Open democracy and all who support it has become the enemy, an enemy to be fought at all costs.
I continue to be amazed on the quality of the African leadership that has emanated from struggle politics. In my opinion we have placed into office serial capitalists under the banner of liberation who to date have amassed unimaginable personal wealth and facilitated the same for their flatterers while blaming the West for the deepening scourge of poverty for the majority.
Over the last 30 years in Zimbabwe, we have seen how a dictator has manipulated the system to stay in power and how he has amassed significant personal wealth while adding no value at all. We have also seen how he has surrounded himself with flatterers who do nothing but to smell where the next deal is coming from and want to be involved.
We have seen lately how ZANU(PF) cronies have ganged up against a respected entrepreneur because they want the deal that he has. This same pattern happens in virtually every economic sector in Zimbabwe, whether it be mining, financial services, sport, transport, energy, you name it. With the indigenisation laws now in place, we certainly are going to watch as the Mugabe brigade justifies its expropriation of companies as they call on the black middle class to become owners of assets and not mere managers of it.
In my view, Mugabe is right when he talks about how it is necessary that we become owners of capital and not mere managers on behalf of international monopolies. Unfortunately there are qualifying criteria in one becoming an empowered black Zimbabwean. It means that you must agree with the emperor, you must pledge unquestionable allegiance to him, you must hold him supreme while pledging your whole being to ZANU(PF). I have heard that it is now seen as protocol that you kneel before the emperor as a sign of your subjugation to his will.
As we stand today, our country has been usurped by the Mugabe brigade who is so greedy that they will kill you if you dare expose them. Their sole objective is about money and nothing else. All the politicking we see today and the refusal to accept the MDC as an alternative, is not informed about the return of white capital to Zimbabwe but more about the return of white capital to Zimbabwe without them. It is more of a concern on the likely exposure of ill gotten gains for what is an emperor without his entourage of praise singers with bulging pockets.
African politics is about money, it is about entrenching capitalist leaders surrounded by liberation struggle elite who like parasites will feed off the patronage system. It is not about the poor, their plight is left to NGOs to deal with. In effect, the West is expected to deal with African poverty while our African leaders satisfy this incessant greed to amass wealth as a fringe benefit for fighting colonialism.
This social system that now exists in Zimbabwe will be very hard to disentangle not only because ZANU(PF) the army and the police will fight it, but also because the private sector in Zimbabwe has become basically an extension of ZANU(PF)’s tentacles and will become more so as the indigenisation brigade gets its hands on lucrative deals and assets, with the approval of the supreme leader of course who must get a piece of the action. Theirs can only be a fight to the finish, a fight to preserve a culture of greed and patronage. In such instances open democracy and all who support it becomes the enemy, an enemy to be fought at all costs.
Let us therefore not have much hope that a free and fair election will happen. It won’t happen and it can’t happen for the very reason that Mugabe’s empire, in unison with that of most ‘businessmen’ would surely come tumbling down. The emperor, surrounded by his flatterers, would indeed be found naked.
Vince Musewe is an independent Zimbabwean economist based in Johannesburg and this article was first published in the moneyweb. He is chairman and founder of Truth2power and currently spearheading the establishment of the Patriotic Movement of Diaspora Zimbabweans (PAMODZI). You may contact him on email@example.com