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Zimbabwe in November 2017 and beyond the military temporary takeover





The dust is settling down regarding political anxieties over the roadmap on politics and governance in Zimbabwe, is it really? The nagging truth is that the military world over when faced with a dilemma of leaving the barracks under pretext of good intentions on the correction of government wrongs; they end up doing the very things they condemned those they sought to replace. Zimbabwe professes she is different but the stance of Generals on negotiation is somehow threatening the long term peaceful coexistence of national political union. Wrong or right, the defence forces have shown preferences of political party/ies. While the nation agrees on removal of Mugabe, political parties do not or may not agree on defence forces way forward. Regardless, the first task is getting Mugabe to voluntarily leave office or work on his impeachment per section 197 of the Zimbabwe constitution. Impeachment is a political process, doable, but it is quite an involved procedure, given good will on all parties to the deal.  As events turn out on 20 November 2017 there is no big area of disagreement between Zanu-PF and the MDC-T on the impeachment route when it becomes necessary.

Apart from Robert Mugabe refusal to sign a step down statement, Mugabe as a national leader, President to be exact, is constitutionally required to be recalled through Parliament and not by Generals. The massive demonstrations by many people in Zimbabwe and abroad had a vague position though regarding their demand. There appears to have been no coherent message on the ‘ Mugabe must go' that was head because it appears  there was no clarity as to whom the message was addressed. Was the message for Zimbabweans general consumption and leisure to hear and feel or was it directed to Mr. President or to both the Speakers of the Senate and Parliament?

The march was neither a quest for a people referendum (no provision exists in Zimbabwe constitution) nor are there some other legal instruments to use in order to relief Mugabe as president of Zimbabwe apart from appealing to his common sense. It showed though one important moral disquiet from the generality of Zimbabweans: That people are tired of Mugabe's dictatorship. Even though Mugabe during his press statement of 19 November 2017 through the British Broadcasting Cooperation (BBC) made iron of it by saying only bad influence among the rank and file of the party had caused the up rise on Zimbabweans.

Mugabe press statement could be further considered as implying that given ordinary normal circumstances Mugabe would be accepted by ordinary Zimbabweans as a legitimate leader. Mugabe constitutionally staged a came back ploy that only soldiers could reverse. He admitted to no abuse of human rights but agreed that the economy was performing poorly and justified the action being pursued by the generals. He called disingenuous anything beyond forgiving each other and moving ahead. He down played massive marches a smart way of condoning his own teick propaganda he has used almost each time he has sought to show the world he still had control over the masses by calling a million people march in the country.

Mr. Mugabe's demeanor at the press conference in Harare camouflaged by commanders and civilians displayed many years of his chicanery politics and when he closed with a casual four language salutation, Kisiwahili, Shona, Ndebele and English. His body language showed complete strain and discomfort craftily displayed by his numerous stammers almost congruent to his ageing. He no doubt is a craft dictator who has done it over and over in the presence of a set platform. Given his age, he was ably in control of himself in the public looking puffed up and somewhat a dishevelled on his hair that availingly showed the bald skulls much clearer than most of the time when he is camouflaged in his dressing.   

The request for Mugabe to resign was a military defence force assumption. Parallel to the army Generals strategy was also the Zanu political party influencing a process where each of the ten provinces recalled the services of Mugabe as the party general secretary, restoring Emerson Mnangagwa as a party member and the first Secretary of the Zanu Party which would make it easier for both the Parliament and Senate houses comprising the Zanu PF and the MDC-T vote with possibly a two third majority approval to retire Mugabe from all government positions. The constitution of Zimbabwe requires that for Parliamentarians to impeach the president from being the leader that they apply section 97 of the Zimbabwe Constitution.  

Clearly the constitution broadly breaks areas of impeachment as follows: "a.   serious misconduct
b.   failure to obey, uphold or defend the Constitution
c.   wilful violation of the Constitution
d.   inability to perform his duties because of physical or mental incapacity."
The above action and option only comes in when Mugabe shows more resistance to resigning which would have taken place under section 96 of the Zimbabwe Constitution.

The defense forces issued two statements one after the other. The first statement sought to assure the public that confusion within Zanu political party had precipitated military's inevitably intervention to avert possible conflict. On face value hardly patriotic if not selfishly considered from the defense forces comprising of a political military background than in need to protect the nation from undue influences from outside forces or enemies of the state. It has to be admitted here that the military accepts that the police forces had been too much involved into corruption practices that were oiling causes and deepen the possible conflicts in the party pretexted as caused by and through factionalism. Factionalism could be caused by differences in ideology or just mere fear to be subdued by those of senior age.

In Zanu-Pf the differences, in my views, are neither ideological nor fear of the younger age being subdued by those who are older. Basic truth is, the Zanu-Pf party has been wrecked by AVARICE at its worst stage, having been driven from the highest office of the land through an ambitious young wife of the President who believed power was hers to use to best advantage from the day she stepped in her position as first lady in 1985. The fuel to massive AVARICE in the country came from the uncontrollable corruption which enveloped the police and government secret agents/ forces to openly participate into it daily without fear of discipline or arrest. Then next would appear to have been the failure to understand the role of propaganda by application of recklessness in words used by political figures against each other on rallies and mainly from the First Lady who appeared so naïve, immature and untutored to handle the highest position as first lady therefore failing as the first diplomatic master in the land.

The second Press statement by deputy defense force Commander General Moyo who gave reasons why the military is out in the public domain in charge of previously civilian related jobs done previously by the police even though there was no direct mention or implication to the same. The Generals endorsed all civil government responsibilities including the functions of Parliament and Judiciary to work normally while silent on the executive function. The mention of Robert Mugabe under house arrest grew a mockery of it as he kept his freedom to get in touch with the world and therefore able to receive encouragement even from enemy of the state. When he went on to perform state functions like attending the Open University graduation ceremony, it threw the context of house arrest into questioning with the massive marches bemoaning their marches as a stooge position they had been engaged into. But they then were unsure of who to blame, the army or those civil organizations or individuals who had taken it upon themselves into announcing the marches without clearly pointing their aim and where they then go to in order to meet with who? At the same time emissaries of the SADC organ were coming to the country to verify if Mr. Mugabe is being treated well and his needs.

It will be dishonesty not to say that some questions had to be raised, and hopefully, in good faith at this point of both the melting and some stagnation in an otherwise expectedly straight forward matter of Mugabe giving respect to the call of the people. Is Zanu not trying to resurrect itself by commanding people support when they know full well that they are buying time to extent their rule under different guards of the military? Indications show that soldiers have properties given them under Mr. Mugabe's office as favour for their support. Let's consider Mr. Chris Mutsvanga statement that the liberation struggle did not fight a race war so all whites can come back and claim their farms?

Of necessity Zanu would have loved to be considered number one again as in 1980 if time could be reversed. This is underlined by the military who believe they are standing in the gap for the revolution won in 1980 and now on going, which often though is more associated with Zanu than with Zapu. This blind ambition in Zanu on the situation obtaining in the country has often robbed us of sober thoughts as companions in the struggle, namely, the combatants-Zanu and Zapu; and the masses who were like the water into which navigating the struggle became a success. I dare say the incessant resurrection of cessation of Matebeleland region from Mashonaland region idea is born from such careless denial to address the state of affairs honestly except from a self-preservation position. This is the time when one would urge the defence forces to talk of "the Ethos and the Values" of the struggle as embracive of all Zimbabweans irrespective of colour, religion or tribe. It is as simple as it is fundamental, yesterday, today and tomorrow that Zimbabwe national officers of all branches of government are schooled into a language that breed collectivity and togetherness in harmony which is the paragon of Nation Building philosophy.       

It is true that the liberation struggle tried to shy away from racism as much as possible, hence the treatment given the white Land Development officer farmer Gerald Hackworth aged 29 captured on January 11, 1972 in Mount Darwin area. To those old enough to understand the theory of propaganda then schooled from Mao's thoughts on revolution, treating the enemies well fights greater part of the war for you more so when you release the captive back to his/her community. Indeed when Hackworth came back to Rhodesia released by the liberation movements he put out an impressive statement on how reasonable the leaders like Josiah Tongongara supported a none racial society. He spoke on the human side of the war of liberation.  However, the reverse trends that took place in the 2000s when Chenjerai Hunzvi and many of our veterans got frustrated from the delayed actions of Mugabe and his leadership on land distribution, it catapulted a regrettable condition from which we all have to educate ourselves into rebuttal from a political processing view point to the practice of reconciliation.

Beyond this event on military intervention of November 2017, the nation needs to genuinely study itself in a TRUTH and RECONCILIATION COMMISSION context that will look into the disadvantaged from a system so well spoken of, but remained such a secret,  that few talk of it openly ever, namely, The Rhodesia to Zimbabwe Liberation Struggle as part of the History on Zimbabwe.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

Chuka is an experienced certified web developer with an extensive background in computer science and 18+ years in web design &development. His previous experience ranges from redesigning existing website to solving complex technical problems with object-oriented programming. Very experienced with Microsoft SQL Server, PHP and advanced JavaScript. He loves to travel and watch movies.

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