By Blessed Mhlanga
ZANU PF acting spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa yesterday took praise-singing to a new level, describing President Emmerson Mnangagwa as the country’s own Mbuya Nehanda, an ancient ancestral spirit from the 19th century considered holy and powerful in local lore.
Mnangagwa’s government is constructing a giant statue of Nehanda Charwe Nyakasikana, a spirit medium also known as Mbuya Nehanda at the intersection of Samora Machel Avenue and Julius Nyerere Way in the capital Harare.
Charwe, who was among the leaders of the First Chimurenga war against colonisation in the 19th century, was hanged around March 1898.
Addressing a weekly Zanu PF Press briefing, Chinamasa said while in the past former colonial masters, Britain, beheaded revolutionaries, they had turned to social media attacks in modern-day to “discredit icons like Mnangagwa” who were working for economic emancipation.
He said social media attacks on Mnangagwa and his family were equal to the attacks faced by the likes of Mbuya Nehanda and Sekuru Kaguvi during the early
resistance to colonialism.
“Allow me to draw parallels between, on one hand the public beheading of Mbuya Nehanda, Sekuru Kagivi, Chief Mashayamombe, Mutekedza Chiwashira and other anti-colonial resistance fighters,” Chinamasa said.
“On the other hand, the imposition of illegal sanctions by the European Union, United Kingdom, United States, white Commonwealth countries, Australia, Canada and New Zealand accompanied by the orchestrated social media onslaught targeting President Mnangagwa and his family.”
He added: “It is to intimidate our leader with the intention to cow the general population into submission and subjugation.
“The enemy goes after the scalp of our leader first and they hope that once he has fallen and is discredited the country’s resources will be ready for the picking and neo-colonial exploitation.”
Chinamasa said Mnangagwa was the glue holding the country together and that Western countries were aware of this and, therefore, want him to fall.
Zanu PF is preparing to erect Mbuya Nehanda’s statue at a venue Mnangagwa claimed was where she would drink water and rest.
Mbuya Nehanda was allegedly beheaded by the British imperialists for leading resistance against white settler rule.
Chinamasa said the humiliation suffered by Nehanda, was the same as that being visited upon Mnangagwa through relentless social media demonisation sponsored by Western countries.
“Sanctions against Zimbabwe and the orchestrated social media attacks against our President and First Family are the modern-day equivalents of public beheading and lynching in colonial times,” Chinamasa said.
Chinamasa called on the nation to back Mnangagwa against the white colonialists as the party prepares for the 2023 general elections.
“Zanu PF exhorts the population to remain steadfast and resilient and to continue marching solidly behind our President along the path that will lead us to the attainment of Vision 2030 to become an upper-middle-income economy,” he said.
This was not the first time Zanu PF has fawned over Mnangagwa. Soon after the November 2017 coup, his deputy, Constantino Chiwenga who led the coup equated him to the biblical Joshua and his late predecessor, the late Robert Mugabe as Moses who had failed to take the people to the Promised Land.
“President Mnangagwa was anointed by God himself to lead this nation. Together with his wife (Auxillia), they were put here so that they lead the sheep of God,” Chiwenga said then.
“Moses was delinquent. He took the people out of Egypt, but along the way, he broke the laws and it took Joshua to deliver the children to the land of milk and honey. As you go to vote in the coming elections, I want you to know who your Joshua is.”
Chinamasa also turned the heat on MDC Alliance’s vice-president Tendai Biti, whom he accused of perpetrating gender-based violence, calling the police to move in and arrest him.
“We condemn very strongly the allegations of gender-based violence that are being levelled against Biti where he (sic) mishandled a lady at the Harare Magistrates Court and Zanu PF calls upon the law enforcement agents to thoroughly investigate that issue without fear or favour and to take the necessary action that is warranted by the evidence that comes out of the investigation,” he said.
Chinamasa said leaders should not be at the forefront of abusing women.
“In this day and age, we do not expect leaders or persons who are aspiring to be leaders of Zimbabwe and who are already leaders of the opposition to be the key culprits in perpetuating and perpetrating gender-based violence,” he said. NewsDay