Unpacking Professor Stephen Chan’s interview with Bernard

Spread This News

By Nomazulu Thata                                                                             

There are no imaginative skills on how to move the country forward internally and externally, be it economic and political in both the ruling party and the opposition of Nelson Chamisa.  In 2018, Mnangagwa appointed a technocrat Mthuli Ncube to be Finance Minister to boost the new dispensation’s image internationally, entice direct foreign investment, the readmission of the Commonwealth membership, and colonial master UK taking fiscal responsibilities from where they stopped. However, Minister Mthuli Ncube is professionally challenged to turn the Zimbabwe’s economy from an informal sector to a vibrant one; he says what was possible about Indonesia. Indonesia was as once a poor country dominated by informal sector: it was assisted by the government that uplifted them from the informal base to a banking economy in the region. Instead, the Finance Minister is taxing the informal sector he is supposed to empower and uplift to make the economy vibrant. Said Prof. Chan.

Professor Chan continues to lament about the level of corruption in the party Zanu PF and government that is not adequately or competently addressed: (ZACC is paying lip service in addressing the looting at government level, starting with the First Family that have unfettered access to national treasury: the donated revenues meant for corona relief are redirected openly to the First Family to facilitate dubious companies under cynical disguise of corona pandemic) He says the major actors in the political landscape seem to have no maturing process: this, he puts paid to the opposition parties as well as the ruling party Zanu PF. “It is depressing to realize that there is lack of imagination, instead, both in Zanu PF and MDC-Chamisa or Alliance, they pitch the importance of who will be in power and who has more money than the other.” This country got independent by a liberation war. So many genuine military cadres perished in the struggle for independence. Is their sacrifice all that it is to take now after 40 years of independence?”

I may not be quoting Professor Stephen Chan verbatim. But in a nutshell, this is what I got from a sober, academic, and carefully thought through interview. Mr Chamisa has run out of ideas how he can effectively confront and unseat Mnangagwa. “There is no hope for a better Zimbabwe beyond 2023 because weak Chamisa is not going to manage in the coming 2023 elections.” However it is not that Chan favours MDC-Chamisa to win, but rather even in the ruling party, president Mnangagwa is busy making sure that the securocrats are looked after in favour against the general populace. The presence of the security sector: “the militarized impression” in the mainstream politics removes Mnangagwa as a serious leader of a modern country, whose Finance minister assumes as modern based economy, for this reason he is dismally failing to uplift it as was the case in other Asian countries who were once in a similar economic situation as Zimbabwe yesterday and today.

Professor Chan touched the Zimbabwe debt issue that is penned at 9 billion UD dollars. His knowledge is that Zimbabwe’s foreign debt is a staggering 30 billion US dollars. Be it Mthuli Ncube and the government of Mnangagwa have zero plans in place as to how they are going to make repayments: instead, they continue to beg money from international money lenders. Even the all-weather friend China that can cough out 9 Billion US dollars to get Zimbabwe out of the woods, is hesitant/reticent to assist Zimbabwe because it does not have a productivity plan; no transparent and accountable financial cash flows that can convince friendly China to open up its purse and help.

It was even more depressing to hear Professor Chan talking about how gloomy the future of this great country is. The implosion in Zimbabwe is as possible as day following the night. One must be blind with power not to realize how dangerous this country has become. The gun-toting desperate young soldiers who have deserted the army are not only the ones posing a serious threat to national security, but more the hungry stomachs of millions who depend on the benevolence of EU-and North American tax payer funds and food handouts. (These EU and North American states are insulted again for being colonial minded. Would they bother to send millions of dollars food aid, if they were unconcerned about the welfare of destitute people globally, neglected by their own governments.)

An implosion is imminent in Zimbabwe. There is no government that can oppress its citizens forever, it did not matter how powerful they can be. The citizens realize how uncaring this Zanu regime is; are busy feeding themselves rich and fat at the detriment of millions; half of which have no idea where the next meal will come from. The situation has been made dire by the corona pandemic that kept the nation locked down for more than six months. Zimbabwe is a country, unlike developed countries that cater for its citizens in the event of a national or global pandemic, but a government whose citizens fend for themselves, cruelty of the highest order.

What is even painful is that we do not have a “maturing opposition” as an alternative to Zanu PF in the event of it losing grip of power. We have been saying this for a long time now. We need to reread the articles that Wilbert Mukori has been lamenting for years, telling us about how irresponsible a leader MDC-Chamisa is: prior to that, Mukori is one of the few bloggers who openly critiqued MDC-T under Tsvangirai, how they missed a golden opportunity to implement reform, given a chance by then mediator South Africa and SADC in 2009 – 2013. Having enjoyed the gravy train for 5 years they came out empty-handed with nothing to talk about in the GNU with Zanu. “Not even one single reform was implemented!” Said Mukori.

A repeat is on the way where MDC-Thokozani Khuphe is all out to destroy Chamisa and his henchmen/women. The clash between Thokozani Khuphe and Nelson Chamisa is personal and tribal than ideological. Both politicians do not have the “maturing” edge that Prof. Chan talked about. What he said in the interview was that politicians are not concerned about the welfare of the suffering population, but about money, and about power positions. Only! Was there any maturity in Chamisa to grab power from Khuphe, immediately after the death of Tsvangirai? Is that maturity to try to burn Khuphe and Mwonzorwa in a hut during a funeral of Tsvangirai?

Chamisa is a Pastor of a congregation and Advocate who is supposed to be conversant with the law: it leaves a lot to be desired from him. At best Chamisa should remove his pastor jacket altogether. It makes a mockery of Christian values and UBUNTU/HUNHU. That he is an Advocate is wholly questionable. He, together with all other leadership in the MDC-Chamisa are failing to outsmart Zanu PF. There are more lawyers in MDC-Chamisa than my ten fingers on both hands but cannot read law carefully to the advantage of the populace. (excludes Advocate Sikhala) When Chamisa opens his mouth, he is talking about the road to the state house. He focuses too much on the State house residency than to leave hiscomfort zone and put up a fight to exercise political maturity. A revolution cannot take place in a comfort zone, dear Chamisa.

From pillar to post, MDC-Chamisa has been making serious, unforgivable mistakes. We can begin with the way they challenged the vote-rigging. A dozen lawyers in the party leadership plus two from South Africa failed to realize insufficient evidence of vote-rigging required by the supreme court. The mathematics was not adding up: even the ordinary courts of law would have discharged the case easily, using mathematical inconsistencies of their V-11s.

Serious undemocratic actions played out by MDC-Chamisa at the gallery of Zanu PF is stupidity of the highest order. They continue to do the same, going to courts, knowledgeable of how state-captured they are. This is what Albert Einstein said: to prove that someone is insane, is making him repeat the same thing all over again in the hope of getting a different result. Professor Chan put it academically to the point: “no maturing politics”, no imaginative technocratic solutions as a government-in-waiting; they lack courage and maturity to deal with the regime of Mnangagwa’s Zanu politics and economics head-on.

I concur Prof. Chan’s depression because I am equally depressed. I have lived with the hope of going back to Zimbabwe to do one or two projects for young women and girls before I die. Time is not on our side, we are ageing, it is not possible to fight two revolutions in a lifetime. We feel we did our part in the liberation struggle of the 1970s. We were sent by our political parties to be empowered for economic liberation of this great country, but here we go. I am deeply depressed about the politics of Zanu PF and the opposition politics is equally.

I will pen off by advising sister Thokozani Khuphe to remove her doctor title altogether because it is not bankable: it is not helpful; she is messing up in an already a messy political terrain. Supping with Zanu as opposition is not maturing politics dear Sister Khuphe. I kindly ask you to listen to the interview of Prof. Stephen Chan with Bernard once more, its pregnant with facts that could be a political book of revelations.