The coup that was a time buying gimmick.
Only the naïve, politically in Zimbabwe and those not citizens, that is people in foreign lands are the only ones who bought into the deception that the coup was an actual renewal successful attempt by Zanu pf and potential democratization of Zimbabwe. Alas, it was not so. Before the national television was rebranded to Auxilia Mnangagwa Television, the so called national republic was touted as a clean break from the past, that is associated with Mugabe. To the politically informed, this was a time buying act and a desperate one at that. You don’t claim just by words that you have divorced from the past, that’s why it is said that actions speak louder than words. The mentioned now rebranded and evolved to first lady television channel did not see liberalizing. It remained a firm effectively captured institution for Zanu pf. The electoral reforms that were anticipated and expected, were abortive. Centralization of power and conflation of the party that deceived people to be reforming and a paralyzed state that enabled primitive extractive accumulation thrived. Human and property rights violations did not subside. Hence, what Zanu pf did was to buy time as evasive measures meant to pre-empt accountability that would be partial demands of the people accompanying the transition, peacefully of the opposition into power, which it had been justifiably and objectively projected to win.
Zanu pf failure had caught up with it, and were now a guarantee for relinquishing of power. Other quarters in Zanu pf, that is the militant faction, which had the most to lose, that is subsequent imprisonment of the referenced faction for heinous human rights especially against the minorities like the Ndebele, during the tragic ethnic cleansing that is Gukurahundi, and against opposition members for instance through Operation Makavhoterepi, fed up and thus seeking change and an alternative to Zanu pf mismanagement that had clearly neglected the primacy of the welfare of the people, as evidenced by poor service delivery such as shortages of drugs, poor remuneration of teachers which persists to this day, affecting qualities of health services and education respectively. This mentioned militant faction had so much to lose and had to act fast, whence, comes in the coup.
The militant coup was aware of the looming loss of power. Even more aware of the consequences. Chief among the consequences were very lengthy jail terms for the mentioned and unmentioned human and property rights violations. That’s what accountability is about after all, before the courts whose independence and credibility would have been restored by the opposition, aftermath its tranquil transition into power. This militant faction led by Mnangagwa, who conveniently for himself, together with the also conveniently deceased Perrence Shiri had been lead participants in the ethnic cleansing, and electoral violence, the former who was among the architects of the illegal coup and thus the illegal government, shielded themselves by resorting to a preference for a coup to remove supposed moderate elements attempting to constructively engage the opposition inclusively. This would have left the militant faction exposed. Exposed to both internal and external anticipated and expected long overdue prosecutions, whose sole purpose would have been to bring closure to the victims and families of the victims and thus attainment, consequentially of national healing and reconciliation, both of which would significantly had watered the alarming levels of polarization in the country, in addition to achieving national cohesion, a prerequisite for general peace augmentation and prosperity.
The Mnangagwa militant faction had to sell the coup as a democratic evolution. That was the only way they would buffer themselves against military intervention which would have seen Zimbabwe’s military under arms embargo boxed in by SADC or worse for Zanu pf by democracy loving states, leading to the ultimate capture of this militant faction and the subsequent long over overdue prosecutions which would bring closure necessary for nation building, reconciliation and prevailing peace. This is why the naïve and politically misinformed both local and foreign citizens in foreign lands were deceived by Zanu pf. It was all in the interest of Zanu pf. The singing about democratization was thus a gimmick to buy time for demonstration of territorial jurisdictional control necessary for government recognition, de facto or de jure, it was a matter of government by government basis. The celebration of ouster of old tyrannical Mugabe did not aid to the cause of much needed diplomatic intervention, necessary for implementation of reforms, but served to paint a picture of public preference of a shift from Mugabe to Mnangagwa tolerance. This picture thus ruined prospects of democratization of Zimbabwe. This is because there was a deficit of pressure necessary to compel Zanu pf to reform both intra and interparty with the opposition to mitigate incidences of returned emergency of tyranny. The deficit of this pressure, vital as it was, only allowed Zanu pf to consolidate its power and thus demonstrate territorial jurisdictional control, a prerequisite for government recognition that Zanu pf was desperate for.
Zanu pf had the last laugh, democratic initiatives anticipated and expected were abortive. No reforms materialized, and like the proverbial warning against going straight into the fire from the pan, things got from bad to worse. Human and property rights suffered thrice under the deceptive Zanu pf. Centralization of power intensified through the use of the parliament dominated by Zanu pf and exacerbated by expulsions enabled through captured courts employing lawfare to, in futility, decimate the opposition. Marginalization and exclusion from the youth did not abate, neither did malfeasance or partisan distribution of food aid and agriculture input schemes meant to keep the populace subjected to prolonged misery, dependent on the criminal party that Zanu pf is. This is why this article thus, can objectively attest to the fact that Zanu pf had no interest in genuine reforms rather time buying for Zanu pf, enough to consolidate power, and thus augment its chances of longevity, survival and insulate itself against potential prosecution and subsequent loss of people’s plundered wealth and its ultimate restoration back to the people.