This Mphoko is a stubborn rascal
By Tawanda Majoni
It should come as no surprise that President Robert Mugabe last year plucked Phelekezela Mphoko from nowhere and made him co-vice president, alongside Emmerson Mnangagwa.
He fits in that position very snugly because, typical of Mugabe cabinets, he is a political rascal who earns a salary and lucrative perks merely by making dumb statements.
Since becoming vice president in December, he has made startling remarks for which you would spank a boy scout. Chief among these has been his broadside at vendors, when he queried why able-bodied men were selling tomatoes on the streets.
He doesn’t understand that almost the whole economy has been in-formalised. Then this Mphoko (a name which rhymes with the street term “mboko” for rascal) called on the ARDA board to be fired for incompetence. Again, he does not know that ARDA’s problems are symptoms of an ailing economy and Zanu (PF) corruption.
It seems the clown won’t tire. Last week, he left us all open-mouthed with amazement when he claimed Gukurahundi was the work of Britain and other western governments that sought to discredit Mugabe’s “nationalist” regime. Poppycock! And this from a man who is in charge of national healing and reconciliation!
Mphoko claimed the capitalist west, working with apartheid South Africa, convinced the Mugabe government that Zapu was plotting to destroy him and his outfit.
Unbelievably, he said Gukurahundi was a plot to protect South Africa by pitting the Shonas against the Ndebele and working up a civil crisis that would demonstrate that blacks were incapable of ruling themselves.
I have heard Mugabe call Joice Mujuru a witch, and I have heard his wife claim that the former vice president was a thief. I have heard the president claim he is now king of Africa and Jonathan Moyo say that a hump in the red carpet caused his boss’s fall at the airport.
But none of these ludicrous comments beats this Gukurahundi slur by Mphoko, aka Mboko. It boggles the mind how Mugabe could have been so ready to believe the westerners about Zapu’s alleged ill intentions.
Wet behind the ears into independence 34 years ago, Mugabe was a self-proclaimed socialist-communist. Yes, he was getting all sorts of aid from Britain and other western countries, but his heart was with the communist bloc.
That is why he was hell bent on setting up a one-party state. It is unbelievable that he would have fallen for a capitalist allegation with such ease and naivete!
Mphoko does not tell us if it was the capitalist saboteurs working with apartheid South Africa who then went ahead and planted the truckloads of arms on those farms in Matabeleland that Mugabe, his military and intelligence agency used as an excuse to launch the blitzkrieg that killed more than 20,000 people.
As far as the majority of Zimbabweans remember, it was not the British who trained the Fifth Brigade responsible for the massacres in Matabeleland and the Midlands. North Korea, another communist government, did that.
Mphoko worked for the Zimbabwean intelligence with Mnangagwa then, so he must tell us when exactly they received the information from the west, and who exactly supplied them with the false information.
What about the volumes of “evidence” that were used to arrest, imprison and torture the likes of Joshua Nkomo, Dumiso Dabengwa and Lookout Masuku? Did that information also come from Britain and other capitalist governments?
Masuku actually died in prison even though the courts had found no incriminating evidence against him. Dabengwa was held incommunicado for a long time, again outside the rulings of the courts. Was that done at the behest of the west?
Honestly, will Mphoko have us believe that the Mugabe security agents went ahead to maim and kill even innocent toddlers merely because the capitalists had told them Zapu was out to destroy the sitting government?
I wonder how much money these capitalists paid Enos Nkala, who was then in charge of the defence portfolio, to declare his wish to wipe all the Ndebele people from the face of this planet. It must have been a very handsome figure.
Gukurahundi was genocide concocted and implemented by Mugabe and his securocrats, including Mphoko and Mnangagwa, who was in charge of national security. It was meant to destroy Zapu and the southern people who supported him so that Mugabe could set up his beloved autocratic one-party state.
It is indeed mysterious that Mphoko is giving us this conspiracy pitch now. Mugabe has all along referred to Gukurahundi as a “moment of madness” (as if it happened over an hour instead of the seven years that we know of).
Even given his anti-western rhetoric, he has never blamed western countries for the massacres. If it was true that apartheid and the west were the architects of the genocide, that should have been mentioned on December 22 1987 when Mugabe and Nkomo signed a “unity” accord. Why then does Mphoko think that we will start believing his bull?
Finally, this rascal called Mphoko must be told that his recent utterances do nothing to absolve Mugabe and Zanu (PF) from the Gukurahundi massacres. If it is indeed true that the west was behind the conspiracy, the post-1980 government should have exercised due diligence and acted on the basis of facts instead of reported western claims.
That means Mugabe’s hands remain dripping with blood. That means Mphoko is not fit to preside over national reconciliation. The Zimbabwean
Tawanda Majoni can be reached on [email protected]