The rise to power …

November 26, 2005 at 2:04 pm Leave a comment

Beyond Tsholotsho and Chiyangwa


WHILE the media have diligently covered the story of Zimbabwe’s Information Minister, Jonathan Moyo’s dwindling political fortunes following the ill-fated Tsholotsho meeting, the tone and line of reporting have generally tended to weigh down or ignore the real crux of the matter.

A much deeper analysis tracking the advent of “Tsholotsho” down to President Mugabe’s quarrelsome brand of politics and to his corrosive hold on the Zimbabwean body politic is evidently lacking, consequently handing the Zimbabwean ruler Mugabe unintended kudos in the process.

Reading through the stories and headlines which have been served on us in the private press one senses a tone of subliminal celebration by some journalists who either hate Moyo or generally want to see him floundering in the bog, something which he seemed to enjoy when it was happening to others.

Recently a colleague wrote in his column that he was happy that President Mugabe had elbowed out what he called “the three musketeers” in apparent reference to Moyo, Joseph Made and Patrick Chinamasa.

While the idea was well meaning, intended to celebrate the fact that Mugabe’s machinery is now minus three of his willing tools, the unintended outcome is that the celebration enhances the flawed notion that Mugabe is pulling the right direction only his ministers are a let down.

When a murderer casts away three of his dreaded tools because he has no more use for them we don’t celebrate like it will make a difference in his evil pursuits. We should surely dig deeper for clues.

The media reports on Tsholotsho have generally helped Mugabe’s idea that all those seeking to rise within the party structures are conspirators, depending onwho they are, of course.

Nothing has been said in our media about the fact that there was generally nothing wrong per se with the Tsholotsho meeting. What was wrong were the faces behind it.

If Tsholotsho was a punishable adventure then the Solomon Mujuru faction deserved censure for plotting the rise of Vice President, Joyce Mujuru. Even Mujuru has admitted that her husband “supported and encouraged” her to clinch that post.

The difference now is that we know where Moyo met with his friends while we don’t know where and when Mujuru met his team to plot the wife’s rise. The other difference is that Mujuru is a really Zanu PF top gun while Moyo is a dramatist and opportunist.

It certainly goes without saying that many Zanu PF cadres are not happy with the way the members of the Central committee and the presidium are chosen. Those who were happy with what happened to the Tsholotsho crew are happy for other reasons other than that justice has been done.

“If Tsholotsho was a punishable adventure then the Solomon Mujuru faction deserved censure for plotting the rise of Vice President, Joyce Mujuru. The difference now is that we know where Moyo met with his friends while we don’t know where and when Mujuru met his team to plot the wife’s rise “


Listen to the bitter war veterans leader, Jabulani Sibanda: “The powers of the presidium need to be checked. People cannot choose their central committee and parliament representatives anymore. If the powers of the presidium are not checked there will be no democracy in Zimbabwe.

“The presidium has usurped the powers of congress, they are now the congress and the constitution of Zanu PF. Where then is the people’s power? The era of fearing other people is now past. Even if people met in Tsholotsho, there was nothing wrong with that as people are free to meet anywhere and discuss their future.”

While Mugabe swore by the people during the Congress, as Castro would do, the evidence was beamed live on TV that the Central Committee was forced down the members’ throats as he openly airbrushed certain names off the elected list. Nothing is people-oriented about Mujuru’s rise and the current Central committee or the politburo. Just listen to his disciple, Sibanda.

As is well known, President Robert Mugabe’s brand of politics tolerates no opposition as was evidenced by his attitude towards the PF Zapu, ZUM and now the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). All those who join the opposition are either dissidents or agents of the imperialists.

Those who join Zanu PF should contend with the Dear Leader’s politics of patronage, with regular awards in the form of token positions for sheer bootlicking. Attempts to rise through the ranks through one’s own initiative are crushed ruthlessly.

The comrades are expected to ululate as the Dear Leader rides roughshod over their will and wishes. But just because dissent is part of politics the end result will automatically be initiatives such as the Tsholotsho meeting and the Mujuru factions. When a leader permeates every facet of life, clogs all the avenues of dissent to project himself as the one and only savior despite clear-cut disenchantment they become what Jonathan Moyo called “a national problem”.

Mugabe’s arthritic and octopus hold on the Zimbabwean body politic has sharpened the knives against him and launched his inner circle against him and deeply undermined both our dignity and national security.

Despite the fact that dissent has taken root in Zimbabwe and swept both cohorts and foes along, the official line has been that only those in the opposition and the civil society were the sell-outs and the Presidential inner circle was chaste and patriotic.

Now the cat is out. Those in the inner circle share many views with those in the civil society and one of them is that Mugabe has long overstayed his welcome.

The reactions to the devastating reality vary. Others will choose to show their displeasure through meetings such as Tsholotsho while others will choose to demonstrate like Lovemore Madhuku. Yet others will sell classified information to international spies. The Chiyangwa saga falls within this analysis as well.

Today Mugabe finds himself having to fire literally everybody in his party and in the intelligence service. If President Robert Mugabe was indeed a brilliant politician he would read that the meaning of Tsholotsho and the Chiyangwa debacle were nothing but the indicators that he was the main problem.

If the need for change has come, corrosion to the rock of resistance will begin to occur from within rather than on the outer layers. If it was one peripheral member of Mugabe’s inner circle caught selling information, it would have been easy to accuse them of biting the finger that fed them.

But when the whole machinery is implicated including the Zanu PF Chairman of Mugabe’s province and an ambassador designate, the problem is certainly broader than just selling out. It points to deep anger within the machinery and the desire to be better than what one is under Mugabe’s arrangement.

If a leader keeps his people under a jerk boot and watchful eye with no room for self improvement it becomes easy for his subjects to be bought. Mthulisi is a Zimbabwean journalist and writes from Zimbabwe.


Entry filed under: Past, Zimbabwe Politics.

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