A senior Zimbabwean historian who alone foretold the end of Rhodesia under Ian Smith, Diana Mitchell, has played the role of discouraging efforts by Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party and the faceless democracy activist Baba Jukwa, causing them to go back to the drawing board.
The red clad MDC supporters can even become as numerous as the sand of the sea, but they will be wasting their time to think that they can remove Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF party through the ballot, according to Mitchell. They will never make it even using an Arab spring model attempted by the faceless Baba Jukwa campaign which up to the elections last year coordinated an effort labelled the Vapunduki movement.
Mitchell has a credible track-record as a historian and also being the first to canonise Zimbabwe’s liberation war heroes at a time when they were internationally regarded as terrorists at the peak of the war in the late 70s.
According to Mitchell, the red-clad MDC supporters enslaved themselves to wishful thinking when they thought they would be able to remove Robert Mugabe from power at the just ended national elections in July.
“Any Zimbabwean, at home and abroad could or should have predicted with absolute certainty that Robert Mugabe and his acolytes would never allow power to slip from their hands. One wonders if the masses of red-clad MDC supporters seen at rallies in the major cities truly believed that their visible numbers and their wishful thinking could somehow vanquish the old dictator. They have learned, once more, as we former `white liberals’ learned in our past, anti-Rhodesian Front struggles, that a `level playing field’ is the first requisite for electoral success in a developing country,” she said.
She added saying that Mugabe learnt from former Prime Minister Ian Smith how to effectively stay in power.
“Ian Smith taught Robert Mugabe that control of all the institutions of government – which included the incorporation of the national media – was all that was needed to ensure perpetual rule for the incumbent government. It was the horrific deaths among a relatively few civilians and a miniscule, white-led military, along with a lot of external support for African nationalist freedom fighters, which succeeded in overturning 88 years of white minority rule.
“Without weapons or powerful external support, how could free Zimbabweans in the MDC or its leadership have forgotten those lessons of the recent past? So recent are those lessons for now, Zimbabweans will cling to peace as a preferred option. The flames of the Arab Spring’s violent revolutions are not an attractive model for change right now.”
Last year the Baba Jukwa campaign coordinated an effort to organise the so called Vapanduki former civil servants with the hope of removing Robert Mugabe using an Arab spring model of protest move. True to Mitchell’s pediction, the initiative did not take off.