Time to go: Open Letter to President Mugabe

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe. File photo: Philimon Bulawayo. Credit: REUTERS
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe. File photo: Philimon Bulawayo. Credit: REUTERS

By Ali Naka

It is with a heavy heart and a trampled soul that i write this letter to you Mr President. Our beloved country that you have presided over the last 36 years was once the breadbasket of Africa but has declined to become the laughing stock of the world.

Your very own fellows from the hard fought endure bitter sweet nostalgia. Our independence was hard fought, and they reflect warmly on the wretched times of Ian Smith. A time from which their childhood and dreams were exchanged for freedom and hope.

Yet today their cheeks have become streams of bloody tears. Their hope has been crushed, they cry for the younger generations whose potential your misrule has decimated beyond conceivable redemption.

No-one can take away your remarkable achievements but your insistence on stroking your ego with monotonous reference to these long-gone successes has robbed them of their vibrancy, their relevance, their meaning.

Your great conquests are now a lumbering yolk on your neck, drawing parallels between the great statesman you were once, and the destructive one man force you have become.

For instance, multitudes of degrees that feature on your CV elicit respect and expectations of sound judgement, consistent with a man schooled so thoroughly, yet the whole world watches in awe at your incredible ineptitude.

The devil is in the detail Mr President. You have overseen a very noble and highly moral land reform programme but it is punctuated with chaotic confusion and lack of transparency. Illegal multiple farm ownership is rampant and your family and your comrades are the most culpable.

The findings of a land audit that you authorised were so damning they never saw the light of day. Another parallel between what you sought to do, and what you eventually did.

But yours is not a cancer of double parallels, it is a disease of many incapacities. Your former reserve bank governor, Gideon, promulgated a farm mechanisation programme which saw the looting of heavy agricultural equipment by largely inactive farmers at the cost of the taxpayer.

I gather that another hastily arranged mechanisation programme is on its way coupled with an impromptu Command agricultural programme which replicates previous disastrous programmes.

The haphazard approach to such a fundamental sector defies logic. This country has lost its breadbasket status.

It is disheartening that we find ourselves importing grain from agricultural minnows such as Zambia yet vast tracts of productive land lie fallow under the title of your cronies.

 

Our health sector has not been spared either. While you and your lot are quick to the plane and out of this country at the slightest sign of infirmity millions endure shambolic hospitals with little or no medicines and derelict equipment.

Medical personnel are poorly remunerated and highly demoralised. Sons of the soil with the best medical brains are finding sanctuary all over the world because of the uncertainty of everything that this country is.

Once at the apex of African enlightenment, our educational institutions and general standards have deteriorated drastically. There is no more proof of this than you and your lot sending your kids to learn at foreign institutions.

Millions are failing to send their children for basic education. Teachers cannot afford to send their children to the same schools they work at!  Young girls and boys are prostituting themselves for survival at universities that are churning out thousands of graduates with no prospects of employment. Unemployment is reeling at above 90%. Alas!

Mr President, corruption has become ubiquitous in this country. This monster thrives in both the public and private sector. It has become institutionalised as exemplified by the unbridled antics of the police force, the Vehicle Inspection Department.

Virtually all government departments are under siege by corrupt personnel whom your self-appointed Anti-Corruption Commission do not have an idea that they exist. We even have local Robbin Hoods who are enjoying executive and Party protection from both investigation and prosecution.

You have spoken more than you have acted on this cancerous issue Mr President. The wide web and entanglement of corrupt officials seems to be too scary to tackle lest the hunter becomes the hunted.

Mr President, while you and your mammoth retinue were globetrotting for no apparent benefit to the populace, the country was looted of a cumulative figure of US$15 billion worth of diamonds.

The world froze when you made this announcement on national television. No one has been held accountable! This sums up how the rest of our natural resources that you brag about so much are managed.

You have goaded everyone close to you to embraced our Eastern friends who ironically have had a hand in the looting of not only diamonds but other resources at their unlimited disposal.

These “all-weather friends” of ours have found a dumping ground for substandard commodities. They are the chief culprits in shipping the $USD out of this country and you know it. They have pushed us out of the retail business which the law states are a preserve for locals and you know it Mr President.

You gloat about this friendship but i know for sure they laugh aside at our affinity for them. Such desperation for friendship!  Do they love US as much as WE do Mr President?

Mr President, your unilateral pull-out from the Commonwealth has only yielded negative results. Apart from the obvious loss of international business ordinary Zimbabweans lost opportunities in sport and many other Commonwealth related benefits.

Your recent utterances and threats about pulling out of the United Nations are a gargantuan shocker to the nation and the world at large. You do not know what REFORM is yet you want to preach UN Reforms!

Your Hypocrisy is bottomless. You even labelled other African leaders as cowards but do you realise that these leaders apply diplomacy more than emotion in international relations. They are not as angry with the West as you, and i see your anger stemming from Western imposed travel restrictions that you eloquently and vehemently call sanctions.

Being prevented from Shopping at the Harrods from London cannot be the basis for your pseudo-radicalism and tired anti-west rhetoric

The topical issue of bond notes has caused worldwide panic Mr President. Being a country without a currency has set us on a path of economic uncertainty.

The much need foreign direct investment is in hibernation as investors evaluate the high risks, some of them being yourself. This, coupled with an opaque Indigenisation policy, has done no good to the prospects of economic recovery.

People are cringing and cowering at the possibility of a return to the vagaries of the last decade. Ordinary people wonder how an elephant can be equated to an ant; ie pegging the highly compromised bond as an equivalent of the mighty $USD.

People fear the flight of commodities from shelves. People fear a return of the legendary hyperinflation of the last decade. People fear the disappearance of the $USD from their bank accounts. People fear the return of a thriving black market. Hard working people fear the loss of their investments.

These fears have been buoyed by the pessimism express by our captains of industry and commerce in public fora. And little had been done to allay those fears, Mr President.

Even though age does not necessarily come with wisdom i urge you to reconsider your “nomination” as the sole presidential candidate of your party for the 2018 plebiscite. I implore you to spare this beloved country of ours from further harm by passing on button. Thirty-six years is a lifetime Mr President.

I know for a fact Mr President, that you have never thought this country can have a better leader than you. But succession is imminent because of your advanced age. You have stifled this natural phenomenon for too long but the vultures are lurking and have since been shrieking all be it in hushed but perilous tones.

What baffles me the most is how and why you fail to accept that you have run your race. So much as you think you are indispensable and indefatigable the passage of time has taken its toll on you. Never the less the sweet taste of power has not deserted your palate.

The resultant cracks in your party have thus become too difficult to disguise. It could well be the boon the rejuvenated CITIZEN voices which threaten to throw your beloved party into oblivion.

Be warned Mr President. Even the indestructible Titanic sank. The Greatest, Mohhamed Ali, could not beat Parkinson’s. Mt Everest was conquered by man. The mighty Gadhafi died at the hands of “cockroaches”.

But Nelson Mandela left in time to become one of history’s most respected statesman whether you like it or not!

I sincerely hope you will not dismiss my letter as part of a foreign sponsored regime change agenda. I pray that you spare me the threat and reality of a bite from your designer dressed and dark goggled dogs. I dread to go the Dzamara or the Mawarire way but i could not supress the urge to let you know how i and millions of other patriots feel about our predicament

Merry Christmas   Mr President

Yours Fellow Villager

African@ali_naka