Tsvangirai says geriatrics like Mugabe cannot govern the twitter generation


We have heard several senior officials in his own party, particularly the speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda speaking about succession and retirement and what should happen thereafter in terms of the national Constitution. War veterans Minister Tshinga Dube has also spoken to that effect, further demystifying this sacred subject in Zanu PF. We are heartened by the fact that some in Zanu PF have now realized that it would be the greatest national betrayal to allow a nonagenarian to seek a new term. This is exactly what Zimbabweans told me during my one-and-half months tour of the country; that we cannot as a country allow a 94-year old to seek re-election. He is too old to understand the challenges of a modern economy.

With all due respect, we cannot as a nation allow a geriatric to preside of a modern economy. Geriatrics should receive our care but cannot govern the twitter generation that now constitutes 60 percent of our population.  Yesterday’s people cannot comprehend the dynamics of today. Today’s challenges need today’s people. By virtue of his age, the President is certainly yesterday’s man. 

Now we note he is desperately trying to endear himself to the young generation whose future he has virtually destroyed. His so-called youth interface rallies are bereft of any cogent message and are a testimony to his serious disconnect with the concerns and aspirations of the country’s youth.

Moreover, the disruptive closure of schools and the frog-marching of vendors sets a bad precedent of a culture of coercion, which does not bode well for the country, particularly on the eve of an election where people should be free to express themselves.

Indeed, the President’s age is a key election issue. Zanu PF is failing to deal with this age crisis that has now become an albatross of the entire nation. We can fully understand Mudenda’s frustration because even Parliament has its hands hopelessly tied by the whipping system.

It appears Mugabe will not allow anything else that can take away his powers where he has used his incumbency to perpetuate bad and corrupt governance, which has seen the whole of Mazowe becoming his wife’s personal property.

Every institution, through his overstaying in office, has been deliberately emasculated.

I agree with the Speaker of Parliament that the power of the people is the ultimate route that can guarantee us a secure and a democratic future. We remain sticklers to democracy and the electoral route and that is why we are saying the electoral route should be chlorinated so that the people are allowed to freely express themselves and to choose their own leaders.

It is ironic that among the reasons Zimbabwean went to war is the right to vote, which right has been eroded over the years hence our fight through ZINERA for a free and election. Our fight for clean elections is well within the ethos and values of the liberation struggle, particularly one man one vote; or the right to vote for which so many sons and daughters of this land died.

One of the reasons for the national liberation struggle was the land, hence the war cry Mwana Wevhu. Behind that solemn cry was a demand for inheritance in the form of the land which has been haphazardly given to individuals but without title. That inheritance also includes our minerals and it is the height of government negligence that the President himself could admit that $15 billion worth of our diamond heritage disappeared without trace.

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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