By Luke Batsirai Tamborinyoka
It is bad enough for a leader, even an illegitimate one, to be content-free. But when the emptiness goes beyond the cerebral realm, it becomes a real calamity.
For Emmerson Mnangagwa is not only content-free, despite claiming he is a lawyer. I have surmised in a previous installment that it is highly likely the guy underwent some paralegal course at a backwater college in the Copper-belt region in Zambia and returned home claiming to have a Law degree.
For how could a leader of substance, with proper legal aptitude, appoint more than the required number of non-constituency MPs, only to fire them hours later as he did to the likes of Chris Mutsvangwa soon after he pilfered his way into office in 2017?
How could a prudent President allow his government to introduce an illegal tax on all transactions, especially one who masquerades as a lawyer?
Not only is ED intellectually lukewarm (if not frigid), he has just exhibited nothing but a legacy of emptiness during the tenure of his stolen mandate.
His lack of political charm notwithstanding, ED will leave behind a legacy of emptiness. He is not given to clever polemics like your ordinary politician, with a delivery aptitude that is nothing short of vapid and vacuous.
First it was his vast emptiness in voter-following; before a captured judiciary jumped into the fray to save the day.
Then the emptiness was exported to New York, where we saw him addressing empty chairs at the United Nations General Assembly, to huge echoes in the background.
Only last week during the so-called anti-sanctions march, he once again indigenized the emptiness!
In fact, cheeky Zimbabweans thought it wise to march away from him and his drivel, leaving in their wake an empty stadium.
The purported anti-sanctions crowd at the National Sports Stadium was a paltry mob, even after the few people who turned up were induced by two-piecers and a soft-drink as the clueless regime blew scarce forex in the doomed march to nowhere.
The Premier Soccer League’s basement football club Yadah FC—-or even dancehall musician Freeman, riding on the crest of a wave with his Ngaibake single featuring Alick Macheso—could have attracted a bigger crowd into the giant stadium than the country’s President.
There was a vast emptiness in the National Sports Stadium on a day the nation and the entire SADC region were meant to send out a sonorous statement on the “illegal” sanctions against Zimbabwe.
It turned out it was Zimbabweans who ended up slapping the country’s illegitimate President with sanctions by staying away from him and his claptrap.
In the spirit of gender parity, the emptiness has even spread to the wife, whose functions even in her hometown of Bindura have been snubbed by her kinsmen and kinswomen in Mashonaland Central province.
Auxilia Mnangagwa hails from Chiweshe in Mashonaland Central and on three or so occasions, the First Lady has failed to play host after her own province has given her the middle finger.
It has been desolate emptiness, vast swathes of grass and echoing town-halls as both husband and wife have been snubbed on most occasions; a testimony to the couple’s dismal failure to invoke affability both nationally and internationally.
In essence, what started as emptiness in the head has assumed other dimensions as the halls and stadia addressed by the First Couple have been zones of a vast and unparalleled emptiness, with citizens making a mammoth statement with their feet.
And this is a leader who claims to have won an election!
If you cannot fill an auditorium, how can you purport to have massive national support, even armed with commandeering State power that allows you to coerce vendors and market women to attend your functions?
And before the cock crowed twice, the equally empty Victor Matemadanda three times denied any links to the purported anti-sanctions, claiming it was the government that had “boobed” in managing the event. He distanced the party, Zanu PF, from anything to do with that event, which was massively snubbed by the majority of Zimbabweans.
Empty in the head. Empty stadia. Empty town-halls and auditoriums.
Indeed, a legacy of emptiness.
The only item ED has managed to fill up those guns with which State security agents callously killed innocent Zimbabweans in August 2018 and in January 2019.
No amount of scarf can fill up this yawning emptiness!
Emmerson Mnangagwa, the Emptiness Disaster (ED) of our time.
Luke Batsirai Tamborinyoka is the Deputy National Spokesperson of the MDC. He is a multiple award-winning journalist and an ardent political scientist. You can interact with him on Facebook or on the twitter handle @luke_tambo.