The new-old dispensation

The fact that Emmerson Mnangagwa spent 38 plus years in the current and former government, a government that failed to progressively push the affairs of Zimbabwe speaks a lot about the so-called dispensation. It is just like drinking new wine out of old wineskins. If I have to bring the bible into this, let me do so, the book of Matthew in the ninth chapter, the seventeenth verse, has these choice words to say to the people of the country known as Zimbabwe:

Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.

The new dispensation. Old men from the old guard knocking each other off the throne and then struggling to turn the economy around. Nobody is patient. That is the reason Mugabe was removed from being president and Mnangagwa installed, all because nobody could deal with his old age and his wife’s belligerence. The most incredible thing about the ordinary citizens is that in their impatience for things to change, they get carried away by the drama that unfolds at the higher echelons of society. You see, when Grace Mugabe was slandering fellow government officials and being heavily tipped to be the new president after her husband’s retirement, people were amused. Memes circulated the internet and other mobile devices poking fun, celebrating, cursing these players who were making lights of the plight of the people of Zimbabwe. Most people started subscribing to the old wives tales floating around on the apps, others concocted stories just to get kicks out of their blatant mistruths. Some even made financial gains by posting commentary on social media like YouTube and Facebook. In this day of high entertainment,  it is all about theatrics, the world over, every theory catches fire if it has some enterainment value in it.  In earnest, the world seems to be on fire. I know it is a cheap statement to make but if one looks into things, events transpiring in Zimbabwe or other African nation, American or European are all quite similar in some respects. One has to consider the drama unfolding in England with Brexit, or the tribal squabbles in American politics, Brazil or even Venezuela.  The difference is presented to us in the players and the geographical locations of those involved, otherwise, it is the same old story everywhere. When the ordinary citizens realize that the game is rigged against them, then they can take matters into their own hands. It is not the elite of Syria that are dying or busy fleeing their homes but they certainly are involved in the unfolding events of the nation.

Back to Zimbabwe, the elites charade has dragged on for quite a long time while political goods delivery are being neglected. All the while, government coffers were being milked dry even more. What began when Mnangagwa fled to South Africa only to return and snatch power out of the hands of Mugabe galvanized the nation. The people celebrated, Zimbabwe was one united nation, but only for that brief moment. It is time now to audit Mnangagwa’s work and promises. Anyone can tell clearly that the results are quite dismal. The economy is on a runaway trend, shop shelves empty, infrastructure is still in shambles and yet lavish spending is still popular with the government officials, a blind eye is cast at a suffering populace and it is not even amusing. Even more important are the human rights abuses this government has dished out to any of those who choose to speak out against these vile acts, or in some cases, even those who are going about their way without anything to do with the complainers who will be rightully doing so.

The most impressive act of dull-wittedness to me is when people help to prop up a flagrant dictator or a prejudiced individual as head of a country’s government and they cry out when the person does what they know best. That’s what Zimbabweans did. We could talk about how Mnangagwa wants to change the fate of the country and that he is himself, a changed man, but we all know that one can’t change from being a crocodile to a fawn in the blink of an eye, or ever. That’s the hoodwink that Zimbabweans fell for on that day of November 2017. In my books, it was merely a switch of mask by the same person on watch of the Zimbabwean economy. In fact it was more than that. However, our situation is not unique, nomatter what they say, you see, in the developed world, they have nepotism, crony capitalism, the works, all wrapped up in nice words like lobbying et cetera and they mostly are run and controlled by corporate interests. In the case of most of the so-called third world, they are more blatant with it. The vice-president Chiwenga has been fingered as being a practitioner of this art form, giving his wife a nudge in business and government contracts and such. That is exactly what was happening on that November day when the so-called coup took place and it seemed to us and the world like, finally, someone has finally seen the need for development and afford proper treatment of humans as humans in the person of Mnangagwa. Boy were we wrong. First of all, all sham arrests of corrupt civil servants and unscrupulous business people were just for show, we saw that. Now the inquiry into the army attack on ordinary citizens in 2017 gave a report that is shoddy and a insult to the people, to say the least. The same president who rushes to jet off in search of foreign investments in expensive jets said he would read the report and get back to the nation. In other words, it was a classic ‘go hang’ statement delivered in that annoying sing-song voice of his.

Another wave of protests in January of 2019 have seen also some casualties at the hands of the army. One wonders the type of leadership we have? They are deaf to our demands and only hear us when coming to campaign which does not even matter because they rig these elections at the end of the day. January protests have clearly been another message, a strong one for that matter, to the country’s leadership that we certainly need to let them go. That’s where the problem is, these people feel entitled to rule and are not willing to let go of the country. They bring up the war of liberation whenever we try to talk about replacement. They even tried to increase the age limit for someone to be president after getting trounced soundly in the so called harmonized elections by a youngster, Nelson Chamisa. So here we are Zimbabweans, stuck with a group of men who are clearly ruining the country’s economy, but refusing to take ownership of that failure and pointing fingers at the West, Zimbabweans and all else, save for their incompetence. One wonders what the attack-dogs they use think or feel like? What toxic environment do they want their children to be raised in? For the men in charge, we know, their children are raised in foreign lands, living off the squandered wealth of our portion of this earth.

What do we do next?