ZIMBABWE AT CROSS ROADS, WHICH WAY FORWARD
....As Mugabe and his cohorts swim in the crocodile-infested Rubicon
Please note this is a continuation of my previous instalment Mnangagwa is down but is he out?Bear with me dear readers as this is a developing story.
LOOKING at the G40 constituency, it is now down to the Youth and Women’s league propping up the regime. That is not a properly grounded constituency because it is also rocked by the very same G40/Lacoste divisions that have permeated the party ranks.
The Youth League have issued today (14/11/2017) a Press Statement following the Army statement, and are accusing the Army of the disappearance of $15 billion.
It reminds me of those white ladies in the old days, walking down the street with their chihuahuas, and it sees you with a bulldog, and the chihuahua goes crazy mad pulling the lady’s leash wanting to go and attack the bulldog. Kudzanayi Chipanga should tread with caution because none of his predecessors as Zanu PF Secretaries for the Youth have been in his invidious position of having to make confrontations with the likes of a decorated War veteran such as Mnangagwa and the Army. They were dealing with the opposition, and lesser opponents even within Zanu PF. But in the space of one week, Chipanga has gone glory seeking and issued two press statements. Somebody needs to teach the boy how to play the game of chess, then he would know the dangers of being a pawn.
Isn’t it strange that it is Chipanga who today asks the Army to account for the $15billion, when the Commander in Chief, the President has never made those allegations against the Army? Not that they are not true. But if I were him, I would have divorced that from my statement. Unless of course, it was not his statement, and he was forced to read it, which of course wouldn't surprise me after all this is Zanu PF we are talking about and anything is possible.
Add to this the accusations now being made against Mnangagwa and you conclude that it is the standard practice in Zanu PF that it is Okay to be a thief. As long as you are in the party. The moment you leave, that’s only when we see the evidence.
There is a limit to which the so-called Youths in the party can be used as the Vanguard of the party they know nothing about Zanu PF as all of them were probably born after 1980.
With this terse statement by the Army, we could be at the tipping point.
What has this to do with Mnangagwa’s dismissal?
Tying up the loose ends and connecting the dots, one can see that the developments in the past week are all linked to the dismissal of Mnangagwa.
First, it is now on record that the Army general and the former V.P were very close. Mnangagwa chaired the weekly meetings of the Joint Operations Command (JOC), and his personal relationship with General Chiwenga is well known. That closeness did worry the G40, and the First lady even made some irresponsible comments about the Army wanting to kidnap her kids, and at another time she ranted on about a coup. We noted it was the Army that took over the evacuation of Mnangagwa when he was poisoned in Gwanda. The Army commander also came openly to defend the Command Agriculture headed by the former V.P and stated that those attacking it were enemies of the state. Everybody knows this was directed at Jonathan Moyo.
Second, it is also known that the Army warned the President against the dismissal of the former VP the night before the announcement. The reason was that this would have undesirable consequences. No such warnings were made by the Army against the President when Joice Mujuru left the Party in 2014.
Third, there are some interesting similarities in the statements made by the Army and the fired statements regarding the state of the Party, the role of the revolution, and that the party has been hijacked by people who want to destroy it from within. Both vow to stop that from happening.
Fourth, it is common cause that the Army does not see eye to eye with the G40, and they believe the G40 has hijacked the party, a view shared by the fired Vice President. The Army and the War Veterans seem to speak the same language when it comes to political issues. This is what both constitute Mnangagwa’s political capital
What has this to do with all of us?
There are people who have been commenting on social media, that all this is a Zanu PF affair and has nothing to do with us. Some have even gone on to celebrate Mnangagwa’s dismissal and revisiting his speeches on the unity of Zanu PF. I hold no brief for Mnangagwa and I know I run the risk of sounding like his promoter( which I am not), but I think as Zimbabweans we need to develop a more strategic political perspective and look at the bigger picture.
Much as we all hate Zanu PF, there are things about reality we cannot run away with. Some of them are the following:
Zanu PF is all we have had since independence as the ruling party. Love it or hate it, it is not possible to just wish it away.
Second, I am deeply convicted that the horrors of misrule we have endured for the past 37 years are very much a Mugabe thing than they are a Zanu PF thing. This sounds preposterous, but when you look at what Zanu PF itself and its founding values, they are quite noble and progressive. History has also shown how totalitarian structures such as Hitler Stalin, and Mussolini, created, crumbled the moment the Dictator himself left power. Most, in Zanu PF are now captured in a Mafia-type organization where you can check-in an time, but you can never leave.
Some of the faces are so miserably dejected at those rallies. They are abused, and the chief architect-
ct of that abuse has been Mugabe himself. Most of those who helped him abuse the system are turning against him, even if some do so only after falling off the gravy train.
I can bet my last penny that even within Zanu PF, they would never allow another Mugabe to manipulate and control them the way the old man has done.
What I am saying is that, on our own, we have failed to dislodge Mugabe from power, yet Mugabe is the creator and guarantor of our misery. Anybody who works to help Zimbabwe rid itself of this dictator will have done the nation a big favour. It’s the adage of an enemy of your enemy is your friend.
In this case, the unfolding events should be seen as the opportunity for the country to rally behind the progressive forces who are prepared to read the constitution correctly. After all, from the time the War Veterans fell off with Mugabe, they now speak the language of real democrats and support the election of people who are popular with the masses.
And lastly, we do not even have the luxury of choices. What are our alternatives as a people, to be free given the circus and comatose state of the opposition? There are those convinced that the elections can be won at the ballot box, and come 2018, a new democratic government will have dislodged Zanu PF. Nothing inspires me along those thought processes. Mugabe will rig, we all know that, and he will have no compunction being installed on patently rigged outcomes. He did that in 2008 when results were delayed by six weeks. The 2013 elections were also rigged, with numbers not adding up. I would prefer a situation that is a product of national consensus on the way forward than a stolen election with winners and losers, more so when we know the losers will be the people.
The likely scenarios:
Joining Forces with like-minded reformists:
I said at the beginning that events are developing very fast in Zimbabwe, and predicting the future is a hazardous enterprise. What I would hope to happen though, is that all the democratic voices from across the political divide join forces to confront the single most important problem in Zimbabwe, namely the dictatorship of Robert Mugabe, and the dismantling of his plans towards establishing a dynasty. Once this is identified as the major objective, the strategy for doing that can be worked out.
In this respect, real leaders and nationalists should stand up. I don’t see why Morgan Tsvangirai, as the undisputed leader of the opposition, should not reach out to Mnangagwa and Joice Mujuru, and the three of them find common ground and for once put Zimbabwe first.
The War Veterans would be instrumental in laying the bridge for such things to happen. They have been making the right noises since partying ways with Mugabe, and I salute them for standing up and apologizing for their role in propping up Mugabe over the years. In his speech to the press in South Africa following the release of the War Veterans statement, the Chairman of the War Veterans Chris Mutsvangwa seems to have launched on a charm offensive across the divide, appealing to the white constituency, the Zimbabwean diaspora, , the opposition, the churches, all to come together save the country’s democracy from “a senior old man with a mad wife”.
I believe it is time to be guided by common interests. The challenge is on agreeing what the common interest is.
Rebranding Zanu PF
As far as Zanu PF is concerned, much as there may be an emotional attachment to this name, No one in the nation of Zimbabwe will trust Zanu PF. That brand is so damaged that no amount of washing will cleanse it of the evils of the past. The party is associated with intolerance, murders, mismanagement, corruption, cronyism, hatred, divisions and divisiveness, greed, graft, manipulation, insensitivity and total lack of a conscience. It is time to rebrand. All good people from Zanu PF need to recognize that. I am of course assuming there are some.
The reformists in Zanu PF can take a leaf from Kenya. On the dawn of multi-party democracy, the reformists in Kenya realized that the Kenya African National Union (KANU) had become such a damaged brand, that they abandoned it. In the elections of 2002, the Party lost miserably to the National Rainbow Coalition, a coalition of mostly former KANU stalwarts but who had become reformists. This defeat ended 40 years of single-party rule by KANU, and 24 years rule by President Daniel Arap Moi. Today most of the people in the current ruling Jubilee Coalition were once in KANU. The original KANU still exists, but very much a shell of its former self.
Where do we go from here?
A lot will hinge on what happens at the December extraordinary congress. Obviously, the G40 plan is to go ahead and endorse Grace as the Vice President. At this point, the battle lines will be redrawn again. To reverse that at this late stage, is to deny Grace a foot in the door of the Presidency, the very motive behind all these moves.
A lot will depend on how the President reacts to the military statement.
But if the press statement by Chipanga is anything to go by, we are heading for a showdown.
And, By the way:
We might need to think in advance, appropriate award to give to First lady Grace Mugabe. I think she will go down in history as having achieved for Zimbabwe something we failed to achieve for ourselves for a long time. Any suggestions?
And this Boy Chipanga, can someone tell him to slow it down a bit. He has no shares in the Gushungo Holdings, and the Youth League he leads does not grant him a platform to talk to adults the age of his father the way he does. A good friend of mine always used to tell me that,
it is wise to fraternize with the incoming, and not the outgoing. It's advice that might be useful to him.
The opposition links are still down. They are offline. Just a reminder.a
And lastly, does anyone know the whereabouts of these witchdoctors that have cost us two Vice Presidents to date? The President said Joice Mujuru consulted Witch doctors to dethrone him, and now he also said Mnangagwa wants to dethrone him. If anyone knows them, tell them to tell the President to beware of Grace!!!!
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