You sit down at your computer, a cup of coffee nearby and you are scrolling through the news. Here is what you know so far: President Robert Mugabe fired Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa early November; late at night on the 14th of November the military announced a takeover in what they said was not a coup but looks like a coup (well to you at least). Next, on the 18th of November, millions of Zimbabweans all over the world gathered and took to the streets to proclaim that Mugabe must go; and on the 19th of November Mugabe addressed the nation (and the world) with what was supposed to be a resignation but turned out to not be one. Now there is confusion all around. You are an analyst, surely you should be able to come up with an explanation and a potential projection of all this?
Some want to say they saw it coming, they knew ZANU would self-implode. Some want to say they knew that at some point the people of Zimbabwe would come together and say that they have had enough. Others would like to continuously remind Zimbabweans that this is not a time to celebrate, that they are speaking too soon, that the change is not really a change if anything it is a moment of short-lived euphoria. Back to you, the analyst, you are still confused. Zimbabwe is back in the spotlight and no one can seem to make sense of it for you. You simply have WhatsApp messages and hilarious tweets to go off of, but you still can’t answer the one question every so-called expert and analyst has on their mind: What is going on in Zimbabwe and where is it all going?
Allow me to help you out – perhaps, now is not the time for analysis filled with projections and ‘we told you so’ or ‘here is how it will go’. What happened is all we know, what happened is all everyone knows. What we have is the events of the past few weeks, what we have is what many Zimbabweans, including myself, are feeling. The past few weeks, I have been oscillating between hope and despair, between the possibility of seeing a new president, and the knowledge that this may not happen overnight. Zimbabwe has proven to be a country that constantly denies and defies scripted analysis, from the hyperinflation in 2008, to the bond note of 2016.
What we have here is a moment that no analysis will do justice, what we have here is a moment of hope. A moment that can only be explained in hindsight. As a Zimbabwean living away from home, I fear that if we are too quick to make projections and conclusions without adequate information, we may downplay the importance of the moment. I may have left you feeling hopeless, but worry not. We are nowhere near being done. As I write this today, a cabinet meeting has been called and plans to table a motion to impeach have been announced. So, put down your analysis piece of future projections, for now, and watch history in the making. Soon, you will write about the aftermath and the ebbs and flows of Zimbabweans’ hopes in such a short period of time.