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‘Smith Was Better’ irate Zimbos quip – as Mnangagwa torments, Sikhala and Masaraure

“Privileges multiply and corruption triumphs…Today the vultures are too numerous and too voracious in proportion to the lean spoils of the national wealth. The party, a true instrument of power in the hands of the bourgeoisie, reinforces the machine, and ensures that the people are hemmed in and immobilised”. Frantz Fanon

Emmerson Mnangagwa is engaged in a vigorous political combat, within Zanu PF and the nation at large, for relevance and power retention in the harmonised elections – scheduled for next year.

That is if his name is to be printed on the ballot paper.

Exposed, tragic leadership failure, Mnangagwa’s evil nature, knows no bounds, to a point that tormented and irate citizens have come to the cynically, vexing conclusion that – racist Ian Smith was better.

A continuity of the exploitative, colonial structures of oppression, set up against black people, back then, but, remain useful for the current leadership, that has with unparalleled, vigorous brutally, unleashed the same against innocent citizens.

Making a fallacy of independence rhetoric in post-colonial Zimbabwe – the instruments of oppression have only been sharpened – a vehicle for rampant wealth accumulation.

Contemporary Zimbabwe is characterised by wanton human rights violations, persecution and threats against those who oppose Mnangagwa, daily attacks citizens have to endure – beat them into submission – his survival strategy.

What has been termed, (Campbell 2003) the exhausted patriarchal model of liberation, anchored on masochist, militaristic, and gender-biased conception of liberation which are deeply imbedded in the post-independent state.

It’s a political script we are well aware of. A script oft repeated each time some in the ruling Zanu PF party are cornered, the evil drama kings and queens emerge in full force – never disappointing.

They conjure up all manner of evil lies, entrapments, meant to deflect attention from the leadership failure and the rot the second Republic presides over.

The economy is in doldrums, with only stop-gap solutions from the regime, that are not sustainable especially to pacify an increasingly restive population, that legitimately demands food on its table.

One sceptical citizen, put it this way, scoffing at the regime’s defective policy responses, as being similar to – stitching an anus in order to stop diarrhoea.

Consequently, the horrible unfolding events, are pivotal to understanding Mnangagwa’s thought processes and his survival strategy.

Norton legislator Temba Mliswa, is right on the money, in his assessment, that the ultimate responsibility, in accountability, rests on Mnangagwa, as the number one citizen – supreme decision-maker both in Zanu PF and cabinet.

In the past they hid behind Mugabe.

Unmasked, increasingly paranoid Mnangagwa’s own body language, betrays, a terrified, trapped man, whose ducks are all over the place – some missing.

Summoning varieties of spiritual armoury, as he seeks celestial protection and favour – to make it through the term.

Removing Mugabe, did not cure Zanu PF of debilitating factionalism – now more than ever, rearing its ugly head, within the once formidable, nationalist movement.

Never mind bussed crowds at rallies.

Consequently, Mnangagwa, doesn’t trust and has lost connection with authentic Zanu PF structures, actively, greasing alternative ones loyal only to him, Men BelievED, Women BelievED – and what, what.

Shadowy characters that literary pop up from nowhere, ritually paraded at the State-House, a place whose, authority and respectability has all but diminished.

Furthermore, Mnangagwa dodges accountability, will not work with elected members of Parliament, or authentic opposition, finding solace in politically impotent groupings such as POLAD.

Creating a political façade, in comfort zones, of a man still in charge – but, the reality is that it has all fallen apart, nothing is working – thus the regime’s, terror campaign and violent response.

The 2017 coup robbed us of the creativity to reimagine and craft a future without former President Robert Mugabe, we were deceived and today we suffer the consequences.

Kleptomaniac Mnangagwa, an absolute nightmare, squandered the goodwill that existed for him since 2017 – he is now operating on a trust deficit, which he hopes to remedy through coercion among other wicked plots.

Ruthless, brutal, coercion witnessed in the past week, after the unfair incarceration of civic and political leaders on trumped up charges, including the brutal murder of an innocent mother, Moreblessing Ali.

The mischief in detaining these innocent citizens, a political ploy to demobilise democratic forces, weaken the people’s movement, with the aim to earn Mnangagwa ground and time.

All this happening just when the Afro-barometer’s latest survey, concludes that should presidential elections be held at this juncture, Mnangagwa would lose to Advocate Nelson Chamisa. In the survey 33 % of respondents would vote for Chamisa against 30% for Mnangagwa.

A very narrow margin that should not make the opposition under Advocate Chamisa comfortable either.

Meaning the CCC has to get the fundamentals in place, that means a strong, structured movement, at all levels, urban, rural and Diaspora rooted in solid ideological cohesion.

Darker days are coming, more will be targeted, when citizens will have to mobilise to defend themselves, from the evil onslaught as Mnangagwa fights for survival.

Fight to preserve the democratic space to sustain us to election time – to Uhuru- a time that will separate the boys from men – the girls from the women.

A period in which the site of struggle is going to radically shift.

Back in history.

Against this background, we remember the infamous Ari Ben-Menashe case, after opinion polls showed Mugabe losing to Morgan Tsvangirai in the Presidential elections scheduled then for March 2000.

Tsvangirai was accused of plotting to assassinate Mugabe, charged with treason, which carried a death penalty. This is one instance of the many, well documented cases of persecution against Tsvangirai and MDC leaders – who have at one point or other in their political lives been hamstrung through trumped up charges – jailed for periods of time.

But, this did not stop the people’s movement.

Back to the future – déjà vu!

It’s unimaginable, but, this is the reality in a post-Mugabe period, that trade-unionists, should be so blatantly harassed, wrongfully persecuted – in another instance of premeditated spitefulness.

Trade Unionist, Obert Masaraure, is charged with killing a friend, Roy Issa, who fell off the 7th floor of a Harare Hotel after having drinks with friends, in 2016.

An inquest at the time ruled out foul play.

Lawyer Doug Coltart, who is representing Masaraure, argues that the charges against his client are politically motivated, because he was not even, at the crime scene when the tragic death occurred.

Mere political harassment, to slow down the struggle, as with the trumped up cases against legislators, Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole, who are charged with inciting violence – charges which carry a ten-year prison sentence.

For those who have suffered bitter incarceration before, can relate to the quote from former President Nelson Mandela, “ prison itself is a tremendous education in the need for patience and perseverance. It is above all a test of one’s commitment.”

Mnangagwa is only strengthening these comrades’ resolve.

It is also worthwhile to note that, while the Zanu PF in the past was remarkable at scheming for power preservation, Mnangagwa’s logic to repeat Mugabe’s political template – has difficulties.

Mnangagwa lacks the, political gravitas, charisma, probity and support that Mugabe had in the global South, the region and within Zimbabwe.

Whether we like it or not, especially for us in the opposition, we can attest to the fact that Mugabe had people who were emotionally attached to his cause –often rendering hollow our case of violence and rigged elections in certain spaces.

From bribes, huge amounts spent on PR firms, Mnangagwa does not enjoy similar goodwill – further isolating himself by violently brutalising innocent Zimbabweans.

Grace Kwinjeh is a journalist. She can be contacted on [email protected]

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