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09.02.2009 Feature Article

Mugabe's ZANUpf Turns liberal?

The adage that politics has no lasting friendship has turned full circle in modern-day Zimbabwe, but whether or not such friendship transcends allegiance to or is passing acknowledgement of faith in ideological dogma is debate for another day.

For now, one can claim, without fear of intellectual recrimination from Harvard Geeks that Mugabe, in the face of sustainable political adversity, has been compelled to discard Marxist-Leninist dogma. This is a result of the contest between on one side, forces of reality, pragmatism, commonsense and on the other, survival.

This turn around is not unusual. It has its roots in the novel, 'Atlas Shrugged', the globally acclaimed work of Russian intellectual, Ayn Rand, who fled totalitarian Soviet Russia to America. In the novel, Rand explains how humbled politicians became, after supervising economic plunder through populist welfare policies. They had to yield to reality-based solutions after consulting with an economic actor who stood against their odious polices.

We can confidently predict what Rand would have said about Mugabe if she were alive. 'Mugabe has reversed the nagging principalities of his inner conscience from being the trajectory of fatalism to being the bedrock of objectivism, not because he has a choice, but as a spontaneous response to the prospect of losing control of his political destiny'. In other words, by the lightning stroke of a proverbial political pen, Mugabe has succumbed to the dictates of demand and supply.

In the meantime, Tsvangirayi's inevitable populist social democratic pronouncements will make Mugabe's transfiguration less arduous. On one hand, ZANUpf pall bearers Patrick Chinamasa and Gideon Gono are only aware that the competition for political attention in the new Government of National Unity [GNU] will be fierce, so they are at pains to project a polished profile on the fiscal and monetary podium. On the other, Tsvangirayi's chief social theory protagonists Tendai Biti and Tapiwa Mashakada will be out to prove that the free market economy is the devil incarnate, responsible for the current economic global catastrophe.

The socialist twins will rub their intellectual hands with glee and point to Barack Obama's repugnant state-sponsored stimulus package as testimony to the timeless doctrine of positive government patronage, now showing at the backstage of the biggest capitalist economy in the world. American and global capitalism, they will sing, has failed humanity. In the process, MDC will assume an unprecedented high moral ground in defence of everything that is on the opposite extreme of capitalism, private enterprise and profit seeking. They will argue that ZANUpf and its anointed cronies destroyed the country through institutionalised greed oiled by the pursuit of individual wealth and gross exploitation of the worker by a heartless few. In more ways than one, MDC will want to prove that Zimbabwean workers have been relegated to the realm of the poorest of the poor by a system that was quick to subjugate human emotion to the whims of commerce and industry.

I can hear Morgan Tsvangirayi's opening statement in his maiden speech as Prime Minister. 'Today, we stand on the verge of vanquishing the principalities that have subverted the interests of the Worker for too long, in pursuit of self-enrichment and obscene wealth in the name of private enterprise. I as your Prime Minister, with the power that has been vested in me in lieu of

the toiling masses of our beloved but beleaguered country, I am at the forefront in the battle against unjust corporatist profiteering'.

But at least for now Chinamasa, in his capacity as acting minister for finance and Gideon Gono, the blundering self-contradicting, perennial underachiever central bank governor, have now approached the alter of liberal ideology for remission, the only ideology that can turn the fortunes of Zimbabwe around. It is their only chance for national atonement.

Rejoice Ngwenya is director of Coalition for Liberal Market Solutions in Harare and an afficilate of www.AfricanLiberty.org

Rejoice Ngwenya, AfricanLiberty.org
Rejoice Ngwenya, AfricanLiberty.org, © 2009

This author has authored 43 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: RejoiceNgwenyaAfricanLibertyorg

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