Hildegarde The Arena
IT has been said time and again that the moment someone falls out with Zanu-PF, especially those in top leadership positions like the Central Committee and the Politburo, they are quick to be the first ones to bad mouth the party. It does not just end with that.
While they climbed the ladder of success, so too their visibility to everything that is good about Zimbabwe.
It’s an open secret that in the process, some of them abuse those positions. When people turn a blind eye, they think that they are too thick to know and understand that they are being taken advantage of.
However, when they want more than what they can chew, and the very people they believed were too daft to understand say no, they reincarnate themselves to sainthood.
They will neither hear nor see evil, except that which happens or happened in that Zanu-PF. You wonder why these Damascene moments are experienced by some Zanu-PF cadres when they are booted out of the ruling party and/or are called to order when they go against the party constitution.
Since it’s formation more than half a century ago, Zanu-PF has produced some of these ‘veritable saints’ who bestow on themselves that venerable title the moment they leave the ruling party and/or when they start showing signs that they want out.
I checked out the meaning of saint and here is what I got from one website: “The word saint literally means ‘holy’, and, in the New Testament, saint referred to all who believed in Jesus Christ and followed his teachings. The assumption was that those who followed Christ had been so transformed that they were now different from other men and women and, thus, should be considered holy.”
This is the working definition this writer will use to analyse the saintly figures that from time-to-time emerge out of Zanu-PF, with major emphasis on transformation. They have in the past 35 years included Cdes Edgar “Twoboy” Tekere, Margaret Dongo, Simba Makoni, Dumiso Dabengwa, Rugare Gumbo, Jabulani Sibanda, Didymus Mutasa and Joice Mujuru.
Even MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai is part of this list because he is/was a Zanu-PF card-carrying member.
Their common trait is to see themselves as more democratic than anyone else in the revolutionary party that nurtured their political ambitions. The Gukurahundi mantra they often use to gain political mileage is ‘President Mugabe’s problem’, so too the socio-economic and cultural challenges.
Once they attain that “sainthood” outside of Zanu-PF, even the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West are President Mugabe’s problem and fault. Instead they seek to promote their vainglory while demonising the people they shared ideals with.
So too the governance issues that might arise time and again. We saw that with Mutasa’s recent diatribe as he tried in vain to discredit the Zanu-PF 6th National People’s Congress.
Indeed, the buck should stop with President Mugabe, for he is the leader, but why make it look like they were not part of the policy formulation since 1980? Why dissociate themselves from a process where they derived lots of financial and material benefit? Why can’t we for once have someone quitting Zanu-PF telling the people the truth that they failed to implement the policies that they were in charge of?
It seems lost to some of these ‘saints’ that many-a-time, the private media used to grade cabinet ministers and Members of Parliament’s performance since they survive on tax dollars. It was not a crazy exercise.
Performance evaluation is the standard in any work environment. The Zanu-PF they “left” might take all the blame, but how much of that blame should fall on some of the shoulders of these “transformed” politicians?
Some of them have amassed so much wealth, riches whose origins are very questionable, but when we evaluate their job performances during the period they held leadership positions in Zanu-PF, against this wealth, we have more questions than answers, especially when everything is President Mugabe’s fault. Even that wealth is his fault, is it?
If we were to ask some of these people why garbage is all over and why the state of Zimbabwe’s road infrastructure is in such a bad state, they will vouch ignorance and blame it all on President Mugabe.
Which takes me to the second tier of this problem, that is, life outside Zanu-PF is one presidential election after another.
You start wondering whether these people have a life or they think and believe that the “one person, one vote” was to torture the people with elections every year. But the bigger picture is not lost. The election mania is directed at President Mugabe.
Election 2018 is already preoccupying a number of these people. At the weekend, I saw Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn leader Dr Simba Makoni’s posters pasted all over in our neighbourhood.
That same old poster from 2008, which is being recycled to allure prospective voters to “Vote Simba Makoni President 2018”. A felt pen scraps the original date 2008, and 2018 is also handwritten.
Seven years down the line, Dr Makoni has not yet re-branded himself. He is trying to market new wine in old wineskins.
Why this desperation, which is the flip-side of what Cde Mutasa did when he slotted an advert in the private media claiming to be the Zanu-PF secretary for administration when he knew full well that he had lost that position?
In this digital age, what right-thinking supporter would want to follow someone who stills uses leftover stationary from 2008, with the same message? This has given him away. He does not have new ideas, and neither does he have the funding to sponsor an election campaign. Like a treasure-hunter, he uses whatever is at his disposal, but with disastrous consequences because you cannot fool the people always, and neither can you cheat the harsh environmental conditions.
More shocking was the discovery I made on his other posters that have either been exposed to the harsh weather conditions like the sun, wind and rain.
The other poster (see picture), which I tried in vain to remove from the dirty wall revealed information that made the writer wonder where Dr Makoni got his stationary from. The poster has a fading picture of Dr Makoni and some of the information you see on the original poster. However, there is also some health information: “How is diarrhoea prevented? How is diarrhoea treated?
“A life prepared, is a life saved . . .” There is also a list of donor organisations such as: PSI, World Health Organisation, Oxfam, World Vision, Unicef, CRS, Medicins Sans Frontiers, and more.
In as much as I cannot make head or tail of how some of these people reincarnate themselves to sainthood, it is also a mystery why Dr Makoni’s fading poster has information with no direct relation to his politics. Who used whose stationary — between the Ministry of Health and Child Care and Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn?
The irony about sainthood is well illustrated by the Catholic Church. You have to die first before your works are realised and put to the test. When you meet the mark, you are then canonised, but you remain dead even if you are called saint. Those who left Zanu-PF and assumed ‘sainthood’ have realised that the road to nowhere is shorter than they thought.