One expects someone sober, learned and sophisticated as Ambassador Philippe Van Damme to know that corruption, incompetence and tyrannical tendencies of the Zanu PF dictatorship was not going to disappear overnight just because Mugabe is no longer President, particularly when the reins of power have been passed on to the thugs who had carried out all the dirty work. The Zanu PF dictatorship was more than Mugabe, its figure head. Indeed, the removal of Mugabe was nothing more than a black mamba shedding off its old coat; it is still a deadly snake.
The first thing President Mnangagwa and his coup plotters did after forcing Mugabe to resign was share out the spoils of power. The appointment of known political thugs like Commander Chiwenga, veteran of Joint Operation Command (JOC), the Junta responsible for all the vote riggings and 2008 coup to stop MDC getting power, as VP. Air Marshall Perrance Shiri, another JOC veteran and Gukurahundi commander, is now Minister of Lands.
Major General Sibusiso Moyo, the man who will go down in Zimbabwe history as the coup spokesman who woke up the nation at 04.30 am on 15 November 2017 to announce the putsch but insisted it “was not a coup”. He is now Minister of Foreign Affairs. Chris Mutsvangwa, the leader of the rogue war veterans who have played a major role in imposing the Zanu PF dictatorship on the nation; they firmly believe that whilst everyone else has a vote they alone have the veto on who rules Zimbabwe. He is now President Mnangagwa’s special advisor!
President Mnangagwa appointed retired Lt. General Engelbert Rugeje to the very influential position of ZANU PF national political commissar. Rugeje is a liberation war veteran who, like his fellow rogues Mutsvangwa, Jabulani Sibanda, not only believe Zanu PF’s divine right to rule but have ruthlessly imposed their dogma on the populous. Rugeje earned his notoriety in the 2008 elections when he spearheaded Zanu PF’s Operation “Mavhotera papi!” (Whom did you vote for!) in Masvingo Province.
Retired Lt General Engelbert Rugeje, reminded the nation at large why he is Zanu PF Political Commissar, entrusted by President Mnangagwa to carry out the very important task of mobilising the people to ensure Zanu PF landslide victory using the party’s tried, tested and proven-to-work strategies.
“We are getting towards important elections this year,” Rugeje reminded the people at Mawungwa Business Centre in Gutu, according to the Masvingo Mirror. “I came here in 2008 when things were bad. I don’t know where Masvingo had got this spirit and I came and sorted things out.
“I came back again in 2013 and led the campaign team and I moved around the province addressing rallies and the results were impressive and this saw the current Party president giving Masvingo the post of political commissar. I expect you to give Zanu PF all seats in Masvingo now that I am full time in politics.”
All talk of free, fair and credible elections; thrown straight out of the window!
“Chiri mumusakasaka chinonzwira!” (Those with ears, let them hear!) Even the naïve simpletons have ears; they cannot say they did not know the corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF before the coup is still the same after the coup,
“If really what he (Rugeje) said, needs public condemnation by
@zanu_pf leadership! Intimidation incompatible with commitment 2free& fair elections.” Was the twittered response from the EU Representative to Zimbabwe Philippe Van Damme.
I am shocked that the Ambassador is so naïve, to doubt Rugeje would boast about Zanu PF’s culture of vote rigging and wanton violence when President Mugabe himself has publicly edged and praised the party thugs and none of them had any qualms carrying these heinous acts. Worse still, is the ambassador really that naïve to believe “public condemnation by @zanu-pf leadership” would be enough to deliver free, fair and credible elections?
For the umpteenth time, ambassador Damme; Zimbabwe will have free, fair and credible elections on one condition and one condition only – all the democratic reforms are implemented before the elections. So far President Mnangagwa has paid lip-service to free elections by making empty promises whilst doing nothing to implement even one token reform. Indeed, by surrounding himself with the party’s hardliners, the veterans of the party’s vote rigging and wanton political violence he is showing that he has no intention of holding free, fair and credible elections.