By: EDINAH MASANGA
Zimbabwe’s longest-ruling demagogue Robert Mugabe was deposed in November 2017 and his long-serving sidekick Emmerson Mnangagwa replaced him as head of the country. And with that, came a ‘new era.’
I am not a cynic. I am a believer and no matter my personal feelings, I am Zimbabwean first and foremost so of course, I will always want whats best for the country. Mugabe’s removal was good for the country. It is good for the country. But I refuse to be told that just because the devil cut its arm off it is all of a sudden exorcised of all its demons.
Zanu pf is still in power and just because the British, who are reeling from Brexit, are gallivanting with Mnangagwa and company it does not mean that we all have to blindly run towards the new order with red hearts in our eyes.
I recall a conversation with a Swedish journalist in which I responded to a question – on whether Western countries are doing enough to help Zimbabwe – by saying that I have never been naive to think that Western countries are in Zimbabwe to serve Zimbabwean interests primarily. They are there to protect Western interests. Their positions, strategies, and resources will always be to advance or serve their own interests – but of course, always packaged as ‘what’s best for the Zimbabwean people.’
I want my people, I want my country to stop relying on leaders that are tacitly endorsed by the West. I want us to begin to search for the truth and what’s best for us. What WE want.
The international community (read Britain and its allies) has accepted the new president, but he is one of those with the most bloodied hands in Zanu Pf after his ex-boss, Mugabe. Mnangagwa served alongside Mugabe through all the worst atrocities that have ever occurred to the people of Zimbabwe.
Gukurahundi caused the death and senseless maiming of innocent Ndebele people; 2008 saw the army unleash untold violence on the people who had voted for MDC, which was – even Mugabe himself admitted – 76% of the country; operation Murambatsvina displaced urban voters (known to be an MDC stronghold) from their homes and sent them scattering into the countryside where there are scarce polling stations and deeply polarised politics.
The same army that propped up Mugabe to hang onto power after a crushing defeat by MDC in 2008 is the same army that has now installed Mnangagwa. It’s the same army that had the fearsome 5th brigade that terrorized Matabeleland during the Gukurahundi era. Once is random, twice could be coincidence but thrice is a pattern.
There is a pattern in Zimbabwean politics, a trail of a big brother that is dictating the country’s politics. One can argue that since 1980 when Zimbabwe gained independence from British colonial rule, the ordinary people have never been in charge of their political destiny. There has always been Zanu pf intimidating, killing, forcing and coercing them to support it.
Zanu pf’s chalice will always be full of blood. And I think we should all refuse to drink from it.