By Professor Ken Mufuka
I have just returned from my homeland, after sneaking in and out quietly. At least on four different times, strangers would snuggle up to me and whisper in my ear. “You are Ken, just look, say nothing until you go back home. Temperatures are high here. You understand?”
My reply was always the same. “Yes, my brother, I understand perfectly.” I am grateful for their graciousness. They wanted me to return to my second home in America safely.
Some even gave me their business cards but warned me kindly. “Don’t dare to mention my name. I will find you and kill you.”
The whole country was in the grip of a power struggle unfolding between Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Mukuru’s wife, Supreme Sister Dr. Grace. Mnangagwa, a ZANU-PF loyalist operative we know. But who is Dr. Grace? I shall answer that question below.
My beloved brother Hopewell Chingono in his article entitled; “The Demise of the Crocodile” describes him as a “terrifying feared figure, feared more than Robert Mugabe. He was a mysterious man with a fierce aura and was nicknamed the crocodile.”
Hopewell syntactical approach is in the past tense, he is almost certain that the crocodile he refers to has drowned in the maelstrom, never to resurface again.
Hopewell recalls that “one of Mugabe’s old friends told a story about Mugabe’s … mistrust for Mnangagwa and how he viewed Mnangagwa as a cruel man. He called him a killer.”
I have heard these stories too. It is part of Mukuru’s modus operandi that when he wants to remove a person from office, his acolytes broadcast these unproven allegations with renewed vigor creating a Chinese smoke and mirrors syndrome.
One such story says that Mnangagwa told an audience in the Sugar Triangle that if one of them were to wake up one morning having dreamed of Zimbabwe without ZANI-PF in power, that person must proceed to see a sangoma. “Munhu iyeye anogwara.”
If as Hopewell assumes, peradventure, the crocodile has been drowned in its own pool by the hand of a pretty young drama queen, whose political experience is barely three years in the making, then Mnangagwa was not much of a crocodile after all. His fierceness may have been exaggerated by an owl’s horns, which, when examined, turned out to be nothing but tall feathers.
I beg to suggest another scenario.
My kind advice is that we have not heard the end of this saga yet. The entry of a drama queen into Zimbabwe’s politics three years ago disrupted the political waters.
It diverted attention from the weighty matters of state, the economy. For the last three years, all we hear is about the drama queen, her family and boys, her diamond ring and her farm and about imaginary enemies within the party.
The drama queen, like Queen Jezebel before her, usurped the authority given to her husband. Up until now, Mukuru’s success has hinged on the artful dodger strike. Caution, and the hidden hand, to the drama queen is anathema. The whole point is a display of magisterial power. The drama queen exercises power without restraint or guile.
“When I warned Mujuru, she thought I was mad, but where is she now?” she poses for dramatic effect.
“We must crush the snake at its head,” she warned Mnagagwa.
And so it was even in those days. “And it came to pass that Jezebel said to King Ahab, arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, for Naboth is not alive, but dead.”
Please, readers do not miss the point. It is not for the drama queen to dismiss the Vice President, or anybody in government. She is hijacking authority that does not belong to her.
As I write, the drama queen has moved swiftly to dispossess all those who might stand in her path to absolute power. Patrick Chinamasa, two other cabinet ministers and 36 party members were accused of being Mnagagwa allies, and of being disrespectful of Mukuru. Manicaland provincial officers have recommended their expulsion.
Please note that the charges themselves are all made up and no procedures have been followed. That allows people like Kudzai Chipanga to dream up stuff and announce it with aplomb as if such announcements has the effect of law.
The end of Mukuru’s reign is coming to a close. To ask that at the age of 93, he run for another term in office is more than wishful thinking. ZANU-PF is in a horrible mess. The entry of Dr. Amai into politics, whose beauty is as fierce as her academic record, brings a wrecking bar into ZANU-PF party politics.
The textbook case refers to Robespierre who stood in the French House of Delagates accusing the members of betraying the revolution. It took only one member to rise up and call his bluff. “He is accusing all of us of disloyalty!” The shout was repeated as Robespierre was carried on his final journey on earth.
As they set about removing Mujuru from office, Mnangagwa and Amai conjoined in removing Mujuru from office, in the espoused belief that it was an exercise in cleansing dead wood. Ngwena did not know that he would soon join the list of that dead wood; Vice President Joice Mujuru, Ministers Dydymus Mutasa, Webster Shamu and party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo.
I am a man of the church. We believe that if a member of the church finds that everybody they work with has some fault, perhaps the fault is not with the saints but with the member.
I propose that the drama queen and Mukuru look at themselves, perhaps they have betrayed their comrades in arms and not the other way round.
Here is my proposition. Amai has dared Mnangagwa to man up, own up to his followers who have sacrificed on his behalf. Youth leaders have been expelled from the party and the War Veterans Association has stood bravely, taking all the darts on his behalf.
We can therefore assume that if Mnangagwa were to throw away his owl’s horns, decided that certain things were worth dying for; he has some core support within ZANU-PF. There is a precedent. In 1996, Governor Dzikamai Mavhaire denounced the prolonged leadership of Mukuru in parliament. “It is time for Mugabe to go,” he said.
There was some groundswell support for that position and if Dr. Edidon Zvobgo had publicly supported Mavhaire, the history of Zimbabwe would have taken a different route.
Dr. Zvobgo, a master story teller, spoke in idioms, the idiom now popularized as “bhora musango” was his creation. The story was that a football team was doing very well until one of the team players, having been trusted with the ball, ran away with it into the bush, prejudging the future of the team. I was there and we understood what he meant.
Mavhaire was exiled and Zvobgo said nothing.
There are three issues on which Mnangagwa’s platform should rest.
First, the party has been hijacked by Sister Grace and her family. The party belongs to all the people who are members.
The party has become lawless. Procedures are not followed. Decisions are made in the bedroom, between a pretty lass and a dotting ageing husband, and pronounced as Mosaic law the following morning.
The economy has been placed in second place to the family circus.
Before the drama queen, nobody is safe from unproven allegations. The Politbureau is a mere rubber stamp.
My brother Hopwell, I am hopeful, and I am faithful. Such events have always called for a dramatic reversal of the pendulum. There is no example in history where such insanity did not provoke a counter revolution.
In Mnangagwa’s wilderness retreat, all those who stood and took the fire on his behalf, including those who welcomed him as “Son of Man” should resign their positions in government and stand by him.
Mnangagwa is the second vice-president to be dismissed amidst a cloud of shame at the behest of the first lady, Supreme leader of the Women’s League, now chief strategist for ZANU-PF revolutionary party.
There is something absolutely rotten in this scenario. In political science textbooks, it is called rule by innuendo, or by Chinese whispers. At the great palace of the Chinese emperor, whispers would be spread about a person targeted for dismissal or hanging, and all men of goodwill would step aside when they saw the person coming their way. In South Carolina, the Sheriff would spread a rumor to the effect that such and such a person did not pay his debts. Whenever that person came into a store, the owner would pretend to be closing the store because of an emergency somewhere in the city.
I have no brief from Mnangagwa but I can say this with some certainty. As in the case of Dr. Joice Mujuru, all the allegations against him are all made up and written up by intellectual prostitutes and their acolytes. Take one example, if Mnangagwa was plotting a coup in 1980, why was he allowed to escape the hangman’s noose for thirty more years?
How many times have we heard these spurious arguments? Dr. Joshua Nkomo was plotting a coup. Bishop Abel Muzorewa was plotting a coup. The Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole was plotting a coup. Now, for those who have some sense of humor left, the stupid American girl, Martha Donnovan, 25 years old has been charged with plotting to overthrow the Zimbabwe government.
I think the plot has been played too many times. It has lost its bite. The issue is that with the drama queen loose, there is nobody who is safe. That, brother Hopewell, is the key to understanding this drama unfolding before us.
Brother Hopewell, you are entitled to ask me this question. “Ken, if you are correct, why does the drama queen still command such huge audiences?”
Go, my brother, observe a pot of water resting on the three cooking stones. Nature will allow the fire to torment the pot and the water, until the boiling water says enough is enough, spills over and quenches the fire. I think we have reached that point in the history of Zimbabwe.
Enough is enough. PEACE BE UNTO YOU.