They are all groping in the dark
By Cyprian M Ndawana
As seven more ministers get hounded from their portfolios, it is about time citizenry asked, “Whither are we drifting?”
It is evident that none amongst the leaders knows with certainty under which dark cloud or mist the elusive land of milk and honey is concealed.
They are all groping in the dark with no clue whatsoever, save for their concerns on subduing others in the interparty rivalry.
The hot-air that started with the First Lady, Grace Mugabe during her meet the people tours has sadly degenerated to the folly of proverbially sowing wild oats only to trust providence for crop failure. Yet, looked at from the standpoint of investors, immediate past events the country went through do not inspire confidence.
With citizenry reduced to mere pawns in a bitter struggle for power, life for the average person is now a chore beyond austerity — everyday is a grinding battle for survival. At no time in the history of the country has uncertainty cast a shadow as dark as the one now up in the horizon. There is neither silver lining nor the pot of gold even as President Robert Mugabe marvels and gloats at the all encompassing powers his party, Zanu PF, bestowed on him.
As former Vice President Joice Mujuru and many other axed stalwarts, accused of fanning factionalism among a host of other allegations, merge into the background, their ejection brings back to the fore the question of democratic credentials for the country and the ruling party as well.
Although none of the allegations were substantiated, strangely, ejections from both party and government portfolios were by all accounts sanctioned, making democracy a social issue inevitable for debate. War veterans, who are an organ of the party, issued votes of no confidence on cadres deemed to be pushing for succession by a candidate who was not preferred by Mugabe.
Save for only few fortune ones to escape the purge by a rare dint of fortune, the Central Committee and politburo upheld almost all the votes of no confidence, including those for nine provincial party chairmen without recourse to party laid down disciplinary procedures.
As a token of appreciation and gratefulness for the cut and thrust toy-toying the war veterans issued the votes of no confidence, Mugabe deemed it duly appropriate to reward them with a new Cabinet ministry. Despite not included in the budget presented to parliament barely a month prior, the ministry, said to essentially care for the welfare of war veterans, was nonetheless set up.
If elected incumbents can be removed with impunity from office by placard waving and chanting party cadres, expecting democratic credentials for the party and government to be unscathed would be utter folly, hence the investor community votes with its feet, in preference of destinations that respect freedoms and are pluralistic than dogmatic.
With the country now bleeding and gasping on the horn of dilemma, history abounds with lesions which future leaders are best advised to heed. Traits of Karl Marx, for example, are evident in the dear leader.
Marx had a particularly transegent personalty; aggressively convinced of the rightness of his ideas.
He treated rivals and criticism alike with scorn.
He refused to handle criticism on rational basis, but condemned critics simply as aberrations or stupidities. He oftentimes reacted violently and took criticism personally, believing that only one course of action, which he personally prescribed was the inevitable one; hence his relationship with followers was based more on fear than reverence.
Marx regarded people who wanted to revise his principles as “revisionists”, a derogatory term he coined just as Mugabe brands his opponents as reactionaries, turncoats or selllouts. Marx was averse to the alternative school of thought which believed that his principles led to a veritable dictatorship than an egalitarian democratic society, likewise Mugabe is to those calling for succession.
Ironically, Information, Media and Broadcasting minister, Prof Jonathan Moyo was not merely singing for his supper when he confirmed that Mugabe has not yet anointed a successor despite the appointment of two Vice Presidents. He was being more than politically correct by emphasising that anyone who wants to succeed Mugabe will have to win the hearts and minds of the membership of Zanu PF and then of Zimbabweans.
Moyo was infact echoing his master’s voice who though umpteen years old, regards succession debate as taboo. As with Marx who elbowed any threats to his authority, the purging in Zanu PF and government is not an isolated pruning, but a dyed in the wool planned and sustained undertaking.
Contrary to Algerian revolutionary, Frantz Fanon who stated, “it is incumbent upon each generation, out of relative obscurity, to discover its mission; and to fulfil it or betray it”, generations of Zimbabweans have unpalatably been robbed of this privilege.
Given the expected timidity of the recycled Cabinet which comprises cadres shellshocked by the precedence set in the explosions, innovation is compromised on the alter of political correctness. Hence, any hopes for economic improvement are shattered; dealt a heavy blow like crib death.
True to the gloomy national budget presented to parliament, an equally corresponding gloomy Christmas and New Year are inevitably in the offing. Although citizenry has repeatedly heard the rhetoric, “Zimbabwe will never be a colony again,” while it might not be so in theory, it is in practice.
With citizens scattered in foreign lands, supermarkets full of imports, no national currency; the country is a colony in more ways than one.