IT HAS now become a cliché in Zimbabwe for the opposition to ‘demand’ the resignation of President Robert Mugabe at every opportunity the media give them a little bit of space. The moment the President sighs, speaks, walks down a flight of stairs or combs his hair the local opposition always predictably spring into action ‘demanding’ his retirement. The demands continue to take many interestingly weird twists and turns.
Zimbabwe unfortunately is burdened with a dysfunctional, disappointing and desperate opposition which clearly lacks a shadow strategy and hence their ‘desperate demands’ for the President to relinquish his elected post, not through the normal channels which all self-proclaimed democracy champions should know fully well is via the ballot box. If the opposition indeed spent as much time on formulating a robust shadow strategy as they do on ‘demanding’ the resignation of President Mugabe then surely this country would certainly be on the path towards economic recovery.
One would be mistaken into thinking the MDC-T has a specific ‘Demand Department’ whose sole purpose is to monitor President Mugabe’s manner of speech or any action he may naturally take so as to formulate their increasingly predictable demands to accelerate their passage into the corridors of State house. Tsvangirai has clearly said that he wants to escalate the economic crisis to ‘force President Mugabe out of power’ and further expedite his own self-serving quest to land the Presidency.
There is no attempt whatsoever from the local opposition to come up with any sustainable alternative solutions to the country’s economic problems expect to make some doomed demands which are purely negative and not good for the country. It is a case of pessimistic preoccupations overwhelming progressive priorities.
Earlier in the week a handful of MDC-T supporters led by their leaders attempted to disrupt the SADC Summit in Harare and claimed that their “demand” was for President Mugabe to resign. A “demand” which surely defies all known logic and is clear as mud for it seems what they were “demanding” was for SADC to force President Mugabe’s hand into resigning three years away from the 2018 elections.
SADC and AU monitored Zimbabwe’s 2013 elections and declared them as free, fair and credible and it boggles the mind how the opposition came to the conclusion that suddenly SADC would turn around and tell President Mugabe to resign in response to these “demands”. Instead of wasting valuable time on “demanding” what clearly is impossible surely the opposition should be focusing on coming up with a robust and believable shadow strategy. But then this is too much to expect from them.Advertisement
In the same week, the local opposition and their media platforms went into overdrive with yet more ‘demands’ for President Mugabe to resign after twisting his statement about Kalangas who have migrated to South Africa for work. When it comes to the President everything he says or does is always taken out of context to create the desired effect. Many local opposition media sources have gone into overdrive, charging the President and trying to stir things up and set a totally different context to the actual content and meaning of the President’s words.
The President was clearly talking about past references and his exact wording was “they were” (vaizikanwa) and not “they are” as local media and other spurious online sources are falsely claiming. He clearly said that they ‘were’ and not they ‘are’ and there is a fundamental difference between those two statements. The President said that the Kalangas used to regularly travel to South Africa due to their close proximity to that country and that many ended up working on farms and other lowly paying jobs because of insufficient educational qualifications.
He clearly said that some of those uneducated ended up getting involved in criminal activities and hence the reference to ‘crooks’. At no point did the President say the Kalanga community was full of ‘uneducated criminals’ as many are saying but his reference was clearly about a specific group of people who migrated to South Africa with no qualifications, ended up working menial jobs and some ended up committing criminal offences.
President Mugabe’s name is synonymous with unity, nation-building, empowerment and he is the true father of Zimbabwe who knows and respects all Zimbabweans regardless of region of origin. His reference which many have gone on to dissect, operate on and perform unethical reconstructive media surgery to suit their own specific agendas, was about the past reference to a minority section and not the whole Kalanga community. The President is very much aware that Zimbabweans are educated because it was his and the ruling party’s policies which made this education possible.
Then came an issue as fraudulently claimed by the opposition local press and some like-minded online blogs of the ‘supposed clash’ between President Mugabe and Khama of Botswana over xenophobia attacks in South Africa. It was a case of some uncorroborated “exclusive reports” by some “inside sources” of what Khama is supposed to have said in a “closed session” and there is no mention of what President Mugabe is supposed to have said for Khama to “clash with him”. Some online readers and commentators went on to furnish these spurious claims of the clash as actual facts.
There is however a fundamental difference between what you want to have been said and what was actually said. All we get from the online blogs and other opposition media sources is speculation being tabled as facts. President Mugabe is a seasoned politician who articulately puts his views across openly and honestly and if anyone clashes with those views then that is another matter altogether. Again the opposition cried wolf and, you guessed it, ‘demanded’ that President Mugabe leave office.
The debate that has been raging following the xenophobic murders in South Africa was about the ‘root causes’ and the question that was posed by Zuma about introspection into why people from Africa were in South Africa. The local opposition in Zimbabwe of course had to find a way into the limelight by, yes you guessed it again, demanding for the resignation of President Mugabe for his role in world migration. People have migrated and moved around the world since time immemorial and for anyone to blame President Mugabe for their nomadic ways is nothing short of comical and preposterous.
People are all over the world for various reasons and Zimbabweans are no exception and Zuma’s request for introspection is fatuous. Zimbabwe has welcomed migrants as long back as the Rozvi Empire and many have also left the country willingly. Many are where ever they are legally or illegally out of choice and that has absolutely nothing to do with President Mugabe.
There are plenty South Africans in the UK and USA and the same can be said of Khama’s own people. There are many Zimbabweans in the UK and USA and all came here freely and settled on their own accord. No African should be a foreigner on any corner of the African continent and all Africans should feel at home in any part of the continent as the intricacies of the cradle of mankind should be embraced rather than frowned upon.