Thank goodness for the drama that is happening in Zanu-PF at the moment. With what is happening in the ruling party as top officials trade word and invective – verbal leather – all other activities in the body politic have taken a back seat.
(As have, we are afraid, discourse and action on the economy.)
We have all taken our seats and popcorn to watch the tussles and it’s even interesting to note that even the opposition MDCs and other outfits have also been active spectators to the Zanu-PF drama.
Some are even taking sides!
I put it to one opposition spokesman I am acquainted with, that the recent verbal wars and twars (meaning Twitter wars) had rendered the opposition redundant.
No, he contended, you cannot “disturb your adversary when they are digging a deep hole . . . you wait and watch”.
We hardly think that the opposition has anything much to offer even if the ruling Zanu-PF were to sink itself into a hellish abyss.
So in light of this, few people noticed that there was an interesting development in the smaller (and they do not like to be called so) MDC led by Professor Welshman Ncube.
It appears that there was a plan to unseat the good Professor at the upcoming congress of the party.
This was not going to be an ordinary, democratic push – it was going to be a putsch!
A petition was being circulated to effect this putsch and it outlined so many sins of Welshman.
It was juicy, too.
These were said to be the sins of Welshman:
“For failing to protect the dignity of the family institution when amorous behaviour particularly between people in top leadership positions and vulnerable junior members became the norm in the party.
“You have at some point when you were still the secretary-general of the party been accused by one former female employee of the party for sexual harassment. This has undoubtedly dented the image of the party.
“In view of all these flaws, it is our concrete conviction that you have dismally failed to lead the MDC party. We know not any success story in the party which can be associated with your tenure of leadership.
We also strongly believe that you cannot be corrected.
“It must also be mentioned here that our patience with you was informed by our optimism that one day you could see the need to change.
“We sadly realise that your unbridled conceit obscures your view of reality in the party. For this reason we say to you this far no further!
“We take this important decision to ask you to step down from the presidency of the MDC party and allow someone else to lead us. We sincerely hope you will, in your political wisdom, choose to comply with this demand and that you will accordingly inform the party organs of that decision.”
The man behind these shenanigans is said to be one Moses Mzila Ndlovu, who, as we speak, has been ousted from the MDC where he was secretary- general.
A vote of no confidence was passed on him, leaving him reeling and raving and ranting against Prof Ncube, who we hear was so cheeky as to put the petition back in its original envelope and returned it to the senders when he saw it.
He then set to work on the plotters, leading to the ouster of Mzila Ndlovu.
And Mzila Ndovu is bitter.
“I cannot be a member of an organisation that has treated me this way after all my contributions to the party. I can’t!” he is quoted as saying.
“I cannot be associated with Welshman. As long as Welshman is still leader, I am not part of them.”
There has been speculation that there is going to be yet another split in the opposition, this time with our Mzila Ndlovu leading.
Well, good luck to him!
The reader may wonder why we have apparently picked on Mzila Ndlovu and whether we hold any brief for Prof Ncube.
The truth of the matter is that we do not hold any brief for the latter, who as we can imagine, may still be upset after we recently said less-than-charitable things about him and his leadership let alone aspirations to national captaincy.
But he is infinitely a better human being and leader compared to the crop that is at his party, with his years of experience at party level.
In this writer’s interaction with him, and witness to his presentations, he has shown to be a thoughtful, measured guy who is a rational thinker.
He would make a good full-time university lecturer, too.
Sometimes you get a feeling that he is a bit unlucky in politics and unfairly judged, especially as he is cast as a tribal leader, more so in his pursuit of the devolution agenda.
To be fair, he is more academic and principled than being populist and tribalist.
He has remained principled in his opposition to violence, of which he was a victim once at the hands of thugs loyal to Morgan Tsvangirai.
He has remained steadfast in opposition to violence, and to Tsvangirai himself, which explains why a coalition between them has remained elusive.
He carries all his quiet dignity with him.
On the other hand, there was one incident a few years ago that not only shocked this writer but also showed everything wrong with Mzila Ndlovu.
It was a discussion at Sapes Trust, sometime in 2011, and Mzila Ndlovu was there in his capacity as co-Minister of National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration.
Mzila Ndlovu raised the issue of the so-called Gukurahundi and fulminated in a manner that shocked all and sundry as he went on a tribalistic tirade against Government and individuals he accused of having perpetrated killings during this era when authorities battled apartheid South African-sponsored dissidents who were bent on destabilising the country.
And when question time came, this writer asked Mzila Ndlovu if he did not find it ironic that he was a Minister of National Healing and Integration yet he carried so much anger and was an apparent tribalist?
Everyone in the room roared with laughter.
He sat seething there at the panellist table.
I cannot recall what his answer to this was.
He was defeated.
Meanwhile, the new Constitution provides for the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC), which is a constitutional provision under Chapter 12(6) of the country’s supreme law and falls under the Organ of National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration that is headed by Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko.
And guess what, Mzila Ndlovu has dismissed not only VP Mphoko but the whole constitutional exercise as “pseudo-healing”.
You can only imagine that the likes of Mzila Ndlovu will not be satisfied until they are given guns and machetes to kill their enemies, real or imagined, and drink and be sated with blood.
It is stuff for secessionists such as the Mthwakazi movement.
We can be sure he is considering joining that doomed movement, where his misguided anger and tribalism are best suited.
Whatever his faults, Prof Ncube would do well to keep the decency of MDC — and hope for the best!