“We want factionalism among war veterans to end. I want to put it on record that I do not support what was done by the group led by Mandi Chimene and George Mlala to attempt to take leadership of war veterans without following proper procedures.”
Pronouncements by Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko that there are some Zimbabweans who are fasting and praying for the demise of President Robert Mugabe were telling though hardly surprising.
Mphoko said this while contributing chicks in Bulawayo over the weekend adding that some spent “40 days and 40 nights” in supplication to their request for Mugabe’s demise. In any culture, it is taboo for one to pray for someone’s death, more so a head of state no matter how despicable they may be.
However, it indicates the extent of resentment and disillusionment at Mugabe’s continued stay in power amid an unprecedented economic crisis that has been characterised by a crippling liquidity crunch, cash shortages, job losses and company closures. That protestations against Mugabe — who has presided over the decimation of the local currency and has turned the majority of Zimbabweans into near destitutes through his ruinous policies — have entered the spiritual realm should indicate to the nonagenarian that his time is surely up. This is in addition to communiqués, marches and even banging of empty pots to drive the point home that Mugabe has now become a hazard to the country’s well-being.
The fact that people are going to such lengths to ensure that Mugabe leaves office also rubbishes the notion that he is the widely regarded “ saviour” of the nation as ridiculously intoned by police recruits a fortnight ago.
The interview by Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) commander General Constantino Chiwenga last weekend made interesting reading. What was of particular significance was his thinly-veiled attack against Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo and Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister, Mandiitawepi Chimene, who are linked to the G40 faction which is fronted by First Lady Grace Mugabe.
“We were reading mapepa paakatanga kuti ‘when you want to destroy Zanu PF you need to do it from within,’ Chiwenga said. “They told us they will have youths who will take over. Was it not written? You think we were blind to it? Is it not happening now? People must just eat quietly.”
The wish to “destroy Zanu PF from within” has always been attributed to Moyo, who allegedly made the interesting statement when he was expelled from the ruling party in 2005.
But anyway, even if Moyo said that it’s really none of Chiwenga’s business because he is a serving military commander, not a Zanu PF political commissar or leader.
Chiwenga must read the state constitution, the Defence Act and his contract (if it’s still valid) to better understand what his mandate is and stop interfering in politics. If he wants to be a politician he must resign first and then join the fray where the predatory Zanu PF and its hawkish leadership will teach him a political lesson.
Either he goes into politics or else he should shut up.
That the army is now delving into Zanu PF’s fractious succession politics shows that professionalism in the military is now a distant memory. Instead of remaining in the barracks as mandated by the constitution, Chiwenga is now acting as if he is the Zanu PF political commissar as he was during the liberation struggle.
Mugabe complained bitterly about the army’s involvement in politics at the Zanu PF conference last year, but completely failed to see the irony. He has allowed the army to delve into politics when he pressured the then ZDF commander, General Vitalis Zvinavashe, to declare they would not allow Zimbabweans to vote for a president without liberation credentials. He also remained mum when Major-General Douglas Nyikayaramba called the then prime minister in the inclusive government Morgan Tsvangirai a security threat. By doing so Mugabe has created a Frankeinstein monster that is now consuming his own party and any protestations against the army’s involvement by him convinces no one. Indeed, the nonagenarian is being hoisted by his own pertard.
We also had a good chuckle over Chiwenga’s remarks in the interview that okayed smoking weed, which is illegal. We hope his charges did not take heed!
Social media phobia
Zanu PF once again showed its discomfort with technology with their plans to crackdown on those who express their disgust at their disastrous failure to govern through social media.
Those abusing the social media to instigate violence, banditry, sabotage and general instability in Zimbabwe will soon be jailed in terms of new regulations being crafted by the government, we were dutifully told by the captive state media.
We are also informed that these provisions contained in the draft Computer Crime and Cyber Crime Bill empower police to intercept private communications and to search and seize electronic gadgets used for criminal activities.
This is how government responds to the genuine concerns expressed through social media. Instead of addressing the issues under discussion, they are hell bent on killing the messenger. Only the moribund and incompetent Zanu PF can concentrate on efforts to stifle social media when the country is hard hit by a worsening economic crisis in which Zimbabweans cannot even access their money from banks.
We probably should not be surprised by this shameful level of technophobia given former Finance minister Tendai Biti’s revelations that most of the Zanu PF ministers during his time in government were not even familiar with a computer mouse.
There was yet another break-in at government offices over last weekend. This time it was that of Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo and seven other offices belonging to ministry’s principal directors and directors. The burglars entered through the ceiling.
This latest break in begs the question, where the heck are the police when they are needed? One would think security would have been beefed up with police officers stationed with CCTV set up at the new government complex, especially as it is the same building where Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s offices were broken into. When you remember that Economic Planning minister Obert Mpofu and Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku have also had their offices broke into, the mind boggles as to the failure by police to provide security at these government offices.
Is it that they are too busy crushing peaceful demonstrations or is it because they are focusing their energies on ensuring that graduating police recruits get it right when they compare Mugabe to Jesus Christ when he officiates at the ceremonies as they did a fortnight ago? Whatever the reason, this is incompetence writ large by the police and it is appalling.
After getting a serious battering during recent municipal elections, South Africa’s governing ANC — which failed to win or lost key metros, including Johannesburg, Pretoria (Tshwane), Cape Town and Port Elizabeth (Mandela Bay) — and its embattled leader Jacob Zuma must be smiling.
Reason: South Africa’s economy regained the position of Africa’s largest in dollar terms more than two years after losing it to Nigeria as the value of the nations’ currencies moved in opposite directions.
Well, Zuma might smile but the truth is his leadership has been a disaster. The only consolation he might have is that at least he will leave with a better record compared to his counterpart north of the Limpopo, a legend of misrule and unmitigated failure.
short and sweet …
Excitable Chimene: Whatever she is smoking?
Oh dear, it seems that lawlessness and Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandi Chimene are synonymous.
After being barred by the courts from masquerading as the war veterans leader together with her sidekicks Joseph Chinotimba, Charles Mpofu, Ester Munyaradzi, Stephen Moyo and Robert Mukwena, she came under a blistering attack from War Veterans minister Tshinga Dube.
“We want factionalism among war veterans to end. I want to put it on record that I do not support what was done by the group led by Mandi Chimene and George Mlala to attempt to take leadership of war veterans without following proper procedures,” Tshinga said. “We do not want factionalism among the war veterans that is why we have called for the congress where we expect the input of all the war veterans not just of one faction.”
The rebuke over her failure to follow procedure comes on the heels of invading a farm of a Rusape woman after ignoring a court order barring her from doing so. Given her unbecoming conduct of ignoring court orders or failing to follow proper procedures, we would strongly urge her to cut down on her intake of whatever she is smoking or at least smoke something less toxic.