Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

The crocodile is dead

By Tinomudaishe Chinyoka

I am reminded of this tale. Once, there were these villagers who have been terrorised by a crocodile. So insidious, so powerful was this crocodile that there was no respite in the land. Things got worse when, after one flood, it acquired a mate. The mate was even worse, and their brood equally so.

Former University of Zimbabwe (UZ) student leader turned lawyer Tinomudaishe Chinyoka
Former University of Zimbabwe (UZ) student leader and lawyer Tinomudaishe Chinyoka

Every conversation in the village became about defeating this crocodile. Many tried, and failed. Many more perished. Still, everyone wanted to be the one that slayed the crocodile. It was said to be the most important pursuit, slaying the crocodile. Everything else about developing the village would come after the crocodile was taken care of, they agreed.

But one day, another crocodile emerged from the river. He inspired person, animal and bird in the village to converge and make common cause. It was he and his friends who finally defeated the evil crocodile and its family, with the support of the entire village.

But alas, that did not bring peace and harmony to the land. Soon, different narratives began to emerge. The crocodile was not really dead. The whole thing was a ploy by the killer crocodile to perpetuate the hegemony of the crocodiles.  And so on and so forth.

After 37 years of hurt, when the majority of our population has known no other leader than Robert Mugabe, it is excusable that his departure might seem so surreal as to even  be unbelievable.

However, some of our reactions have been downright unfortunate. When you hear people say, Mnangagwa is even worse than Mugabe, you have to cry for the Beloved country. I mean, honestly?

Are we, as a people, so damaged that we will seriously want to suggest that Mnangagwa, and not Mugabe, was responsible for Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina, 2008 and every atrocity, murder, disappearance and rape in between? How does a Minister for the CIO bear more blame for the actions of 5th Brigade and not (a) their operational commander, (b) the then Commander of the Defence Forces, (c) the then Minister of Defence, (d) the then Prime Minister and (e) the then President and Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces?

A cabinet was announced, and there was an outcry.  Dokora needed to go, we said, and he went. The Ministers were too many, and they were reduced to comply with the Constitution. And yet, we are told that Mnangagwa is worse than Mugabe? Really? When last did Mugabe listen to us, the people? Does anyone seriously think that if we had complained at Mugabe’s cabinet he would have cared? Did he ever?

The cabinet has too many military men, we are told. So what? Are military men and women not Zimbabweans? And is Zimbabwe the first country to have military men in cabinet? More than half the Presidents of the United States have had military service backgrounds. Closer to home, we have fewer military people in cabinet than South Africa, Botswana and Lesotho, the last two of  which have comparatively smaller populations than Zimbabwe.

What matters should not be a person’s military history, but that when they are put in cabinet, they leave their uniform and military heart in the barracks and serve as a civilian in a civilian government. What matters is that they be qualified. Gen Chiwenga has a PhD, earned, not honorary. Brig. Gen Moyo has a PhD, earned, not honorary.  In my view, it is a pity that only one of them, and not both, could be put in cabinet.

The new President gives a rousing speech about his plans for the country. Jobs, jobs, jobs, he says. Reviving the economy, he says. Employing measures to revive our economy, he says. Ending corruption, he says. All good things. Do we applaud him? Nooo.

Instead, we take issue because ‘he stole our ideas’! I mean, honestly? Zimbabwe needs all its citizens. We know what needs to be done. Clearly, so does the new President, because he is doing exactly what we think should be done. But, if we are going claim Intellectual Property rights on good ideas, are we saying we want him to fail? Do we not realise that if he fails, Zimbabwe fails?

Some villagers are not happy that the crocodile is dead. Instead, they want to argue that the crocodile is still alive. In fact, some even want to revive the crocodile. To what end? So that they might kill it themselves. Because to them, it was never about what village we create after the terrible crocodile was gone: everything was about being the one to kill the crocodile. Now that someone has gone and killed the crocodile, we want to deny its death because then our reason for being evaporates.

Mugabe is gone. We wanted that. Let us move away from wanting to be the one that got to remove him so bad that we fail to see the bigger picture: building the Zimbabwe we deserve.

President Mnangagwa has started that process. His efforts will only succeed with the goodwill and support of all Zimbabweans. Let us not fixate on creating pinatas that we might then slay and get our own renown. There is plenty of work to be done already, without going back to revive a dead crocodile just so that we get to be the one that killed it.

We need to stop creating phantom problems and get to work building this country. Talk of “Mugabe is gone but Mugabeism is alive” is just stuff and nonsense. Read Minister Chinamasa’s excellent budget statement and show me where you find this Mugabeism thing amidst all the cost saving measures and corruption busting initiatives and business/investment friendly proposals.

Vanhu, kwanai. Mugabe is gone. You might not support President Mnangagwa, but if you truly love Zimbabwe, you must be supportive of the pro-Zimbabwe things that he is doing. Criticise him for what he does as President, if he doesn’t listen but, so far, hasn’t he shown that he listens? He has refused to waste money on foreign trips going to inauguration ceremonies, the last one went to an Oceans conference. Rehoboam got advice which he ignored, to tragic concequences: our new President so far appears to be hearing us. Applaud that. And keep it objective.

The new President might not be the one some amongst us wanted, but the better Zimbabwe he is building is the one we all dreamed of. And as long as he is doing that, he deserves our collective support. He has already shown that he listens. We must show him that the messages we send him are objective and fair, not self serving and partisan. Otherwise, we risk messing up a good thing, just so that we remove Mugabe.

Because, hate to tell you this but it is true: Mugabe is gone.

Tinomudaishe Chinyoka

Optimistic Zimbabwe, going home.

  • Go and kill it cooooom and u see

  • Nonsense

  • Lies

  • True,the guy is rebuilding Zimbabwe but the blind will never see the rising sun

  • The Pig Man

    Well said Sir. Sometimes I feel as Zimbabweans we have become so analytical to a fault. If we could all support the initiatives of the new administration and see where it will lead us. Elections are not too far from now. We will choose the way we want to go based on the next 7-8 months.

    • ZimMatata

      It is very naïve to expect a free and fair election by ED’s government. ED and Chiwenga were the chief strategist of election rigging for Robert Mugabe. Now they will be doing it for themselves. Wake up!!!!

      • Sipho

        It is equally naive not to expect a free and fair election under Mnangagwa, who said he cannot win the hearts of the people? wake up, the crocodile is dead.

  • Wats yo problm u Nehanda guys

  • Tasara Tuturu

    ED crafted his UGLY image during the1980s as a notorious no nonsense thuggish fellow who threatened insulted villagers. Which part of Zim were u then?Chana chatete or not. it’s his fault, You can spin his character all you want he is what he is. Lots of Zimbaz have a very deem view of this UNELECTED president

  • Robert Myles-Greening

    Well articulated. The focus should be on building the nation going forward. However, it is the opposition’s job to criticise and hold the government to account. That makes for a healthy democracy and inculcates in the population the tolerance of divergent views without resorting to violence. I am all for giving the new president a chance and believe in his programmes for now. It is up to the opposition to come up with constructive criticism, for their lifeblood. That should not deter ED but spur him on to push forward in reforming Zimbabwe. If he continues in that vein, many citizens will rationalise that, for the sake of progress, letting bygones be bygones is the only way forward and that with progress non-economically damaging reparations can be made for those severely wronged by the state in the past. It may not be a surprise at all if he wins a free and fair election, something which the former president, bankrupt of all ideas as he had become, would never have been able to do, having failed to do so since the 2000 constitutional referendum. All this time Mugabe served as an UNELECTED president. Lot’s of chicanery kept him in office. Murders, coups, ballot stuffing, violence, electronic results manipulation etc were all employed to save the old man blushes of the 2000 and 2008 defeats.

  • sarah Mahoka

    Hear hear hear. . You are spot on Chinyoka

  • Fokoro

  • Well-put bro Tinomudaishe Chinyoka

  • Chamunorwa Mataranyika

    Well said Mr Chinyoka. Let us give Mr Munangagwa the much needed support as he democratize the system for the good of all Zimbabweans. If we want to see a new Zimbabwe, the voter registration system must be democratized now to lure the masses to register so that they can exercise their democratic rights in 2018 elections.

  • @ Tinomudaishe please be reminded that the so called new govt is in a campaigning mode so expect a lot of goodies and promises,promises,promises

  • Gamatox

    Spot On!!

  • Nehanda fought and advocate for Zimbabwean independence.but you are busy destroying her wish.Why use that precious name for destruction

  • Hats off to you Tinomudaishe

  • You are incoherently loquacious or to balance it, your line of thinking has no virtue of acceptable logic

  • You are incoherently loquacious or to balance it, your line of thinking has no virtue of acceptable logic

  • sharpshooting! wabata vazhinji machristmas bells apa.

  • So true, and smart narration too.

  • Lunacy kind of criticism. Well this is expected from a gayfron.

  • Tina

    The best opinion ever which is triue and honest?

  • A proffessional lawer a mental ativist aaah

  • Lady Gaga

    Very powerful piece and well said!

  • Everfaithful

    Some of us can rate ED only and only if he allows electoral reforms that lead to a free and fair election,depoliticisation of the securocrats ,repealing POSA ,AIPPA,Criminal and codification act ,free and fair access of state media to all political players in the political jungle.As for me that’s where every things balances on.No amount of bootlicking can convince some of us!We have been in this for far too long and still carry that ‘ too good to be true’ nostalgia.Handei tiwone …….

  • Tracey

    Zvinozipa izvi. Nhawe Chinyoka imbonyora imwe ndizipigwe zvangu

  • Doddy

    True! I have said before, let’s give him a chance and see. Some issues people complain about are neither here nor there. For example in Botswana, former soldiers in cabinet have been the best in service delivery that the so called civilian ministers.

  • Chikiti

    Mugabe didn’t listen to anyone, it had to take the great rebellion and a motion of impeachment against him to finally get him to come to his senses

  • GN

    Objective peace of work Tino, I think sometimes we have tended to be so critical even where its not needed. Every progressive Zimbabwean should support and participate in the implementation of positive initiatives ED is putting across. Remember we are about ideas, what will work and not about people and for now I applaud the direction the administration is taking. Sad thing is that some among us will behave as is they live( are paid for ) on criticising and they go at lengths to look for small dots in a sea of positives.