Bevan Musoko Correspondent
To those who have been observing the interesting roll-out of campaigns for the forthcoming harmonised elections by the multitudes of political parties in Zimbabwe, both established and upstarts, may have noticed that the cabal of Zanu-PF rejects that re-grouped under the name National Patriotic Front has appropriated a picture of former president Robert Mugabe with late Vice President Joshua Nkomo under the caption: “Champions of unity” as part of their catch phrases.
The NPF presumably wants to create the impression that the party, like the two nationalists, is also preaching unity in the footsteps of Mugabe and Dr Nkomo. I have no problem with the use of the Mugabe name in the NPF publicity campaigns as Mugabe is the brains behind the NPF project.
He is credited with supporting, advising and even funding the NPF in a bid to revive his dead political career through proxies. What I have a problem with is the use of the Nkomo name and legacy by the very political rejects from the party Dr Nkomo worked so hard to build.
It is no secret that the NPF comprises politicians who were expelled from zanu-pf for their factional and nefarious activities after Operation Restore Legacy, among them Eunice Sandi-Moyo, Sarah Mahoka, Jeppy Jaboon, Shadreck Mashayamombe and Saviour Kasukuwere. This group does not in any way reflect the selfless dedication to the liberation and development of Zimbabwe which became the political hallmark of the late Father Zimbabwe.
Kasukuwere, Mashayamombe, Patrick Zhuwao and Prof Jonathan Moyo personify the abuse of public positions for self-enrichment. Kasukuwere and Mashayamombe are associated with the proliferation of land barons in Harare, the chaotic allocation of residential stands in Harare South, while the link between corruption at NSSA and Zimdef, Zhuwao and Prof Moyo, respectively, needs no introduction.
For these corrupt politicians to associate themselves with the rich legacy of Dr Nkomo is a mockery to Dr Nkomo and the intelligence of Zimbabweans at large. It is no secret that Mugabe refused to have the stature of Dr Nkomo erected at Karigamombe building in Harare. It is again no secret that Dr Nkomo was hounded into fleeing into exile in Botswana during the early 1980s by the very Mugabe government over political differences then. So today for the NPF to seek to appropriate the legacy of Dr Nkomo for its political mobilisation is an affront to his honour. Dr Nkomo did not condone the construction of multi-million mansions while the masses of Zimbabwe were facing deprivation of basic services like portable water, Dr Nkomo did not support the parcelling out of thousands of hectares of prime land to political cronies of the former president at the expense of the landless masses.
Dr Nkomo stood for upright political activism, selfless commitment to the development of all Zimbabweans, honesty and integrity and, above all, unity of all Zimbabweans, irrespective of colour, tribe creed or political affiliation. That Kasukuwere, Mashayamombe, Jaboon, Sandi-Moyo and Mahoka seek to portray themselves as representative of the ideals of Dr Nkomo is a betrayal of monumental proportions. These discredited politicians personify cronyism, corruption, greed, opulence, unbridled ambition and political prostitution. Their convergence with Mugabe in reviving dead political careers says a lot about the inspiration they are receiving from Mugabe, who in his own right, personifies all that went wrong with the nationalist project in Zimbabwe.
Mugabe allowed the proliferation of corruption by his aides while parroting the nationalism mantra.
Zimbabweans are wise enough to separate the NPF/Mugabe political chaff from the truly nationalist ideals as being pursued by the revolutionary zanu-pf party.