Where have Mugabe’s supporters gone?

By Luke Tamborinyoka

It had to happen while I was right in the place of my birth. The time was exactly 6pm and, as if of any significance, the day was Tuesday 21 November 2017, exactly 10 days after the 52nd anniversary of the unilateral declaration of independence by Ian Douglas Smith. I was at Chirodzero business centre in Domboshava, popularly known as paShowground when the country’s second uhuru was announced.

MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai with his spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka

The car radio suddenly blurted it out: President Mugabe had resigned!

The otherwise sleepy growth point in the area of my birth suddenly burst into life—-cars hooting, people shouting, touts whistling and vendors leaving their wares unattended.

I just went numb, silently savouring the eerie scene around me in journalistic wonderment.

A vendor selling cucumbers developed a sudden bout of generosity and started moving around, handing out the freshly fruits for free.

That is how the news was received at this rural growth point, a mere 32 km north east of the capital city.

Barely an hour earlier, I had accompanied President Morgan Tsvangirai to a rally at Africa Unity Square just outside parliament building in Harare. He had just been invited by the war veterans to address the burgeoning crowd itching for change, reflecting the national convergence that had inadvertently developed in the country on the eve of Mugabe’s departure.

The euphoria and wild scenes of celebration that rippled in all cities and rural growth points at the news of Mugabe’s resignation had a ring of irony attached.

Mugabe had finally achieved with his departure what he had failed to achieve in 37 years of incumbency; he had united a divided nation. If nation-building was the immediate task of a newly installed political leadership in Africa post-independence, then Mugabe ironically united the nation on the day he left office.

The kaleidoscopic sight of people of all political colours charging into streets and celebrating in unison was an unprecedented national marvel. It was an uplifting sight that gave life to the otherwise innocent print in the preamble to our Constitution: “We the people of Zimbabwe, united in our diversity…..”

For a nation torn by hatred, intolerance and exclusivity, the unity and togetherness that suddenly emerged in the country was a soothing sight.

However, this inclusive atmosphere had been building up in the last hours of Mugabe’s tenure, starting with the massive demonstration attended and addressed by both ruling party and opposition party leaders on Saturday, 18 November 2017.

For Mugabe, it ended where it all started—it ended at the Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield—-that ceremonial home of people power.

Never again, one hopes, should a leader and their family be allowed to capture the State, in the process fertilizing their profligate disposition. The former First Lady had carved out quite a reputation for herself—- buying plush homes around the world while the people were suffering.

The sons were known for their wild binges and it is no wonder that Bellarmine Chatunga, the President’s younger son, recently splurged US$60 000 in scarce foreign currency buying a trendy wrist watch at a time whole families in the country are surviving on less than US$1 a day.

Everyone is wishing for this country a fresh start, but the human inputs into the process are not encouraging. The character presumed to take over the running of the country, Emmerson Mnangagwa is not himself without any blemish. They are all tainted by history as they were all vital cogs of Mugabe’s violence, repression and incompetent leadership.

I do not wish to dampen the prevailing carnival atmosphere in the country but the reality check is somehow dispiriting. The incoming lot equally has a bloody past. Unless they take advantage of this political daybreak to break free from their dark past, there could really be no reason for celebration.

Mine could be a dim and unpopular view in a country blindly drunk with hope, yet this should be a moment for sober reflection on what awaits our beloved country at its watershed moment.

Suddenly—and surprisingly—everyone now appears to have been against Mugabe all these years as the man finds himself with very few sympathizers.

For a man who claimed to have won elections with millions of votes and whose rallies, including one held only twelve days ago, were always teeming with mammoth crowds, it is a puzzle how all those people have suddenly gone underground.

Where are all those people today?

It could be a chilling indictment that humanity is replete with hypocrites, who abandon friends in their dark hour of need.

If everyone appears to have been in the opposition all these years; where have Mugabe’s purported millions of followers disappeared to?

Why have all those chants of “Gushungo chete chete”suddenly turned into a high pitched national chorus of “Gushungo kwete kwete?” Where is this man’s much-vaunted following if the whole nation is now in celebration over his departure?

In one fell swoop, Mugabe’s mammoth following has suddenly ebbed into a shocking nothingness.
However, in the euphoria of the moment, let us not lose sight of what needs to be done.
We should poise this country for growth and prosperity and give every Zimbabwean a reason to hope again.

This is no time for experiments and our journey to normalcy legitimacy must start with a free, fair and credible election next year.

One hopes that Mnangagwa’s supporters—-with some prominent diplomatic missions among them—are not committing the cardinal error of mistaking brass for gold!

In the meantime, please help me find the supporters of the one centre of power, which early this week suddenly turned into the sole centre of implosion!

Luke Tamborinyoka is the presidential spokesperson and Director of Communications in the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai.

  • He only had idiots as supporters, never expect idiots to be loyal. They are just a bunch of opportunistic hypocrites.

    • Including the one about to be sworn in as president

    • The incoming president faces a huge challenge bcz if he tries to play it hard he will be voted out quickly. It’s only interim so he has to perform quickly. Time is not on his side

  • There are hidden in fear, if the environment is good they can resurface.

  • Most supported him out of fear

  • They are hiding into their back yard

  • Tamburenyoka is very intelligent even at Makumbi mission

  • Rented crowds.Thats is the problem with lack of genuine https://t.co/idhhEEWM00 thinks they are stron… https://t.co/NrWrq6d6UK

  • You could be killed even for commenting against Mugabe,

  • I’m still here and I still support and have respect for our former president. However I don’t dispute the fact that he over stayed. Now how about this for food for thought

    • A lot but close allies betrayed him and he’s as if he’s the only one heartless. Politics dirty game indeed

    • He was nt betrayed but it was just tym to rest and everyone found it necessary for peace to prevail had he wanted to be hotheaded he would have done that simply…bt l personally sallute the man for what he did nt for Zim alone bt Africa n the world at large

    • Mugabe didn’t do anything good for us. Can you please mention one

    • Hapana,what is his legacy (oppressing his own pple)

    • Jesus himself was betrayed by his own people and in his time of need, his own deciples declined knowing him at all! What more my leader?!?? He is just human like me and you and not everyone is suppose to like him, haasi mari!

  • I think that’s our weakness as zimbos. We just follow the wind.

  • Ngaende kumhata kwamai vake dako rake imbwasungata

  • Ngaende kumhata kwamai vake dako rake imbwasungata

  • Gen Peter Walls

    Hats of to Pastor Mugadza who said Mugabe will die on “OCtober 17.” The prophesy meant that Mugabe will lose the Life Presidency on the 17 October albeit a month letter thus the prediction came true!

    On Munangagwa he should stop his nauseating Pasi ne mhanduuuu slogan.
    Nobody in Zimbabwe wants that nonsense anymore its gone out of fashion.It reminds people of his Gukurahundi past.The country is traumatised after 37 years of tyranny and its time for our leaders to show humility.It was pathetic for Munangagwa to talk God whilst chanting murderous slogans.

    Munangagwa must now rebrand, crack down on corruption,nepotism and all those with 20 farms each.We deserted Mugabe because of corruption and hopefully people will get what belongs to them.
    People don’t eat slogans!

  • Its surprising that we can’t see even a trace of https://t.co/ZdvJQ5LafB wonders if ZANU PF has genui… https://t.co/adHQixtKlg

  • Its surprising that we can’t see even a trace of https://t.co/ZdvJQ5LafB wonders if ZANU PF has genui… https://t.co/adHQixtKlg

  • I understood u..pple were nt concerned abt mugabe only bt The Mugabe Sytem(TMS) i thnk tht system wl never disappear

  • Pasta Sauce

    Nonsense! You are guilty of the same crime through your “Save chete chete mantra.” Nearly 20years latter you are busy creating another Mugabe in your very own party! Fortunately, Zanu Pf will now reform and you will forever be in opposition.

  • They are opportunitists…jumped the ship when they realised it was sinking. Not a single principled person in Zanu. Very disgraceful.

  • Mugabe hana kana support kana 1. I once asked that same question. Kushayawo kana 1 akapinda mustreet achiti siyai Mdara wedu.
    Maimuvhara handi

    • People were desperate bra because he had outlived his usefulness while the country was down on its knees. As for his comrades in arms they saved their skin thats y they pushed for his removal

    • True. I agree with you bro.

  • Politriks

  • Sorry

  • Mugabe’s supporters are there and did not go anywhere as long as you removed Mugabe not Zanu pf they are satisfied…had you tried to remove Zanu pf yaaaa there mauona firimu manje Zanu pf iripanyanga saka keteee, everyone acknowledged that it was tym for him to rest hence even he himself found it necessary.

  • We are Zanu Pf supporters and not supporters of an individual like u guys? W3 still support Zanu pf but with ED as the new leader . You keep supporting Tsvangirayi and till MDCT goes into oblivion with him since its a personalised brand . Ndozvenyuwo

    • Says a baboon hiding in the UAE, why don’t you go to Zimbabwe and support zanu pf there

    • Ugly children on the profile picture, twakatodza iwe kushata

    • Hahaahahahah wamama

    • Opposition will never rule Zimbabwe…..forget , smile and kiss my ass

  • Realist

    Well written
    The big question is can the Former defence minister remove the BOND Note
    They say its Bondage note.
    Otherwise if he fails there is no reason to celebrate tthat we were ruled by G40 now its Lacoste in power.
    He said Jona was an American spy so meaning he can’t go to Trump and say give us them dollars please

  • The bottom line of the matter is that people were deep into politics of patronage, whereby the leader is personified as a demi god. This political practice was commonplace in Eastern bloc countries during the cold war era. Sometimes we complain but it is us the supporters who mould leaders into political demi gods. Mugabe was victim of circumstance. He was blindly supported and in the end abandobed by the very same people who moulded him into a pilitical demi god. Politics of patronage whereby the leader is blindly supported is not good in any political party and for the country.

  • its only that we are afraid of the army.we never abandon Mugabe.ministers and MPs are the ones who abandon Mugabe.if the army allowed Mugabe to contest next year elections as an independent candidate he was going to get a vibrant and resounding victory.Mugabe has colossal rural support, regional support, apostolic sects support. and massive grassroots appeal

  • Nt even support they just followed, if u wer to ask wht they gone thr for, vamwe wer soo ignorant hanzi tanzu tiinde, haaa ma1

  • Ndiyo democracy hamhemo

  • To be honest Robert Mugabe ceased to have a sound support base when MDC was born all the numbers you used to see during his rallies, ask Chipanga.

  • Bafuna ukudla .They moved on .

  • Tsvangira n mdc mararwa kutadza kuxiva zvamukuita. Now u was kumacha kugadzirisa zanu. Today vakugadza munhu kunge awina election u busy kutaura nonsens. We need fresh election. Bt makati kwavava kunyarara. Tichakuonai muchibatana nemhandu futi. Muchinganwa anaT Ndira vakaurayiwa nevwnhu ava. Hanurwadzi sei

  • Vaipa mari masabhuku nemayuth vochirova vanhu kana kuvashungurudza kuti vade kunokwira Bus remusangano kunoZadza Ground kuitira Mugabe ataure akaunganirwa neRuzhinji rwevanhu, kuMusika weMbare kwaivharwa kunotambira vaMugabe ku Airport kana kwafiwa futi koitwa futi saizvozvo. muZimbabwe kubatwa senhapwa kureva kuti imi vapenyu ndimi makarwa hondo hama dzevanhu hadzina kurwa Hondo


  • People are chameleons,week before all ZANU provinces overwhelming voted to expel ED ,suddenly tables turn same number expel Mugabe it amazes me.


  • Waiting for revenge on election day I guess

  • Be careful what you say, MDC mimics Zanupf, very soon Tsvangirai will be gone and you will be singing a different tune

  • kly

    Blown by the wind direction kkkkkkk

  • I wonder too. Suddenly none of them is around even Chinotimba now says he doesn’t like him. Haaaa makaoma

  • s

    me and mugabe agree that mnangagwa is an army project and illegal, and yet me and mnangagwa, is a case of ‘while the storm lasted two bad men were friends.’ mnangagwa is not my friend and will never be. I am not going to his swearing in.

  • They just changed the Mugabe printed regalia and came to be in our midst supporting Mnangagwa again.Political prostitutes!

  • Taura hako kkkkkkk

  • well analyzed, munhu waMwari

  • well analyzed, munhu waMwari

  • well analyzed, munhu waMwari

  • Tamborinyoka I think those were not Mugabe’s supporters But ZANU PF supporters. Just like in MDC- T supporters belong to the party and not an individual.

  • Zimboz are hypocrites by nature, believe it or not some MDC supporters have temporarily jumped ship also!!!

  • we do not follow but we where forced to follow that time

  • tinokuza inobaya isu, tichida the fastest transport

  • Haaa uyu Ruka must spruce up his image nhy

  • Hope yemukono Tsvangirai kushinga come on nxt election pa mdc ndizvo

  • Confused pipo

  • Some jus jump into the ship when it starts sail,mind those who were at the so called one million march not forgetting all those multitudes gathered at interfaces #they jus see that this ship is sinking so the option and their habit is to jump on that sailing one #where yu do deh

  • Vano memeswa ne army

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