Muckraker’s attention on Monday was drawn to a CNN report showing president Robert Mugabe at a science conference in Japan.
Leaving aside the question of what the president knows about science or Japan, there, sitting nearby, was Bona, no doubt commissioned to ensure her father remained vertical.
The other dimension was obvious. Mugabe and his large entourage make a habit of attending any conference (it doesn’t matter what it is about) to which they are invited.
Its’s all to do with exposure.
Mugabe enjoys immunity in UN matters. So as soon as it is announced that a big UN function is to be held in Japan, Mugabe is on the plane. The British and Americans are suitably snubbed although they don’t give too much of a damn. This charade takes place every year and Japan is firmly in the US camp. Even his Chinese friends know where their bread is buttered.
There is another point to be made here. Why did Mugabe decline to inspect progress at the Tokwe Mukorsi dam and express sympathy with the victims of flooding there? So he fails to attend to victims of local disasters but has the time and energy to go to a disaster conference in Japan. What sort of leadership and governance is that?
The dam is still not complete but a show of solidarity with the inhabitants would not have gone amiss. Japan instead took priority and had the additional advantage of a pit stop in Singapore.
And now we see — by accident — that young Bona will be added to the passenger manifest. If public funds are used then surely we should be told who is travelling with the president.
Meanwhile, we can be sure of one thing in the ongoing battle between former vice-president Joice Mujuru and First Lady Grace Mugabe.
General Solomon Mujuru would never have allowed his wife to be abused and humiliated by the gang currently in charge. And the way in which companies have been abused to provide an advantage to certain factions has also been distasteful. The country is in many ways reverting to its bad old habits pioneered by Zanu PF.
The Herald has been waxing indignant over articles in the Daily News asking if Mugabe was still fit to rule. Analysts have rapped the Daily News practice of passing opinion as news, the paper claimed. It was ironic that the Daily News chose to question President Mugabe’s leadership of the country barely three months after African leaders found it fit to elect him as chair of the AU.
Wasn’t that a rotational matter? And is the Herald seriously still boasting of his claims to greatness when his gross incompetence and frailty is evident for all?
We were amused by the Herald’s claim to Mugabe’s “amazing agility” in breaking his fall and “walking away unscathed”.
Gosh, with accomplishments of this nature, we are obviously destined for greatness.
Meanwhile, Dean of the Faculty of Education and Information Science at Nust, Lawton Hikwa, concurred that there are those who are obviously anti-Mugabe. Indeed, there are people like Hikwa who run around concurring with Mugabe’s claims when they have no substance at all. Their stale propaganda is getting worse. The biggest blow they can strike is calling the Daily News the Daily Quiz.
But the Daily News fiercely fought back, denouncing the “Pravda” and its slippery slope deterioration due to its “see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil” spineless approach — sunshine or whitewash journalism.
“His Excellency Ole Excellence”, as Ngugi wa Thiongo puts it in Matigari, wants us to believe he still considers retiring from his post.
At what age is he thinking of such a decision when he has failed to do so in the past considering all odds are against him — the gloomy economic outlook is ominously telling him he is no longer the ideal candidate to oversee the running of the country’s affairs.
Speaking in Japan where he is attending the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction this week, Mugabe said a successor will emerge when he retires from his post. So intriguing isn’t it?
At 91 is there any hope Mugabe will relinquish power for another candidate to takeover or is he playing the usual game of making the nation keep on guessing on the “sacrilegious” succession issue.
He is not coming out in the open. Mugabe — as other post-colonial dictators have shown —harbours an ambition to be a life president.
Knowing quite well he lacks referent power, which Peter Northouse in Leadership Theory and Practice, describes as leadership based on the consent of the masses and subordinates, Mugabe should stop fooling Zimbabweans and the world that he is prepared to see another politician outside his dynasty assuming the presidential post.
“His Excellency Ole Excellence” is an omnipotent being, he descends on a deus ex machina like a Greek god, and who dares ask him when he declares what he wants? Even the so-called crocodiles are inactive; they are pampered with wealth to forget how old Mugabe is, too tired to make any meaningful decisions.
The question remains: When are you going Cde President?
Can political dinosaurs in Zanu PF really think of removing Mugabe (through the ballot) when they kneel to thank him for ministerial posts? Can Zanu PF challenge Mugabe when their supporters have gone so many miles to glorify First Lady Grace Mugabe, even by wearing skirts with logos emblazoned on their backsides: Stop It? J. Mujuru.
The picture on NewsDay’s front page on Monday was value-laden — Muckraker awaits another praise-poem jingle with hordes of women wearing more of such “Glory be to Grace” attire.
And yet Mugabe, having survived throughout his political career by deceiving his fellow comrades, claims he will quit the comfort of State House one day. Fake! That’s more than fiction.
Former Zanu PF’s secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa is making lots of noise since his deposition from the “high table”. He can be appreciated for at least trying to show us he is not afraid to express his views despite Mugabe’s creation of an intimidating political atmosphere characterised by abductions and torture of political opponents.
Mutasa was quoted in the media on Monday saying; “I have already said that I will contest the by-election under the real Zanu PF. I don’t know which other Zanu PF they are talking about. I am still a bona fide party member and I will contest any by-election in my constituency under the party’s banner … Already there is no fair play. The army and CIO (Central Intelligence Organisation) are already patrolling the area intimidating people. Those illegal party candidates should campaign for themselves without misusing State institutions …”
Mutasa’s bold statements, however, beg more questions. If he claims to be a true convert who now upholds democratic values, why can’t he let the cat out of the Zanu PF bag?
Can he tell the nation how Zanu PF rigged previous elections and what are the techniques they used to rob the MDC of its electoral victories? Many opposition supporters disappeared at the hands of Zanu PF and does Mutasa know anything concerning their whereabouts?
He must have a glimpse on that, wasn’t he part of the CIO plots? Muckraker believes the now disgruntled Zanu PF stalwart understands how that car model called Mahindra was used to perpetrate violence against his fellow citizens?
Mutasa owes the nation what might be called the “Great Confession”, and then the electorate can start to believe in him? Anyway why should ousted Zanu PF members fight tooth and nail to remain part of Zanu PF? Isn’t it a shame to want to remain loyal to a violent party — a movement that never wins elections, but sees no evil in setting fire to its fellow countrymen?