Zanu PF in trouble
The Queen made a famous remark about a year in her life, describing it
“horrible year”. I am sure that Mr. Mugabe will say the same thing
2006 when we finally get to the end of the year.
He was confident that this year the economy would bottom out and the
agricultural system would start to recover. He was wrong on both
leadership of Africa at the recent AU summit and more recently at the
summit has snubbed him. His closest regional associates have ganged up
him and are now demanding that he retire and start the process of
the country’s relations with the world community.
Over the past year Thabo Mbeki has had three goes at persuading him to
retire and make way for new reformist Zanu PF leadership. Kofi Annan
also tried to persuade him – albeit only half-heartedly (his mind is
that retirement home he has been planning). Mugabe thought he had
coup when it was announced that his old friend and ally, Benjamin Mkapa
would take over as “point man” on Zimbabwe only to have him dump him as
Just in case the old man might think that his political woes might end
there, the reformist elements in Zanu PF, who think there may be life
Mugabe, tried to get him to accept that he and his closest colleagues
retire now and allow the Party to start the process of reinventing
and getting the economy back on its feet. They did so in the form of a
attack on the old guard and certain dissident elements in the Zanu PF
leadership at the Politburo meeting in Harare last Wednesday. Mugabe
able to defend the status quo – but that in itself is not sustainable
only made things worse by resisting all forms of change.
The international community paid Mugabe their greatest insult this year
simply ignoring him. For a politician that is the worst form of
They love to be feted, even if they are hated!!
Isolated and ignored by the world community, increasingly ostracized by
African leaders and now under real pressure by the region, Mugabe is
isolated and alone. His Party has fractured into three or four
each of whom is striving for ascendancy and there is nothing but bad
from the economy.
After claiming that we had grown 1,7 million tonnes of maize and 200
tonnes of wheat, the GMB has taken in less than 200 000 tonnes of maize
with imports down to a trickle we have run out of maize meal. The
supermarket chain in the country told me last week that they had not
delivery in two weeks of this essential and basic staple. In response
shortage, what was available trebled in price this past weekend. In the
days” that by itself, would have been enough to topple any regime.
The State announced they were now able to supply our needs for liquid
and that the retail price would fall from Z$680 per litre to Z$330. The
trade simply shrugged their shoulders and said – deliver and we will
comply – no deliveries and the prices remained where they were. The
subsequent attempts to force retailers to drop their prices simply led
further shortages and queues.
Finally poor old Robert started to receive widespread reports of
preparations for mass action against his regime. The MDC has virtually
rebuilt itself around new leadership and is increasingly effective on
ground. It has taken several new initiatives – the development of a
comprehensive “Road Map” describing how we can get back on our feet, it
also developed a “Democracy Charter” that spells out what the MDC
and it has crafted a national alliance with all the minor opposition
Parties, Civil Society and the Churches. This “Broad Alliance” is now
preparing to take on the State in the first real test of strength and
Mugabe and his colleagues are nervous and jittery to say the least.
Intelligence is also reaching the authorities that the MDC is talking
leadership of the Police, Army and Air Force. How this is being done
simply cannot find out or identify who is involved, but they are
persistent rumors of penetration and consultation. This is the final
of power for Zanu PF and they know that the day that the Broad Alliance
onto the street in numbers and the security forces stand by and do
that is the day that Zanu PF begins to run out of options and its final
On Friday last week the entire National Executive of the MDC marched
our Party Headquarters to Parliament and presented a copy of the road
the Speaker. They then marched back to the HQ and disbanded – it took
an hour. The Police simply stood by and watched. We did not know what
expect and the center of the City came to a halt for that short period
time. We hear that Mr. Mugabe was furious. But the reality lies in a
incident last weekend when a senior Zanu PF leader met one of our
a function. “When are you guys going to do something?” he asked
“We (in Zanu PF) can do nothing – we are paralysed and the Old Man just
refuses to go. It’s up to you.”
Today I saw a draft resolution being put to the European Parliament by
Members of Parliament. It called for a “National Reconciliation
to negotiate a way out of this crisis attended by the Government, the
Opposition and Civil Society. It said that this was the only way to
an orderly, fair and democratic transition to a new dispensation that
inevitably follow the retirement or demise of Mr. Mugabe.
It demonstrates the reality that change is on its way here – in one
another and that the long night of Zanu PF monopoly of power is almost
end. This week we are encouraging parents to send their children to
and to pay what they can afford in the form of school fees. We are
parents to react if the schools subsequently deny their children a
school arguing that if the State can print money for new military
and useless jet aircraft, then they can pay the difference between what
people can afford and what a basic education costs.
Next week the Trade Unions – backed by the Broad Alliance, takes to the
street in the form of a bus boycott and walk to work campaign. After
more is planned – Mr. Mugabe knows that and I am sure has difficulty
sleeping these days, hated at home and despised abroad, 2006 is proving
be his Waterloo in many different ways.
Bulawayo, September 5th 2006.