My Turn With Tichaona Zindoga
PEOPLE enjoy drama — lots of it — especially when they are not participating in it where they risk being hurt. They love to look at other people’s lives and how they live: the troubles and fights they have and so on.
That particular quality in human beings is like voyeurism.
A cartoonist may depict a voyeur by way of illustrating this one guy sitting on the raised porch of his house while he looks into the next property through binoculars — or even a telescope.
That is what many people are.
Not that the pried on parties always condone such nosiness.
Others, though, love the attention and often play to the gallery.
Some of them are natural actors of the drama of their lives while some create or contrive the drama to play in.
Look at Honourable Temba Mliswa.
Many people knew him as a fitness trainer of the national soccer team, and through his high-profile troubles with the law, which at some point made him a regular feature at the courts.
How Mliswa ended up being the provincial chairman of the ruling Zanu-PF party, many people are not quite sure.
Nor are they so sure whether he deserves it. But Mliswa is the chairman of Zanu-PF Mashonaland West Province.
He has to date, created so much drama in his political life that he is one of the most talked about people in town today.
We welcomed his openness and militancy when he was elected National Assembly member and he caused ripples with his outspokenness on the buying of cars from local manufacturer, WIllowvale Mazda Motor Industries.
He declined his vehicle allocation from the expensive lot for MPs — he and Justice Mayor Wadyajena.
Mliswa went further to challenge ministers to declare their assets.
He even clashed with another drama king, Joseph Chinotimba, on his perceived lack of support for party motions or something to that effect.
We were not lost to the drama and on March 8 this year, this writer had an adulatory piece titled; “When Temba comes to town.”
Only it has since been left hanging up there, like something accidentally left on a public washing line which you would rather wasn’t there.
There was to be the Billy Rautenbach story in which Mliswa claimed a cool figure of $165 million for doing what would, from his submissions, constitute a crime of influence peddling. Temba claimed every cent of it because, for him, he had helped Billy in “consultation” and taking him to certain and several political offices.
And, true to fashion, Temba would hold press conferences and tell the world about the deal and about anyone involved.
Basil Nyabadza, the Arda chairman and former chairman of the Zanu-PF Manicaland province whom Temba fingered in the soured deal, correctly pointed out that the latter was in the habit of starting all manner of bushfires.
Nyabadza largely forebode trouble with Mliswa.
Luckily for him, it appears the Temba-made great fire that he feared would devour him did not come to pass.
That episode is gone, perhaps for good.
But Temba has gone on to start other fires and at the moment it would appear he fancies himself a kingmaker of sorts and has been fighting in one factional corner of the divided Zanu-PF.
The events of the past few weeks have been well documented.
Suffice to say this has brought out the best in Temba the actor; the worst for Temba the leader.
We have been watching.
And the reader may be tempted to think that this submission is about Temba Mliswa.
It is not.
It is about the whole of Zanu-PF whose internal strife has the convenient face of actor Mliswa.
While it is true that internal fights and contestations are natural, even good for internal democracy, it would seem as though Zanu-PF is losing the plot.
From the looks of it, key figures of the party have been so busy in factional fights that they have forgotten to sing the story of economic recovery and Zim-Asset.
Of course that is a simplistic view.
The bottom line though is that people of this country expect politicians, ruling politicians, to be more focused on the national agenda rather than personal or parochial interests.
They may even appear to be so focused.
A revolutionary and ruling party carries more moral and political burden than say a vanquished and once formidable opposition whose chances are truly and well gone.
It is on this score that the drama in the party, such as we have seen in recent times, ceases to amuse.
There are simply bigger and better things to do.
The other problem is that people in the party will try to find convenient spaces with figures and institutions that hurt or expose the party in the long term.
There has been talk of how some people in Zanu-PF are working with the opposition and how some guys in the revolutionary party are seeking “regime change from within”.
It has to be granted that some of these accusations are nothing but political mud being thrown at each other.
It’s towards Congress, is the excuse these days, of this mudslinging.
But what will the party look like in 60 days’ time?
Almost like that foolish, unlistening pair in the proverbial garden of Eden.
A local musician has a number on how someone that throws muck at someone inevitably has his hands soiled as well. After congress, Zanu-PF will have to face this reality, hence, perhaps this counsel that the party should not pursue its destructively dramatic plot.
Now, it can be asked, how will some comrades that have resorted to the “opposition” media defend their party when it comes under inevitable attack from the same quarters?
These “opposition” media are prone to misrepresent, scandalise, lie and divide Zanu-PF when they are serving their real masters in the regime change plan.
Will the same comrades that have legitimised these “opposition” media as their mouthpieces have the guts to call them to order without sounding hypocritical?
Questions abound for those that are seeing beyond the current drama.
Ironically, in our honest selves and moments, we are looking forward to some more drama to satiate our voyeuristic whims.
Next scene, Cde Temba!