No, Cde Chimene, this is ridiculous!

Mandi Chimene

Mandi Chimene

MyTurn with Tichaona Zindoga —

One of the local dailies yesterday carried quite a humorous story about how Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs Mandi Chimene, who is also leading a faction of war veterans, threatened to beat up War Veterans’ Minister Cde Tshinga Dube.The story is so graphic in detail it is both humorous and depressing at the same time.

It is as tragic as it is comic.

A friend-politician who is in the United Kingdom said the story had made his day.

Yet you can guess it is more like proverbially laughing at your own grief in a hopeless situation.

Which the country is pretty much in mortal danger of.

But we have to recount the story for the benefit of those people who may have missed this tragicomic piece of news.

According to NewsDay, and we hope they indulge us retelling their story for a bigger audience, Cde Dube accused Chimene of threatening to assault him for allegedly siding with a rival faction of the freedom fighters led by Christopher Mutsvangwa, before she unleashed a sangoma on him.

It is said Cde Dube was in Mutare at the weekend with Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi and his permanent secretary Walter Tapfumaneyi.

As the formalities of the meeting went, Chimene allegedly made threats and unleashed an agent of dark arts on the poor minister.

“While I was giving my welcoming remarks, she stood up and said she was going to beat me up. I told her if she did that, she would be arrested,” Cde Dube is quoted as saying.

This reportedly happened in full view of other dignitaries.

Continued Cde Dube narrating his ordeal: “So when we were leaving the venue, her sangoma started performing some rituals on me, burping uncontrollably and my wife said I should not respond, but just to tell her (Chimene) to read Psalms 23 vs 1 to 6, which says ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want and so on and so forth’. I looked at this man burping at me pitifully and I said this is the highest level of madness.”

This bizarre incident is somewhat corroborated by Minister Sekeramayi.

“I just heard that there was a sangoma, who was doing ‘hirririi tata hiriririr tata’, after I had gone. Those other issues, I have nothing to say,” Cde Sekeramayi is quoted as saying, before breaking into laughter.

Mirthless, tragic laughter

It’s ridiculous.

This is ridiculous.

The “hirririi tata hiriririr tata” business is not funny at all.

Ask Cde Sekeramayi himself: there is nothing really funny about what is happening among the country’s war veterans, itself a mirror of the fractured relations in the ruling party Zanu-PF.

You laugh at an act of like this Chimene voodoo but you spit afterwards because it leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

It’s disgusting.

It should be said here and now without equivocation, fear or favour that what is happening in Zanu-PF – reflected in the mini war at war veterans – is disgusting as officials in the ruling party are spending much time and energy fighting among themselves.

Many out there are not seeing anything good coming out of the fights that have nothing to do with the general well-being of the country but are ego-driven wars by individuals jostling for power and control of the ruling party.

These protagonists have an underlying death wish for President Mugabe and have been seeking to position themselves for, and after his demise, even when professing undying love for the veteran leader with one corner of the mouth.

The wars that we have seen in recent years and nowadays and months are veritably ugly and dirty.

Chimene’s alleged shenanigans are just a tragicomic sideshow.

We have seen and heard about plots being hatched at farms and at hotels.

It is no longer a secret.

Factionalism is playing out so blatantly, so nakedly and so shamelessly to the grotesque proportions that it has become.

Everything has become blurred and lost in the dark, billowing smoke of factionalism: even self-confessed thieves have now sought convenient cover behind the clouds of factionalism.

It is one stroke of luck that we have not seen blood on the streets.

Perhaps it is too early to count the stars.

Meanwhile, it is a self-evident fact that scant attention is being paid to real bread and butter issues at a time when national confidence is low and there is confusion as to the direction the economy is taking.

There is scant assurance that a united ruling party is willing to set aside personal and parochial differences to steer the economy to stability and progress.

Which is what people really lose sleep over.

Instead, they are confronted by a group of people whose primary focus appears to be first secure power over their internal rivals at whatever cost.

The next thing will be plunder and patronage.

Let us be clear on that, again without fear or favour.

We are tired of this show.

It is disgusting.

The country is moving nowhere fast.

This “hirririi tata hiriririr tata” business is an expression of that huffing and puffing going nowhere fast.

There is this image doing rounds on social media.

It depicts a grotesque image of what appears to be a car which you cannot point out where it is facing as it has multiple facades.

The cynical have compared it to Zimbabwe. A Malawian friend claimed it as theirs.

You tend to laugh at this grotesque image.

But it is not funny.

It is like an evil, confusing spell.

A phantasmagoria.

People need their lives – and direction – back.

Leaders should begin to inspire confidence that there is life and direction beyond personal, parochial, tribal and egoistic considerations.

The war vets question

It would be remiss not to comment about the war vets question which has in fact been lost in distractions such as the Mandi Chimene’s voodoo antics.

Zanu-PF should be careful.

War veterans constitute a significant demographic and dynamic in the ruling party.

The ex-fighters have been a strong mobilising force for the ruling party since independence and from the look of things, they are still capable of doing the same.

That is, in spite of the emergence of a generation of youth.

Ordinarily, these two generations must mix – the one, a carrier of institutional memory grooming the other in spreading and regenerating the revolution espoused by the younger generation.

The transition could have been seamless.

However, there seems to have been attempts to separate these two generations of Zanu-PF with an implied intent of expending with the older generation.

This attempt has not only been ill fated but also patently foolish as a huge chunk of war veterans has still active political, social and even economic lives.

Illustratively, war veterans who went to war at 20 years in 1975 are an average of 60 years and a good chunk is within the bracket of five years younger or older.

Now, these people cannot be ignored or cast away as a demographic.

Equally, they should not have allowed, as some have done, themselves to think that they somehow own the patent of this country and have some super rights that do not accrue to all others.

Zimbabwe is bigger than any individual or groups.

Rather, Zimbabweans should work together in different roles to show the organic nature of the revolution.

But there has been a dislocation.

Zimbabwe, and the ruling party in particular, stand to reap bitter harvest of the dislocation and disunity in the country.

This cannot be good.

At worst, a rapture and dislocation within the ruling party can amount to a national security threat.

The present and continuing factionalism in the ruling party should be seen in this light and steps should be taken to arrest it before it damns us all.

One thing is for sure, this “hirririi tata hiriririr tata” business is not funny at all.

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  • Mhofu Chaiyo

    That is what is expected of you, Zindoga – expressing a fair opinion without the innuendos that you usually give us! I read your article to the end for the first time in a long time and indeed agree that in as much as this incident is very funny, it is equally ridiculous! It remains to see what the President will do, because I remember Mai Mujuru being expelled from Zanu Pf and government for using juju, as one of her crimes.

  • King Duncan

    Apa tirikurova nyoka takaviga mupinyu. Chokwadi chiripo ndechekuti Sekuru Mugabe vasudurike. The man has done his bit. Short sighted people will say akauraya nyika. He did what he thought was right and which was good for black advancement. Its a pity he is being demonised now by the West, when early in 80s before the advent of the so called ” land grab’ he was a Darling of the West. But that as it may ,surely the time for him to step down and pass the button is long overdue. No one man can win this war. This is now evident by how soon people forget your deeds of yester year. Surely if you love Zimbabwe as you claims you must immediately step down and pass the baton. All these fire fighting measures like bond notes, multi currency issues are a result of your clinging to power. You have a family to think off. You are now being dubbed a dictator and history is abound of what happens to families of dictators. Once you get that title its difficult to cast off. Please comrade Mugabe . Think of your legacy . Think of your Family and lastly Zimbabwe. You spent the greater part of your life fighting to liberate Zimbabwe. Is this the Zimbabwe you and other greats like Nkomo, Chitepo, Togogara , Ziyayapa Moyo and many other fallen heroes, too many to mention here had in Mind. I guess no. Would you have achieved your goals if you were fighting alone. Its all about team work comrade.Think of Bona the apple of your eye. And your dear muzukuru. What future have you got for them
    You are a man of letters. Think of Macbeth and his ” No man born of woman will defeat you until Burnam wood moves to Duncan Hill” and the role played by Lady Macbeth whose role is being well played by your dear wife Dr Grace Mugabe and her vaulting ambition.What became of him.

    You are bring surrounded by vampires. Blood suckers. Praise singers. You think they love . No. And there is plenty of them even in the opposition who like you there because ” them belly full whilst the majority of the populace are dying”

    Please Comrade, some of us are not given to writing long speeches. I been defending you and your cause left right and centre. In buses. Bars you name. Ndaneta Comrade. Leave the last for other people. Even when its not of your making, you are blamed.

    • nmurimba

      Sorry King Duncan on the point you noted that it is a pity that Mugabe is being demonised by the West. I would like to remind you that the same Mugabe said Britain Keep your Britain and I keep my Zimbabwe. There was a singer who was allowed by very intelligent Zimbabweans to sing Tony Blair is a toilet, do you remember this? What do you call this? Isn’t it demonising others? Musazokandira dzimba dzevamwe matombo imwi mwechigara mumba yeglass wall. Have a long sight always. The lesson is “Do not be arrogant to others”

  • haiwawo

    What do you expect from a mbaje-adlled brian?

    This is the caliber of people the First Family surrounds itself with because it is easy to get them to do their bidding.

  • xyz

    In 2008, Nelson Mandela said there is a tragic failure of leadership in Zimbabwe. That was even before the antics of Mandi Chimene!

    • nmurimba

      And Bishop Desmond Tutu said Magabe has become the Frankstain of his people. We became very angry to hear him say that about our Revolutionary Leader. The prophecy is proving true now.

  • National Development

    I was personally shocked when I read the story about the Dube Chimene clash. It spoke of a party that has lost respect of itself. That Cde. Chimene has done this and continues to survive within the party is astonishing as it is disturbing. Ordinarily, the President VaMugabe as I know him would have acted. There is need for order and discipline in the party. Cde. Chimene has belittled the VP and thus indirectly the president of the party and country and yet walks a free person. Meanwhile as stated above the focus on important national development issues. Who is there to steer the ship towards prosperity with all this bickering and fighting. Let’s be serious macomrades.

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    Its infra dig for a whole government minister to behave the way Cde Chimene did. We are also reminded of a woman who also faked spiritual possession at a rally in Chiweshe . To me, that was a mockery to the spirits of our fallen liberation war heroes..This repeat of the spiritual drama speaks volumes of the caliber of some of our government ministers. No wonder why church spiritual necromancers are now giving handkerchiefs as protective guns to government ministers. Nehanda forbid!

  • yowe

    Mugabe loves these factions its a tactic called divide and rule. It makes sure he is safe as no attention is directed to him. He will make a comment about it then another story comes( remember for the past 3 weeks it was all about Jonso), whilst all the while life is getting harder for the ordinary man and Bond notes are about to steal everything from the poor Zimbabweans. People are being distracted by these petty rivalries carefully choreographed and allowed to play out as a diversion to the real issues at hand, all the while buying time for those in power. With a useless opposition and a populace easily distracted as this we are the authors of our own doom.Ndokuvaraidzwa nemavara eshato uku