“Mugabe and the senior echelons of Zimbabwe’s military share a nationalist liberation ideology wrought during the fight for independence from white rule during the 1960s and 1970s. Mugabe and ZANU-PF have carefully maintained and updated this ideology to fit changes in the political climate,” wrote Alexander Noyes, a Senior Associate at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.
What ideology is Noyes talking about?
Before independence and a few decades after; Mugabe had talked about the black nationalist ideology with the confidence and conviction of one has drunk and bathed in the distant lake. But after 37 years of corrupt and tyrannical rule, the Zanu PF ideology and all it had promised have all turned out to be a mirage.
Robert Mugabe himself would be chuffed to bits to read that there is someone out stupid enough to still believe in the mythical Zanu PF ideology. Mugabe would only be too glad to fund Noyes’ studies and wider circulation of his finding for no other reason than to help spruce the tyrant’s soiled reputation!
An honest study, can comb through all Mugabe has ever said and done (his is the only voice ever heard in Zanu PF, everyone else has been no more than a duckling programmed to follow his lead, no questions asked) in search of this Zanu PF nationalism liberation ideology. All one will find is a commitment to defeat the white colonial regime at all cost. The war of liberation has costed the nation dearly in lost treasure, human suffering and human lives and, worst of all, it allowed the power-hungry but intellectually challenged minions to get into power.
After independence Mugabe pursued his “scientific” socialism insisting it would transform the country into this idyllic Marxist – Maoist utopia with guaranteed mass prosperity, “gutsa ruzhinji”, as Mugabe promised. The test of the pudding is in the eating. After 37 years of Zanu PF gross mismanagement and rampant corruption we have mass poverty instead of the promised mass prosperity.
In 1980 Zimbabwe was one of the richest countries in African with potential to do even better. Today Zimbabweans are the poorest in Africa.
So, what went wrong with Mugabe’s “scientific socialism”?
The two threads that has ran through all Mugabe’s bankrupt “scientific socialism” are the regime’s insatiable appetite and its reckless spending. No one has ever prospered from reckless spending; ask the prodigal son!
Mugabe’s resolve to defeat the white colonial regime at all cost was matched by his post-independence resolve to stay in power at all cost. Zanu PF has ridden roughshod over the people’s freedoms and human rights including the right to free, fair and credible elections and even the right to life. 1980 marked the end of the civil war to end white colonial rule and the beginning of new ruthless fight to impose Zanu PF political domination.
It was none other than Mugabe himself who has encourage the culture of political violence, vote rigging and lawlessness. He has corrupted the Police, Judiciary, ZEC and other State Institutions forcing them to promote Zanu PF’s no-regime-change mantra in violation of their statutory duties of upholding the rule of law, etc.
Whatever pretentions Mugabe had of being guided by some political and/or economic ideology have all been washed away; leaving behind a despot, incapable of holding any discernible ideology, whose whole life is governed by his insatiable and primeval greed for power and wealth.
“In 2000, ZANU-PF faced its first real political threat in the rise of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) opposition party. In response, ZANU-PF linked resistance to imperialism in the 19th century to the war of liberation in the 1970s and the expropriation of white-owned land in the early 2000s to reward war veterans. This updated ideology promotes a view of Zimbabwe’s politics as a struggle between revolutionary “patriots” (liberation war veterans) and “sell-outs” (the opposition),” continued Noyes. (See Zimeye opinion for full article)
“This ideology continues to run deep in the senior levels of Zimbabwe’s military. It is the glue that binds Mugabe to his generals and thereby lessens the likelihood of a military coup as long as Mugabe is president.”
To suggest that the people of Zimbabwe are still fooled by Mugabe and Zanu PF lies, propaganda and damned lies that the regime still cares about them is an insult to every thinking Zimbabwean. The people of Zimbabwe would have booted the regime out of office many, many moons ago if the regime was not rigging elections.
The very fact that the regime’s damned lies even have any traction with ill-informed individuals like Noyes is because the MDC have failed to articulate a counter narrative to debunk the propaganda. Worse still, it is the MDC’s failure to implement the democratic reforms designed to stop Zanu PF rigging the elections that has allowed the tyrant’s reign to last this far.
It is the looted wealth that has helped Mugabe keep his greedy but wasteful Zanu PF thugs in party and security services united this far. However, the country’s worsening economic meltdown not only affected the ordinary people, even those in the regime’s ruling elite inner most circle have not been spared. It is the fear of poverty that is fuelling the dog-eat-dog tearing Zanu PF apart as member fight over the dwindling wealth.
It was worsening economic situation that force Mugabe to “baby dump” former VP Joice Mujuru and hundreds of her supporters. It was the regime’s failure to pay the rogue war veterans’ children’s fees, their pension and other allowances that forced the rogues to confront Mugabe and demand his departure from office.
If the person who takes over from Mugabe can guarantee the top brass in the security services their present lifestyles there will never be coup in Zimbabwe. Zanu PF ideology is the glue holding the party together. Yeah right! What does General Chiwenga know or care about ideology!
What Zanu PF and security sector buffoons like Chiwenga have failed to grasp, even now with all the evidence before them, is that the corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF dictatorship is economically and politically unsustainable. The party is imploding and the country must dismantle the dictatorship if it is not the dragged into the abyss with the party.