A Leopard does not change its spots

Zimbabwe’s social and political scenes are dominated by arrogance, and impunity. Be it a sport that should entertain, or public figures that are meant to be leaders, our nation is now defined by arrogant gangster like pig-headedness.
Zimbabwe’s social and political scenes are dominated by arrogance, and impunity. Be it a sport that should entertain, or public figures that are meant to be leaders, our nation is now defined by arrogant gangster like pig-headedness.

By Patson Dzamara

The truth of the matter is that Zimbabwe’s problems are deeply entrenched in ZANU PF’s leadership failure and inadequacies. Our problems are not an act of nature, they are a result of a perennial leadership drought we have experienced for the past 36 years, says Patson Dzamara

For some unknown reason, perhaps Robert Mugabe’s cunning propensity, the world, the continent, and more shockingly the country seems to believe Zanu PF has reformed, or will reform, if only they were given a chance.

It signals how short people’s memories are, and how desperate we have become. Barely 3 years ago, in 2013, Robert Mugabe has one of the highest approval rates for any leader according to AfroBarometer. Having destroyed the country for over 3 decades, Mr Mugabe somehow convinced a lot of people he could reform, and go one step further and create 2 million jobs.

3 years later, the only jobs created are jobs in the negative. Over 2 million formal and informal jobs lost. That is the legacy and the present. Zanu PF can destroy a country and an economy better than anyone else. They have done so twice in 9 years, and with a different cast altogether.

The Institute of Security Studies put it aptly that Zimbabwe’s reform agenda is an exercise in pretense. The report can be read here, and in detail – ISS Report Zimbabwe. / Download PDF version here

Piers Pigou contends even that, “ZANU-PF has not invested adequately in generating confidence in its reform agenda; understandably, it remains in question for many. Half-hearted commitments leave many believing the reform agenda is in many respects a charade and that limited progress to date reflects a lack of genuine commitment from the government.”

Summarily, history shows the following.

  1. It is a fact that Mugabe and his ZANU PF have a history of enacting draconian laws which scare away investors. That’s the reason why there is no Foreign Direct Investment to talk about other than some dubious Chinese ‘deals’ which have not come to fruition because the Chinese themselves simply do not trust a 92 year old liar.
  2. Zimbabwe’s industrial utilisation capacity is at 15% (1950 levels). We even import tooth picks. Investors have fled Zimbabwe on their own not because anyone told them to leave.
  3. ZANU PF has passed its sell by date. Trusting that mafia to continue running the affairs of our nation is ludicrous and retrogressive.
  4. ZANU PF has presided over monumental corruption. For example, the country lost over US$15 billion diamond revenue as a result of ZANU PF’s decayed modus-operandi and corruption.

With that in mind, it is imperative for me to state that most Zimbabweans agree that things are not well in our nation. However, not all understand that change comes at a price.

The bottom-line is that in order for us to redeem ourselves out of these ugly hands of the ZANU PF monster, we must bleed it dry. We can’t be smart and conventional about it.

If Global Financial Institutions such as IMF and the World Bank advance loans to Mugabe’s ZANU PF, they are only funding our oppression.

If investors invest in Zimbabwe regardless of the above mentioned facts, it creates a false sense of normalcy. Zimbabwe is not Rwanda. We are not a dictatorship with functional systems, we are an authoritarian state under the over-bearing control of a sadistic blood sucking regime.

Our liberation shall only come at a cost. It will cost us tears, sweat, blood and even lives. We must be prepared to unseat conventions. Going through the downhill path is inevitable before rebuilding

We all love our country. We want Zimbabwe to rise. We want Zimbabwe to be better than what it is. We want Zimbabwe to be further than where it is. But, all that can never happen as long as ZANU PF continues to superimpose itself on the affairs of our country.

I am aware that there are some who believe that ZANU PF will reform itself into a transformation agent but that’s just a fallacy. It’s hallucinatory. ZANU PF will never bring about the transformation we yearn and deserve.

Patriotism does not at all mean we must blinker ourselves from our reality. It doesn’t mean we lie to ourselves and to others in order to pacify our egos. Patriotism is objective and truthful.

The truth of the matter is that Zimbabwe’s problems are deeply entrenched in ZANU PF’s leadership failure and inadequacies. Our problems are not an act of nature, they are a result of a perennial leadership drought we have experienced for the past 36 years.

Mugabe’s ZANU PF created this crisis we are in and expecting them to be the custodians of the solutions we need and deserve is impractical.

Solutions are not realised on the same level problems are created.

Our way out is just but one – decapitating the monster called ZANU PF and that will not be a stroll in the park.

We must bleed them dry and that entails taking some drastic measures. Those measures may come along with pain and discomfort. Zimbabweans ought to be prepared endure the discomfort and pain for a little while. It’s necessary and prerequisite for change to take place.

When Mawarire, myself or anyone pushes for certain agendas it’s not because we are traitors. We are not lunatics or evil men on a mission.

We just understand that at times the way down is the way up.

A new and better Zimbabwe is possible in our lifetime. We shall come face to face with it.




  • Dr. Patson Dzamara is a Zimbabwe based pro-democracy activist and a resident political analyst for Khuluma Afrika – a non-partisan center for analysis and commentary