Mmegi Blogs :: Zimbabwe’s second coming
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Thursday 22 February 2018, 23:12 pm.
Zimbabwe’s second coming

Zimbabwe attained her independence, 1980 after the Lancaster House Agreement negotiated between Ian Smith, prime minister of the Rhodesia unilaterally-declared independence (UDI); the liberation movement composed of ZANU and ZAPU and Britain, the coloniser.
By Michael Dingake Tue 28 Nov 2017, 17:37 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Blogs :: Zimbabwe’s second coming

In 1965, Smith had defiantly declared UDI, cut ties with Britain, without consultations with the black majority. In doing so, Smith benchmarked on South Africa, the apartheid state where blacks were stripped of their human rights and  lived in hell on earth while the whites  lived in heaven on the same planet.

Rhodesia shared borders with apartheid RSA to the South and Mozambique, a Portuguese colony under dictator, Antonio Salazar to the East. Apparently, Smith admired the two white supremacist centres and felt his fate was tied to them. Black-ruled adjacent Zambia and Malawi held no lesson for Smith the blockhead; obsessed with supremacy of the white race, he was convinced his action could turn the tide in the stampede of independence  which was in full swing at the time as he boasted: “We have struck a blow … and not in a thousand years! ” He suffered myopic vision and pathetic ignorance of the ‘wind of change,’ the phenomenon his kinsman, Harold Macmillan saw gathering speed beyond the horizon. Addressing the white Parliament in Cape Town, and anticipating racist Hendrik Verwoerd’s response (that apartheid was SA’s business), the British Premier preemptively remarked, “We may be told, to keep out of SA domestic policies because this was none of our business; but what if your business affected my business?” Or words to that effect.

The UN self-determination of nations was fake news to Smith and his ilk. Instead of studiously weighing the words of Premier Macmillan, uttered a few years back, he decided to call his bluff and embarrass the new Premier, Harold Wilson, by declaring a UDI of Rhodesia where he was a colonial settler. Smith plunged into his UDI, threw hundreds of local black opposition members and one stray Motswana into prison under the ‘state of emergency’ he had promulgated to anchor his UDI madness! He probably believed that by taking this desperate step, he was in good company with his lookalikes, Verwoerd of South Africa and Salazar of Portugal, who had a stranglehold on neighbouring Mozambique. He should have studied events in Africa and beheld the stampede of African independence in full swing and at fever pitch. The wind of change was becoming a revolutionary whirlwind. Freedom fighters were resorting to armed struggle. Our own Bechuanaland Protectorate had less than a year to be independent! The ’wind of change’ was irresistible.

The African masses were ready to follow, Ben Bella of Algeria, Augustino Neto of Angola, Samora Machel of Mozambique, Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe of Rhodesia. Smith was blinded by the fog of white supremacy and had no eyes to see nor ears to hear. Robert


Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo soon dragged Smith to his demise at Lancaster House under 15 years, not 1,000 years of his hallucination.

On Mugabe becoming CEO of Zimbabwe, he played a role of a visionary, a true revolutionary by adopting a reconciliation policy to heal the wounds of the 15-year war. He made education free and compulsory to catch up with frontrunners in the race in the noble programme of human development. Unfortunately, hardly three years into the new Zimbabwe, RGM’s ZANU-PF turned Zimbabwe into a pariah/rogue State, massacring ethnic Ndebeles in their thousands in  the Gukurahundi campaign; Murambatsvina campaign targeting urban slum-dwellers for their alleged support of the opposition, he later unleashed; management of the economy led to an unheard of levels of inflation, currency devaluation almost plunged Zimbabwe into a barter economy; exodus of Zimbabweans fleeing their country to neighbouring countries for economic asylum was unprecedented; Zimbabwe the  bread-basket of the region shrank into a basket case; murder, imprisonment, intimidation ruled the country’s pervaded general elections; factionalism and resort to purging popularly elected  leaders became the norm, culminating in the purge of party and country Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa. It was the last straw! The army intervened with a coup disguised as a non-coup for fear of SADC/AU repercussions .

The purge of ED, as Mnangagwa is popularly known, precipitated RGM’s exit from power and ED’s entry. What happened to Mugabe? Why did things come to such a pass? The population that in 1980 hailed him as a Messiah poured into the streets, hugged the soldiers, danced and ululated the fall of their redeemer, whom they had propped up, saluted and swore by his name, somersaulted showed nothing but hostility to him. What happened?  Sworn in as the new President, ED made pledges that resonated with the mood of everybody. Affirmed he: Zimbabwe politics was poisoned and polarised; jobs, jobs, jobs would be the fashion; investors would be attracted to invest in the country; though the land redistribution wouldn’t be reversed, the expropriated farmers would be compensated; government had to change how it operated; time for yap-yap was over,  time for action was here!

Who can believe him? Can RGM’s right-hand man, complicit in all his blunders be born again, to undo the past lunacy displayed by his puppeteer? He knows Zimbabweans, SADC community and the international community demand nothing less than that the Mugabe style of governance be tossed into the ruins of the stone age; dare he falter? His litmus test will come with the general elections scheduled for 2018. I want to side with the optimists. Zimbabwe and SADC deserve some sanity, the man of the moment pledges!


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