REV M S HOVE'S OPEN LETTER TO PRES G W BUSH!!!

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DEMO>>>>ZIMBABWEAN EMBASSY, PRETORIA>>> 21ST FEBRUARY, 2008.

PLEASE KINDLY NOTE THAT THE ZIMBABWE REVOLUTIONARY YOUTH MOVEMENT WILL HOLD A DEMO AT THE ZIMBABWEAN EMBASSY, PRETORIA ON THURSDAY, 21ST FEBRUARY, 2008 AT 10.00AM TO 12.00 NOON.
THE PROCESSION STARTS OPPOSITE THE UNION BUILDINGS AT 9.00AM.
PLEASE CONTACT THE PRESIDENT ON CELL0796192955 /THE SEC GENERAL CELL: 0722543486 / THE PUBLICITY SEC CELL: 0787303844.
PLEASE SUPPORT THIS NOBLE INITIATIVE!!!
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END OF AN ERA???

END OF AN ERA???

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"Beware of the Ides of March"...Daniel Molokele

by Daniel Molokele

Between the years 2000 and 2002 I used to run a hard hitting analysis column with the Gweru based Roman Catholic Church funded monthly magazine called Moto. (Literally translated ‘fire’ from the local Shona language). The column was known as ‘No Holds Barred’.

Further it may also be recalled that during the Moto edition of March 2002, I wrote an analysis simply entitled, ‘Beware of the Ides of March’. The article sought to warn the incumbent president of Zimbabwe, one Robert Mugabe, not to take things for granted in the run up to the March 2002 elections. At that time, I felt that it was appropriate to use the analogy of the assassination of Julius Caesar as the basis of my warning to Mugabe as he prepared to battle the then leader of a much more united and determined opposition MDC, one Morgan Tsvangirai.

It was my contention in the main, that just like Caesar, an over confident Mugabe ran the risk of experiencing a humiliating defeat at the hands of the upstart, the ascendant Tsvangirai. But as history would have it, Mugabe appears to have heeded the warning and fought perhaps the battle of his entire political life. In the end, Mugabe managed to shrug off Tsvangirai as some would argue, by hook or crook, in a very controversial election result.

And so it happened that unlike the great Caesar, Mugabe did not meet his fateful end that March. In fact he has soldiered on, defying all forms of opposition to his stranglehold of the Zimbabwean political leadership mace unto this day.

But that was then.

As I write today, the political state of affairs in Zimbabwe has just taken a new dramatic shift that might in the long term, completely transform the political landscape of Zimbabwe forever.

On 5th February 2008, an ordinary day in Zimbabwe suddenly breathed a new lease of life to the largely moribund political environment of the country. A major press conference was held in Harare that eventually brought the entire capital city to a halt. The event was addressed by a rather quiet and unassuming gentleman, one Simba Makoni, who upset the apple cart by openly declaring his candidature for the presidency in the much anticipated March 2008 harmonised elections.

Personally I was not all that surprised by this turn of events. It appears as if Makoni had read the national political mood so well. There actually appears to be an air of hopelessness and despondency in the Zimbabwean political atmosphere. This was further compounded by a desperate desire and yearning for some real politics of change.


Just a few days earlier on, at the end of January 2008 to be more precise in my chronological context, I spent almost a full week in Bulawayo, the ailing second city of Zimbabwe. And so it happened that during my latest visit to my motherland, I had a good opportunity to collect views and perspectives about the rumour that one Simba Makoni was allegedly preparing to stake a surprise challenge to Mugabe’s leadership of Zimbabwe.

I managed to speak to a wide ranging group of people from some key political activists, civic society leaders, church leaders, friends, relatives and some family members about the alleged ambitions of Makoni.

The result of my elementary and less than empirical public opinion survey was so astounding! I discovered that an overwhelming number of people I spoke to was strongly in favour of Makoni standing up to Mugabe. It appeared as if that the people I spoke to had lost their faith on both Mugabe and Tsvangirai altogether! There was so much disillusionment over the performance of both the key candidates of the last presidential elections in March 2002. Both Mugabe and Tsvangirai seem to have lost their strong appeal over the electorate.

In the final analysis, it was clear to me that Makoni was not necessarily a popular choice but a rather desperate option from a people that had become so disillusioned with the leadership of both Mugabe and Tsvangirai. Makoni was thus an emerging beneficiary of that strong feeling of disenchantment with the status quo.

Makoni’s rather muted entrance into the presidential race has indeed complicated matters in the Zimbabwean political landscape.

First and perhaps foremost, Makoni has breathed a new lease of life in the nation’s confidence in the rather sterile electoral systems of the country. Until his arrival, the 2008 elections were bound to be a huge non-event. Over the years, the euphoria that greeted the formation of the opposition MDC and its promises for political change has evaporated among the long suffering masses of Zimbabwe.

The MDC has not been able to complete the change and has in the final analysis helped to develop a notion that it would never be able to unseat Mugabe via the electoral process since it remained titled heavily in favour of the incumbent Mugabe’s interest. There is bound to be a re-affirmation of faith ion the electoral process of Zimbabwe by the majority of voters who up to now were most likely not to even bother to turn out and vote, let alone support a specific candidate.

Secondly, Makoni’s entrance has perhaps saved the country from the ever growing possibility of a military take over of the country. A duplication of the recent electoral patterns in the country would have resulted in the retention of a hugely unpopular government that would have driven the millions of long suffering Zimbabweans into an abyss of political despair. That on its own could have resulted in a complete loss of faith in all future elections leading to the need for a new paradigm in the ultimate politics of change. As such the notion of removing the incumbent by ‘bullets’ and not by ‘ballots’ would have gathered more momentum. Such a ghastly context could have led to civil unrest, a sure recipe for a coup or an all out civil war.
Makoni’s decision has thus given the electoral politics of change a stay of execution.

Thirdly, the entrance of Makoni as an independent now means that it is certain that the presidential elections will not be a predictable two-horse race between Mugabe and Tsvangirai as it was in the last plebiscite of March 2002. Until now, it was beginning to be apparent that there were only two serious alternatives for the electorate, the same old protagonists in the form of Mugabe and Tsvangirai. Makoni it is hoped will prove to be a viable third alternative in the presidential menu for the electorate to savour upon. This is good for the development of a vibrant culture of credible multi-party democracy in the country.

Fourthly, Makoni is also important in as far as the fact that he appears to have a cross appeal to the nation. He will be able to draw the attention of most voters who over the years have grown disenchanted by the politics of both the MDC and Zanu-PF. It is common cause that both political parties are presently suffering from a crisis of common purpose and disunity, as largely reflected by the factionalism that is clearly evident in both groupings. The past weekend’s failure of the two factions of the MDC to adopt a political pact for the polls is a clear case in point. On the hand, Zanu-PF has also been struggling to come up with a legitimate list of candidates. This is so mainly in Matabeleland were the matter of discord has been exacerbated by the controversial reinstatement of one Jabulani Sibanda by Mugabe. A move that has led to an increasingly open challenge to his leadership credentials by the disenchanted senior party members of the PF-Zapu origins.

Last but by no means least; Makoni appears to be likely to defeat the incumbent than the MDC since he actually fits more appropriately into the political analogy of the ides of March. Just like Brutus, he is from Mugabe’s inner circle. The presence of the likes of Ibbo Mandaza and retired army boss Kudzai Mbudzi appears to suggest that he has the backing of Mugabe’s only credible source of political power, the nation’s security forces. Besides, Mandaza is known to be a close associate of the ruling party’s alleged kingmaker who himself wields a lot of influence over the armed forces, the retired army commander Solomon Mujuru. Makoni himself has already claimed in public that he has consulted broadly and has the support of many senior leaders of Zanu-PF.

And so just like Brutus, it is most likely that Mugabe like Caesar might not be able to survive an attack from his own inner circle. As it is for now, he is no longer sure as to whom to trust within his own party. The postponement of the party’s Politburo meeting this past Wednesday may actually be an indication of the prevailing turmoil and uncertainty within the party leadership. Mugabe is reeling and staggering right now. As it is, he may soon fall down fatally, at hands of his own. Mugabe must be aware of the real Ides of March this time around!

danielmolokela@yahoo.com also at www.danielmolokele.blogspot.com

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