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DANIEL FORTUNE MOLOKELA: FACING REALITY
The dilemma of the Professor
Last updated: 12/07/2004 01:14:35
WOW! How have the might fallen! And what a spectacular fall it has
been! I mean the apparent demise of the hitherto ever-fledging political
career of one Professor Jonathan Moyo. Indeed once touted as a dark horse in
the race to replace the ageing Robert Mugabe in 2008, the Professor's
presidential ambitions have collapsed completely like a deck of casino
As I write, the Professor is busy licking his fingers, having narrowly
missed out on a big opportunity to cut for himself the biggest slice in the
Zimbabwean power cake. He cannot believe it that all his grandiose delusions
and dreams of power have suddenly become a nightmare of a monstrous
Yet at the beginning of November, the Professor looked invincible and
unstoppable to both his foes and friends alike. He seemed to be destined for
the highest echelons of political power. At that time, he appeared well on
course to storm into the State House.
To many people, he had the complete confidence of Mugabe, his only but
very influential political benefactor. To some, he had everything going for
him and as such, it was only a matter of time before assumed supreme control
of the nation's highest political office.
But alas, this was not to be!
As I write, the Professor is facing one of the darkest moments of his
very tempestuous life. At the moment, he has found himself in the biggest
fallout of his political career. If anything, it appears as if he is
inextricably locked in the thorny horns of a political dilemma that will
prove virtually impossible for him to extricate himself out of it.
Put in other words, the Professor is in deep trouble, the ship of his
political career has hit the dire straits. He is clinging dangerously on a
political cliffhanger and easily appears on the precipice of total collapse.
His political career is hanging by the thread. Anything can or will happen
to him anytime from now.
As I write, the professor has completely lost control of his political
career options. His political destiny appears no longer in his hands. To
make matters worse, his perceived friends have abandoned him or have been
severely silenced and cowered into passive submission. There is absolutely
no one at the moment, who is willing to put their neck on the line for the
sake of saving the Professor.
On the other hand, his presumed enemies have taken control of the
entire Zanu-PF political process. To add woes and trepidation to the
Professor they have one thing in their minds; how to come up with the
proverbial sucker punch that will stuff the political life out of the
Professor. They are busy hovering around him, having drawn out long knives,
anxiously looking for a good chance to hit him with the most fatal of all
The Professor is definitely down and might sooner than later find
If what transpired in the past two weeks is anything to go by, then
the worst is yet to come for the embattled Professor. It is however, most
likely that he will be dropped from the Politburo and then subsequently axed
from the Cabinet. Added to that, his political labours in Tsholotsho will
avail to nothing since his ambitions to represent Zanu-PF there will also be
thwarted by the party's bigwigs.
At the moment, everyone is busy wondering how his end will transpire.
There are about three or so main permutations that have emerged amid the
speculation about his uncertain future. These can be summed up as follows:
(a) The Professor Might Flee Zimbabwe
The Professor still has possibly, one ace up his sleeve. That is to
take the cue from his former technocrat Cabinet colleague, Dr Nkosana Moyo
and skip the country. He has the option of faxing his resignation from a
remote island in the Indian, Pacific or Atlantic Ocean. Whichever of these
he may choose to be safer for him. In that he will not only be able to save
his life but also be able to launch is vengeful attacks on Zanu-PF.
(b) The Professor Might Be Arrested
The Professor might soon be arrested. As usual, Zanu-PF might not be
keen to have a sulking and bitter former high ranking official freely moving
around them. It is obvious that the Professor now knows a lot about the
party's dirty secrets. If anything, he has been their worst henchmen in the
As such, in order to avert possible embarrassment from fallout with
him, the party might unleash drummed up fraud charges against him. The
moneys he has been splashing around like wedding confetti in Tsholotsho and
the various musical shows might be an obvious god starting point. Once
arrested, tried and convicted, the disgraced Professor will permanently
cease to be of any consequence to the party.
(c) The Professor Might Be Eliminated
The party might even opt for the ultimate option. That is, to
sacrifice the Professor on the altar of political expediency. We might soon
learn that he has died in a freak car accident. Or if he is initially
arrested, he might never come out of the detention cells alive again.
Whichever one may choose to see things, there is one outstanding
reality that the Professor has to face. He is presently inextricably locked
in the horns of a dilemma of which it might prove impossible to extricate
himself. As such, everyone should start fearing for the worst for the
Professor. Sooner than later, we might hear the sad news of the tragic end
of his political career. Or even the end of his very short but controversial
Zanu-PF never ceases to amaze me comrades! - firstname.lastname@example.org
Daniel Molokela is the National Co-ordinator of the Peace and
Johannesburg, South Africa. His column appears here every Monday
By Myles Hodgson, PA Sport Cricket Correspondent, Bulawayo
England's players flew back to South Africa having been almost completely shielded from the problems in Zimbabwe during their controversial four-match one-day series.
Several days of deliberations about whether the tour should go ahead following the media accreditation dispute built up tension among the players as they flew into Harare nearly a fortnight ago.
The players were aware that 99% of British people polled about the tour were actively against England travelling to Zimbabwe because of the tyrannical regime of President Robert Mugabe and his appalling human rights record.
But, after the initial reservations, once the cricket began and it became clear that neither Mugabe or any of his government ministers would attempt to meet the team and politicise the trip - an incident which would almost certainly have caused the team to fly out on the next plane - England settled down to the tour almost like they would any other.
They were confronted with two incidents which reminded them of the sensitivity of this tour and brought home the seriousness of the situation for many in Zimbabwe and provoked further questions about the motivation for continuing with the trip.
On the opposite corner from their luxury hotel in Harare, a message that read: "England Go Home - Shame on England," was on full view and they were also greeted by three protesters holding placards supporting the imprisoned opposition MP Roy Bennett as they boarded the coach for the second one-day international at the Harare Sports Club.
The three protesters ran across the road with the placards reading: "No Justice, No Cricket, Free Roy Bennett," but were quickly moved away by security staff and police reservists and England continued onwards to the ground.
Other than those two minor incidents, however, the England party were shielded from the worst excesses of Zimbabwe - the burnt-out farms reclaimed by the war veterans supported by Mugabe, the thousands of people starving because of his land reclaim policies, the long petrol queues whenever a garage received a delivery of fuel and the vicious and terrible regime which locals are forced to endure on a daily basis.
It is not the players' fault they were shielded from such stark images and in that respect it is no different from any other tour - during last winter's tour to Bangladesh England stayed in a five-star hotel in Dhaka with palm trees around the luxurious pool area shielding guests from the shanty slums just the other side of the wall.
That is the nature of modern international tours and England, like many other international cricket teams, usually do their best to help the local community and have visited Aids centres, orphanages and hospitals on the sub-continent and in Africa in the past.
They did not do so on this tour because every comment and expression was immediately interpreted as positive backing and support for Mugabe and his regime as young batsman Ian Bell discovered when he gave bland but positive comments about the hospitality they had received in Harare during a press conference.
It is to England's credit they did not make the same mistake again but for David Morgan, the chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, to hail the tour as a success on and off the field is naive in the extreme.
England battered a sub-standard Zimbabwe line-up forced to make do with the best of their young talent by the walkout of 15 experienced rebel cricketers in April because of alleged racism within their selection policies.
Captain Michael Vaughan showed his disgust at the standard of opposition by bowling eight different players in the final one-day international at Bulawayo and it would be no surprise if he raises the point again during the next International Cricket Council meeting of the international captains.
Even for Morgan to claim the tour was successful away from the cricket is surprising to say the least.
This is a country that throws MPs into prison for a year's hard labour for the most minor of offences and censors the media to such an extent that Lovemore Banda, Zimbabwe Cricket's Media Relations Manager, spends the majority of his time studying political comments about Mugabe and the government rather than performing his duties with the national cricket side.
Quite simply, England should not have sent a representative side to this country no matter what sanctions were threatened by the ICC.
Zimbabwe's policies have brought widespread moral criticism throughout the world and just by being here, Vaughan's line-up has helped Mugabe and his Government become more accepted.
Asked if he would come for a Test tour if it was arranged in the near future, Vaughan was non-committal but if the ECB has learnt anything from this 10-day trip it should be never to set foot in this country again while the present regime remains.
The ECB would doubtless argue they are not politicians and their only concern is cricket, but they should perhaps have spoken to Bob, a taxi driver many of the media used during their stay in Harare, for evidence that politics and cricket are closely inter-twined in Zimbabwe.
Bob, like many of the black population in Zimbabwe, has become interested in cricket in the last year or so because of the predominantly black side they are now forced to put out because of the boycott by the 15 rebel cricketers.
He follows all the matches on television and bombarded us with questions about each game.
Asked why he did not go along to a game - even when we offered him a free ticket - Bob declined, saying: "I don't want to go to watch the cricket because that's just what Mugabe wants us to do."