Definitions of a failed state usually include a rudderless country where their is little to no central government control of happenings, an economy in shambles and an assortment of other negative persuasions all highlighting chaos.
A failed country is overstayed cake with cream dumplings, a mish-mash of the sweet and the sour. Its violent sex, bloody thrashings culminating in electric orgasms.
Zimbabwe is not a failed state and according to the President, Robert Mugabe, its economy isn’t even fragile whilst developmentally it is second only to South Africa. No don’t laugh, that’s what he said at the World Economic Forum held recently.
Zimbabwe is however something else, an animal of an indeterminate nature. Of course the World Bank may not categorise it together with Somalia under failed states and President Mugabe can deny (with a straight face when awake) that it is not a fragile economy but events on the ground state that the 37 year old country is dithering on the verge of being a madman’s country. They are various reasons for this conclusion.
1)Soldiers Fighting/Beating Police
The first time it happened we thought it was fun and karma. After all the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has become some mercenary Blackwater corporation fleecing the citizenry of money for a medley of vague reasons. So when news broke out that Gunners were going around town beating the living daylights out of every policeman we laughed our throats dry. The sons of you-know-what had gotten their mea-culpa. We all agreed that let them be beaten for every phony charge levelled against drivers everyday.
A broken tooth for every charge of broken bumper. A bleeding nose for every extortioned dollar. A sore booted bottom for every fake roadblock.
But when it happened for the second time we realised something is wrong. Critically wrong.
How can a healthy state have its security forces carrying out fist fights,running around the CBD bashing each other over familial matters we last experienced in the rural areas ( you remember the time when boys from another village grouped and went out to beat others from a neighbouring village over a girl?) Primitive mentality by both the police and soldiers.
On a national scale that showed Zimbabwe has gone a notch higher than failed estate. For the sake of comprehension just try to picture a newspaper headline stating that South African or Belgian Police were Fighting in the Pretoria or Antwerp CBD. Madness.
2)Police Beating Journalists
The picture of a plain clothes policeman strenuously grimacing to break Obey Manayiti’s neck right in the middle of a poverty stricken Harare CBD afternoon is as startling as it is sad and a painful shove down the throat of sight.
Its the ultimate picture of primitive cannibalism clothed in jeans and a t shirt, straining to restrain the development of a country using the only weapons at its disposal, violence and stupidity.
Manayiti a reporter with Newsday together with photographer Shepherd Tozvireva, Abigail Matsikidze and Raphael Phiri were beaten for allegedly taking photos, as if its a crime. As compensation for the bloody eyes they were then arrested again.
The incident and subsequent miscarriage of justice echoes the same pattern that saw Al Jazeera photographer Jemwa being beaten at ZANU PF headquarters in 2016 for carrying out his duties and the police coming and arresting him again instead of the hooligans who had beaten him.
Its another sign of a country gone to the dogs.
3)A Ranting First Lady Called Dr
The title of Dr, as a signpost of knowledge and education, has lost significance in Zimbabwe because every Tom Dick and Harry is called Dr today. Worse off many of those with such benedictions of wisdom seldom display the alleged mental acumenship. A ten minute session of listening to Dr Amai speaking at a rally will corroborate the gutter state of the title of Dr.
The First Lady has her own style and habit of addressing rallies whilst speaking straight from the head. Whilst that will present no mortal danger, since the bused-in-crowds are programmed to clap and shout at every breather whilst being baked-brain-dead in the sun by hunger and fear, they are some who listen from afar.
Most often than not,from afar Dr Amai is one whirlwind of an intellectual, constantly jumping all over the scene in speeches whose theme can’t be fixed. The only constant in her many variables is that as long as she is holding the mike she will be talking.
She rails against one side, leaps into praise of something and by the way where is Cde Whatever, he is not here? She goes into a lecture about party despots avoiding her rally ;sprints across into teachings about family matters, collides against the need to call for order among the restive crowd then jumps onto the issues of George and his elongated ambitions.
By the time she ends we all have something and nothing of use.
The very conspiracy theory that she may end up as the President should be a nightmare for every well meaning Zimbabwean across the political divide. We are low but let’s not go down that low. For a fact I know, without claiming to be a prophet, that many in ZANU are just grimacing and bearing her awkward doings out of a medley of fear and respect for the dear old chap snoring behind her friezled dress.
4)Youth Interface Rallies Headlined by A Nanogenarian
The concept of a community meeting where ideas are shared is one of the few remaining faces of our African past before modernity secluded each from the other and wired us together through technology. Rallies are a form of community meeting,dare.
ZANU PF loves rallies because like any old party with hedonistic tactics it always draws bigger crowds. However to hold a youth themed rally and have,as it’s headline act, a man who has seen better days and is displaying the picture perfect type of power hunger that has stifled the same youths out of positions of influence is ironic.
We know the youths have been earmarked by all political parties as the largest part of the electorate to woo over in the 2018 election but ZANU could have done it differently and plastered the Interface with a galaxy of its own younger members. Has the party become so enamoured with Dear B.O.B that it can’t trust the other guys to talk among themselves.
Its a simple anachronism that a 93 year old is set to hold rallies addressing the youth telling them how bright the future is.
5) More Bond Notes Coming
Can you imagine, another wave of the dear greenish bond paper is washing over us soon?
They were fears of some apocalyptic happenings when it was announced that some bond notes were coming into circulation. Some said prices would do all sorts of gymnastics. Spin,jump, dive and every other dexterous act. When that didn’t happen the government went around with the glow of a climaxed woman smiling at everyone and everything. Feeling glad and joyful about itself.
However the apocalypse has been a slow simmer, coming up slowly without the thunder and lightning. US notes had slowly disappeared, cash is no longer available and to get it you pay 20%. As an illustration to get $300 from your Ecocash account you give the person $60, so instead of $300 you get $240.
Bank queues have remained present and industry production of exportable goods, the one saviour we need, has remained paltry.
And Dr Mangudya comes out with the news of a new $300million Afreximbank facility for bond notes. You gotta love it lest you die of stress.