MANY theories have been advanced as to what could have led Zanu-PF to recall erstwhile First Secretary and President Cde Robert Mugabe though many zero in on the disastrous influence the then First Lady Grace Mugabe had on his legacy as she choose to defend reactionaries in the party, principally, the serial flip-flopper and self-confessed political chameleon Jonathan Moyo.
Others point to the deification of Cde Mugabe that saw the likes of former Youth League chairperson Kudzanai Chipanga likening him to the Angel Gabriel and the then First Lady to an angel’s wife.
Chipanga was in good company as the likes of Tony Gara, former Harare mayor, had likened the former President to ‘‘the only son of God’’.
President Mugabe, for all his intellect, surprisingly soaked it all in and never once rebuked the boot-lickers whose claim to fame was proficiency at singing his praises rather than articulating party policy or vision.
Such blasphemous statements and the many songs composed and sung in Cde Mugabe’s honour led to a serious cult of personality that ended up manifesting in the so-called : “one-centre of power” principle that effectively put the former President above party organs.
This is why we were encouraged to hear incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa advising party supporters against deifying him saying if they were to sing any songs they have to be liberation war songs or the national anthem.
We let President Mnangagwa speak: “The praise song I desire, if you were to sing one, is that of our national anthem and those from the liberation struggle, not for myself, no! If you sing the national anthem, if you sing those national songs then me and you are together.”
In that simple statement President Mnangagwa proved his strength of character and political acumen in advising party supporters to go back to source by prioritising the legacy of the liberation struggle and the nation above personality politics.
It is the scourge of politics of personalities that bred evils like factionalism that saw some party supporters swearing allegiance to individuals and not the party or country.
We hail President Mnangagwa for reminding Zanu-PF to go back to source because during the liberation struggle it was uncommon to have slogans that hailed individuals or songs in praise of the living.
This served to put the cause of liberation above personalities and we hope Zanu-PF supporters stand put on notice.
It is time to restore legacy, and the legacy is national not personal.
It is enduring not transient for leaders come and go, but Zimbabwe endures.