A Little Learning Is A Dangerous Thing” -Especially For Nation Ruled By “Misstra Know It All” Drunk On Power
23 October 2021

By Wilbert Mukori- May be less so now but not too many moons ago Zimbabweans used to boast of being “one of the most literate nations in Africa!” But, of course, pride cometh before a fall; the 41 years of independence have seen Zimbabwe fall from the dizzying heights of the breadbasket of the region to the basket case of a failed state. 

Someone once said of Zimbabwe, “you can plant a broom stick and will get a fruit tree!” to underline just how productive the land is. Ever since Mugabe started seizing the land to give, mainly, to Zanu PF ruling elite the country’s agricultural sector collapsed and with it the economy. 

Zimbabweans have the dubious honour of starving in the land that is, for all practical purpose, the Biblical Garden of Eden. A damning testimonial to the nation’s failed leadership. 

The right to vote, universal suffrage, should be a bless but we, in Zimbabwe have turned it into a curse. 

Before independence it was the norm for the ordinary black person to have membership card for the two main rivalry political parties, Zanu and Zapu; because the failure to produced an up-to-date membership card was proof of belonging to the rivalry party and punishment. The culture of political intolerance has continued to this day, 41 years after independence. 

The recent reports of villagers and Zanu PF operatives using all manner of violence to disrupt Nelson Chamisa and his MDC A meetings is nothing new. And, worst of all, if these things can happen to Chamisa and the other leaders for who publicity is their greatest insurance; it is clear the ordinary people in the rural back water, with no publicity, are in deep, deep trouble. 

Zimbabwe’s culture of political violence has gone unchecked because the Police, judiciary and other state institution tasked to keep and enforce law and order, for example, have all but abandoned their posts. The Zimbabwe Republic Police is known for doing nothing to stop Zanu PF thuggery. Indeed the Police have often ended up arresting the victim of the thuggery! 

What makes Zimbabwe’s political mess such a heart breaking tragedy is that the country has had many, many golden opportunities to end the Zanu PF dictatorship in the last 41 years and the opportunities have been wasted. 

The people of Zimbabwe have risked life and limb to elect the late Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends into power on the understanding the party would bring about the democratic changes, the party name implied and the nation was dying for. After 22 years, 5 of which in the GNU, MDC leaders have not only failed to implement even one reform but worse still they are now keeping the vote rigging Zanu PF in power by participating in flawed elections and Zanu PF legitimacy. 

“A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.” 

Alexander Pope’s poem “An Essay on Criticism” (1709)

There is no denying that MDC leaders blatant betrayal of failing to implement the democratic reforms, even when they had the golden opportunity to do so during the 2008 to 2013 GNU, has landed this nation into this dangerous situation – stuck with a corrupt, incompetent and tyrannical Zanu PF dictatorship. 

The solution to ending the Zanu PF dictatorship is for the nation to implement the democratic reforms and thus break Zanu PF’s dictatorial powers over the state institutions like the Police, ZEC, etc. The solution has been staring us in the face all the time!

The fact that MDC leaders failed to get even one reforms implemented does not mean this was an impossible task much less that we should abandon it as a lost cause. Zanu PF does not have the divine right to dictatorial powers and to rig elections. We just need to appoint competent men and women with the political will and focus to implement the reforms.

MDC leaders’ “Winning In Rigged Elections (WIRE) strategies” must be dismissed with the contempt the suggestion rightly deserve. We want free, fair and credible elections and to put an end to the curse of rigged elections.

SADC, EU, the Americans, the Commonwealth and everybody with any common sense has advised that Zimbabwe must implemented the democratic reforms, clean up its political system, before holding elections. It is MDC leaders, desperate to secure the few gravy train seats Zanu PF offers to entice them to participate regardless how flawed and illegal the elections process, who have insisted on elections with no reforms. 

Zimbabwe is a de facto one-party, Zanu PF, dictatorship because Robert Mugabe and company considered themselves the only ones competent to rule Zimbabwe. The people have risked life and limb to elect MDC leaders into power in the hope they will dismantle the Zanu PF dictatorship. The dictatorship is still firmly in place but worse still it is MDC who are now helping to keep Zanu PF in power. 

Having been elected into office, MDC leaders feel they too have the divine right to Zimbabwe’s opposition party and government in waiting, just as Zanu PF before them, and MDC leaders are against reforms because that will open the political field to competition. 

Talk of double jeopardy; in our fight for free, fair and credible elections we now not only have to fight Zanu PF but the MDC too who don’t want the dictatorship dismantled but only to remove Zanu PF from office and take over. 

It is little wonder Zimbabwe is in a very dangerous place given the economic mess and political paralysis; the country’s political leaders are Steve Wonder’s “Misstra Know It All” drunk with the love of absolute power. 

The greatest challenge for the people of Zimbabwe is to wake-up to the reality MDC leaders will never ever implement any meaningful democratic reforms. Those who are the breathtakingly incompetent and greedy are, per se, sell-outs and beyond the pale!