President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF is at loggerheads with the Law of Diminishing Returns, an economic concept that asserts that after a certain point further investment (or effort) does not increase any expected return. In fact it can reduce it and this lesson seem not to be understood by this regime as they are sinking day and night.
Gross government mismanagement of the economy, internal party squabbles, disgruntled citizens, opposition political parties, external forces are all some of the odds against the current regime.
The economic crisis deepened dramatically in the year 2000 when Mugabe launched a chaotic and violent land reform programme of which many of the farms ended up in the hands of the Mugabe’s friends, family and allies. Agricultural production, which used to be the backbone of the economy, collapsed. Zimbabwe is no longer the Southern African breadbasket but is in the midst of an economic and social meltdown.
Taking tourism, as an example, is on the decline at present for obvious political reasons such as much politically motivated violence and human rights abuses – as this increased Zimbabwe’s reputation of being an unsafe destination as well as undemocratic society. Withdrawal of several airlines due to both disgust at human rights abuses and uneconomically feasibility become a contributory factor. Air Zimbabwe itself has been banned to fly over European airspace as it has been found to be unreliable and sometimes dangerous to do so. Some of the airlines which pulled out flying to Zimbabwe are Qantas, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Swiss Air and KLM plus British Airways.
ZANU-PF has overstayed in power (37+ years) and this brings about the theory of Law of Diminishing Returns and the concept of “overstaying”. In other words, do your best, but don’t overdo it. All what I am referring to is the government’s mismanagement etc. The regime has messed enough and should quit henceforth since they have enjoyed much of their theft. They are now within their diminishing returns in whatever efforts they add so as to gain political power beyond 2018 is going to decrease their anticipated rate of output. Right now they are having negative returns.
What sense does it make when we have Zimbabwe National Army mercilessly beating up Zimbabwe Republic Police for whatever reasons as this took place on the 1st August 2017 in Harare central business district on Tuesday? This is a clear sign of President Mugabe’s regime collapsing.
One element who is nailing ZANU-Pf in its death coffin is no other than the First Lady, Grace Mugabe as she goes on to warn her husband’s deputies, Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mpoko in public of the possibilities of risking losing their jobs if they did not perform to the expectations of the 93 year old Mugabe. Saviour Kasukuwere, Local Government Minister, was ridiculed over his “big belly” and she went on to humiliate Mugabe’s spokesperson, George Charamba also in public. As if this is not enough , Shuvai Mahofa, Masvingo’s Resident Minister was also shamed By Grace Mugabe for failing to acknowledge her as ZANU-PF slogans were being chanted. She expected Shuvai to sing praises for the First Lady and also was accused of failing to display party regalia during a visit last Thursday in Masvingo. At one time, Mrs Mugabe hinted that her husband, Robert Mugabe , should run “as a corpse” in the next year’s elections if he dies before the vote. Is this possible within ZANU-PF party and late alone Zimbabwe at large. If this is going to happen it’s just as good as having no representation for ZANU-PF.
From the look of it Grace is asking the President to name her as the successor.
Though Grace Mugabe’s intentions are to be the successor – her campaign towards this goal may stoke political violence and will face strong opposition within ZANU-PF party, especial from the military.
Robert Mugabe, at 93, is the presidential candidate for ZANU-PF for 2018 elections though he is increasingly growing frailly and may not be able to make it. As a result of his health situations the intensifying battle over succession comes when Zimbabwe faces deepening unrest over widespread unemployment, collapse of basic services and so on. However, “Team Lacosta”, camp favours Mnangagwa to take over as successor as this agreed upon under the Mgagoo Declaration of 1975 according to the spokesperson of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWA)-Douglas Mahiya.
One wonders when Mugabe accuses his military army of plotting a coup against him yet a lot have been done by the army to keep him where he is right now. If the army is behaving in a manner the President is really feeling – that Diminishing Returns coming his way. It’s because he has overstayed beyond his anticipated time so much that even the army is no longer in favour of him.
It is also interesting to note that, Jonathan Moyo, Minister of Higher Education tables allegations against VP Emmerson Mnangagwa mainly on who should succeed the 93 year old President Robert Mugabe when he leaves office. The vice president responds to the criticism showing that he knows a lot about the President for more than 40 years.
Mugabe has managed to remain in power for such long time because of a number of ways like refusing to allow open debate on succession- individuals named as likely replacements have been publicly humiliated, expelled from the party or the subject of negative attacks from within its ranks- the likes of Joice Mujuru, Mutasa, Mliswa, Rugare Gumbo etc. Mugabe has outlasted his opponents by being cunning and manipulative, skillfully playing members of his party off one another. South Africa’s silence on Zimbabwe’s illegitimate elections and rights violations helped him to stay in power for that long almost 4 decades. He also have a record of rigging elections and intimidating opponents.
Also to note is that ZANU-PF has successfully created a facade of support at rallies using a carrot and stick strategy. Young and unemployed people are coerced to attend under threat of violence, while others go willingly for a chance of getting a free meal. School children are forced to attend.
However, all this is coming to an end as the law of diminishing returns takes its course.
One thing ZANU-PF isn’t aware of is that they are falling down as people’s power will invariably win in the end. Ordinary people are able to rebel against powerful and brutal regime – anti – regime singing nationalist songs, handing out anti regime literature and participating in spontaneous demonstrations.
At the moment social media is making ZANU-PF a laughing stock in every respect now and again and in some cases unprintable sayings about the First Lady have gone viral. This brings down ZANU-PF. It won’t be long before we witness locally organised and armed rebellion and if these rebellions are maintained desired results will materialise. Social media is very effective in making more people join the struggle – students, the workers, unemployed and the overall involvement of the whole Zimbabwean society would make one formidable force to remove Mugabe and his corrupt ZANU-PF.
When everybody understands and decides that this is our fight too – even if people are killed it would be interpreted as being killed and dying for us and this makes everyone become personally concerned. The success of a rebellion depends on the crossing of a fear barrier by enough people, not simply the small group of dedicated dissidents. If a key element like the military removes its support, dictatorial regimes – no matter how stable and invulnerable it is can collapse as quickly as they can. Use of violence by the regime under challenge acts as further crucial trigger for escalation by protestors against the regime.
Is Mugabe not able to learn practical lessons from Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, former President of South Africa – the anti apartheid activist and leader of the African National Congress (ANC) who saved 27 years of his life sentence in prison. After five years of presidency, 1994 to 1999, he passed the relay baton for Thabo Mbeki with a fresh set of eyes.
Mugabe and his ZANU-PF have ruled Zimbabwe from 1980 and still wishes to continue but never bothers to question their productivity and the correlation with their longevity in power. Ironically Mugabe is married to power “till death do us part.”
In simple terms the Law of Diminishing Returns states that the more is less in politics. The more time Mugabe and ZANU-PF they spend in power (37 +), the less productive, less efficient and less liked you become. Each additional year held in power yields less and less additional output.
In Zimbabwe we witness opponents being arrested and free speeches eliminated. Extra-judicial killings become the order of the day. We have witnessed personal mansions being bought in foreign capitals and built at home. National infrastructure is delipidated like potholed roads and national debt balloons – giving allowances for dependence on foreign aid.
Corruption is now lifestyle of the ruling party and yet actual government services are never closer to the people in Zimbabwe.
However lessons could be picked from the top 10 evil dictators namely; Genghis Khan., Idi Amin, Shaka Zulu, Vlad the Impaler, Pol Pot, Kim II Sung, Saddam Hussein, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse-Tung
A very clear message to Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF is that their term of office is coming to an end whether they like it or not – come 2018.
The Law of “Diminishing Returns” is sinking Mugabe and his ZANU-PF regime
Author: Pythias Makonese
Source: The Zimbabwean