Zim: does Africa care?

2013-08-07 00:00

AFRICA will only begin to care if you and I, as proud Zim­babweans, stand up now to be counted.

President Jacob Zuma exten­ded his profound congratulations to Robert Mugabe on his landslide victory in the recent elections. The African Union has literally endorsed the elections and the SADC is to follow with a full statement, but don’t hold your breath.

I walked around Harare to get a sense of the mood and people are going on with their lives as normal. They seem unwilling to get involved in a battle that they are most likely to lose. They are not waiting for the MDC to lead because that should have happened already. Rather, they are waiting for Zanu-PF to govern, because they are asking how can the same courts that expedited the elections come back and admit that the process was flawed? They are already anticipating another five years of suffering. Should that be so?

Another five years of Zanu-PF gloating while not delivering is looming. How can the government deliver in five years what it failed to do so in 34? A banker friend who supports the MDC received an SMS from a Zanu-PF minister who advised her that she should get ready to go and herd goats in the rural areas. That is their attitude now and we ain’t seen nothing yet.

An answer to my question above is yes, I do believe that there are Africans, black and white, who care deeply about the political developments in our country. I have had an avalanche of sympathy from Africans, both black and white, who understand the implications and are flabbergasted with Zanu-PF’s fraud.

I, however, don’t think that Africa has institutions that really care. Africa does not have the institutional capacity to deal with matters of governance and democracy. Africa does not have a critical mass of political leadership equipped and ready to manage the complexities of a fast-changing sociopolitical landscape. Our leaders are in a comfort zone, and they will not challenge each other or the status quo, even on matters of principle because they are all soiled by their past.

Because of this, Africa still lacks the ability to apply the best solutions to its problems and that is likely to continue for some time. We still accept mediocre and convenient results. We are full of excuses as to why we cannot apply world-class solutions to the problems we face.

I sat and wondered what conversations will be going on in a Zanu-PF-dominated parliament and what its priorities will be. My mind shut down at the horror we shall see.

But again, should Africa really care? I have also heard and seen the blame game emerging with everyone now analysing how Morgan Tsvangirai got it wrong and what he should have done. Thanks to all of you who now have advice, but where were you when Mai Tsvangirai died, when Morgan was beaten up by the police and Tendai Biti was incarcerated? When Nelson Chamisa was beaten at the airport and left for dead? Where were you when Roy ­Bennett was hounded out of the country like a dog, when Beatrice Mtetwa was arrested and Elton Mangoma humiliated. Yes, we all watched as they killed white farmers and stole their property. Where were you?

Where are you now?

Yes, we Zimbabweans stood by and watched, so why should Africa care?

Why should Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma care and compromise her career? Why should Rita Makarau or Tobaiwa Mudede care; they have been paid their meagre rewards? Why should ­Zuma rise up on our behalf or ­Olusegun ỌObasanjo create new enemies he does not need?

Africa will only begin to care if you and I stand up now and be counted. Perhaps then Africa will begin to notice and maybe they will care.

For now, let us not expect others to deal with our problems. Let us take ownership of our circumstances and it is only then that we can expect others to care.

— Politicsweb.

• Vince Musewe is an

economist based in Harare. You can contact him on ­vtmusewe@gmail.com

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