Has the ‘Mugabe Must Go’ Mantra Become an Ideology ?
For many in the opposition, Robert Mugabe is the quintessence of dictatorship and the man responsible for the economic collapse and its results such as job cuts, unemployment, poverty and general suffering. Robert Mugabe is the President of Zimbabwe and has been ruling ruling the country for 36 years with a strong fist. From the 1980s butchery of people belonging to the Ndebele ethnic group, attempts at creating a one party state, suppression of the emerging opposition to dictatorship and in the 1990s the gagging of anti-neoliberal (ESAP) protests to the suppression, torture, maiming and cold blooded murder of MDC supporters and anti-dictatorship activists from the year 2000 , the regime of Robert Mugabe drips of the blood of innocent working people who only wanted the improvement of their lot and the end of suffering, misery and poverty. But today the meaning of ‘Mugabe must go’ has underwent significant changes. Today ‘Mugabe Must Go’ only entails Robert Mugabe and his family…First Lady Grace Mugabe, Bona, Chatunga Bellarmine and Robert Junior and also the son in law Simba Chikowore. The reason why I argue that the ‘Mugabe must go’ is now only a fight against the first family is because those who have been aiding Mugabe, who actively participated in the dissipation of the country’s wealth and the butchering of innocent men and women who dared question the direction the country was taking have now been openly welcomed, embraced and given the leadership of the opposition. They are now the new leaders of the opposition , fighting against a monstrous regime they designed, lubricated and entrenched.
ZANU PF rejects are being embraced automatically by the same speed and rate that they are booted out. They are not seen as a problem. The problem is Mugabe and Mugabe are alone. The splits in the ruling ZANU PF party have exposed the ideological bankruptcy of the mainstream opposition. It is now only fair to start attaching ideological tags such Left, Right and Centre to these parties so that people begin to really appreciate what they represent beyond the façade created by the ‘Mugabe must go’ mantra. Opposition parties ; ZPF, MDCT, MDC, PDP are rightwing political parties which are following neoliberalism as an ideology and a system of running government, society and relating to the world. Neoliberalism entails the unrestrained and uncontrolled operation of the market based on the assumption that the market is the best mechanism of responding to people’s needs. This means that these parties and in reference to their policies i.e JUICE, ART, HOPE, BUILD would privatise hospitals, clinics, schools, universities, water to introduce the price mechanism so that whenever one approaches a hospital he/she will have to pay first before being attended to, if he/she does not pay first there wont be any treatment and medication. The same applies to education , water, housing and other services. When it comes to employment relations, these parties believe in the centrality and righteousness of the market in determining salaries, who stays and who loses a job. Basically they take labour market flexibility as a principle, the idea that hiring and firing of workers of workers is the best way of operating markets.
Most of all these policies have already been tried in Zimbabwe and globally. They have failed. In Zimbabwe ESAP was tried in the 1990s and failed. It was the ZCTU which was at the centre of condemning ESAP and its drivers, the IMF and the Worldp Bank. The anti-retrenchment struggles, anti-privatisation battles in University and College campuses, minimum wage and salary increment strikes and demonstrations where all waged against the neoliberal austerity policies pushed by the IMF known as ESAP. But how come the opposition has dumped all these campaigns opting only for the ‘Mugabe Must Go’ campaign ? The MDC was hijacked by economic and political elites and comprador middle classes. The direction of the party was exclusively put into the hands of a few rich elites such as Welshman Ncube , Eddie Cross, Tendai Biti and other educated elites who took instructions from rich white farmers, businessmen and women and international donors. The views, opinions and cries of the common folk were relegated to the dustbins and the party changed course and began championing a ‘Mugabe Must Go’ mantra separated from the ‘IMF Must go’ mantra which laid the foundations for the formation of the MDC.
Now the ‘Mugabe Must Go’ mantra which now only refers to Mugabe and his family leaving out brutal bloodthirsty fanatic defenders of the regime booted out f internal ZANU PF succession squabbles such as Mujuru, Mutasa, Mliswa and many others has lost all meaning. Instead of being a rallying point for all the oppressed against dictatorship and for the democratisation of the political system and the articulation of an economic alternative , it is emerging as an empty aimless protest movement involving pro-establishment and anti-establishment forces with no clear alternative and lacking a new narrative. If one is to ask those who gave the war vets solidarity during the trial of the leadership of the ZNLWVA , apart from the old tired responses like ‘we are all Zimbabweans’ no meaningful response is retrieved.
With the growing calls in some sections of the opposition for a second GNU, a putrid elite compromise which as usual treats the majority poor with contempt seeing the ill-fed, ill-clothed as helpless, ignorant mobs incapable of articulating their alternative is now in the offing. At best, a GNU is an undemocratic elite political pact to think and act on behalf of the masses without their consent. It is not similar to a united front of the oppressed where workers, rural farmers, students, youths and progressive pro-democracy and anti-neoliberal austerity converge , articulate and resolve collectively to embrace a particular political strategy and economic policy alternative which speaks to their needs, desires and aspirations ; their class interests. The poor are now at the mercy of political elites in both ZANU PF and the opposition who are attracting together like magnets around a common position of ‘eating together’ and telling the masses that ‘eat what you kill’, as if what they will be eating in government with their friends in the IMF, Word Bank and in the corporate world when they emerge victorious in their push for a second GNU are fruits of the labour. A third pillar is not only indispensable but it is a natural product of the current political and economic circumstances. The ZANU PF dictatorship should be collapsed and a democratic political system based on participatory democracy ushered in. On the economic front the natural resources of the country should be used to provide free healthcare, education , water and revive the fallen industries. Factories and banks should be put under public ownership. Banks cannot get bailouts and benefit from ZAMCO following reckless lending to CEOs and unscrupulous banking tycoons and expect to get away with it. This process entails the heightening of the ‘Mugabe must go’ campaign to new levels based on ideology, democratic principles and genuine search of an alternative. The tired chorus of ‘Mugabe only must go’ and ‘ ZANU PF must remain’ is not getting us anywhere. They are some who have built their careers only singing this chorus but reluctant to heighten it inorder to procrastinate the inevitable victory of the oppressed over both dictatorship and neoliberal capitalism to give just so that they continue getting some crumbs from international donors, hot speculative capital and bitter white capital.
In the final analysis, ‘Mugabe must go’ is not an ideology but a rallying point of the oppressed against dictatorship. Mugabe is the face of the dictatorship, he together with his appointees and those consenting to his deadly bloodletting should face the chop. The ‘Mugabe must go’ slogan expressed the oppressed people’s longing for democracy, it should not be mistakenly abused to mean only the removal of one family and the maintenance of the system.
Democracy Now !
Varombo ! Tamuka !
Source from https://quinamsebenziquina.wordpres...