We Must Not Wait For Mugabe To Die

 

By Patson Dzamara

A loser is essentially someone who gives up before exhausting all available options. With that in mind, there is a very dangerous but widely accepted fallacy we must address, especially as we stare at the do-or-die 2018 elections.

That Zimbabwe is hobbling on its knees towards a total precipice is incontestable. At the epicenter of the rot and debilitation in Zimbabwe is the unmistakably conspicuous and fading figure of Robert Mugabe.

Ever since the attainment of black majority rule in 1980, lurching from one political crisis to another, Zimbabwe’s political trajectory has been constructed around Mugabe. Bar his reliance on uncouth and underhand methods, for 37 years Mugabe has been the strongman, standard, and bellwether of Zimbabwean politics.

By now he could be comatose, but the system still hinges around him. For as long as he is alive, sadly, there seems to be no prospect for that to change. Radical reforms from within his party of sycophants are highly unlikely and would be doomed if anyone tried to initiate them. Even more sadly, from without, efforts to dismantle the corrupt system of patronage either lack the strength and political will to finish the job, or are themselves corrupted and antiquated.

It is this ugly reality which causes some people to pathetically and precariously hang their hopes for transformation on the thin and frail thread of the possibility of Mugabe’s death. That is a detestable product of myopia, fatalism, and cowardice.

Make no mistake; I am not under any illusion neither do I fall under the category of those clueless miscreants who believe that Mugabe possesses some supernatural powers. Die he shall, just like anyone else, but it is stupid for us to pin our hopes for change on the anticipation of his death.

The argument which is brought forward by the proponents of the warped theory that transition will be caused by Mugabe’s death is premised on somewhat unrealistic projections and assumptions. Firstly, nobody knows the day and time Mugabe is going to die despite the fact that he is increasingly succumbing to the inescapable pressure of his advanced age. Ever since my high school going days, the possibility and imminence of Mugabe’s death have always been the subject of much speculation. In fact, almost every year, he is rumored to have died only to resurface somewhere with his mischievous smile.

Secondly and most importantly, when analyzing or dealing with Mugabe, it is imperative to note that he is now more than a person. He is a system, an idea and a way of doing things. Mugabe, the person, may and will die but that won’t mark the end of Mugabe the system, idea, and way of doing business.

Indeed, there is a huge possibility that the death of Mugabe the person may upset Mugabe the system, approach, and way of doing things but there is more we can project. His death may accord Mugabe the system, idea, and way of doing business an opportunity to regenerate, reinvigorate and refocus, morphing into a much stronger outfit.

If Mugabe dies in power, that will be a monumental and generational political travesty. It will be a mockery of history-making proportions. Not only that, it will be an opportunity for the system to embolden its grip on power.

It, therefore, stands to reason that waiting for Mugabe to die, hoping his death will usher in change is not only an act of cowardice but stupidity. We must not wait for Mugabe to die, we must face him head on and deal with him. Our hopes for a better Zimbabwe must not be predicated on the anticipation of his death neither should we give him the satisfaction of living out his days scornfully urinating on your our heads.

We must remove him from power by any constitutional means possible. We must challenge him out of power. We must vote him out of power. We must pressurize him out of power through widespread unrest, agitation, protests and mass resistance.

I cherish the idea of Mugabe living to witness the transition into a new dispensation.

A new and better Zimbabwe is possible in our lifetime. We shall come face to face with it.

Patson Dzamara is a leadership coach and author, political activist, and analyst based in Zimbabwe.

Image source: Emma Carroll  

#FeesMustFall | Pastor Evan Mawarire Arrested With UZ Students, Here Is What We Know [Updated]

 

by Munya Bloggo

 

 

Today UZ Medical student planned a demonstration against the dramatic fee increase at the institution. Fees for medical students went from USD$700 to USD1,400. Pastor Evan seems to have been invited to address the students and “pray” with them. The University of Zimbabwe alleges that after Mawarire’s address the gathering turned violent with students throwing stones at UZ Security. No evidence of the violence has appeared on social media and all observations seem to indicate that the gathering was peaceful.

No evidence of the violence has appeared on social media and all observations seem to indicate that the gathering was peaceful.

The “prayer meeting” which seems to have been conducted in the area between the University of Zimbabwe’s Great Hall and the University admin block, a traditional gathering spot for student protests seems to have rubbed the authorities the wrong way as it resulted in the #ThisFlag Pastor being arrested along with other students. The University of Zimbabwe has a zero tolerance to student protests.

 

Mawarire and some of the students are currently detained at Avondale Police station in Harare, Zimbabwe. The video below of Mawarire at the police station appeared online soon after his arrest.

 

As it stands all medical students at the campus have been ordered off campus.

 

 

So Many New Zimbabwean Radio Stations But Where Is The Diversity?

 

by Tafadzwa Murangwana

Radio is a powerful medium that can be able to change people’s perspectives and enable them to make informed decisions. Recent surveys have pointed to appalling voter apathy among youths in Zimbabwe. One is bound to feel that this can be changed if the radio stations here do not over emphasise the entertaining role to precede over other roles.

The coming in of new radio stations had reignited hopes that there will be a rapid change in terms of content but that has been dashed as most of them are replicas of ZBC’ Power FM which most of the urban youths do listen to. The rural youths have been left out as most of these new stations do broadcast less in vernacular.

Some of the radio personalities have made household names for spewing trivialities. I have listened to some 3-hou r shows where you can’t draw anything that can make the youths privy to the national discourse. There has been the proliferation of Zimdancehall shows on many of these stations with very critical issues affecting the youths glaringly missing.

While some stations like Star Fm and ZIFM have tried to introduce political programs they have been biased in their presentation and the language has been mainly English. Former radio presenter and Mabvuku-Tafara  MP James Maridadi said he wrote to Star Fm complaining how the station over-edited a pre-recorded program where he was a guest.

“I was naïve to accept to be a guest on a pre-recorded program and I have raised my disgruntlement with Star Fm regarding their adulterations of the program to suit their agenda,’ said an irate Maridadi.

The same stations were also caught in another controversy when it failed to live broadcast a Transform Zimbabwe party event despite the latter having paid fully for the services.  The radio crew decided to stop the broadcast abruptly after a call from the superiors advising it to stop forthwith. This raised the ire of many people who had attended the event.

What the new stations have brought is media pluralism rather than diversity and this has been a disservice to most youths who needs to be appraised on the critical process of democracy, governance, human rights and accountability which are all essential in shaping a better future. However,  what we have seen are youths who are up-to–date with latest Zimdancehall songs and jokes rather than key issues and with the elections beckoning next year it will be very sad to see such a powerful medium failing to reach its full potential.

ALTERNATIVE MEDIA INITIATIVES

This country has many alternative media initiatives that if given adequate support can be able to provide youths with an alternative voice.There are many community radio stations that are waiting to be licensed so that they can fully function. Sometime this year, I had a chat with Trevor  Mtisi who heads Kumakomo FM, a Mutare-based community radio stations which operates in urban Mutare and surrounding areas and he said while they have been given a nod by authorities to operate radio listeners’  clubs where they distribute compact discs to concertise them on service delivery, this year they have been put on  a  ‘leash’ to monitor them not to sway away from their focus.

‘We used to clear with a few authorities but now we are going through a red tape to be cleared,”  said Mtisi.

There is also ChannelZim, a platform where initiatives like  Radio Voice of the People, Corah FM, Radio Dialogue, Studio 7 and Radio Kwelaz broadcast using the free-to-air satellite channels and internet was gaining traction in terms of listenership but is facing sustainability challenges denting the hopes of many youths who were listening to dissenting voices that were being given space by these initiatives.

HOPE IN SOCIAL MEDIA BUT…

The advent of social media has opened up opportunities for youths to freely participate in critical national discourse. We have seen how #hashtags on Twitter have effected changes in some cases, for example, Moto Republic ‘a hub for youths’ was saved from demolition by the Harare City Council. The city fathers had to back off after a spirited social media campaign.

We have seen a spike in social media activists like Acie Lumumba, Pastor Evan Mawarire and Linda Masarira have become popular for addressing critical issues through social media.

But hold on folks, while social media is an enabling tool in making the youths participate in critical issues it has it’ s own inadequacies as internet accessibility is still low among many of the youths especially given the fact that most of them are reeling under unemployment. For the rural youths, it is even worse as some of the areas do not have the infrastructure. Critics have also pointed that social media activism is not effective in addressing key issues affecting the youths as most are calling for radicalism.

With the current local radio stations, it will be a tall order to have youths who are keen in participating in the national discourse as they will continue to work tirelessly to preserve the current status quo of deficient youths.

#Tajamuka Explains It’s Planned National Week Of Peaceful Action

 

by Watmore Makokoba

Spokesperson of #Tajamuka  Promise Mkwananzi has warned Zimbabwe law enforcement agents that interfering with lawful and peaceful demonstration scheduled to start tomorrow is what will disturb the intended peacefulness of the one demonstrations.

Mkwananzi said the national week of peaceful action & non-violent resistance is within the confinements of the constitution, therefore the outcome of the demo, whether it will be violent or peaceful will be determined by the regime reaction to it.

“If they don’t provoke us, it will end peacefully, even the police officers who are here they must take this message to their bosses that we don’t expect the demo to be violent, we have already notified the police about it”.

The activists added that one of the main agendas of the protests is to push for electoral reforms to ensure free and fair 2018 General Elections.

“We want to make sure that the government is accountable for the country to have a free & fair election, therefore, are going to push for the much needed electoral reforms”, he said.

The #tajamuka activists denied having any intentions to use violence to air their views and urged its affiliated members to desist from such amid alleged threats from Zanu Pf youths who are said to have already threatened to counter the demo.

“Any person who’s going to be violent is not part of us,

“Zanu-PF youth have already said they are going to counter the protest but we’re calling for peaceful protests”,  they said.

The countrywide National Week of Peace and Action protests breaks a long silent period since last year’s  infamous demonstrations from an array of activists including the National Electoral Reform Agenda members, #Thisflag and informal sector representative organisations that saw bloody clashes between protestors and law enforcements agents.

Soul Jah Love Is Not A Thing… He Is Things!

 

By Simba The Comic King

Soul Jah Love has done did it again. First, he started off “on the Dwayne Johnsons” (Pamamonya Ipapo), now he is things ( Ndiri Zvinhu). This past Saturday SJL was humiliated when a youthiez leader, Innocent Hamandishe told an excited crowd to calm the f**k down after they had spotted the “on the Dwayne Johnsons” hitmaker. The not so youthful youth leader openly declared in front of the freakin’ masses that “Soul Jah Love haasi chinhu,” for our foreign readers loosely translated that means, “Soul Jah Love is not a thing.” This was the ruling party’s response after they feared he might outshine the headline act, MC Bob himself.

Now when faced with such a scenario the most logical reaction for the average human being would be to go home, masturbate and sleep it off but not for SJL. In what must have been a song he wrote as soon as he left the stadium, he recorded a track entitled “Ndiri Zvinhu” (I Am Things). A jam that is not only a pleasant clap back to the insult but you can actually dance to the s**t (listen to the song below).

If you though diss tracks were only a hip hop thing, you thought horribly wrong nigga. Jay-Z ain’t gat nothing on Chibaba Chacho, once again for our foreign readers we shall translate, “The small father.”

The uproar caused by the video that’s been trending on social media has raised a very critical question, “Can the artist be a bigger thing than the Head Of State” and an even more important question, “Are Things not chips and not human beings?” We live in a country where an artist is viewed as an individual with nothing to do except smoke a lot of weed, drink lots of alcohol and allows this magic concoction to create all that s**t you dance to. That actually what an artist is but that’s not the point, the point here is didn’t anyone teach ZANU PF youth leaders some manners? I mean the dude took time out of his weed smoking schedule only to be told that he is not a thing? An artist deserves a little bit of respect for giving making the music you all love and smoke weed to. Let’s hope ZANU PF youthiez can figure out what rhymes with “zvinhu.” Ol’ Jonny boy can’t help on this one cause his genre is urban grooves.  Let’s hope this thing doesn’t mean we’ll be holding candles at Rotten Row a few days from now #PamaCourtIpapo gaddhemeti.