THAT Robert Mugabe remains in power after slaughtering 20,000 Zimbabweans and collapsing a booming economy to dust is an irony whose insult cannot continue to be ignored.
The monumental falsehood that Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe for thirty years only by his employment of violence and his tyrannical steel must be confronted. The role of Britain, Zimbabwe’s former colonial power, and the Movement of Democratic Change-Tsvangirai (MDC-Tsvangirai) in keeping Mugabe in power must urgently be exposed.
Behind the curtain of British pretence and MDC-T posturing, Mugabe’s service to Britain in securing British economic interests in Zimbabwe in the early 1980s is still being well appreciated. So the myth that the courageous and heroic peasants of Zimbabwe who defeated British colonialism are failing to defeat a dictatorship must be urgently exploded, and world opinion must be informed accurately that Mugabe continues to lord himself over Zimbabwe thanks to the elites in the MDC-T and in Britain.
First, it is important for all who care about the future of Zimbabwe to understand that a huge fraction of Mugabe’s crimes against humanity that he committed, he executed with British approval and support, if not blind or quiet diplomacy.
When Mugabe sent troops to Matabeleland and the Midlands in the 1980s, Britain maintained a loud silence as people were slaughtered like goats at Christmas. The elite in Britain were actually happy that Joshua Nkomo and PF-Zapu, who were bent on nationalising the land and the mines in which the British had interests, were being suppressed. It is no accident the Margaret Thatcher, the then Prime Minister of Britain, referred to Mugabe as “our man in Harare”.
After the genocide, the Queen of England visited Zimbabwe in 1991. Three years later, she met Mugabe for tea at Buckingham Palace and bestowed him the prestigious knighthood of the order of Bath. Not only that, but Perence Shiri, the king-pin of the army operation in Matabeleland, was honoured in Britain with a scholarship to the Royal College of Defence Studies. It is as clear as the sky that Mugabe and Britain come a very long way in the service of each other.
Only around 1999, when the British started showing an interest in Morgan Tsvangarai and the MDC-T by funding them did Mugabe resort to fixing the British, by seizing their farms and making moves at nationalising the mines which he had earlier safely secured for the British farmers and miners.
Only when Mugabe started slaughtering white commercial farmers did the British start seeing dictatorship and human rights abuses in their “man In Harare”. Suddenly, Mugabe was an evil man and the British made sure the whole world saw him through this prism, from then on. That said, I would like to observe that Mugabe and the British elite remain separated but not divorced.
There must not be any doubt that both Mugabe and Tsvangarai are British “men in Harare.” In truth, the MDC-T was created and sponsored by the British not to replace Mugabe and Zanu PF but to irritate, annoy and or frighten them into renewing their vows with London. I have no doubt the British will be happier with a reformed Zanu PF in power than the MDC-T, a party which they are happy to use as their spoilt pressure group whose job is to frown at and at best disturb and keep Zanu PF on their toes and not eliminate them.
That the MD-TC and Tsvangarai’s deep-down appointed missions is to pressurise and not topple Zanu PF and Mugabe is demonstrated in how the MDC-T- and its leader are not willing to confront Mugabe and Zanu PF at their capital crime -- which is genocide in Matabeleland. Tsvangarai has never challenged Mugabe on Gukurahundi, and the slaughter of twenty thousand people. He has been very loud on Murambatswina, the economic meltdown and the humanitarian crisis, and the reason is clear -- Mugabe unleashed Gukurahundi when Tsvangarai and more than half of his ministers were still loyal cadres in Zanu PF ranks and they shared in the operation whose objective was to crash Nkomo and PF-Zapu. The plan was to stop them from their intended nationalisation of the land, the mines and the factories in Zimbabwe that they were resolved on doing.
In fact, it cannot be an exaggeration that Tsvangarai has a lot of respect if not fear for Mugabe whom he has openly called his hero. At the end of the day, contrary to contemporary and popular opinion, Tsvangirai is too much of a child of Zanu PF and a loyalist of Mugabe to subject him to the full wrath of a revolution.
There have been two incidents where Morgan Tsvangarai led the MDC-T away from Armageddon with Zanu PF and Mugabe. After the 2000 elections which everyone in and outside Zimbabwe agreed were clearly rigged in favour of Mugabe and Zanu PF, Tsvangarai responded by announcing that “we will consult” on the way forward instead of providing revolutionary leadership that the moment demanded to push Mugabe out of office.
In 2009, when Mugabe clearly lost and delayed announcing results for a whole month, Tsvangarai stayed at home until Mugabe gained confidence to insist on a run-off which Tsvangarai politely boycotted, allowing “my hero” to declare himself the winner and forcing everyone into talks that led to the current unity government that has strengthened Zanu PF even more.
Tsvangarai is willing to oppose Mugabe with his sweat, and not with his blood. Mugabe will for now remain in office even after the coming elections as long as Zimbabweans and the international community still believe Tsvanagrai and the MDC-T are genuinely resolved on replacing Zanu PF in government.
The truth must actually be exposed, that Tsvangirai and the MDC-T are beneficiaries of Gukurahundi politically. The Matabaleland vote that the MDC-T is guaranteed of and actually takes for granted is actually Tsvangarai’s harvest of the fruits of Gukurahundi. The hatred and anger that the people of Matabeleland have for Mugabe because of Gukurahundi guarantees Tsvangarai their vote. It is unfortunate that the people of Matabeleland do not understand yet that on Gukurahundi, Mugabe and Tsvangarai are inseparable comrades.
It is not even a joke that the British themselves celebrated the crushing of the Ndebele people through Gukurahundi because they still have not forgiven the Ndebele for the trouble they gave British settlers in 1893. It is also known history that even the then settlers claimed they had to use the Maxim gun against Ndebele impis to protect the Shona people from marauding Ndebele warriors. There has been an enduring British and Zanu PF agenda to settle a score with the Ndebele from times past.
The reason why Julius Malema and others still believe that Mugabe is a protector of African economic and political interests is that the MDC-T and others have not done their homework, or in fact it is not their appointed task to expose Mugabe’s phoney Pan-Africanism and hollow nationalism that is punctuated with massgraves and cemented by his loyal service in securing British economic interests in Zimbabwe.
The MDC is opposed to true nationalism and Pan-Africanism and that is why popular MDC-T opinionators love to hate Arthur Mutambara and are quick to curse him as a Zanu PF agent when what he is trying to do is to return to the Zimbabwean spirit that defeated colonialism, and which must resist imperialism that Mugabe and Tsvangarai have so loyally served. Also adding to Mutambara’s troubles is his blindness to ethnicity whereas the elite in Zanu PF and the MDC-T are clear about where Ndebeles belong in Zimbabwean politically affairs.
In short, as things stand, Mugabe and Zanu PF may go by the force of gravity and not by the MDC-T and Morgan Tsvangarai. Zimbabweans who are so hungry for freedom have to think again on who and what will free them from “the men in Harare” because behind the thick curtain of British and MDC-T pretences lie enduring interests that make Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Britain servants of one cause.
Dinizulu Macaphulana is a student in Lesotho. He is contactable on e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org