My Turn with Tichaona Zindoga
IT is tempting to focus on the recent histrionics of one Kudakwashe Bhasikiti, a former Zanu-PF member who was fired a couple of months back for being part of the faction that sought to unconstitutionally wrest power from President Mugabe.
Bhasikiti may have been fired a little way before that, what with President Mugabe asking him in his face why he was in the wrong basket, a pun on his name.
And then the day came when he was tossed from the wrong basket onto the streets, losing his Government position and membership of the ruling party.
Bhasikiti is not taking it lying down, or so he imagines, and has sought to drag President Mugabe before the courts where, as expected he has come to grief not because of any malignancy or conspiracy against him by the courts, but because of the inherent weakness of Bhasikiti’s case against the voluntary club that no longer required his services.
The court had some wise counsel for him, at the last failed juncture a fortnight ago: just form your own party!
This was the reasoning of the learned nine-man bench: “Where a relationship of two parties is irretrievably broken down, the court should not hold them together.”
Bhasikiti is now a full opposition member and what a better and belligerent way to express the same than advise his former boss that he should “go now”?
One opposition mouthpiece proclaimed this great news at the beginning of the week.
And the excitable paper and its chief writer purred on with the “frank”, “evidently resolute” and the newest member of the “growing bandwagon of critical politicians who were once leading lights in the warring ruling party”, Bhasikiti.
From the foregoing, it can be concluded that Bhasikiti will be a busy man in the coming few weeks and months trying to show how he has met his Damascene moment, apologise even for having been part of the ruling party, and throw a lot of mud.
But we have been down that road before, haven’t we?
In only recent times, and since the precipitous events of last year, we have seen the likes of Rugare Gumbo, Didymus Mutasa, Jabulani Sibanda and Temba Mliswa doing what Bhasikiti is doing now.
And, of course, to the same cheering by the private media who also happen to follow new dissenters with the energy and doggedness of dogs on heat.
Yet, somehow, the drama will die — let’s say old episodes die and new ones are born — in the cycle of Zimbabwean politics.
And soon enough, our Bhasikiti will realise the futility of his kicking and screaming which in fact is costing him his energies and sleep unnecessarily.
Now, this Bhasikiti and co. story is becoming the hallmark of Zimbabwean politics at the moment, whether from the opposition or the ruling party.
People are spending a lot of time fighting each other for positions and power and not so much for the betterment of the people they are supposed to lead.
It is a new, unfortunate culture.
A culture of negative energy.
Not so long ago, fights were a preserve for necessary political, and elective times which season when it came to pass would not carry old bitternesses and divisions more than the necessary ephemerality.
After that, wounds would be healed somewhat and work done.
Not anymore. Look at the ruling Zanu-PF. Who would have thought that after the massive infighting and subsequent purges of yesteryear people would still be fighting each other and seeking to undo each other in races imagined or real?
Factions, or talk thereof, did not go away with the booting of one Joice Mujuru.
Votes of no confidence, hitherto a rare provision to be deployed in the ruling party, did not end with the kicking away of Mujuru.
The no confidence vote claimed the scalp of Ziyambi Ziyambi a few days ago; as it did to some members of the Manicaland Provincial Youth Executive over the weekend.
And poor Samuel Undenge complained bitterly over the same weekend that some people are going out collecting signatures to petition his ouster as chairman of the same province.
This may as well come in the coming days. And the whole political country is gripped with this kind of siege mentality.
For the political class, which includes the opposition, nothing seems to be more immanent than gaining or consolidating power.
That is why the opposition has now splintered into innumerable shards and everywhere you turn some Zanu-PF personalities are at each other’s throats.
On the social media and other interactive platforms, including bars, people gravitate towards the divisive — always converging to diverge!
And who suffers? It is the country, of course! Pretty little is said and done by the ruling party to improve the lives of the people and to deliver on its mandate when the leaders and workmen of the ruling party are preoccupied with fighting and seeking personal glory at the expense — at least measured by the immediacy of time — of service delivery.
A splintered, fighting opposition does no better. In other times and places you would see an opposition taking advantage of a ruling party that is not focused to deliver its own blows and progressive, alternative vision.
Not in Zimbabwe. It was Edmund Kudzayi who wrote that Zanu-PF must thank Tsvangirai — and he was right.
Would any ruling party have better opponents than a clueless and totally unhelpful opposition which even disappoints its staunchest supporters and funders?
And when the opposition should be coming up with smart ideas to appear sexy to the electorate it comes up with dubious and unhelpful subterfuges such as the apparently contrived disappearance of one Itai Dzamara.
For what, one may ask? There is little doubt that this Dzamara ploy will not work for the opposition not least because Zimbabweans are not going to lose sleep over that poor fellow.
Zimbabweans are looking for bread and butter issues — or is it sadza and nyama issues — and they are being ill served by the political class.
And this means that they do not care whoever is booted from which party for what mischief they would have committed.
Politicians would better start talking the alternative bread and butter issues to be taken seriously.
Let’s deploy this energy to positive uses.