By Maynard Manyowa
Like yesteryear, the Zanu PF conference came and went. Like yesteryear, it did not fail to disappoint, again. At a time when the country is broke, the only matters that dominated the entire event were “silly” succession games and, paradoxically, nothing.
In the build-up towards the conference, talk of the problems the country is facing was cunningly deflected, and the people promised that their matters would take centre stage at the conference, and resolutions would be passed to launch an ambitious campaign to right the wrongs of the last 35 years.
However, and as was the case in 2012, when the nation was misled into believing the 2013 elections would be the defining turning point, from which the elected Zanu PF government, which bemoaned sabotage and deliberate defiance from members of the opposition parties in the inclusive government, would start the process of returning the country to its glory days, it once again turned out to be much ado about nothing.
Yet again, desperate Zimbabweans now await 2018, hoping that somehow, the country will be given a new and clear direction. The reality, however, is, like so many things before, Zanu PF will again only flatter to deceive.
Last year, the populace was made to believe that former Vice-President Joice Mujuru had worked against President Robert Mugabe, government and their plans to deliver economic rebirth. She was demonised, and her axing widely misrepresented as the turning point from which a Zanu PF-led Zimbabwe would steer towards new and prosperous waters. We all know how that turned out. Things got worse.
This year, the message was not vague at all. At the conference, “the Successionists” would be dealt with, unity of purpose would be restored, and all Zanu PF members who assume the roles of State actors would leave the conference destined to finally launch ZimAsset into reality.
This will not be happening. To pursue a unity of purpose, one needs to have the purpose to begin with, and the purpose needs to be common to a degree that it can be translated into goals achievable by concerted and dedicated action.
It is common cause that the “revolution” has no purpose and the only dedicated action they are capable of is repression. To put it aptly, Zanu PF is a pseudo-revolution.
If the great emancipators of this country, the fathers and figures that once sat in the powerful central committee and former stalwarts of the movement, were to be raised from the dead, they would indeed spit in the face of this revolution, if the revolution does indeed have a face to begin with.
The late Vice-Presidents Joshua Nkomo, Joseph Msika, Simon Muzenda and John Nkomo, General Solomon Mujuru, Eddison Zvobgo, Edgar Tekere, Leopold Takawira and Vitalis Zvinavashe would no doubt hang their heads in shame to be known as father figures and celebrated heroes of this “revolution”.
These brave departed men were the last ones to carry any humane shame. The current crop clearly has none, and is incapable of shame.
You only need to look at their prime agenda over the last two years to understand exactly why it is common cause that this revolution is inhumane, insensitive, and does not deserve the title or label of “revolutionary” party.
What started as a silly joke in 2014 has now manifested into near-tangible horror. A First Lady Grace Mugabe presidency seems all the more likely. Our Zimbabwe now threatens to turn into a monarch–one that will certainly perpetuate the death by brutality of us all.
The issue of and person of Grace has dominated Zanu PF for two successive years. Factional fights, brutal infighting, and political gamesmanship have been the prime agenda, and that is just the tip of the dreadfulness. A whole meal has been made about “who is more senior” between the First Lady or Zanu PF women’s affairs chairperson, and sitting Vice-Presidents.
For two years the slogan has been “Stop It”, the agenda has been succession, be it G40, Gamatox, or the “imagined” Lacoste.
Meanwhile, in South Africa, arrested illegal Zimbabwean immigrants facing deportation are leaping out of fast-moving
police vehicles. They risk instant death than return to the brutality back home.
Residents of Chitungwiza are nearing a decade of cohabitation with raw sewage, southern suburbs have gone past a decade without running water. Jobs are lost daily, it barely even makes the news anymore.
The country faces one of the worst droughts and poor farming seasons in its entire history. For a net food importer with no food reserves at all, the situation is grave. In the absence of massive food relief, nearly 12 million people face certain starvation.
The motherland has been razed to the ground, literally. Even the term “banana republic” now seems like poetic flattery when used to describe our Zimbabwe. We have tottered beyond and past a failed State.
Instead of directing energy and resources towards addressing this crisis, Zanu PF is preoccupied with one thing: a nasty game of thrones. Instead of trying to save the sunken ship, Zanu PF insists on monumental petty power games.
Whether it is because they are plain cruel, desire to be “King of the Ashes” or it is just pure misguided leadership and bad politics remains uncertain. It could still be all of the aforementioned.
What is abundantly clear though is that Zanu PF has no shame at all.
●Maynard Manyowa is a political analyst and social commentator. He is the Editor in Chief of The Southern Daily (Zw and ZA editions). You may reach him for feedback via his website: www.maynardmanyowa.com
(This article is also published in The Newsday Newspaper in Zimbabwe)