Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Dreaming of Nepal: A Criticism of Zimbabwe's Democratization Mechanism (Part 2)

As promised, this is the second of eight posts that critique Zimbabwe's democratization mechanization inspired by Paremendra Bhagat's Democracy Spreading Mechanism

The second principle for succesful revolution planning is,
If [there is] more than one party, form a coalition.
Our grade: "F."

To fully understand how the above statement bears out in Zimbabwe, one must first understand the country's political heritage. To do this it is imperative to reach back into the nation's liberation history. There we find that mutual distrust and turgid collegiality were the order of the day. Uninformed peasants had little trust for the leaders of Zimbabwe's liberation movement; liberation cadres didn't fully trust the people because they endured immense pressure from the imperialist forces; and there was little trust shared between the different leaders themselves. There really was never such a thing as a coalition in independence attaining process for Zimbabwe. What Zimbabweans came to know and understand as the modus operandi during the days of the armed struggled can best be described as the politics of fear.

During the days of the armed struggle strongmen cowered the people into loyalty through frequent displays of brutality and playing on the ignorance of the people to trump up fear. Likewise, imperialists employed the same predatory tactitics to keep the people from feeding and abetting liberation soldiers. You either supported vanamukoma the liberation war cadres, or where a traitor selling them out to the Rhodesian Armed Forces. People's actions where for the most part, dictated by their perception of how best to avoid being considered a traitor by either side.

As you can imagine this precipitated unmitigated fear in the people when it came to all things political during the struggle and beyond. What is worse is that Mugabe & Co. did little to mollify said fear in the people when they finally liberated the nation. On the contrary, they ritualized the process of drumming up unwarranted tensions and manufactured volatility particularly through ZANU-PF's youth wing.

So high was the mass hysteria generated by these scare gimmicks, many Zimbabweans essentially divorced themselves from political involvement. While many across the nation reposed in the paralysis of fear, ZANU-PF's henchmen rolled their familiar tactics and consolidated their party's gruff outlook.


Technorati Tags: , , ,
  • << Home