By Garikai Chimuka
If recent media reports carried by the Zimbabwe Independent of January 11 concerning the imminent launch of a Zanu PF breakaway party to contest the Mar
ch elections under Simba Makoni are true, then Makoni is a super patriot who deserves to be saluted nothwithstanding the urgent and patriotic fact that only a broad-based coalition of all democratic forces can unseat Mugabe and his rigging machinery in a free and fair election come March.
That Makoni is alleged to be ready to stake his credibility and indeed his life against Mugabe and his notoriously ruthless machinery deserves utmost respect. For an analysis of the antithesis that the Zanu PF extraordinary congress held in December was, any Zanu PF opportunist would never dare to take such a risky yet welcome move in Zimbabwe today.
After Mugabe clearly rigged himself back to power by blocking the contestation of the party’s presidency at the so called extraordinary Zanu PF congress which was a yawning non-event, all well meaning political analysts never expected that some Zanu PF members who have the country at heart can come forward and fight to reclaim the Zimbabwean dream from the disastrous policies of the now politically and biologically spent force that Robert Mugabe has become.
Indeed political analysts had expected that after the so-called extraordinary congress circus, all ruling party factions including well-meaning reformists were going to take a back seat, close ranks and campaign for Mugabe whilst sharpening their spears for an unprecedented assault on each other when Mugabe finally leaves office.
It is crystal clear that Mugabe will never leave office and hand over power to anyone when he is still alive since he has delusions that the title deeds to our beautiful country are in his pocket. It is in this context that if the media reports of Makoni working to save Zimbabwe at this defining moment in history are true, then he deserves to be inducted into the political hall of fame regardless of whether his project will succeed or fail.
Throughout history, in defining moments of great nations, great people are not those who succeed in changing the situation but include those who stand up to be counted despite the enormity of a task facing them. So Makoni has taken a risky decision and I believe that history will always reward those who take a principled stand based on conviction. For it is now a clear fact that Mugabe’s time is up and his continued presence at State House against the wishes of the people of Zimbabwe whom he has reduced to a laughing stock before the whole world just to satisfy his unquenchable appetite for power.
Indeed Mugabe is the problem and the earlier the people of Zimbabwe take him head on and clearly send a powerful message that he does not own Zimbabwe but the people do, the better. Unlike political sycophants such as Manyika, Kasukuwere, Muchinguri, Sibanda and the national joke Chinos, who are prepared to throw conscience away for the sake of political patronage, Makoni has put himself on the line. It would have been politically safe for any opportunist to wait in the wings and then pounce once Mugabe meets his God.
If Makoni and his group are to truly enter the political fray against the tyranny of Mugabe, that would mark the apogee of statesmanship by Makoni and his group. However, media reports that Makoni and his group have spurned the agenda of a broad-based coalition of all democratic forces including the opposition MDC are true, that makes a sad reading given the fact that the current configuration of Zimbabwean political landscape requires unity of all democratic forces to donate a crushing defeat of Mugabe and his rigging machinery in March.
Thus the Makoni group must go a step further and reach out and embrace all other opposition forces for a rainbow coalition that must be driven by the desire to save Zimbabwe from collapsing by defeating Mugabe and his shameless cohorts come March. Makoni must quickly get his act together and with others in the democratic movement re-enact the Polokwane phenomenon in Zimbabwean politics. History will for ever be grateful to respected guys like Makoni for taking such a risky yet necessary move for evil triumphs when good men fold their arms and do nothing.
* Garikai Chimuka is an analyst based at Wageningen University, The Netherlands