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Are We In A New Zimbabwe Yet?

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Since the swearing in ceremony of the Prime Minister, his 2 deputies and ministers some 2 weeks ago l have been asking myself the question: Are we in a new Zimbabwe yet? The answer eludes me still. My hope, and l am sure many Zimbabweans and other well wishers shared this hope too, was that the consummation of the inclusive government would be the ushering in of a new era characterized by a bold paradigm shift on the part of government and a fresh and new way of doing things. In other words, with an inclusive government it cannot be business as usual. I desperately wanted to feel the winds of change blowing across the country, and to see the change with my own eyes.

It was with a heavy heart, but not entirely unexpected, that it dawned on me that a new dawn has not come to Zimbabwe. Only minuscule and purely cosmetic changes have taken place; there has been no paradigm shift on the part of ZANU-PF and certainly there is nothing tangible to reflect a change of heart and attitudes on the part of ZANU-PF. Robert Mugabe and company has simply made a little room for the MDC to squeeze in at the table without making any alterations to the menu. Those, like me, who expected ZANU-PF to suddenly embrace accountability, human rights and other democratic values were met with the a rude reality that its business as usual for ZANU-PF and that all newcomers to the business of government will learn the ropes at the feet of ZANU-PF.

It appears ZANU-PF has stood on the shores of the river of change, and, instead of crossing over to the land of transparency, good governance and democracy; ZANU-PF has beckoned to MDC to cross over to its side of the river which is blighted with corruption, lawlessness and repression. As soon as the inclusive government came into being ZANU-PF promptly began vomiting on the agreement. State Agents, no, State Thugs really, had the audacity to abduct Deputy Minister of Agriculture designate, Roy Bennett and incarcerate him on trump-up charges. Despite a High Court ruling by Justice Karwi granting Bennett bail, one Prisons Assistant Commissioner Albert Mandimika flatly refused to release Bennett. What more, Robert Mugabe at his birthday Party in Chinhoyi declared that farm invasions are not over until the last remaining white farmers leave their farms. These events provide conclusive evidence to those in doubt that we are certainly not in a new Zimbabwe. We are definitely in Mugabe’s old Zimbabwe where human rights and democracy are anathema. We are still in a dictatorship where human rights defenders are threatened with extinction.

That MDC is now part of government so far makes little difference. They have not demonstrated to observers that they will not take crap from Mugabe and his cronies. They are yet to demonstrate that they wield some power, beyond merely talking about it. I challenge the MDC to take decisive measures and to stand up to ZANU-PF and demand that ZANU-PF stops this nonsense. I urge the MDC to be open and transparent and resist ZANU-PF’s way of doing things. This is the only way to ensure we make a clean break with the past.

The MDC cannot be preoccupied with saving the so called inclusive government to the point of making concession after concession to ZANU-PF. Morgan Tsvangirai and his team must stand solidly and firmly on principle and refuse to move an inch from principle. If the government of national unity will collapse because Morgan insists on respect for human rights – so be it. A warning to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is this: Do not give ZANU-PF any quota, if you give ZANU-PF your hand they will want your whole arm. In the twinkling of an eye, ZANU-PF will swallow you whole. MDC remember your slogan and promise to bring about change; and please deliver the change we need in Zimbabwe.

Chinja Maitiro!

One comment to “Are We In A New Zimbabwe Yet?”

  1. Comment by Kubatana.net speaks out from Zimbabwe » Blog Archive » No real change = no aid:

    [...] Dewa Mavhinga in a recent blog wrote that he wants a “bold paradigm shift on the part of government and a fresh and new way of doing things”. With news that Cabinet Ministers, their Deputies and their Permanent Secretaries will be taking a three day retreat in Victoria Falls, we can already see that there is little commitment to tightening the purse strings and curbing expensive junkets. [...]