Have we become a chameleon nation?

When the GPA was signed slightly more than two years ago, a lot of socio-politically weary Zimbabweans became hopeful. Some genuinely, while others sceptically believed that at last, we had found a positive and non-confrontational way forward as one great nation. Indeed, Zimbabwe is potentially a great nation, only if we rid our ourselves of the retrogressive politics of yesteryear.

Recent comments by Dr. Lovemore Madhuku and Prof Jonathan Moyo provoke further analysis. Before I forget, allow me to revisit a comment I made just a few weeks after the GPA was signed when emotions were very high then. I argued that the GPA needed to be given a chance even though we all knew that “a frog with lipstick is still a frog”. I was referring to ZANU PF that has a tendency of not changing or looking different with or without lipstick, being the GPA.

Back to the comments I alluded to; rightly, Madhuku says that those who penned the GPA were good English speakers in that they knew the difference between “consultation” and “approval or “consent”. While this observation may be correct, he falls short in that he doesn’t go further and make the obvious interpretation that in appointing the contentious ambassadors, re-appointing governors as well as other senior government officials, President Mugabe did not in any way consult the Prime Minister nor any of the GPA principals. Was this in line with the letter and spirit of the GPA? Does consultation mean the same as not consulting at all? If this is not violation of the GPA, then what is? I am one of those Zimbabweans who revere Madhuku’s intelligence but there comes a time when one starts wondering if it is the same Madhuku we used to cherish if he fails to make such a simple analysis despite being a well respected lawyer and an outstanding academic. Has he started behaving like Lovemore of “The Madhuku Strategy of Survival?” to borrow from Gushungo’s recent interview.
MUGABE TSVANGIRAI
Coming to Jonathan Moyo, true to form, he is desperately singing for his supper but at times such singing becomes more of monotonous noise and irritating distortion than sweet music. We all know that he is a man on a mission to get a job at whatever cost “nokuti atsva, haachina mari, mazuva apera anga akati tonho”. He believes he is the one anointed to take over from where the late Ephraim Masawi left. Nevertheless, for him to put forward the prosaic postulation that governors represent the president therefore only the president has a say in their appointment, is both insipid and perfidious, especially for a professor of his ilk. Do judges also represent the president?

If indeed governors represent nobody but the president, what are they doing in the senate? Why are they ex officio members of parliament and not “private” officers in the president’s office or working at Gushungo Dairy? Most bizarre was Jonathan’s view that because governors read the president’s speeches in their respective provinces, therefore they are representatives of nobody else but the president. I hope this was not meant to be an insult to those ten illegitimate, illegal and unconstitutional governors some of whom are potentially respectable men and women who just find themselves in an untenable political situation. If anything, this argument confirms what most of us have always suspected, being that the only difference between governors in their current form and political commissars is that the former are paid by the government while the latter are paid by ZANU PF. Given Prof Moyo’s myopic and felonious opinion, won’t it be proper to re-title governors to Presidential Provincial Speech Readers (PPSRs) or Presidential Provincial Representatives (PPRs)? As long as they won’t attend senate and stop pretending to be representing the generality of Zimbabweans, nobody cares especially if they cease to be a burden to the taxpayer.

“Now where does the chameleon come in?” some of you may be asking. I must admit that it has been many years since I last saw a live one due to different eco-dynamics of some of the places we now live in. However, one thing I remember from the time I was herding cattle in the rural areas as a little boy, is that when you look at a moving chameleon, you wonder whether its intention is to move forward or backwards. It will take some steps forward, some backwards, then the next moment; it will simply be “oscillating” neither moving forward nor backwards. The only time I’ve seen it moving really fast in the forward direction is when it is faced with imminent danger or when irritated.

Over the past few months, the so-called inclusive government has been imitating the relaxed chameleon. We are now at a juncture where we may ask “are we moving forward or backwards?” If there was anybody within SADC leadership who really cares about Zimbabwe’s future, that person should have risen by now and taken appropriate action. How many times have so-called facilitators travelled between Johannesburg and Harare but going back empty-handed all the time? Thabo Mbeki must be laughing in the background. I’m sure he is saying to himself “You said I failed, what have you guys done differently?” He will be right to think so.

Given ZANU PF’s long history of intransigence and what is currently unfolding, it does not take a rocket scientist to conclude that even the constitutional project is likely going to be a disaster in the final analysis. This is one of those moments I tend to agree with Dr. Madhuku. If the end product will go against the wishes of those who believe that they own Zimbabwe because they are the only ones “who died for it”, then we will see a return either to violence or simply disregard of the entire process. What these people seem to conveniently forget is that there are many unsung heroes and heroines who also “died for Zimbabwe” and can “die again” for the same cause if absolutely necessary. If we fail to do small things such as full implementation of the GPA whose ink dried two years ago, what of something that is yet to be written?

Lastly, may I ask job-seeking Prof Jonathan Moyo which clause of the GPA stipulates or articulates that sanctions and governors are synonymous and therefore must be treated as one? Also, who in Zimbabwe has the magic power to dictate what sovereign countries in Europe, America or The Pacific can or can’t do?

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