Unable to address you in full, Cdes
Dear Cabinet and Politburo members
COMRADES, I have to sincerely apologise that I will not be able to address you in full this week as you are all aware that I had to travel to New York where I had to dutifully remind humanity what sort of world that we are being forced to live in by mainly the Americans and their British cousins.
I should, however, remind you that I am not happy with the snail’s pace at which work on the restructuring of the party is taking place.
I know there are some residual Gamatox elements behind this. I can assure you that these would be dealt with in a salutary manner before this year comes to an end!
You are all leaders… you do not have to ask me — as some of you did in one of our recent Politburo meetings — to intervene in some of these little matters.
If the people gave Cde Saviour a task to do as secretary for the commissariat, then everyone should respect him. Same with Cde Gina, our secretary for administration… why should you be throwing spanners when they try to do their job? Is it because they are not war veterans? Is our party a party for war veterans only? How many of us are war veterans? And on our own, can we win elections and run this country forever, and ever, as God and the gods would want us to? This attitude must change.
On a much more positive note, I am very happy that our competent Constitutional Court finally struck down the notorious Section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act. We went to war in order to remove such laws, and I really wonder how such an obnoxious piece of legislation crept into our otherwise democratic statute book. I think it is important that we all try to read the fine print before we pass legislations because there is a real possibility of our usual detractors, the British and their American cousins, having people within our structures who are tasked with inserting some undemocratic clauses into our laws so that our people turn their anger against us.
Thankfully, it is now history. No citizen would be detained needlessly when they have been granted bail by our competent courts.
With these few words, I think I should sign off.
…AND DR CZ’s NOTEBOOK
“The problems of Africa, and Uganda in particular, are caused by leaders who overstay in power, which breeds impunity, corruption and promotes patronage,” declared President Yoweri Museveni in his inaugural speech in 1986.
Let Dr CZ — parochial as he is — avoid trying to hazard any definition of “overstaying” as this varies from one village or country to another.
But the man who said these words one year short of 30 years ago only last week secured the right to run for elections in Uganda next year in order to lead them for another five years!
To Museveni — who has had four vice presidents and five prime ministers come and go — seven five-year terms in office is not overstaying by his own definition of the word.
Burundi has just come out of an election in which incumbent President, Pierre Nkurunziza, secured for himself a third term against the country’s constitution.
Only two weeks ago, “Democratic” Republic of Congo’s president, Joseph Kabila took a bold move to sack from his government several political heavyweights that were appearing to lend their weight to forces opposed to him changing the constitution to allow him to run for a third (and possibly several more) term in that country’s elections due next year.
In Rwanda, strongman Paul Kagame already has the necessary amendments to allow him to run for a third term next year.
In South Africa there is talk of Jocob Zuma — who insisted that as a busy polygamist, he wanted to be in office for just one term, but is already in his second — going for a third term.
Schemes to tinker with constitutions have followed a similar, almost scripted pattern.
First, the leader sits tight and shows no signs of heading for the exit despite their time running dry. Then “patriotic” lobbying starts within the party, advancing panoply of reasons (read excuses!) why a third term is necessary.
To sycophantic levels, the leader is praised as nature’s best ever gift to the country and without them, there is certainly no tomorrow. The matter suddenly assumes the all-important hue of “national issue” as the handsomely rewarded lobbyists dutifully whip up public sentiment. The same constitution that has faithfully governed the country for many, many years is suddenly roundly denounced as inadequate, imperialistic, unAfrican etc and is desperately in need of serious panel-beating!
When all this is taking place, the principal beneficiary is quiet, purporting to be uninterested, yet stoking the fires from behind the scenes. The incumbent naturally begins to dodge any debate on this subject, “as a democratic leader” instead of letting “the people” do it.
In Zambia, when the late former president Frederick Chiluba tried a go for a third term, the matter took a hilarious spiritual dimension.
While the Catholic church and some evangelicals openly campaigned against the scheme, some of its followers pleaded with the country not to “oppose God’s will”. Chiluba professed to be a born-again Christian. For his part, Chiluba — who was the figurehead for the Movement for Multi-party Democracy — only insisted: “As a democrat, I will let the people debate.”
Sadly, as in Zambia, Uganda, and DRC and other countries, government ministers and party officials who opposed this scheme of things were peremptorily sacked.
The same happened in Malawi where Bakili Muluzi fondled a dream of ruling to the grave.
In all this, there is never a shortage of fervent praise singers who are ever-ready to argue that this notion of term limits is extraneous to the African set-up. These argue vociferously that term limits are part of a wider plot by the West to keep the African continent underdeveloped. Dear Reader, be kind to Dr CZ by not asking how!
The bottom line is that power is too sweet to let go. It is not only Sepp Blatter who was tempted to trick himself into entertaining thoughts of himself being the last born in the human family.
Locally, we have seen that happening with leaders like Morgan Tsvangirai vandalising the constitution of their outfits so that they can remain at the helm.
Lovemore Madhuku did the same at the National Constitutional Assembly.
Even Lovemore Matombo violently resisted vacating office when his term at the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions came to an end. Not to mention other characters like Cuthbert Dube at the Zimbabwe Football Association, Raymond Majongwe at the so-called Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe, or Forster Dongozi the current “life” secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists.
George Orwell, who Dr CZ is fast becoming a reluctant disciple, was dead right when he concluded in his book 1984 that: “One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes a revolution in order to establish a dictatorship.”
Dr CZ is seriously considering applying for a job as a policeman for the Zimbabwe Electricity Regulatory Authority whose brief would involve going from door to door checking that the ban on electric geysers, the ban on old bulbs and the impending ban on cooking mazondo (hooves), beans, maguru (offals) etc on electric stoves among a host of other bans still to come — are effective and all culprits are brought to book.
Where are those detractors that have been saying that the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation blueprint is not creating jobs?