The Sunday Mail
There were two telling articles on Zimbabwe in two Western establishment publications this past week.
The first was titled “Light at the end of a long, dark tunnel” in The Economist, and it was sub-titled “Robert Mugabe’s era is drawing to a close. But what comes next?”
The Economist got Dr Ibbo Mandaza, who they described as a “prominent local analyst” to answer the question posed in that sub-title.
“Nothing will happen till the old man goes,” Dr Mandaza said.
We will not waste ink talking about Dr Mandaza’s so-called prominence, and neither will we comment on the fact that he is an embedded, though quite minor, player in opposition politics.
The article itself concluded thus: “In any event, the post-Mugabe struggle is in full swing. It could turn violent. The outcome is uncertain.
“The least awful plausible scenario is that, once Mr Mugabe goes, a sensible path towards economic re-engagement can be charted, perhaps under the aegis of Mr Mnangagwa or another Zanu-PF figure, leading to a proper election in 2018—and Zimbabwe’s return from hell. But there is a long way to go.”
It is back, that Western discourse on Zimbabwe premised on President Mugabe’s death by the political morticians in American and European newsrooms and universities.
Not to be outdone was a fellow called Josh White, writing for New Statesman.
His article was headlined: “Who’ll be Robert Mugabe’s successor?”
After rehashing the stale stories of a succession race they want to believe involves various personalities in Zanu-PF, as well as the likes of Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, Dr Joice Mujuru and Dr Simba Makoni, White ends on a note of resignation.
He says, “…there may be little space right now for an opposition party to take hold of the country. Even with the death of President Mugabe, Zanu-PF will live on.”
We have to ask the good folk at The Economist and New Statesman: why this rabid fixation with President Mugabe’s death?
Why this hankering over the death of a man who even now is bringing to life a new economic era well-supported by China and other friendly nations?
While West and their local useful idiots wait on the course of all humanity to deal with their political bigotry via their wished-for death of President Mugabe, the Zimbabwean leader and his people are forging ahead.
The leader of the world’s second-largest economy was here just a few days ago, signing deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars on top of other huge, huge investments already made.
He was here to finalise arrangements for Zimbabwe to be a key component of China’s new Silk Road trade and development initiative.
He was in Africa announcing a package worth an eye-watering US$60 billion for the continent’s development.
And all that the necrophiles at The Economist and New Statesman could think of was a dead President Mugabe.
And anyone would have thought that with the hard work that is being put into not only deepening the good ties with China, but also normalising those with the West, we would all be focused on a progressive agenda.
Foreign Affaris Minister Simbabrashe Mumbengegwi is hard at work to fix political ties with hostile countries. Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa is having sleepless nights mending relations with international lenders. So why are some people not talking about mutually beneficial engagement with China and re-engagement with the West?
Why are they seized with these never-never scenarios of divisive successionist talk and an almost necrophilic longing for President Mugabe’s death? Even some sections of the private media cannot see anything apart from non-threatening technical glitches at airports.
We believe the answer is simple.
These are enemies of progress. These are people who would rather see Zimbabwe burn than prosper.
And what use do we have for such within our midst?
Surely, no one is saying everyone should in unison hail China unthinkingly.
If you have a problem with what China and Zimbabwe have agreed on, then question the deals.
Point out the shortcomings, poke holes into the contracts from an analytical perspective so that we improve on out deal-making as a nation and for the benefit of all.
Zimbabweans should be wary of these naysayers who care not for Zimbabwe’s development.
And in as much as we should — and will — castigate them for their retrogressive approaches, we will also invite them to become a part of the nation-building and economic transformation agenda by joining progressive citizens at the table of ideas.