Friday, March 16, 2007



Dear comrade Bob,

Some twenty years ago you assumed the title of President of the Republic of Zimbabwe. This was as it should be, for although you were prime minister for seven years, there was still Canaan Banana as president and you felt you were subordinate to a non-combatant like yourself. He had not been in the bush as you had, nor in prison or exile and does not hold six degrees like you. You have steered the ship of state through some turbulent times. You weathered the storms of Smith’s UDI and crushed the rebellions of the Ndebele in the notorious Gukurahundi of the 1980s. You have thereby proved that you are a survivor, if any proof was needed.

Comrade, just take stock of what you have done to the Zimbabwean people. The euphoria and awe of liberation is long gone, you cannot lead the people with the achievements of the past, you have to lead them with the promises of a glorious future. Today your Zimbabwe is a doomed relic of the very illustrious Kingdom after which your country is named. With a life expectancy of 37 years, Zimbabweans are soon becoming an extinct people unless they start marrying and reproducing at very young age. As for you, at 83 you are already a deity and a legend with over two life spans.

You hold three degrees in economics, I have none in the field. You therefore know better than me that hyper-inflation is not a positive economic attribute. Yet, you continue to lord over an economy slowly drifting to barter trade. A 1700% inflation does not translate into growth and prosperity which Zimbabwe people are entitled to, which you continue to deny them. It is said if you buy some stuff in the morning and have to exchange for some reason an hour later, the price would have changed. This is a daily occurrence comrade. Your populist land reforms transformed your country from a land of agricultural affluence to a land of agricultural paupers. People do not eat populism nor does the economy thrive on populism. Populism is the fodder for dictators seeking to boost their egos as they watch their starving subjects raise dust as they sing and dance their praises, expending their energy trampling the very ground they should be digging.

You have been in charge of the country for over quarter century, yet you still blame colonialism for your failure to lead your people to prosperity. Yes most of our problems in Africa have colonial roots, but our failure to emancipate ourselves from them is not colonial. Freedom in Africa was worn with blood and sweat. Enough blood was shed for the freedom, we now need to shed sweat and toil to nurture it. Yet you, like other African leaders before you continue to shed blood of the very people you purport to protect and lead. The strong handed manner your police and political goons handled Tsvangirai and other opposition supporters is reminiscent of the brutality meted on other opposition leaders in Africa. Perhaps you are intent on copying them or even exceeding them. A brutalized leader of opposition is very good ammunition to fight you and your leadership inside and outside Zimbabwe. This is the only image of Zimbabwe most of us will see and react to. You may be doing a lot of good things in Zimbabwe, we don’t care about that for we will not see or hear of them. What we care about is what we see, a man with a fractured skull being hauled to the courts to answer charges of holding a political meeting. In the free world, and this does not include Zimbabwe, there is something all cherish, it is called freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Just cast your eyes to the north and find out what happened in Kenya, the Moi regime tried to stem the tide, it was swept out by the will and power of the people. But history is full of dictators who lorded it over their people and bloomed. it is also full of dictators who lorded it over their people and became irrelevant. If you get time just find out what happened to Mobutu, Bokassa, Doe, you may also want to have a word with Haile Mariam, Moi, Kaunda who lorded it over like you and were swept aside by the very people they thought were loyal subjects.
Comrade, you are an African, if only by birth and colour, so let me use the African folk wisdom and tell you this; do not try to hold back a breaking dam with your bare hands. You are trying to patch your leaky dam while still downstream. You and all like you will be swept in its path. You cannot hold back an idea whose time has come. The will of the people supercedes the will of the leaders. If you cannot keep pace with the will of the people, you will be swept to the dustbin of history. Your struggle for your country is too valuable in the history of your country, you do not wish to be remembered as the leader who led his country from the greatest hope to the greatest ruin. There is no shame in walking away from a long hard fought war. The shame is in living and even dying in a long fought worthless war. You are on the brink of the latter, your war against democracy and change is futile. It is time to go.

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