Ubuntu or hypocrisy? – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary

President Mnangagwa is a smooth operator. How he was content to be Mugabe’s flunkey for 40 years is a puzzle. But whatever you think of him, he is galvanising things.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa,right, chats to Morgan Tsvangirai, the main opposition leader in Zimbabwe during a visit to his residence in Harare, Friday, Jan, 5, 2018. Mnangagwa said Tsvangirai was recovering well to treatment(AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

This is in sharp contrast to the torpor of the Mugabe years when Zimbabwe virtually closed down over the so-called festive season from mid-December to the end of January when dozy Bob was off in Singapore being injected with monkey glands or whatever muti he is on, allowing Zanu PF chefs to concentrate in peace on their looting of state assets. 

Mnangagwa’s visit on Friday to the home of ailing MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai came as a big surprise. It was impossible to imagine Mugabe doing the same without kicking the door in first. Optimists spoke in reverent terms of Ubuntu / Unhu suggesting forgiveness, togetherness, traditional virtues. Others muttered hypocrisy . . .

After two decades of demented destruction it will certainly be no easy thing to turn around Zanu PF’s totalitarian trajectory. It’s all very well prosecuting the looters of ousted G40 but what of the shady dealings of the Lacoste locusts?

Tsvangirai’s deputy Nelson Chamisa was on hand to welcome Mnangagwa when he visited Tsvangirai, gushing: ‘it’s African to care for one another and it’s very Zimbabwean. This is the new politics we want to see in Zimbabwe . . . We want to see a peaceful election’. 

Accompanied by his new Vice-President General Chiwenga, leader of the military coup which overthrew Mugabe, Mnangagwa can pretty well guarantee a ‘peaceful’ election – especially with a population high on hope that the crazy days are over. But will the elections be ‘free and fair’ when Mnangagwa’s new Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi says there is no need for any electoral reforms? 

We were glad to have a cheerful group with us at a cold and dark first Vigil of the new year. It was decided that, prompted by health problems of some organisers, we would end an hour earlier (5 pm) during the winter months.

Thanks to those who came early to help set up by putting up the banners and posters and stayed till the end of the Vigil to help pack up: Daizy Fabian, Isabell Gwatidzo, Josephine Jombe, Christopher Kamuzonde, Alice Majola, Theodora Mandishaya. Rosemary Maponga, Eunice Mapunde, Agnes Mukumba, Esther Munyira, Faith Ndhlovu, Soneni Sibanda and Ephraim Tapa.

Thanks also to Rosemary, Josephine and Racqueline Changunda for looking after the front table.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. The facebook page for our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) (https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835) has been hijacked by destructive elements from a group calling itself ZHRO. Please be advised that any postings on this page are not posted by ROHR.

FOR THE RECORD: 22 signed the register.