By : Garikai Chimuka
The so called, " million man march" , ostensibly carried out in support of Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF candidature in next year's presidential elections, is nothing beyond a propaganda stunt to hoodwink the world (particularly in the run up to the EU-AU summit to be hosted in December in Portugal) that the long suffering masses of Zimbabwe are behind Mugabe and his failed policies.
If anything, there are very interesting yet striking parallels with the 3 day Huruyadzo rally that was held at the same Zimbabwe Grounds on the eve of the 1980 elections by the then President of the short lived Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, Bishop Abel Muzorewa, before his burial into the dustbins of history.
That the ZANU PF government fronted by lunatics masquerading as war veterans, youth and woman's leagues would waste taxpayers' money on the back of a disastrous national budget running into zillions of worthless Zim dollars, defies logic and common sense.
Thousands of unsuspecting rural folk especially from far flung areas such as Uzumba Maramba-Pfungwa were frog marched and bused to partake in the useless march on the back of empty promises of free maize seed, scothcarts and ploughs for the so called "mother of all farming seasons", which has already turned into a "grandmother of all farming disasters" since the turn of the millennium. This is a serious abuse of the poverty stricken poor and hungry folk who were used for the personal yet unnecessary Mugabe wish to be life President at all costs.
The sorry sight of barefooted villagers clearly on empty stomachs being used as cheap cannon fodder for sloganeering and political posturing is a serious indictment on the moral bankruptcy of Mugabe and his storm troopers. Any government, the world over that inflicts poverty on its people through policy kwashiorkor and unmitigated hunger for power and then goes on to use the same, has lost the legitimacy to claim that it is a government.
However what is significant from this big non-event is that just like Muzorewa's Huruyadzo rally in 1980, Mugabe has clearly read the mood of the people and the writing is on the wall yet he is still in denial. Such cheap arrogance combined with ignorance is a sure recipe for a thunderous defeat in a free and fair election come March 2008
Just like in 1980,the people of
are not foolish. Although they were forced to attend the Huruyadzo rally , they knew in their hearts and minds that Muzorewa was history for he never stood for the aspirations of the people. The people knew that he had no capacity to stop the armed struggle and they had not forgotten the atrocities he had committed against the people through his notorious Pfumo Revanhu bandits. Zimbabwe
In Zimbabwe today, the people will never forget , Gukurahundi ethnic cleansing, Operation Murambatsina, Operation Reduce Prices, Corruption by Mugabe and his cohorts and indeed civil servants will never forget that they are earning less than US $10 dollars per month which is decreasing every hour. They may attend the so called million man march, but come March 08, in a free and fair election, Mugabe will be taken to the cleaners.
Just like in 1980 at the Huruyadzo rally, Muzorewa was in fiery form, lambasting the dangers of communism and marxist socialism which the liberation movements were articulating. At the so called million man march, Mugabe was also lambasting the dangers of neo-colonialism vowing that
will never be a colony again. At Huruyadzo, Muzorewa claimed that the Liberation movements were mere pawns of the Russians and Chinese who wanted to plunder the country's resources and at the million man march , Mugabe was also lambasting the opposition as puppets of the British and Americans. The people of Zimbabwe now know better for poverty is a great teacher, a powerful force for change and Mugabe has created that force and he will reap the whirlwind. Zimbabwe
In 1980, Muzorewa pretended that the people were willing to die fighting "terrorists" and at the million man march Mugabe is also lying to himself that the people are ready to die of hunger in order for him to be life President when his time is clearly up.
A confident Muzorewa in 1980 thought that victory was in the bag, what with the divisions in the Patriotic Front into PF ZAPU and ZANU PF after Mugabe, due to insatiable appetite for power and tribalism, had rejected a united Patriotic Front that the late Nkomo and late Tongogara had agreed at Lanchaster.There was also confusion surrounding the name ZANU for Sithole was also claiming it.
On the back of poor literacy levels at that time, Muzorewa thought that the confusion was going to hand him victory on a silver platter. At the million man march, Mugabe made it clear that the current factionalism within the MDC will give him victory.
Surely like Muzorewa in 1980, he is underestimating the ability of Zimbabweans to separate wheat from chaff for indeed Morgan Tsvangirai remains the undoubted personification of the struggle for change in
. He is also underestimating the ability of democratic forces to unite at the opportune time and endorse Tsvangirai for a decisive opposition victory in a free and fair election come March 08. Zimbabwe
Muzorewa was not ashamed to marshal state resources , busing people and slaughtering thousands of beasts for the 3 day extravaganza. At least he can be forgiven for despite the battering of the economy by war which was now costing $1million a day at a time when the British pound was equivalent to the pound, the economy could still afford it. Today at the so called million man march, Mugabe has no shame to abuse state resources when the economy he has presided over the past 27 years is on its knees .
Hence the message that comes out is that the hour for a new
is nigh. Its high noon in Zimbabwe . No person, no ambition, no force however big, determined or "revolutionary' can stop an idea whose time has come and that national and patriotic idea is that at 83 years after 27 years of failed and uninterrupted rule, Mugabe must do what his peers and generation like Kaunda , Nyerere, Mandela, Chissano, Masire and Nujoma did, bow down for the national interest before it is too late!! Zimbabwe
Chimuka writes from the Netherlands and is contactable at