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Wednesday, 20 June 2007








By Rev M S Hove.

It is only fair and proper that I start my submission by paying tribute to all the writers (some of whom are now late; for example Professor Masipula Sithole), who have fearlessly tackled (or tried to tackle) the Zimbabwean crisis since before the formation of the Movement of Democratic Change (the MDC).

Some of you may think that the Zimbabwean crisis began in 2000 and was precipitated by the formation of the MDC and therefore by Zanu- PF's reaction to its formation. The most unfortunate factor in the Zimbabwean crisis is the lack of information about the events that occurred in the present ruling party before and after independence in 1980.

This is very strategic because any genuine analysts need to know why Zanu – PF continues to appear integrated and why it continues to "surge" on in the face of the greatest of adversities where many other political formations would have folded up and surrendered power to the opposition formations. Any sincere analyst would agree with me that Zanu-PF has clearly and openly rigged elections especially since 2000 to date.

Why is the rigging machinery so efficient and determined? Why is it difficult to get "rebels" who shout to the world about these activities and hence cause an earlier disintegration of Zanu – PF and its supportive machinery?

My submission acknowledges the earlier attempts to cite "fear" and the various "risk – taking" postures as the possible reasons why Zimbwabweans do not rebel in the face of what is correctly described as a violent, repressive regime.

I, however, lament that the greatest missing factor in all these submissions is the failure to look at the issue of "CONVICTION".

Many political leaders in the various opposition parties and related civic groups continually allege that Zimbabweans appear to be more docile than the citizens of other countries. This would imply that a Zimbabwean man would be less likely to fight, maime or murder an intruder that he would find, say having a "romantic picnic" with his wife in his bedroom and on his own bed.

Would we then be saying that there is something genetically different about the Zimbwabwean people? We can not say that, though, because what we call Zimbwabweans today is made up of Karangas, Ndebeles, Korekores, Manyikas and even Xhosas, Sothos and other groups from outside the geographical boundaries of the country we call Zimbabwe.

The previous writers have correctly cited "fear" and the various levels of "risk –taking" in both the rulers and the governed.

I stand to be corrected, but I would like the dimension of "docility" to be removed completely from the equation.

Lets then look at the issue of "conviction".

Are the masses completely convinced that Mugabe and Zanu–PF are evil and therefore need to be removed at all costs?

When the MDC was formed the voters showed in a free and fair show of their will that they didn't want Zanu PF to continue governing them.

That was not much of a risk then because the issue was more of "Do you want the Zanu – PF driven Constitution or not?" and the majority of the voters answered "No, we don't want the Zanu – PF driven Constitution."

So by implication, they were rejecting Mugabe and Zanu- PF and registering that they wanted an alternative set of administrators (who incidentally were the MDC under Morgan Tsvangirai and guided by the NCA led by Dr Lovemore Madhuku).

But Zanu – PF, (correctly or incorrectly,) alleged that that the masses were being wooed by imperialist – funded political formations and that their Revolutionary Thrust, which was the acquiring of land from the 4500 "white" farmers to give the "masses"; would be reversed.

Zanu – PF then entered into a very vicious and cruel mode and how they have behaved since 2000 is not necessary to describe in this particular submission. The issue that "immobilizes" the masses more than the other factors mentioned by the previous learned scholars is the confusion in the minds of the "man – in the – street" about where morality and justice are at the present moment.

Is Zanu – PF completely evil hence justifying one to lose one's life in the struggle to remove it?
Is the MDC completely correct hence justifying one to lose ones life in the struggle to have them taking over the reigns of power?

Is the "man – in the – street" aware of what the MDC (or whoever else) will do about the emotional land issue once they get into power?

When I touch on "the land issue" a lot you may be tempted to tear me up my submission ignoring that the "land issue" (although wrongly addressed by Zanu – PF) has brought "livelihoods" to hundreds of thousands and many can testify to having entered lives of prosperity from the varios pieces of land that they got from Zanu – PF from the "wrongly – done Land Reform Exercise!"

So which are the masses that must erupt against Zanu – PF?

The senior soldiers and senior officers in the ZRP and the Intelligence Services
now reside on the land they got from the "wrongly – done land reform exercise"

Can you convince them to stand by while a mass of people are mobilized to "remove" Zanu – PF (illegitimate, though Zanu – PF may be)?

The conviction of the "man - -in the –street" is actually that one may be used by the political forces (whether Zanu – PF or the Opposition Parties) and die for a worthless cause ("Kufira Mahara").

Who will convince him to move away from that mind-set?

I believe that what is missing in the masses is the conviction that what is called "wrong" is in fact "wrong" and what is called right" is in fact " absolutely right" and worth dying for.

Another confusing scenario is the conflicting and inconsistent stands taken by the opposition formations!

At one time, they talked of "Mass Action" to remove Mugabe and Zanu – PF.

The original "war – cry" was, "What we want to tell Mugabe today (that was in 1999): Go peacefully or we will remove you violently."

I was one of the people who applauded then ZCTU Secretary – General when he issued that brave statement.

But perhaps things have completely changed and now the purpose of the "Mass Action"
is only to highlight to Mugabe and Zanu – PF that they are mismanaging the economy of the country.

So must Mugabe and Zanu – PF be removed or should they be told peacefully that there is discontent in the populace?

The famous "Zimpapers" columunist "Nathaniel Manheru "once remarked that there cannot be "Mass Action" in Zimbabwe because the masses are just not there to do the "action".

Why are the "masses" not there?

Those that fled from Zimbabwe are not being engaged to "rise up" against Zanu – PF. They are studying/ working and sending money home and buying big mansions and are too busy with their individual personal problems.

They periodically write in newspaper columns asking why the people back home are not "rising up" against Mugabe but they forget that their own lack of commitment to that supposed "uprising" is the same lack of commitment in the people back home.

Listen to, say ,the so called "SW RADIO AFRICA" which is beamimg its broadcasts from London!

Except for one or two guest speakers like Professor Stanford Mukasa and the other journalist, one would not recognise that the broadcasts were from serious patriots who have a passion to have an "uprising" back home.

I agree that it would be difficult for those poor few to take that stance but do you remember the Zanu broadcasts from Mozambique and China in the 70's??

Do you remember them?

The passion!

The clear message!

It was revolution and there was no time for jokes!

Where there is no conviction, they will similarly be no action of any sort!

The ZANU –PF Propaganda needs to be countered by more serious opponents and not the present brethren who spend precious time on radio laughing and playing music that appeals to our "nostalgia" and no more.

The purpose of my submission is not to offend anybody.

I only pray that those who have the conviction that Mugabe and Zanu – PF should be removed be given a chance to similarly convince the rest of the populace.

I have the conviction, do you?


Reverend Mufaro Stig Hove is a Trade Unionist and Opposition Activist now based in South Africa.

He can be contacted on Cell: 0791463039.


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I look for "The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" at all times.