Of Visas, Censorship, Corruption and the Growing tent
Opinion by Shingi Chimwaza
Politics in Zimbabwe has never been much fun or should I say crazy than it is now in postcolonial Zimbabwe, at least watching from the sidelines.
The drama unfolding on the country’s multi-fractured political stage has by far exceeded the expected robustness of the same in the count down to 2018, where by any means a new president is expected to take the reigns, when the law of nature or be it Herbert Spencer’s ‘survival of the fittest’ (strongly suggesting natural selection) is expected to be followed.
The underlying principle, in the mega drama, is the much ‘popular’ strategy of expose’, from, the fat cats in the parastatals, to the investors who bring nothing to the economy but granted ‘freedom of the city’ over the country’s resources, be it the vast tracts of land, mineral resources, or a monopoly on the mandatory gasoline/ethanol mixture.
The drama gets real crazy, when a politician who until recently was considered a lightweight in the revolutionary party provides more information than the media had bargained for, like about the crocodile’s “mafia” style dealings in the DRC. Adding to the humor, Mliswa declares, “he does not come cheap” he especially if he shows someone a door and let alone open it for him or her!
If we have at least ten leaders like that in the country which I am sure we definitely do, it is good to the public in terms of access to information, but bad to the fiscus because their going rates for directing investors to Seventh Street are too high and forbidding!
Then the former reserve bank governor cries foul at alleged targeted censorship by the state media! I am no fan of the Herald or the ZBC, but to be fair why should these two state media houses report about someone who is supposedly in retirement when it is clearly more newsworthy to report on the new appointment at the RBZ.
The new man in charge at the RBZ however, needs to take a cue from the likes of Kombo Moyana, and Leornad Tsumba who refrained from partisan publicity in their role as governor of the RBZ.
In this particular Gono case, a whole president was not to be expected to get overexcited about ‘zvikanganwa hama’ (gizzards) and try to force the population he has since ‘forgotten’ about as a result, to read about Gono’s chickens in the Herald and not about the theft allegations against him or more importantly about the Tokwe-Mukosi dam issue.
And the drama continues to unfold. As much as I was disappointed about our failure as a country to attend the EU-AU Summit, and reap the expected benefits, the president was exposed to be an old man who cannot do anything anymore without his wife’s aid!
That is a fundamental truth, and it is vindication to those who have always claimed that the president, by virtue of his advanced age is now a puppet of the military powers that be on the one side, and on the other end has to dance to the tune of a much younger wife wanting to make the most out of ‘fast running out’ time!
Meanwhile the African Union then pulls a ‘fast one ‘ on the 90-year old leader, giving him false hope of boycotting the summit as an entire body in solidarity, only for all the invited to appear in Brussels, ready for business and represent their people. On the other hand Mugabe, Grace and the Zimbabwean population have lost, albeit differently.
It gets even crazier when the deputy minister of foreign affairs, Mutsvangwa then comes out firing at his boss Mumbengegwi, blaming him for the visa embarrassment. We then get an insight on Bimha’s role in the Muzorewa regime in the process, and right now I am trying to see where this unexpected outburst can be placed in relation to the bigger picture, succession fight!
Across the political divide, the pendulum seems to have parked in Tsvangira’s corner much to the admission of the ‘leadership renewal’ crusaders. Eddie Cross has even said Tsvangirai is the boss! It is a realization by a renowned economist that the power of a fish is in water just like Tsvangirai swims with such energy in the grassroots waters.
Then we hear of Mangoma addressing fifty people in Masvingo, allegedly touts from some bus terminus, and he asks of a way forward, “Tofoma party here macomrades?”(Should we form a party comrades?). It is this kind of comedy that has made statements like “Laugh out loud”, or simply Lol, famous on social media!
Welshmen Ncube is also by far conspicuous by his silence even with the big exodus of leaders from his party to the bigger tent as the countdown towards 2018 has begun. I guess the good professor has since given up on the project or shall he find new energy going forward?
One thing for sure though, is that Priscilla Misihairabwi is still one of the party’s only two MPs (thanks to proportional representation) in parliament and her silence is deafening too!
I may never fully portray the picture without mentioning Job Sikhala, a man some want to call controversial, but a man I choose to call a necessary catalyst to efforts for renewed impetus to the struggle for democracy. He is comfortable amongst the grassroots, and I bet on my last dollar that his return to the bigger tent disarmed “leadership renewal” crusaders, as it opened floodgates of the return of founding leaders. Mangoma was drowned in the process, Biti came back into the fold, and Mudzuri is showing up for golf with the boss!
So much about my country, our leaders, and the drama involved but the fundamental truth remains that people need to be mobilized for non-violent confrontation with a system that is largely looting our resources in the name of indigenization and sovereignty.
Shingi Chimwaza is a member of FSI Alumni Network and can be reached on [email protected]