SEOM: Why SADC is happy with the Mumba Report
@JAMWANDA2 ON SATURDAY
Franz Kafka’s world
Franz Kafka’s art rests and runs on the bizarre and overawing grotesquery. Yet it is that de-familiarised, out-of-size world which he so ably colours which becomes the vehicle for his creative genius. Coupled with his sheer wit grounded in the sardonic, to convey his surly view on life.
Fools who never get tired
In one of his never-never artistic settings which he calls “city in the south”, Kafka starts with what seems like some mundane, even senseless conversation. It goes like: “People live there who – imagine! – don’t sleep!” –“And why not?” –“Because they don’t get tired.” – “Why don’t they?” – “Because they are fools.” –“Don’t fools get tired?” – “How could fools get tired?”
A key invention of our age is the wireless medium which has given us numerous, ever mutating platforms and related services. More continue to be invented, giving rise to a technological cornucopia, literally. In my mature age, I have stopped trying to keep up and keep pace with such mutations, all of which continue to be let loose upon humanity.
Humanity in this day and age now has an inexhaustible infrastructure for self-expression, making our Age singularly talkative, and our Planet noisier that Kafka’s “city in the south” where fools who do not sleep abound.
The Original Sin, Sinner
Internet – man’s genii, plus sex – God’s sinful founding infrastructure – simply creates a potent mix for denizens of this, our planet. Let me summon Franz Kafka again: “Original sin, the old injustice committed by man, consists in the complaint unceasingly made by man that he has been the victim of an injustice, the victim of original sin.”
Walter Benjamin, the Marxist aesthete and critic takes Kafka’s argument further: “But who is accused of this inherited sin – the sin of having produced an heir – if not the father by the son? Accordingly the son would be the sinner.”
Punishing innocence and ignorance
Out of this convoluted original denialism bred by First Man in Sin, Kafka concludes – in an apparent rescue of the same heir begot by Man’s original sin: “It is characteristic of this legal system that one is sentenced not only in innocence but also in ignorance.”
Going by biblical lore, we are all creatures of Divine curse and condemnation, triggered by a Sin which reproduced us. How perfect non-persons at the time of commission of original Sin in the mythical Garden called Eden, deserve a curse reserved for the original Sinner, making us eternally mortal, baffle and beggars belief.
Literally! Why would God’s Legal System condemn innocence bred prior ignorance? The unborn cannot be guilty of any sin, of omission, let alone of commission. Let me not tempt the angry and vengeful Deity by arguing further, longer.
Bringing Balm to constipation
I notice Zimbabweans are having real difficulties in digesting Chamisa’s continuing public actions, after his trouncing by President ED Mnangagwa. And as traditional wisdom warns, swallowing ahead of proper mastication breeds great growling in the stomach. Not the right sounds in polite company!
Today I bring some relief, by ceding my more efficient stomach, for ease of swallowing. There is, after all, more to bite and chew in the frenetic era we live.
Viciously clapping back
Chamisa was defeated in the just-ended harmonised elections: fair and square, in spite of himself. He knows it, and admits to as much in private moments. Let me put it more accurately: ED and his Party, Zanu PF, outflanked America and Europe in their sinister designs on us, our resources and, thereby, on our country.
There is consensus in America and Europe that ED, Zanu PF and all Liberation Movements, are no “good” stewards for this resource-rich sub-region. All must go, so a new generation of Gucci-politicians and leaders take over helms, to deliver the Region to the West.
Especially now as Russia, China, India, buttressed by several rebellious countries from different hemispheres, are all on a global prowl for counter-hegemony. The West is on a contested retreat, and is viciously clapping back.
Pro-West deliveries in Southern Africa
Zambia and Lesotho – poor cousins in our SADC neighbourhood – were meant to mark the start of this wished-for, Oppenheimer’s Brenthurst-midwifed process of pro-West delivery. Chamisa – by every limb, all insides and mind – was billed to be a belated, yet most prized Siamese of this mediated process, and of emerging generation announced by two earlier births, both meant to open the birth channel so nothing aborts thereafter.
Angola, after all, had resulted in an “aborted, distorted delivery”, thus failing to be the first fall of post-liberation movement dominoes. Guillotining King Mswati in this long, drawn-out process of changing the make-up of Southern Africa, would have given the whole ballot-aided process designed for SADC some scintilla of region-wide naturalness.
That, too, now seems unlikely. But Zimbabwe and South Africa were and remain the coveted prizes, with Botswana now within sights, what with its radical policies on diamonds which have upset the Oppenheimers.
Coffee abhors chaos
America and the West want change in our Region, but fear the instability it might cause. As was agreed during imperial days in South America, coffee abhors chaos! American fears are more acute, particularly in highly combustible Zimbabwe, beneath which embers of anti-colonial sentiment still burn incandescent.
And of course the contagious effect this might have in the Region. It is like wanting to eat the omelette without breaking the egg. America has no problem with mass-migration from Zimbabwe, to other countries in our Region, chiefly South Africa.
In fact, in the run-up to our polls, America went round the Region telling our neighbours to brace up for influx from a Zimbabwe broken by political violence. This expressed American anxieties, and hopes for peaceful release of pent-up, election-related anger in Zimbabwe voting through migratory feet.
Forfeiting Divine graces
But there is a dimension few know. The West knows the alignment of forces within our polity, including realistically admitting that Chamisa and his crew cannot govern, and are trebly weakened by history – well, more accurately by a lack of it – by inexperience, and by sheer childishness. Yet they want the Sin and the Sinner, except without forfeiting Divine graces! So?
Simulating dissembling weakness
Well, their strategy was to develop an electoral strategy where Chamisa stands taller than all his structures and peers in opposition, to build a lonely yet vulnerable profile. An electoral strategy in which false weakness, coupled by fawned benefactor desertion, and the creation of the Kasukuwere dummy, would lull Zanu PF to sleep, while dividing its electoral strength respectively.
Underhand, the West busily built unconventional infrastructure for normal political and electoral engagement, all of it designed to spring a dramatic surprise in the just-ended elections. On the surface, Chamisa would look weak, disorganised, lonely, unsupported and insupportable; in reality, powerful forces and strategies would surreptitiously fortify his position, including hidden in the deadly gift of a Trojan Horse, which Kasukuwere was.
My encounter with Chamisa’s ally
Let me be anecdotal. Close to the polls, I had lunch with a key Chamisa official. As we ate, I asked him why Chamisa looked all alone, so late into the campaign, while all his erstwhile heavies looked standoffish, disinterested and un-engaged. He gave a two-part answer, including his own plan, post-Chamisa’s defeat which he said was foregone and even welcomed among players and associates in his disgruntled Triple C circles.
This part of the answer, I will not share, even upon pain of death, until such time and in such circumstances in which it becomes politically advisable and advantageous to my party Zanu PF.
We have been banned, localised!
The first part to this broad answer came in the form of a feeble protest: “But Mhofu, I am campaigning in my constituency?” – “Yes, you are, except you are also national?” – “Kupiko? We have all been banned and made local; we are not allowed to leave our small constituencies!” – “You accept that confinement, which is why you will not walk out on him [Chamisa] now, bitter as you are?” – “To gain what, except to bruise and defeat one lofty ego?” The rest verged on the second part to his answer, which I said I will not share!
Running and winning without Parliament
To resume my narrative, the West’s and worst strategy was founded on deploying its charming envoys to Zanu PF in order to disarm it, while contriving and circulating narratives of calculated weaknesses in Chamisa’s whole election strategy. The new EU man brought charming gift beneath which lurked deadly chalice.
The objective was lull us, while either securing for Chamisa an electoral lead which denied him outright victory, or to grant him a hung victory at the level of Presidency, but without a matching or buttressing lead in Parliament as would enable him to form the next Government.
Many saw sheer idiocy when he told gasping Zimbabweans that only Presidency for him was worth winning, adding winning Parliamentary seats did not matter. How did he hope to form the next Government; or to run it without a parliamentary majority, many asked.
GNU is not a local herb!
The West also made sure there was no third party or parties with which to enter into a governing alliance that would exclude Zanu PF from post-electoral settlement. Zanu PF had to be in, to stabilise a post-election Zimbabwe! Such an option which excluded Zanu PF would bring back the spectre of instability, which the West cannot brook in this highly mineralised teapot country of ours!
The West’s strategy against Zanu PF and for a remade Zimbabwe subsists in a graduated electoral murder of the ruling Zanu PF! As happened in post-Kabila DRC where the current President entered weak but became stronger once inside, and in the fullness of governing time.
You understand that, then you reach political epiphany in respect of what was and remains planned for us by the West, both in the 2023 harmonised polls and electoral years to come. The notion of GNU is very much the West’s thing; it is not the local medicine or herb to Zimbabwe’s riven and polarised politics!
Infrastructure for disputed elections
The Western world wanted an electoral result that would make a GNU – Government of National Unity – either a natural mathematical outcome of our elections, or the only way out of a disputed election in which the West itself would be no bystander. Elaborate infrastructure had been laid out for this one outcome by either process.
The infrastructure had many facets, including tally systems and premature announcement of results in several capitals of the world.
Weakening Zanu PF post-electoral agency
There is a very indicative report – indicative on this Western strategy – which leaked from an EU observer team operating in one of the Matabeleland Provinces. That report, which The Herald garbled, dwelt extensively on President Mnangagwa’s alleged lack of electoral appeal among voters, including allegedly among his own Party, Zanu PF.
The report predicted an ED who would be unelectable, and who would be outperformed by his own MPs in several constituencies in Matabeleland and elsewhere across the country. Not only would the President lose to the “more likeable” Chamisa; his defeat would herald an implosion in Zanu PF, making it both enervated for post-election agency, and soft and amenable enough for the wished-for reconfigured governing and stabilising politics.
God is in it mantra
Chamisa genuinely believed in the fool-proof nature of this made-in-the-West strategy, which is why he didn’t care a hoot about the performance of his MPs, all of them bitterly left to their own financial and political whims. He even bragged ED “could not rig” the electoral process “this time around”! Even God was in it! As indeed gods were, only that they all looked white and Western!
Skating on thin, survival ice
I said this western strategy alienated Chamisa’s minions. I did, and still does, to this day. Even erstwhile close lieutenants like Chibaya, Mahere and Mutseyami are angry, very angry. I won’t mention Biti and Ncube whose anger and embitterment is well-known and can hardly be papered over.
Chamisa’s ego-massaging and levelling strategy in his party has now left him skating on thin political ice. He badly needs to calm and manage his agitated and restless supporters, and to flaunt his crowds in the face of his brittle, ambitious minions who are dead set on oust him so that thought perishes in them.
Hence his current rallies around the country, which he has to complete safely before his MPs, a number of whom are not just unhappy, but also ready to disobey and rebel against him, find their feet, confidence and situational partnerships across the isle in the new Parliament.
In short, he is managing the fallout from a defeat they place squarely on him, hoping to outflank all putschists in his party.
Where fools do not sleep
The current horse-trading of parliamentary committees ahead of opening of Parliament is revealing and something worth watching. About that, let less be said. As, too, should be strident calls for a Triple C Congress which Chamisa – Zimbabwe’s foremost democrat – is stiffly resisting! Above all, the very dull yet hysterically received message which he is delivering at all his post-defeat rallies, harkens to the Kafisque “city in the south” where fools abound, do not sleep and do not tire! It’s a dazzling act born out of desperate survival.
My title says SADC capitals are happy ABOUT the Mumba Report. It does not say SADC capitals are happy WITH the Mumba Report. There is a huge difference between the two – a difference deeper than mere semantics or nuances. Happy that the West’s mischief targeted Zimbabwe, to wit the strongest and longest embattled Liberation Movement in the Region.
Which means targeting the most resilient and most daring of all liberation siblings in our Region. Again, you grasp this, you then understand why what has just happened has ramifications wider than borders of this teapot country.
As safe as its neighbourhood
Zimbabwe is not, will not, be the last of the West’s wiles and subterfuges in its pursuit of the grand plan for our Region. We are just on the cusp of the beginning of such a plan pursued in earnest. Even the fact that Zimbabwe has won this round should not create complacency both in Zanu PF and in the country.
There is much which is coveted beneath the rib-cage of our country. That means Zimbabwe is a s strong and as stable as they are friendly governments within its neighbourhood. The Mumba saga has just proven that. This is key, and our pundits in Foreign Affairs and the Security establishment must quickly grasp this. Comrades, especially in South Africa, Namibia, Tanzania, Angola and Botswana, have to win forthcoming elections!
Post-election, Zimbabwe’s defences are in its hinterland. And in strong rules, practices and institutions underpinning our Regional bodies.
Putting a knife on things that hold us together
Progressive SADC capitals, and progressive parties in SADC capitals already infiltrated and controlled by the West are very happy that the West’s attack has been on Zimbabwe. It would have been tragic if such an attack had occurred elsewhere – and won before Zimbabwe’s historic polls.
Zimbabwe would have had to struggle alone without allies, and against set precedent of electoral defeats of liberation movements. The West has tried to put a knife on the things that have held our SADC region together, hoping we would fall apart. That this failed makes Zim elections epochal, as indeed have always been all encounters between Zimbabwe and the West.
Defining decolonial Southern Africa
It terms of alignment of regional forces, Zimbabwe today wields history, and writes rules governing the future of a decolonial Southern Africa. To say so is not to brag; it is merely to accurately read the Region’s vulnerability index. Over two decades of illegal Sanctions have helped Zimbabwe develop a war economy, defiant politics and the clout to challenge and change negative tendencies which run contrary to the Frontline State foundations and traditions which infuse and drive SADC.
As Zimbabwe waits to assume chairmanship of SADC next year in August, we donkeys are watching and waiting.