President Robert Mugabe has been pictured with increasing regularity clutching a small, shiny black bag.
Arriving for the 2012 Budget Statement last Thursday the 87 year old Zanu PF leader stepped out of his armoured Mercedes limousine and handed the bag over to one of his bodyguards.
Intense speculation has surrounded what is inside the bag. Given his ailing health and well publicised battle with prostate cancer it’s speculated that he either keeps his medicine inside it or uses it to keep his mobile phones.
But in a country known for strong beliefs in the power of traditional medicine and witchcraft it would be hard not to be believe the bag contains his ‘juju’. Zanu PF politicians regularly consult n’anga’s (witchdoctors) to help their political careers.
Four years ago ‘diesel n’anga’ Rotina Mavhunga a.k.a Nomatter Tagarira fooled Mugabe’s entire cabinet into believing she could conjure pure diesel from rocks in Chinhoyi.
Mugabe convinced this could be the answer to the country’s fuel shortages deployed a high powered government delegation packed with people like State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa, Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi, Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, Mashonaland West governor Nelson Samkange and deputy police chief Godwin Matanga.
Mugabe’s regime fell for her con and met her demands for 2 head of cattle, 3 buffaloes and Z$5 billion. Her con was eventually realised and she went into hiding. After three years on the run Mavhunga was eventually arrested and jailed by a Chinhoyi provincial magistrate.
During her trial Mavhunga stunned the court when she claimed the then State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa had withdrawn a farm gift to her after she refused to assist him ascend to the presidency in 2007.
Commenting on why it had taken time to arrest her, political commentator John Makumbe last year said ‘They were scared. I even think they knew where she was hiding but I think they didn’t know whether if they tried to arrest her, whether she wouldn’t turn them into lizards or something like that.’
Makumbe said the story showed the true character of Zanu PF politicians.
‘They actually believe they are in power because their ancestors are keeping them there. They actually believe they deserve to be there because they have powerful totems and they believe their powerful totems will get them to be President and Vice President one day.”
‘And you see this goes against the grain of a modern state which requires scientific management, which requires reasoning and in fact it requires that you know what you are doing and not a powerful totem or a Gushungo, or something like that or some monkey which is keeping you in a Presidential or Ministerial position, it’s a lot of rubbish.’ Nehanda Radio.com