November 24, 2008 | By Douglas Mwonzora | © zimbabwemetro.com ⋅ Email This Email This | ⋅ Post a comment
Mugabe’s eighteen tactics of destructions
To the average Zimbabwean, 29th of March did not present an opportunity of retribution or counter plunder but rather a perfect opportunity to do away a with tyrannical, incompetent, inefficient, corrupt and pestilential regime. It presented a hope to bring about a sensitive administration that would redress and cure all the man made damage to our political economy. That is why the aftermath of March 29 saw absolutely no acts of retribution or ill treatment of the defeated by the victors. The light heartedness and love with which Zanu (PF) members were treated bear testimony to this assertion.
The 29th of March therefore presented this nation with an incredible, rare but golden opportunity for national healing and reconciliation.
Regrettably however as imperial evidence shows, Robert Mugabe, a bitter, old and failed statesman has literally turned March 29 into a national tragedy. His manipulation of the Zimbabwe Election Commission in its publication of the Presidential results are a matter of common knowledge. His incitement of the security forces, youth militia and outright criminals to turn against the people like a monolithic vampire are a matter of historical record.
Having safely pocketed the presidential “booty”, Mugabe then sought a “negotiated settlement” to the Zimbabwean crisis. Suddenly he became “a magnanimous victor reaching out to his enemies” for a government of national unity.
The aim of this article is to show and hopefully prove that inspite of all the public posturing Robert Mugabe is on the war path with the people of Zimbabwe and any right thinking outsiders who dare oppose him. It is further to explore and analyze the Eighteen tactics that are being employed in this evil endeavour.
B. A BRIEF HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF MUGABE’S TREATMENT OF
Historically Robert Mugabe is an isolationist. In his youth, in Zvimba after altercations with his peers during cattle herding, which altercations were usually started by him, he would take his mothers herd (rumoured to be only 9) isolate them from the rest, drive them away and herd them on his own. During the liberation struggle he became more violent and brutal to his opposition. It is a matter of public record that he peddled lies about Ndabaningi Sithole who was in prison, leading to the his disposition as Zanu leader. In Mozambique all those who opposed him werr “jailed” in the Mozambiquean jungle for the entire duration of the war. Theses include the late Henry Hamadziripi and Rugare Gumbo who ironically is now Minister for Agriculture. Their crime has never been disclosed. One top official was tied to a tree in a national park beset by lions in Mozambique and left at the mercy of these preditors for a period of 3 days for opposing Mugabe.
One of Mugabe’s victims after independence was Bishop Muzorewa who was detained without trial on trumped up charges. He was never brought to trial.
Importantly faced with a potent fore PF Zapu, Mugabe resorted to peddling false hoods about its intention to resort to banditry. The people in Matebeleland were subjected to illegal detentions, torture harassment and murder. The trials and tribulations of Late Joshua Nkomo, Lookout Masuku and Dumiso Dabengwa are all matters of historical record.
The historical data clearly shows that Mugabe’s treatment of his opponents is pathological. In his mind his opponents have to be obliterated and bloated from the face of the earth or forever be condemned to political death. In spite of his hollow platitudes of unity and peace Mugabe is now more dangerous to the people of Zimbabwe than ever before.
C. MUGABES 18 TACTICS
1.DIVIDING THE OPPOSITION: BUYING OVER MDC – M
Mugabe has sought to drive a wedge between the two MDC formations. He has done so by selectively vilifying the MDC –T and portraying it as less rational than the MDC – M. He has sought to go to bed with tactless Mutambara in a bid to show that he can accommodate opposition. In Parliament he sought to support and sponsor MDC – M candidate for the position of Speaker of the House of Assembly. Indeed in most public appearances Professor Mutambara has began more and more to sound and behave like Mugabe’s alter ego. The main purpose of this fake unity was to use Mutambara to provide “a balancing act” during power sharing negotiations and tilt the negotiations in Mugabes favour. Regrettably for Mugabe and Mutambara, this tactic does not appear to have much potency as Zimbabweans have now seen through it.
2.CONTINUOUS HARASSMENT OF THE OPPOSITION
Most leaders have been brutalized by security forces in a bid to break their revolutionary spirit and resolve. Most of these are on trial on trumped criminal charges army personnel and state security agents have been into the rural areas to specifically harass the MDC-T leadership. The Police have been instructed to turn a blind eye on the criminal acts perpetrated on the MDC-T leadership by Zanu (PF) thugs and at the same time deal ruthlessly with the MDC-T leadership who wish to retaliate. At the local level therefore the Zanu (PF) leadership enjoys criminal immunity for harassing the MDC- T leadership.
3.TRICKERY BORDERING ON CRIMINALITY
It is now a matter of common record that the Global Political Agreement that was reached on the 11th of September 2005. The text agreed and initialed by the three principals on 11th September 2008 is substantially different from the bound text presented for official signature on 15th September 2008. That variation in the agreement was meant to trick the opposition and well meaning SADC leadership into signing the wrong agreement. The alteration of the agreement to suit him (Mugabe) was done in the hope that the world would not read the fine print. This tactic, which is trickery bordering on criminality will be used at every opportunity by Mugabe and his government to achieve their sordid objectives.
4.PROLONGING THE OBVIOUS
An analysis of Mugabe’s behaviour during the power sharing talks clearly shows that Mugabe is bidding for time. One of the clauses in the agreement is that should one party pull out of the Global Political Agreement then there should be a general election. Mugabe and Zanu (PF) know that they would not win this election if it is conducted in a free and fair environment. In fact the surest way of getting Mugabe out of power is through a free and fair election in Zimbabwe. But Mugabe wants to prolong that eventuality. With the economy out of control Mugabe’s unpopularity is also going out of control. This tactic of bidding for time is simply prolonging the obvious.
5.FRUSTRATING AND CIRCUMVENTING THE G.P.A
Despite tempering with the document Mugabe still believes that the GPA was a bad deal for him. To circumvent its clear spirit Mugabe has gone ahead and made unilateral appointments of the Provincial Governors in all the country’s ten provinces. He has also made unilateral appointments to the Senate. Although the G.P,A calls for a return to the rule of law, respect human rights and an end to violence Mugabe has not respected any of these. All this is meant to scuttle the G.P.A.
6.BULLYING STRESSED SADC MEMBERS
Some members of SADC like, DRC, Angola, Lesotho and Mozambique are militarily depended in Zimbabwe one way or the other. These members dare not criticize or chastise Mugabe because they badly need his generous military hand. He has exploited these into supporting his evil endeavours. These dependent and potentially dependent countries have never spoken against Mugabe’s policies. Mugabe has converted this into “regional support”. The dependency of these countries on Mugabe inevitably compromises their potency and suitability in dealing with the Zimbabwean crises.
7.DECIMATION OF THE MDC- T MEMBRSHIP
The murders that were perpetrated by the Zanu (PF) members of the MDC- T membership was meant to decimate the latter. Right now most MDC – T leadership and the legislators are on the Zanu (PF) state security, police and army hit lists. The intimidation, harassment and torture of MDC – T people was also meant to decimate MDC- T membership. Surprisingly this tactic has not yielded the desired results because the MDC – T membership is swelling by the day.
8.DISTROYING MDC- T STRUCTURES
In most rural areas MDC – T was a well structured party with, provincial executive committees, District Executive Committees, Ward Executives Committees and Village Executive Committees. It had cells in the villages. All these structures have been targeted by the police, C.I.O and the army for harassment. The aim is to destroy these structures and therefore compromise the MDC-T’s organizational ability.
9.STRESSING MDC-T LEGISLATORS AND COUNCILLORS
A big number of MDC-T legislators are unemployed. After March 29 they were denied a salary from Parliament for a period in excess of six months. Most of them ran into debt. They were also denied traditional parliamentary vehicles. Although on paper they are entitled to weekly fuel supplies this fuel has not been forthcoming in the past weeks. This is meant to economically squeeze the MDC- T legislator and make them less effective in their respective constituencies. The legislators have also been denied the fertilizer, seed and food allocation for their constituencies. Again the aim is to bring feelings of revulsion and drive a wedge between the population and the elected MDC-T officials.
10.SHARPENING AND INTENSIFYING ANTI-MDC PROPAGANDA
Mugabe has maintained a tight grip and has retained monopoly on the state electronic and print media. This media has spear headed a relentless attack on the MDC leadership especially on Morgan Tsvangirayi. The reporting has been embarrassingly one sided hysterical and rhetorical. In the sate media, Morgan Tsvangirayi and MDC –T are portrayed as dull irrational and unpatriotic. Their genuine positions are never published. Just like the Pravda in communist Russia The Herald is being used by this regime as the medium of launching vitriolic attacks on the opposition.
11.MAINTENANCE OF A DE FACTO STATE OF EMERGENCY
Zimbabwe is in a de facto state of emergency. Most MDC supporters are detained without charge or trial. Their basic human rights including equal treatment before the law, freedom of expression, opinion, association and assembly are abrogated everyday by the state, C.I.O, the army and the police. This suspension of human rights by the government is meant to stifle democratic discourse in our country and tilt political power in favour of Zanu (PF) and Mugabe.
12.SILENT LAND GRABBING
The SADCC Tribunal recently issued an order to the Zimbabwean government to stop any further farm acquisitions. However the government has continued issuing offer letters in respect to ungazetted land. The land targeted is that which belongs to known MDC activists and sympathizers. All farms that employ MDC supporters as labourers are also targeted for illegal acquisition. This land is then parceled out to the army, police and C.I.O officials.
13.IRRATIONALISATION OF PARLIAMENT
Zanu (PF) has instructed its Parliamentarians to be extremely irrational in Parliament. They have refused to debate the important motion on political violence. In fact they planned and threatened to disrupt parliamentary business should this motion be debated. They are disruptive and disrespectiful of the Speaker of Parliament. They trash such important motions like the motion on the food crisis. This irrationalisation of Parliament is a deliberate ploy to make sure that nothing of substance comes out of Parliament. This Parliamentary failure is then going to be
attributed to MDC-T which has a majority in Parliament.
14.THE ILLUSION OF BANDITRY
Mugabe is plotting a violent crack down on the MDC and its supporters. In order to do this he needs to invent a reason. As the Nigerian saying goes “when a hyena wants to devour its young ones, it starts by accusing them of smelling like goats”. In the run up to the June 2008 madness Mugabe accused the MDC – T supporters of provoking Zanu (PF) supporters. The result was a massive crackdown on innocent MDC members. This is not new and has been used against P.F Zapu, the UANC and Zanu (Ndonga). Recently the state militia has started peddling lies that MDC is training a militia in Botswana. Everybody knows that this is a lie. The main aim however is to justify a crackdown on the MDC-T supporters and officials. This violent crackdown is clearly looming and may reach genocidal proportions if not checked or nipped in the bud.
15. MAINTENANCE OF A CORRUPT GOVERNMENT
Mugabe has retained a government headed by a cabinet that he dissolved in February 2008. All the Ministers including those that lost the election and were not even brought back via the backdoor exercise their cabinet functions. For Mugabe therefore it is business as usual. The scuttling of the talks is therefore meant to prolong the life of that cabinet.
16.MILITARISATION OF KEY CIVILIAN INSTITUTIONS
In Zimbabwe the army is everywhere. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is headed by army personnel. The brigadiers and colonels are heading the food distribution and procurement institutions like the Grain Marketing Board. The institutions that deal with the procurement of farm implements and inputs like seed and fertilizer are headed by the army. The critical reason for this militarization is to ensure that the elected officials do not play a part in the distribution and procurement of food and inputs. It is also meant to intimidate the villagers. Importantly it brings about opaqueness and unaccountability in these institutions.
17. ELEVATION OF THE POLITIBURO TO THE ALPHA & OMEGA OF
The politiburo is Zanu (PF)’s supreme decision making organ which itself
is headed by Mugabe. This organ has been elevated to the highest
decision making organ in the country. After the signing of the M.O.U the
politiburo issued a statement to the effect that it would not allow
Mugabe’s powers to be reduced similar statement were issued on the
spirit of the G.P.A. The Politiburo is now being used by Mugabe as a
means to backtrack on earlier positions during negotiations. Instead of
negotiating with Mugabe one might as well negotiate with politiburo.
18. THE MONOPOLY AND PLUNDER OF DIAMONDS
The diamond fields in Marange, Manicaland have literally been turned
into death fields. The only companies allowed to Mine there are those
directed by Mugabe’s cronnies. These have deployed militia to make
sure that local villagers do not have access to the diamonds. However
top army and police officials are busy illegally mining diamonds in
Marange. The booty from these diamond fields is being used to prop
up Mugabe’s regime. It will also be used to sponsor terrorism against
the people and subdue the people.
A leopard, like Mugabe cannot change its spots. Despite his hollow words and platitudes Mugabe and his henchmen do not have serious intentions of political reform in Zimbabwe. They are on a warpath with the people. If the international community does not intervene with responsible haste then Zimbabwe will slide into mayhem and anarchy. It will in the fullness of time even slide into debilitating civil war. The solution lies with all right thinking members of the international community to avert this disaster.
Editor’s Note: Douglas Mwonzora a lawyer is the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Member of Parliament for Nyanga North.