If you have not read Dr Gus Manatsa’s article “Zanuism, ‘barrack democracy’ threat to Zim’s progress” in Zimetro opinion; then do so. This is one of the few insightful articles on the root causes of Zimbabwe’s political and economic.


“Zanu-PF provides the most shocking example of the culture of exceptionalism which has characterised many a liberation party in power. These include:

– the belief that it is entitled to rule forever,

– blatantly refusing to view itself as an ordinary political party (watch Christopher Mutsvangwa talk),

– its conflating of party and state, and

– its demonising of other parties as “enemies of liberation” seeking to restore colonialism or white minority rule,” wrote Manatsa.

I would like to add one more to the four above:

– Zanu PF leaders believe they are not just above the law but, worse still, they believe what they say is the law. To everyone else last November’s military coup was high treason but not to these Zanu PF thugs, it was a legally justified “military assisted transition to stop state capture by criminal elements around Robert Mugabe”. The junta roped in a couple of High Court Judges to endorse the coup, making Zimbabwe the only country in the world where a coup is legal.

Last Saturday someone else staged their own “grenade assisted transition” targeting the same thugs behind last November’s coup. President Mnangagwa was quick to condemn the bomb blast as an act of “terrorism”!

Zanu PF thugs are just bullies who can do no wrong but will punish everyone else for doing the same thing. “Kugocha kunoda kwamai komwana kunodzima moto!” as one would say in Shona.

It is very disappointing that SADC, through SA President Cyril Ramaphosa, the UK and a few other nations have all been quick off the mark in condemning the “grenade assisted transition” and yet they condoned last November’s coup. Worse still, SADC leaders and all these busy bodies are all aware that President Mnangagwa has promised to hold free, fair and credible elections and yet even the blind can see he is rigging these elections.

By failing to hold free and fair elections President Mnangagwa has closed the door to peaceful democratic change, just as Robert Mugabe before him had done. If Mugabe made last November’s coup necessary as the only way to effect change then, by the same token, Mnangagwa has made last Saturday’s bomb attack necessary. It failed but who is to say there will be another coup, bomb, violent street protest, etc.

Zimbabwe will never be a stable nation as long as Zanu PF is allowed to ride roughshod over the people’s freedoms and basic human rights; denying them the right to a meaningful say in the governance of the country and even the right to life; in pursuit of its selfish agenda to rule forever. Instead of pontificating over those behind the bomb blast SADC should tell Mnangagwa this is a problem of his own making and since he is incapable of solving it, they will.

The international community must declare these flawed and illegal elections; how can these be free and fair elections with no free public media, no verified voters’ roll, etc.; null and void. Zimbabwe should revisit and implement the raft of democratic reforms agreed at the onset of the 2008 GNU. Then and only then can there be free and fair elections and an end to the madness of rigged elections.

“While the opposition parties formally exist, they have not been allowed to win an election,” argued Dr Gus Manatsa.

If the truth be told, Dr Manatsa, then we must admit that whilst it is Zanu PF that has landed us into this hell-hole it is MDC that has stop our escape from the hole for the last two decades. The people of Zimbabwe have risked life and limb to elect Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends into power on the understanding they will bring about the democratic changes designed to end the Zanu PF dictatorship. As we can see, MDC have failed to bring about even one democratic change in all their 20 years on the political centre stage.

MDC had the golden opportunity to implement the democratic reforms during the GNU; they failed to get even one reform implemented in five years. Not even one!

“Mazivanhu eMDC adzidza kudya anyerere!” (MDC people have learnt to enjoy the gravy train lifestyle and not rock the boat!) Zanu PF cronies, themselves veterans of the corrupting influence of the gravy train lifestyle, used to boast; explaining why MDC leaders were not implementing any reforms.

Whilst Zanu PF members are sold body and soul to “the belief they are entitled to rule forever,” MDC members are sold to the belief they should be admitted to this exclusive ruling elite club. Chamisa et al have been using the threat to implement reforms to force Zanu PF to give MDC more gravy train seats; MDC will never implement the reforms, they forfeited that chance during the GNU.

MDC leaders know that with no reforms in place Zanu PF will rig the vote, they still insist in participating because they are after the few gravy train seats Zanu PF is offering as bait. MDC leaders know that by participating they are giving the flawed process credibility, as David Coltart, an MDC senator and minister in the GNU, readily admitted.

“The worst aspect for me about the failure to agree a coalition was that both MDCs couldn’t now do the obvious – withdraw from the (2013) elections,” explained Senator Coltart.

“The electoral process was so flawed, so illegal, that the only logical step was to withdraw, which would compel SADC to hold Zanu PF to account. But such was the distrust between the MDC-T and MDC-N that neither could withdraw for fear that the other would remain in the elections, winning seats and giving the process credibility.”

Three of the main MDC factions have since come together to form the MDC Alliance and still there was no talk of boycotting the elections although not even one reform was implemented since the rigged July 2013 elections.

One only hopes that the international community will not take the participation of MDC and the other 130 opposition parties participating in those flawed and illegal elections as proof the people of Zimbabwe do not want free, fair and credible elections. The people of Zimbabwe are desperate for free and fair elections and they want these elections declared null and void. Please disregard what the MDC leaders are doing, they lost political credibility a long time ago.

President Mnangagwa and his junta believe they are entitled to rule forever and are rigging these elections in pursuance of that selfish goal and MDC are, once again, foolishly providing the smoke screen to hide the vote rigging by participating. These elections are not free and fair and they must be declared null and void.

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