Emmerson Mnangagwa. Picture: REUTERS/PHILIMON BULAWAYO
Emmerson Mnangagwa. Picture: REUTERS/PHILIMON BULAWAYO

Having just been to Victoria Falls and Hwange in December and seen the dire straits those municipalities are in, how poor people are and how high the cost of living is, I wonder how Zimbabwe will recover.

The answer is that it can’t, not while the current band of thieving dictators are in power. It is deeply distressing to see how a nation so beautiful and promising can been so completely and utterly captured and destroyed.

The thieves and criminals in power have absolutely no intention of altering their ways or relinquishing power. President Emmerson “Uncle Ed” Mnangagwa openly admits to being “surrounded by criminals” — both black and white — but make no mistake, he is one of them. A lifestyle audit of both local and overseas assets would confirm this in a heartbeat.

By the same token, anyone who believes there will be a gradual transition to democracy in Zimbabwe is clearly deluded. Mnangagwa was, after all, Zimbabwe’s first minister of security from 1980 to 1988 and played a significant role in the wholesale slaughter of the Ndebele population during Operation Gukurahundi, which in three years killed as many people as apartheid did in 46. His agriculture minister, Perence Shiri, was commander of the notorious 5th Brigade, which executed the Gukurahundi atrocticies.

Zimbabwe is run by an elite clique of 300 or so individuals who control everything from the army, police and air force to the judiciary and treasury, as well as strategic resources such as gold and fuels. They believe it all belongs to them by right of conquest 39 years ago, and they will burn the house down to prove a point.

Yet we are told there are many opportunities in Zimbabwe now that the country is “open for business”. Seriously? Anyone with any business sense will know the only way to get any kind of assurance of security of any profit or asset is to do a deal with the corrupt wolves in sheep’s clothing who reign supreme and wield the hatchet. 

Revolutionaries never make good democrats. Believers in SA’s new dawn should take heed.

Peter Stenslunde