Zimbabwe has handed up its battered political remnants to Mugabe and his party. It has taken three decades to reach this point.
Initially the country’s survival was based on the optimism and strength of its people. The new country profited from lifetimes already invested. There was a real determination to make the country a success despite political sensitivities and the consequences of AIDS.
Today this sense of purpose is the weakest it has ever been thanks to the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front’s (ZANU-PF) spirit curling clasp on power. This throttle grip has tightened ruthlessly since the new millennium as the ruling elite have set about their blatant re-arrangement of democracy.
No wonder that in Zimbabwe the people’s pulse for true politics is faltering. Last week’s elections were bleak – another round in the ballot box ring for the politically concussed.
A few observers have whispered out about concerns but they can hardly be heard. It’s time that the truth was bellowed out. The electoral roll was rigged and the results unfair.
We all stand in Zimbabwe’s stain of hopelessness, spilt because those who have watched would not take a stand, would not assist democracy off its knees. Mugabe has gargled in our faces, gargled with the world’s hand-wringing colonial confusion, and then he has spat a corrupted country back at us – his careful spitoon the ballot box.
Dissent, and perceived dissent, already buried once during the Gukurahundi massacres, have been targeted relentlessly. Years of beatings, murders, and seizures of property and freedoms have been endured. Belief has become frantic, fragile hope as Zimbabweans have watched their institutions and currency spiral towards collapse, suffocated in part by greed and by the tentacles of foreign money-lenders.
Today the US dollar is the currency of choice. It’s easier all round. It’s faster in dollars to deal with the diamonds, diamonds that have encrusted this slow motion democracide and given a dangerous glitter to absolute power.
The fall for the autocratic in Zimbabwe is deadly steep. They know this and have no desire to join the brave voices that ricochet dangerously in the valleys below. They do not wish to live amongst the tortured who they have set free to parade their scars.
August 2013 should have seen a new beginning for Zimbabwe. Instead this mineral-rich, gentle land trapped between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers, remains stuck with its ancient president – king of his own empty Pandora’s box.