to say the least but he crumbled against his own little-boy Gen Constantino Chiwenga. However, it noteworthy that Mugabe never dreamt Constantino Chiwenga as country's vice president but here we are.

I'm afraid if Mnangagwa fails to learn from the past. At times, power corrupts one's mindset so I wonder if he is still sober because his arrogance embroiled the electoral system in the country. He is refusing on everything for the sake of it.

Furthermore, it is beyond reasonable doubt that ZEC itself is not to blame because they work under instruction. Justice Chigumba will tell us what's really going on at ZEC if the governing party tumbles. Mark my words.

Above all, Mnangagwa is to blame for all the mess happening at ZEC. For starters, he forced an election which he knows very well that he can't win under a free and fair environment. He never consulted the people. He proclaimed the date bluntly. Now that other contestants, which he never consulted, implored a level playing field, he evades. Why? Is he agitating for a pre-determined outcome which favours him? If the people sell him a dummy, what will he do? By the way people are not naive, they have a right to vote a leader of their choice nommetter how well or unwell the political atmosphere is, they will express their right. Yes, the people won't submit to that moronic clandestine.

It suffices to say Yahya Jammeh of Gambia tried it but he bites the dust. Gambians sold him a dummy by voting little known property mogul Adama Barrow. At first, Jammeh submitted to the voice of Gambians but later made a strong u-turn. He cited voting rigging and numerous irregularities but his aim was to force a rerun because he was banking on his support from securocrates and the election commission.

On those circumstances, Jammeh ordered the military out of their barracks to maintain what he termed as law and order but actually his intent was to intimidate opposition supporters from taking part to street protest in the capita Banjul. Because of his notorious track record across Gambia, no one attempted to risk his life, the tiny west Africa state remained calm under his leadership. Thanks to ECOWAS interventions that led to forcible restoration of the will of the people - at least 2 500 ECOMIG heavily armed forces forced marched through the Gambia from the Senegal until they reached the capital Banjul, that's when Yahya Jammeh swiftly acceded to an exit arrangement that took him to Guinea Bissau.

Are we heading for a synonymous Gambia scenario? I don't know. But the special adviser to the president Ambassador Chris Mutsvangwa smell it coming. His twitter rants today stirred the hornet's nest as he drove us back to the "straight-jacket maniac mantra." Although it sounds intimidating, the reality is he speaks the minds of his boss. Mnangagwa is sensing heavy defeat and he is well prepared for it, what's is not known is the how side, thus there is need for us to worry should the incumbent takes cue from Mutsvangwa.

Last for today, Mnangagwa should stick by his promise. He forced us to go for an election which we shall determine, with our own discretion, the new leader. If he loses obviously he should go.

- Benny Gudo

Tags: BennyGudo, Mnangagwa, ,
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