Friday, May 19, 2006


If anybody ever doubted that President Robert Gabriel Chatunga Mugabe intends to stay in power at least beyond his much anticipated retirement in 2008, then news from Zimbabwe yesterday must have ended those doubts.

According to the weekly Zimbabwe Independent, Mugabe’s government is expected to soon implement a plan to have veterans of the liberation war incorporated into the national army.

This means salaries and other benefits for the more than 40 000 ex-combatants and its 1997 all over again.

For those who do not know, it was August 1997 when the former fighters were awarded Z$ 50,000 each in one-off gratuities plus more than Z$ 2,000 monthly allowances and free medical coverage for life.

That madness of 1997 turned Zimbabwe’s economy for the worst and it has been downhill since.

We all know that Mugabe is intelligent and still very alert. So are his advisers in this matter, former Zipra (Zimbabwe People's Liberation Army, the armed wing of late Vice President, Dr. Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo's ZAPU - Zimbabwe African People's Union) Military Intelligence boss, Dumiso Dabengwa, former Zanla (Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army, the armed wing of Mugabe's ZANU - Zimbabwe African National Union) Supreme Commander, Solomon Mujuru, and former Zimbabwe National Army Commander, General Vitalis Zvinavashe.

Mugabe, these three men and others around them, know what happened in 1997 and subsequently. Consequently, they know what will happen to the economy if they incorporate war veterans into the army.

They, of course, do not care because the ultimate goal is the absolute protection the zealots among them (who are the majority) will ensure for Mugabe to stay in power.

These guys are masters in intimidating the nation and like bees around their Queen; they sting to death without remorse. For this reason, Mugabe will have no problem bankrupting the country to stay in Zimbabwe House a little more than we are ready to allow him.

One guy who might gain financially, if you ask me, is folk singer, Steve "Dhongi" Makoni, if he re-releases his 1990s hit song “Handiende” (I will not leave). Is Dhongi still around anyway?


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