From 11 March this year, when we were tortured, the situation in Zimbabwe has steadily deteriorated. But the day Mugabe dies you will see a different Zimbabwe emerge almost immediately. Let me tell you why.
With torture, they have broken our bones, but later we were told that it was a mistake that we were beaten up. It was a faction within Mugabe’s ruling party that was responsible. What comfort is that, when we are all broken?
In removing Mugabe you remove the illusion that somebody is in control. That is a point I have not seen reflected in the media. Mugabe is not in control. It is wrong to think Robert Mugabe is standing in the way. He is a sick old man. You’ve got a military power that has built itself around a sick old man. That’s what we have in our way. Once Mugabe goes those power structures will crumble.
From the day Mugabe shuts his eyes dead, hopefully peacefully in his sleep, we know exactly what we are going to do. The opposition, civil society, and other citizens who are working outside the country are well organised.
The intervention Zimbabwe needs now doesn’t need to be military in nature. It’s in the form of food, of teaching people proper medication, of bringing back education, and tackling the HIV problem. We need to do this first before we can rebuild Zimbabwe.
There are three factors that people outside Zimbabwe are not taking into account.
- People are leaving the country in huge numbers. These are the able-bodied, the educated, the artisans, anybody, basically, who has a skill or can work.
- HIV now infects one fifth of our population. The people who are left behind to look after one another are not in any condition to do so. The problem can only worsen under those circumstances.
- Until the world wakes up to the fact that this is country where there is no food, no education, and health care, then we are going to continue to say the situation is worsening.
Reports that there has been a significant worsening in the past few weeks are true. It stems from bad governance, and the total breakdown of the rule of law. While that gets worse, of course, these other situations get worse as well.
We are now being told inflation has reached 10,000%, and the government has ordered businesses to lower their prices. To not do so is to risk jail. The order came because there is no money in the country. My household in Harare is an example.
When we left to be flown to South Africa on 22 March, inflation was at 3,500%. Yesterday, my sister who lives with our family, told me she can’t find Vaseline. Vaseline is a basic ointment used by everyone to rub on our dry skin, especially our children. It’s not available on the shelves. There is nothing on the shelves. When we send them money to buy these gods, they say to us, “Don’t send us the money, send us the commodities.” But the problem with sending the commodities is that customs takes them and uses them themselves.