By Wilbert Mukori | “South Africa has a Zimbabwe problem – and no one is willing to help it, said African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Fikile Mbalula as he called for an end to long-standing sanctions against the country,” reported Bulawayo 24.
“Mbalula said that the Americans and the British were refusing to let up because they wanted regime change.”
“We’ve got a problem here in Zimbabwe and it’s brewing. And you think it’s going to be the problem of the Americans; it’s going to be our problem for the longest of time,” Mbulula told his SA audience.
The root cause of Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown, the reason why so many Zimbabweans are in SA and beyond as economic and/or political refuges is because Zimbabwe is a failed state. A pariah state ruled by corrupt, incompetent, and ruthless thugs who have rigged elections to stack their stay in power. 43 years of gross mismanagement and rampant corruption have left the country in economic ruins.
Zanu PF has been blaming the 2001 sanctions imposed by the West for all Zimbabwe’s economic problems although the economic problems started long before the sanctions were imposed. For example, Zimbabwe adopted the 1990 to 1995 Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP) to revive the country’s flagging economy. When that failed to deliver the desired changes, the had another five-year programme. Sadly, that too failed to revive the economy. This is well documented and it is therefore very disappointing that anyone, especially SA’s governing ANC leaders has chosen to believe Zanu PF sanctions propaganda.
Zanu PF has yet to hold free, fair and credible elections in Zimbabwe since the country’s independence in 1980; this is yet another well documented historic fact. The AU and SADC have always turned a blind eye to Zanu PF rigged elections granting the regime legitimacy. The only time the continental and the regional bodies refused to grant Zanu PF legitimacy was in 2008, the cheating and wanton violence by Zanu PF were so outrageous and brutal that even they could not ignore it.
AU and SADC leaders refused to grant Zanu PF political legitimacy and forced the regime to sign the 2008 Global Political Agreement (GPA), agreeing to the need for Zimbabwe to implement the raft of democratic reforms to stop the rigging of elections and restore the rule of law. A GNU comprising Zanu PF and the two MDC factions was formed and tasked to implement the reforms. SADC, headed by SA and ANC veteran leader Lindiwe Zulu, was the guarantor of the GPA.
SADC leaders know that not even one token democratic reform was implemented during the GNU. In a last-minute desperate bid to have the reform implemented, regional body proposed that Zimbabwe’s July 2013 elections should be postponed until reforms were implemented. “If you go into the elections next month, you will lose. The elections are done!” they warned Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends.
As we know SADC leaders’ warning was ignored and Zanu PF rigging the 2013 elections and, in a shocking volte-face granted Zanu PF legitimacy knowing fully well the party had rigged the elections as they had rightly predicted only a few weeks earlier.
The opposition once again ignore the SADC leaders to boycott the 2018 elections until reforms were implemented. The regional leaders, in turn, granted vote rigging Zanu PF political legitimacy.
History is repeating itself; the opposition are participating in the 2023 elections without even a token democratic reform implemented. Zanu PF is rigging the 2023 elections just as it rigged the 2013 and 2018 elections. The rigging is so blatant the elections are going ahead without something as basic as a verified voters’ roll, for Pete’s sake!
The idea that SADC leaders will, once again, turn a blind eye to the blatantly rigged elections to grant Zanu PF political legitimacy is unthinkable!
Zimbabweans were hoping that of all the SADC countries SA; given her history of holding free elections, Minister Lindiwe Zulu’s first-hand knowledge of the failure to implement reforms during the GNU and the economic instability caused by the political crisis in Zimbabwe; would be as keen as mustard to end the madness of granting vote rigging Zanu PF legitimacy. As long as Zimbabwe remains a pariah state the economic meltdown forcing Zimbabwe to be economic and/or political refugees in SA and beyond will only get worse.
What is clear is that this ANC government is hell bent on granting vote rigging Zanu PF political legitimacy under the pretext the 2023 elections are free, fair and credible and thus the result is the true democratic wish of the people of Zimbabwe. It is the West who are seeking regime change in Zimbabwe and not the people of Zimbabwe.
The ANC government has its own sinister reasons for ignoring the historic facts that Zanu PF is rigging the 2023 elections and granting the regime political legitimacy will only deny the ordinary Zimbabweans a chance to end the dictatorship and perpetuate it instead.
SA is in an economic and political mess. Nearly 30 years of mediocre and/or down right corrupt and incompetent ANC rule has left the country’s, once upon a time, robust economy and infrastructure in ruins. The nationwide load shedding because ESKOM cannot meet the nation its electrical power needs has driven home the point; SA is in serious trouble and, worst of all, the ANC government has no clue what to do. If it did, the party would have never allowed the country to sink this deep in the first place!
SA is going to the poll next year and ANC leaders know the party’s hold on power is tenuous, to say the least, given the sorry state of the economy. The party has hit panic button!
If the 2023 Zimbabwe elections were to deliver regime change that would give the South Africans voters the courage to do the same, especially if the change started to start deliver noticeable changes to Zimbabwe’s battered economy! The 2008 to 2013 GNU delivered a 12% economic growth in 2009 compared to the negative 6% in 2008 under Zanu PF rule. This is clearly what ANC is determined not to let happen and hence the party’s November 2022 congress resolution not to let regime change in Zimbabwe.
ANC leaders are adapting the fiddler crab strategy, it will tolerate crabs whose fiddler claw is smaller than its own for neighbours and will even gang up to evict the rest. If the fight to attract females its claw will look humongous compared with its neighbours! ANC leaders’ economic performance record is pathetic, but it is nothing compared to the disastrous chaos Zanu PF has brought to Zimbabwe.
As a Zimbabwean, I am not interested in ANC and Zanu PF’s rat race to the bottom. And it would be irresponsible to let these failed ANC leaders use Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans as their sacrificial guinea pigs in the same sinister way that President Putin of Russia is using Ukraine to bolster his flagging macho image!
The people of Zimbabwe needs right now is an end to SADC granting vote rigging Zanu PF legitimacy that is stopping the imposition of new GNU and implementing the democratic reforms to guarantee free and fair elections. It is for the people of Zimbabwe alone, in a free, fair and credible election, to decide who will govern Zimbabwe. If it is their democratic wish to have regime change then the MUST have regime change. It is very presumptuous, to put it mildly, for SA’s ANC leaders claim they have the power or authority to stop regime change in Zimbabwe by granting vote rigging Zanu PF political legitimacy.- SOURCE: zimbabwelight.blogspot.com