By Patrick Guramatunhu- “There are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know we don’t know.” That Donald Rumsfeld’s, USA Secretary of Defense, explanation on the limitations of intelligence report in February 2002.
Just over a year later, March 2003, the United States led coalition launched a war to overthrow the authoritarian government of Saddam Hussein on the basis of intelligence reports claiming Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. To this day, no weapons of mass destruction were ever found.
Fancy that, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld talked about known knowns and unknown unknowns and left out the most important of the lot; known knowns and unknowns alike all twisted and distorted for the sake of deceiving the naïve and gullible audience – lies. That is to say, people giving false narratives claiming they are based on proven facts when it is all guess work, at best, or deliberate falsehoods, at worst.
Liars are Steve Wonder’s “Misstra Know-It-All”; they will never admit they don’t know and even if they are confronted with the evidence of their mistake, they will find a scapegoat to blame for the mistake. To admit than they don’t or made a mistake is simply unthinkable, it is sacrilege!
Soon after the November 2017 military coup that booted out Robert Mugabe from office, Emmerson Mnangagwa and his cronies were out peddling the lie “Zimbabwe is open for business!” The mantra was to lure back investors who had shied away given the country’s reputation as a pariah state ruled by corrupt, incompetent and murderous thugs who rigged elections to stay in power.
Of course, the mantra was a lie; other than replace Mugabe and a few other Zanu PF thugs close to him – in a musical chairs game – Mnangagwa had done nothing merit the claim Zimbabwe was a “new dispensation, a Second Republic” with who investors could now return and do business. Investors are a shrewd and savvy lot, they were not to be easily fooled and so stayed away.
But, of course it is not everyone who is shrewd and savvy; indeed the world is full of the naïve and gullible, they constitute the weeds in a long neglected field!
Zimbabwe is stuck with the corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF thugs because Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends wasted the golden opportunity to implement the democratic reforms during the 2008 to 2013 GNU. Mugabe bribed the MDC leaders with the trappings of high office and for five long years Tsvangirai and company were foolish enough to believe they were life-members of Zimbabwe’s ruling elite and so do not bother implementing even one democratic reform. Why dismantle the dictatorship now they were enjoying the benefit of being a member and guaranteed to continue doing so for life!
Tsvangirai and company went into the 2013 elections with no reform in place and yet still very confident they would win the elections because the MDC votes will overwhelm all Zanu PF vote rigging antics. SADC leaders warned the MDC leaders it was folly to participate in the elections with no reforms in place but the warning was ignored. Talk of some one being naïve, MDC leaders did not even have the common sense to ensure there was a verified voters’ roll; Zanu PF blatantly rigged the elections the 2013 elections and all elections thereafter.
It is already clear the 2023 elections are not going to be free and fair, Zanu has already rigged at them two years in advance! Last month Patrick Chimanasa, the Zanu PF acting National Political Commissar announced that the party will not be honouring Mnangagwa’s 2018 promise to give the 3 million plus Zimbabweans in the diaspora the vote. Mnangagwa won the 2018 elections with 2.4 million votes or 50.8% of that year’s cast votes. How can the election be anything but a mockery if more voters are denied the vote than those voting for the winning candidate!
MDC leaders have been participating in these flawed and illegal elections to win the few gravy train seats Zanu PF offered as bait. At least for the few MDC leaders there is the few gravy train seats; there is absolutely nothing for the ordinary Zimbabweans freely participating in these flawed elections. (Zanu PF has reduce many Zimbabweans especially the rural folk into medial serfs beholden to the overbear Zanu PF thugs and their proxies, traditional leaders, war veterans and party’s youth militia supporter by the securocrats.)
By participating in these flawed elections, the opposition and their supporters, are giving legitimacy to the vote rigging Zanu PF regime and are thus helping to perpetuate the Zanu PF dictatorship. God knows how many times this has been flagged up but to no avail. It is only by appreciating the scope and depths of the naivety and gullibility of Zimbabwe’s opposition and their as-faithful-as-a-dog supporters that one will understand why Zimbabwe’s democratic experiment had a still birth and why the last 40 years have been a relentless march deeper and deeper into hell.
It was the Greeks, 2 500 years ago, of Greece’s golden age, who gave mankind the Olympic Games and Democracy, government of the people for the people by the people; the two legacies have shaped mankind, help mankind understanding the world around us and, ultimately, to attain so measure of control of the world around us and not just a helpless victim of whatever chance and fate brings.
The Greeks argued that for democracy to work the people must be educated so that they are naïve and gullible and then easily conned by Zanu PF thugs or worse still follow blindly the corrupt and incompetent opposition. The comforting thing about history is that if the Greeks and many other nation after them have been able to attain the same level of education to make democracy work for them Zimbabweans should be able to do the same; it has been long in coming but that is no proof it will never happen.
By arrogantly denying 3 million plus Zimbabweans in the diaspora the vote or 30% plus of the potential voters, Zanu PF blatantly rigged the 2023 elections in advance. Of course, it will be very foolish to participate in any election process whose outcome is predetermined especially when doing so gives democratic legitimacy to the flawed and illegal process. This is one KNOWN KNOWNS that every Zimbabwean out there must know and understand because both Zanu PF and MDC leaders will be out to trick voters into participate for the leaders’ selfish gain.
Just because Zanu PF trick MDC leaders not to implement even one reform during the 2008 to 2013 GNU does not mean we no longer need the reforms implemented. We need free and fair elections as the guarantor of good governance and a government that is always democratically accountable to the people; we must implement all the democratic reforms to guarantee free and fair elections.
Just because MDC leaders were not up to the task of implementing the reforms does not mean there are no Zimbabweans out there who are up to the task. It does not require a team of rock scientists to know what the democratic reforms are and to implement them; just a group of individuals with common sense and the political will to get the job done.
Zimbabwe is in this economic and political mess because, for the past 41 years and counting, Zanu PF has rigged elections and got away with it every time. We must put an end to this by refusing to participate in the already rigged the 2023 elections and the election is declared null and void. Zimbabwe must then appoint an interim administration, a new GNU, whose primary task will be to implement all the democratic reforms and lay a solid foundation for a democratic Zimbabwe so the hard work of rebuilding the nation from the ruins Zanu PF created can finally begin!