Tuesday, April 17, 2012
by Jonathan Moyo, MP
THIS Wednesday, as Zimbabweans mark the 32nd anniversary of our country’s hard-won national independence, it is propitious for the vanguard nationalist movement in general and for Zanu PF in particular to take critical stock of the prevailing balance of forces and their implications for the continued existence and security of the ancestral land of Mbuya Nehanda and Lobengula, whose foundations are under the threat of regime-change schemes and the vagaries of succession politics.
In this regard four critical 2012 issues stand out for attention and these are:
* The state of the so-called inclusive Government or Government of National Unity;
* The ugly dynamics of factionalism that are eroding our nationalism;
* The tragedy of the current constitution-making process spearheaded by a self-indulgent and unaccountable Copac mafia to the detriment of our independence; and
* The revolutionary promise of Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment for Social and Economic Transformation, which is the fitting theme of this year’s independence celebrations.
Before examining these four issues further, it is important to acknowledge that notwithstanding its undeniable recent challenges, our country has truly come of age at 32 years after our heroic independence and the centre is clearly holding in ways that have renewed the energies and leadership of our nationalist movement while bolstering the confidence of the people ahead of Zimbabwe’s second harmonised elections which must be held this year without fail given the 2010 and 2011 resolutions of the people’s national conferences in Mutare and Bulawayo respectively whose betrayal yet again this year after what happened last year would be catastrophic beyond imagination let alone description.
Regarding the four issues under examination beginning with the state of the so-called inclusive Government, two developments are now apparent. On the one hand there is the fact that over the last three or so years the mere existence of the coalition government has gone a long way towards engendering political, social and economic conditions of relative stability. This is without doubt a very good thing which Zimbabweans have appreciated.
But on the other hand, and beyond its mere existence, the coalition government has not had much to show on the policy delivery front. As a matter of fact there is a lot of policy paralysis in the coalition with evidence everywhere that the government is basically dysfunctional as there is no common vision, purpose, and action among Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations who are ruling together.
Last month Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai told South Africa’s eTV’s Africa 360 programme in a very revealing interview that he and his embattled MDC-T are in the coalition government with the support of some unnamed Sadc countries and Britain and its Nato allies only to make demands for reforms in the name of the GPA.
He claimed to his bemused and shocked interviewer, Chris Maroleng, that the MDC-T’s understanding and expectation is that any GPA reform accepted by Zanu-PF and implemented by the coalition government would effectively amount to the ceding of power by Zanu-PF such that ultimately if all the so-called outstanding GPA reforms are accepted and implemented, Zanu-PF would have ceded all power to the MDC-T and there would be no need for elections thereafter.
As we celebrate our 32nd independence anniversary, the nationalist movement at large and Zanu-PF in particular should use the opportunity to unpack the GPA government and to critically examine its implications for the future of our country not only in terms of the spirit of the moment but also against the backdrop of the legacy of the liberation struggle and the sacrifices of our fallen and still living heroes of that struggle.
Quite clearly, there are some comrades in the nationalist movement, including in Zanu PF, whose current ideological outlook and political posture are being blinded by the mistaken belief that the mere existence of the coalition government is a political wonder that must be defended to the hilt as we celebrate our independence ostensibly because it has brought conditions of relative political, social and economic stability.
These comrades, some of whom are well-meaning but mistaken and others who are outright mischievous, have been so blinded by their wrong belief that they are ignoring not just the fact that the coalition government is actually failing to deliver on the policy front because it is inherently dysfunctional and has become a looting machine and a haven for corruption for some but also that its mere existence is being used by the MDC-T and its regime change sponsors to undermine Zimbabwe’s existence as a sovereign state based on the heroic independence we are celebrating this Wednesday.
Yet if the truth were to be told without fear or favour it is that the GPA coalition in government has badly failed our people by failing to deliver on the policy front not just because it is inherently dysfunctional as a toxic mixture of the revolutionary Zanu PF and the reactionary MDC formations but also and mainly because its inherent dysfunctionality arises from the fact that Zimbabwe’s detractors and enemies have viewed and used the GPA as their last weapon against our country’s national security interests and sovereign existence.
This is why the reactionaries in the GNU are refusing to leave or end it in order to allow for the long-overdue harmonised elections that must be held this year. They know only too well that the GPA is their only and last weapon of confusion.
What this means is that the GPA is quintessentially a negative reform platform to undermine not just Zanu-PF but also the very foundation and backbone of the independence we are celebrating on Wednesday. It is for this reason that this year, unlike any other year since the signing of the GPA on September 15 2008, the nationalist movement must stand up and be counted against the GPA whose stolen time has long passed.
The blackmail claim that we should keep the GPA alive in the name of stability even when everyone can see that it is being superintended by a dysfunctional government whose failures are now becoming legendary is ridiculous and unacceptable not least because any stability based on blackmail is useless as it is unsustainable and very dangerous.
A major reason why the nationalist movement has not confronted the contradictions of the GPA with a common understanding and a common purpose is the second issue which we need to critically unpack on the occasion of our 32nd anniversary of independence and that is the cancerous scourge of factionalism.
When all is said and done, the most critical failure of the nationalist movement in Zimbabwe today is the rise of factionalism to its current shocking levels. While this has been bad enough, what has made it particularly worse is that the type of factionalism which has taken root within our nationalist movement is content free in ideological and policy terms. This is terrible because when factionalism has no ideological or policy content it means it is only a personal project of an individual with no public or national purpose of value and invariably ends up becoming private, tribal or regional.
This explains why all media reports of alleged Zanu-PF factions always mention the names of some fancied individuals who purportedly lead the factions in question without ever saying what the named individuals or the factions they allegedly lead stand for or represent.
It is no wonder that the definition of a faction in the nationalist movement in Zimbabwe today is that it is “a loose affiliation of shallow-minded patronage seekers who support a particular individual not because of what he or she stands for, believes in or represents but because he or she is seen as having a circumstantial leadership opportunity to occupy either the presidency of Zanu-PF or Zimbabwe or both in pursuit of private interests which have nothing to do with a nationally shared agenda and with a well-defined political, policy and ideological framework whose implementation is capable of benefiting the majority of Zimbabweans”.
In the result, the nationalist critique of the GPA has been weakened and even compromised by factional interests occasioned by the fact that some factions have smelt some blood in the contradictions of the GPA and they have gone for broke and are now sleeping with the enemy in the pursuit of the politics of patronage to the detriment of the independence project as an expression of our liberation struggle. It is for this reason that the GPA has become a very negative and divisive instrument all because of rampant factionalism within the nationalist movement 32 years after independence.
Despite the obvious destruction that it is indeed causing in the nationalist movement and within Zanu-PF, it is notable that ultimately factionalism does not pay and that those who live by it also die by it. Young Zimbabweans who make up Generation 40 are well advised to be vigilant against being trapped by content-free factionalists in pursuit of patronage which of late is being peddled under the cover of succession politics.
As they celebrate the 32nd anniversary of our independence which coincides with the birthday of many Generation 40s, our youth who now make up at least 70 percent of the electorate and who are therefore in a position to peacefully and democratically shape their future through the ballot — thanks to the heroes of our independence — should understand that succession is not about individuals and is certainly not about age but about ideas, ideologies, policy programmes and generations.
In terms of national leadership, it is far better to have an older man like President Mugabe with a sharp brain and good ideas to empower the majority of Zimbabweans than to have a younger man like Prime Minister Tsvangirai who has a dead brain and whose ideas seek to protect foreigners against Zimbabweans.
For the same reasons there’s absolutely no point in supporting factions led by individuals who have not shown that they are able to use their brains to articulate national ideas that seek to secure Zimbabwe’s revolution to improve the lot of our people. In other words, our youth must understand that it is far better to support policies than personalities.
The dysfunctional GPA government and the vagaries of factionalism have combined to have a critical bearing on the third issue which is reaching a boiling point as we commemorate our 32nd independence this Wednesday and that is the issue of constitution-making which has become unfortunately tragic.
If you have been closely following the GPA constitution-making which was hijacked a long time ago from Parliament and which has turned into an opaque and secretive negotiation process run in a mafia style by intolerant and contemptuous elements who think they are as important as not to be accountable to the people or under any law or institution in the land, then you would understand that the edifice of the 32nd anniversary of the heroic independence we are celebrating on Wednesday is under threat from an unholy alliance of regime change and succession interests in and through Copac that believe themselves to be untouchable.
The mafia-like interests in Copac have become a threat to our independence and to the sovereign existence of our 32-year-old country because they have sought to claim to be making the most democratic constitution imaginable while in the process defying everything that is democratic, legal and people-driven.
They have rejected the views of the people gathered during the Copac outreach programme and replaced them with the so-called international best practices smuggled through a South African, not a Zimbabwean, but a South African called Hassen Ebrahim. Their drafting has become a nonsensical cut-and-paste exercise with an organically flawed outcome. They have allowed the UNDP and foreign embassies to influence the process from behind the scenes in ways that are yet to be told.
They have refused to operate under Parliament; refused to be serviced by it and to refuse to report to it in accordance with relevant standing orders and rules. They have run their own budgets and squandered over $50 million and still counting. They hold meetings in secret places. They have defied the 18-month GPA time frame.
They have disobeyed directives from the GPA principals to complete their work on given deadlines. They have proclaimed many deadlines and met none. They have produced scandalous working draft constitutions some of which have sought to disqualify President Mugabe from contesting the next elections and all which have continued to attack Zimbabwe’s sovereignty by treacherously weakening the executive branch of government. They have also produced working draft constitutions which read like they are intended for anyone and everyone in the world when they are supposed to be drafting a constitution for Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans.
They have created opaque decision-making structures — like co-chairs, management committee, negotiating forum and GPA principals — that have not been sanctioned by Parliament or which are not part of Parliament and which are not based on any law.
They have used their mafia-like process to delay the holding of the elections while insisting that the same delayed elections should be held under their draft constitution whose working versions have been scandalously and shockingly unZimbabwean.
They have called their critics “crazy and evil” and yet they want to be taken seriously and respected as a people-driven parliamentary process when nothing could be further from the truth.
While it boggles the mind as to how an undemocratic process with such mafia-like trappings is expected to lead to a democratically acceptable constitutional outcome, there can be no better way of celebrating our 32nd anniversary of independence by putting an end to this nonsense. Zimbabweans should refuse to renegotiate their independence under the false guise of negotiating a new people-driven constitution whose apparent aim is to undermine that independence.
What is so far known about the Copac constitution-making process is utterly deplorable and unacceptable and there is no amount of contemptuous threats or intimidation by the Copac mafia which will detract from this fact. If the Copac mafia wants to be taken seriously and respected, it must earn that respect by sticking to the views of the people and producing a draft constitution that reflects those views.
If it cannot do so, then it can forget it given that it is a law unto itself. Finally, and this relates to the fourth important issue about the celebration on Wednesday of our 32nd anniversary of our heroic independence, it is very satisfying that this year’s independence theme is “Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment for Social Economic Transformation”.
This is because this revolutionary theme, which is also a Generation 40 call to action, speaks to the on-going consolidation of our independence in a very fundamental way. The indigenisation theme is the reform agenda of the nationalist movement. That is the nationalist promise to all generations past, present and future: to totally indigenise our society without any apology to anybody whatsoever.
Those who have chosen to be apologists for foreign interests in some sectors of our economy such as in banking and those like the MDC-T who made sell-out resolutions to oppose indigenisation in the mistaken belief that they are fighting Cde Saviour Kasukuwere as an individual are wasting their time because Kasukuwere did not appoint himself to his current portfolio. Indigenisation is about Zimbabwe’s history, present and future.
Fighting it is fighting against the gains of the First, Second and Third Chimurengas and those fighting indigenisation are going to lose for that reason because its thrust is the Last Chimurenga given its all-encompassing nature.
So it is that while some among us will this Wednesday mark our 32nd independence anniversary celebrating a dysfunctional GPA government when its tenure has ended; and while others will be pursuing their doomed factional interests with the Copac mafia continuing to play its dirty games around the constitution-making process, the majority of Zimbabweans at home and in the Diaspora will use the historic day to reflect on what lies ahead with “Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment for Social and Economic Transformation”.
This reflection is important, especially for Generation 40 among the youth, because total indigenisation — building on the success of our agricultural revolution in recent years — is the only way of creating wealth and jobs and supporting essential infrastructure such as education, health, housing and transport for sustainable economic development.
Happy Independence Day and Forward with the Last Chimurenga!
Jonathan Moyo is MP for Tsholotsho North (Zanu PF)