No need for Orwellian antics on Gukurahundi

It may not be fair to celebrate when the president does the carpet break dance but that doesn’t excuse the confiscation of journalists’ equipment recording the scene.


Pictures of the president doing his moves from what looked like the Rocky Horror Picture Show — “Just a jump to the left, just a step to the right — “elicited some sympathy and even some amusement.

After all, this is a ruler who has made all our lives miserable at some time or other. Watching his stumbling across the red carpet will appeal to many victims of his rule.

Deletion of film material was inexcusable and will have done the regime no good at all. Whatever the policy of Vatican luminaries claimed by Professor Jonathan Moyo, in Zimbabwe we shouldn’t take people’s property and then claim it is a national duty. The temple he was referring to by the way was probably Ankor Wat in Cambodia.

Putting that aside, those who occupy high office must be prepared to come under the spotlight.

Margaret Thatcher, negotiating the future of Hong Kong, fell down the steps of what looked like the Great Hall of the People. Now we have Grace Mugabe exercising power but as yet no accidents!

Wrong turn
After waging a sterner war against the oppressive farmer, animals in George Orwell’s Animal Farm mistakenly thought they were all equal.
Upon tasting the sweetness of power, the pigs, who assumed the leadership office, tilted the rules in their favour and the agreement that “No animal shall sleep in bed” was remodelled to say “No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets”.

Doesn’t that handsomely suits Vice-President Phelekezela Mp-hoko who in the Sunday Mail this week was quoted at length trying to dispel the well-known fact that President Mugabe’s regime massacred approximately 20 000 innocent civilians, including women and children, in the Matabeleland and Midlands regions in the early 1980s, saying it was a conspiracy by West.

When he is sleeping in a bed with sheets while his fellow comrades live in the chicken run, what else can he say? Does anyone need to sanitise Zanu PF of the atrocities it willingly committed when all is clear that President Mugabe dispatched the North Korean-trained fifth brigade to spill blood in an act which was justified as war against dissident banditry after the “arms cache discovery” of February 1982?

Why then did Mugabe confess that it was “an act of madness” when Mphoko — whom some now call Mboko which in street lingo means rascal — wants us to believe the West was responsible for the shameless massacres?

Does Mugabe need to apologise for a crime he did not commit? Why does the ruling party need to establish an Organ on National Healing and Reconciliation when it was not involved in spilling blood in the aforementioned regions? Was Mphoko also part of the gang that was on the ground to ensure Zanu PF wiped out its fellow countrymen?

Wake up
An autobiography by Fortune Senamile Nkomo: Father Zimbabwe, The Life And Times Of An African Legend, says Nkomo asserted that both Zipra and Zanla had hidden arms on returning to Rhodesia because of fear of attack by Rhodesian forces.

After Entumbane clashes they had probably hidden more arms because of mutual distrust. According to Nkomo, the war was premised on power struggles between the two revolutionary parties.

As if there was sense in what Mphoko was saying, the Sunday Mail in an article headlined VP Mphoko Opens Up on Gukurahundi, quoted him as saying; “Now I have always said Gukurahundi in the post-independence was a conspiracy of the West. This I maintain … The Gukurahundi after the war had nothing to do with Mugabe — Nothing! That is a fact … Our people should be very careful not to be used … the Rhodesians, the British have always wanted war between the Shonas and Ndebeles because of these things.”

Someone should quickly wake up Mphoko from his deep slumber, who is maybe reaping the fruits of selling out other Zipra cadres that he should immediately cease to trivialise an act that can best be described as genocide.

Didn’t the former Zipra military supremo Dumiso Dabengwa, who himself was charged with treason along with Lookout Masuku, shed light last year when he said Mphoko was part of Zanu’s plot to dismantle Zipra tentacles?

Unfortunately it appears he thinks to be Vice-President automatically makes him the propagator of falsehoods. From this kind of madness, Mphoko is not only dangerous to others, but to himself too.

He must be reminded as well that Zanu PF killings did not end with Gukurahundi, MDC supporters were abducted and killed in 2000, 2002 and 2008 elections. It’s a mammoth task therefore for him to try and present Zanu PF as a party of peace, when it’s an avid instigator of violence and political intolerance.

It’s better for him to “sleep in a bed with sheets” and shut his mouth instead of opening wounds that must be healed.

Chief whip
The queen mother returned with a bang or is it return of the dragon?
Newsday on Tuesday reported that First Lady Grace Mugabe’s appearance sent Zanu PF into panic mode.

The new political enforcer of the ruling party seems to be consolidating her power as each day passes.

It would be wrong to confine her as the Women’s League boss — she appears to be the chief advisor to the president, the political commissar, chief whip, national chairperson, de facto president and the commander-in-chief of all organs of Zanu PF and the state.

That is why less-informed party supporters throng the airport and brace the scorching heat of the sun to welcome someone who was holidaying in the Far East while they cannot afford a decent meal here at home.

That’s how powerful the First Lady has become, even vice-presidents listen attentively when she speaks or else they can suddenly find themselves being branded enemies belonging to the “gamatox clan”.

Bedroom reshuffle
With all this power she wields, even the so-called cabinet reshuffle will be done in the bedroom.

Remember Jabulani Sibanda was incarcerated and expelled for using the phrase “bedroom coup”, but isn’t that the reality Zimbabweans are facing? And Zanu PF secretary for Administration Ignatius Chombo believes Grace is the face of Zimbabwean politics as reported by the media this week. Doesn’t that tell us more about how corrupt and opportunistic Zanu PF officials do not want an end to the abject suffering currently being experienced by the majority?

Seriously what qualities does Grace have to deserve such accolades considering she holds a fraudulent PhD, is undiplomatic, speaks less sense as witnessed during her meet-the-people tours last year and lacks historical credentials which used to form the spine of Zanu PF leadership?

God forbid! This will send Zimbabwe into further turmoil. Can we live harmoniously in the presence of “Grace the queen”, “Grace the bulldozer” and “Grace the untouchable”?

It really even sounds tasteless when they call her “Mrs Stop it” — in fact she is the one who is supposed to be stopped from inflicting more pain on the already poverty-blighted citizens.


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