@JAMWANDA2 ON SATURDAY – Kasukuwere: Red herring, Chamisa’s double Nelson Chamisa

@Jamwanda2 0n Saturday

Becoming a political cliché

Gustave Flaubert of the 19th Century licentious novel, Madame Bovary, said this of language: “Language is indeed a machine that continually amplifies emotion.”

Nowadays we speak of the expressive force of language, including celebrating vocabulary and diction that confounds conventional usage.

Come to think of it, good writers introduce subjectivity into their writings, thus imparting freshness to diction and usage.

The opposite creates what we normally call clichés, which amount to a stylistic deadpan, a stylistic second-hand in which traditionally circulated meanings are rehashed to no effect. Going back to Flaubert, this means clichés do not and cannot amplify emotions; rather, they devalue them to create staid and melancholic prose.

Arrogating themselves divine rights

Our business community may very well have driven a death nail into the last coffin of multi-currency. One just hopes this is what they wanted and want.

They had gotten used to enjoying abnormal access to foreign currency: by way of export earnings retention concessions; by way of retaining proceeds from US dollar sales and, by way of cheaply sourcing forex from the auction floor.

They now think such access is not just normal, but also a constitutionally guaranteed right which no one – including the Almighty – can take away from them. They behave as though they do not know that they have been enjoying a bastardised right born out Monetary fornication.

 Courting filial discourtesy

They know that this raft of gratuitous concessions is in every sense sui generis to the extent it is unavailable in any other jurisdiction on this planet, including in US, itself the home of the dollar.

Saviour Kasukuwere

They know that they have enjoyed resources usurped from the Central Bank which go down in history as a father who recklessly became the child, in the process courting filial discourtesy and rebelliousness.

The time may have come to force the father to assume his role, and the son to occupy his subaltern place in the financial firmament. The recalcitrant son has been robbing and squandering family silver left, right and centre.

Magnified decibels

As if that is not bad enough, this easily gotten forex has been finding its way into the arcane world of so-called black market, in the process wreaking havoc on this much-abused Economy.

Today this long unchecked abuse has started levying horrendous costs and toll on Zimbabwe’s most hapless and most vulnerable stratum, that of the urban consumer who survives by the shelve.

He is now squeaking, with his squeak magnified by the sheer fact of the times: in less than two and half months’ time, Zimbabwe goes to the polls, something sure to lend a thousand-fold decibels, even to the most gentle toll.

Stabbed in the back

The response from the political society has been as expected as it has been diametrically opposed.

The ruling Zanu PF party is not so much angry or perturbed; rather it feels stabbed in the back by a sector it has baby-sat and gently rocked in the crib of careful care since the coming into being of the New Dispensation.

If truth be told, three-quarters of business policies which define the Second Republic actually emanated from business, all in the spirit of a private sector-led growth underpinned by openness and ease-of-doing business. Business has never found a more hospitable political environment since Independence.

In fact a more pampering environment which, arguable, may have created this psychosis of right and entitlement, indeed a saviour complex. Against such a spoiling background, it is pretty understandable why the Zanu PF government feels betrayed, and is thus disappointed.

The re-election margin matters

I discounted panic in ruling party circles. That strikes my readers as surprising, or even as a propaganda wish by a writer intimately associated with the ruling party. Except that is the reality in the cockpit, trust me.

A reality so easy to explain: Zanu PF is not campaigning for re-election; rather it is campaigning for a staggering margin of victory in that re-election; it seeks this margin to aid its re-engagement especially.

It long made a strong and unassailable case for its deservedness for re-election. It has much to show, including as far down as the household in the village.

Much more, it already has the numbers through its verified membership base, a greater part of which has gone past inertness through an aggressive voter registration and confirmation exercise.

An ephemeral or transient, two-months mishap on the shelves or in the pocket yes, may irritate. But it cannot threaten the actual edifice.

This is why there is a strong and persuasive belief in the ruling party that business has joined hands with well-known foreign embassies to whittle down Zanu PF’s margin of victory, in the hope of denying it another two-thirds majority.

Easing political opposition ennui

Reaction in the opposition camp is in fact what is worth a higher degree dissertation. The current mayhem in the marketplace has eased what the French would call political ennui in the opposition.

Ennui is that state of acute anxiety and uneasiness, a state of voidness arising from the pain of unattainable yet compulsive aspirations.

Eased that condition because Chamisa and his lot are having to invent and mould electability on the miasma of imagined missteps of Zanu PF. You notice I didn’t say failures of Zanu PF.

They are not stupid; they know Zanu PF has delivered, which is why their campaign reeks of impalpable messianism and religious zealotry.

They also know it is their side which hasn’t delivered.

For their damning misnomer is that of being an opposition that is governing.

Sorry, I meant to say an opposition that has misgoverned horrendously.

Chamisa’s track record at the lower tier of municipalities is far from edifying.

Worse, as a peek into what his dispensation may be about, it is far from inspiring let alone reassuring. Any criticism he dare makes on misgovernance boomerangs badly!

 Praying for seismic mishap

It thus comes as no wonder that this stressed opposition has been accosting the gods for some seismic mishap as would make them a surviving bad heir in a compound where all good heirs have perished.

They pray for any, every crisis ever possible in human affairs, hoping to adeptly seize onto it as a campaign plan, content and message.

A party indeed waiting to be saved by a mishap. And when any such show even by a whiff or remote smell, this creates fantasies of an escape from a political cul-de-sac, including a strange belief that Zanu PF is about to be smote by the mighty hand of some benevolent Deity above! No one enjoys and savours such sumptuous fantasies more than Chamisa himself, Holy Book in one hand, holy sceptre in another. Paraphernalia of faith and belief have become magic wand for a much-hoped for but elusive political breakthrough.

 Anger as a coping mechanism for opposition

His less religiously inclined, more secular followers, have a different coping mechanism: digital anger gratuitously plied in the nether! Daily, I am the butt of these synthetic projectiles delivered through social media.

I know them; feel them; I enjoy them as vigorous, ungainly feedback attesting to frustration from a long-stalled and collapsing campaign.

All this is blazing, manifold hatred springing from political ennui. The more it burns incandescent, scalds, the more comforting it is.

Yesterday I saw this in the way Chamisa supporters lurched onto the worsening pricing crisis, holding onto to it with tenacity stronger than that of a drowning man clutching at a serpent. Which takes me to Saviour Kasukuwere, the latter-day pretender to the crown.

The nearly man of Zimbabwe politics

Kasukuwere, we are told, has now thrown his hat in the ring. He might very well have, including throwing in his coxcombical image in which he feigns some mock-presidential poise.

This has caused some considerable stir in the social media, but only!

We are still to meet a similar stir in the work-a-day world where politics and politicians are made and unmade.

Interestingly, debate on social media is not on or about his chances. Rather, it is on and about whose vote he is likely to split!

Which seals and immortalises his political fate as the nearly man of Zimbabwe’s political contest. Again interestingly, some supporters in the ruling party and the opposition alike are angry with him, ironically for the same fears his ordained role seem to trigger!

He will eat into ED’s vote, a few impressionable ones in the ruling party opine; he will divide opposition vote thus undermining Chamisa, many in the opposition think and fear.

Between both camps is no Chinese wall! For both roles he needs no schizophrenia. Not even a gossamer veil!

Bragging about negativity capability

What is my view about him? Well, as a candidate his significance and value hardly surpasses a farthing which cannot procure even an unregistered voter or a spoilt ballot paper.

No serious politician should waste time on him, any more than he does on himself. His forlorn hope is to gain significance by causing the authorities to wave a charge sheet in his face.

Oliver North

Through such a subterfuge he hopes to claim “negative capability”, to adapt the phrase of the Nineteenth Century Romantic poet, John Keats. It then allows him to join US’s Oliver North of the CIA Contra Scandal in bragging about himself “as the President Zimbabwe would not have”!

Hoping for a Mutambara moment

His only other alternative significance is to hope for a Mutambara moment in the opposition: the hope of a small outsider whose chances are magnified by stiff rifts inside.

I mean it needs no divination to predict that after August 23, Chamisa’s “thing” will be a fractious mess sure to devour its erstwhile leader, with none of the multitudinous contenders to the throne ever prevailing.

In that Mutambara role, Kasukuwere might meet King Arthur and his green knights!

The model might just turn out to be the real opponent!

Chamisa’s Double

Perhaps what is worth more than a farthing is reading Saviour’s aspirations.

Fortunately his aspirations provide fascinating hagiography, which is to say a text in human form.


Arthur Mutambara

The first two paragraphs have Walter Mzembi and Sybeth Musengezi as incarnates. This semantic side of Kasukuwere makes him Chamisa’s double.

Through both characters, Saviour, like King Arthur, has thrown his weight behind Chamisa. Both characters are his alter ego. His offering himself as a separate Presidential candidate does not distract this role; rather, is calculated to soften Zanu PF for Chamisa by diving its vote.

He hopes to be repaid for it, thus becoming yet another variegated patch on Chamisa’s multicoloured Scottish-skirt party.

Playing red herring for Chamisa

The other hagiography would have come in the form and persons of Dr Simba Makoni and Dr Joice Mujuru had it not been for ED’s Big-Zanu PF, conciliatory tent politics. With both now inside and behind President ED’s candidature, the remnant, tattered facsimile of that model is the bitter Ibbotson Joseph, a.k.a. Ibbo Mandaza.

That role makes Saviour play the distracting role of a red herring to Zanu PF’s campaign focus, assuming Zanu PF has forgotten bitter lessons of 2008.

Such a role does not need prior understanding between Kasukuwere and Chamisa. It just needs to happen, with gains accruing to Chamisa as coming fortuitously and inadvertently.

Death of a salesman

Whether it is the Mutambara or Mavambo model, one outcome is dead certain: Hamlet, the main actor embraces the fate of all tragic heroes in a Shakespearean drama. In the end he dies, much like corporeal Makoni and Mutambara soon after and at the conclusion of GNU respectively.

The only issue is in whose hands does he finally meet his death! Whether death of a Double or a Red Herring, let the world of humans decide.

The issue is that both deaths have been suffered before, making Kasukuwere him a political cliché in human form, quintessentially bereft of any originality, subjectivity or expressive force. I am only a braying donkey!

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