Grace Mugabe’s obnoxious attention-seeking behaviour

I DON’T normally do it. I tend to keep to myself. Nonetheless, I do imbibe the world around me and I understand that there is absolutely nothing wrong with having thoughts about other people, to realise their shortcomings.

Source: Grace Mugabe’s obnoxious attention-seeking behaviour – NewsDay Zimbabwe February 22, 2017

What I have always avoided, however, is the objectivisation of the other person, which destroys single-minded love. I have always given room for the opportunity for forgiveness and unconditional love. You should know though that I speak out in the anguish of my spirit and in the bitterness of my soul, I complain.

guest column: MUTSA MURENJE

As I am writing this, President Robert Mugabe has turned 93. It’s a pleasant happy 93rd birthday to him. It is rare to see people living to that age. My own mother died aged 40 in 1990. Without any doubt, my mother would have loved to live longer and see her children grow. She would have loved to play with her grandchildren and tell them stories that grandmothers often tell their children’s children. It’s a pity that she never had that opportunity. I don’t blame anyone for this. I believe her purpose had been fulfilled and God saw it fit to have her rest from whatever ailment she was battling. And, I understand that Mugabe believes he can reach 100 years, as if he gives himself long life. There are millions of Zimbabweans who dream to live long. It’s sad that they can only dream and witness the likes of Mugabe living till they are drowsy and inattentive. Such is the cost of dictatorship, the price we are paying for leaving the Mugabes to do as they please with our country and our lives.

I am responding to remarks (identified above as obnoxious attention-seeking behaviour) made by Zimbabwe’s First Lady, Grace Mugabe. She has suggested that her husband is irreplaceable and that in the event that he died, Zimbabweans would enthusiastically and heartily vote for his dead body. I demur that Zimbabweans, in their wisdom or lack of it, will vote for Mugabe’s corpse, or anyone else’s corpse at all. There are nationalists in the mould of Herbert Wiltshire Chitepo, Jason Ziyaphapha Moyo, Alfred Nikita Mangena, Ndabaningi Sithole and Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo, whose contributions to our polity could have seen us towering the continent, both politically and economically. No one has ever suggested that these departed nationalists should appear on our voters’ roll as ghost candidates and voters. This is despite their immense contribution to our well-being as a people. They fought for our independence from colonial rule and they had noble intentions for us. Their contributions to the social, economic, and political development of our country were stalled by Mugabe’s strong desire for wealth, possessions, power, etc than he needed. It is this cupidity that has seen our country’s economic and political affairs becoming the world’s laughing stock.

Many commentators have since pointed out that corpses belong to the graveyard and not State House. Not only does Mugabe’s corpse belong to the graveyard, it also belongs to the dustbins of political history. His role, as Prime Minister (1980-1987) and President (1987-to date) of the Republic of Zimbabwe, has largely been destructive and disastrous. Some cowards in our midst have started preaching that Grace will succeed her husband. I am no expert on the art of government and diplomacy (statecraft), but I can tell you that I don’t foresee a Grace presidency in Zimbabwe, not in a thousand years!

We are not obliged, faute de mieux, to be ruled by the Mugabes forever. Zimbabwe is not a monarchy and there is nothing that suggests that we have reached a point where political power could be transferred from one spouse to the other. The United States might have voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump, much to our amazement and disappointment. But, that’s in the US. Most African countries keep reminding us that there is no night so long that it doesn’t end with dawn. Democratic elections continue to be held and we are witnessing the consolidation of democratic and good governance practices. Dictators have fallen in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, Ghana, Gambia and Senegal. Dictators are yet to fall in Zimbabwe, Sudan, Angola, etc. Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique, to mention just a few, are some of the countries that have made huge strides in consolidating democratic practices and promoting good governance in Africa. The absence of open conflict in Zimbabwe doesn’t suggest that we are happy with the state of affairs in our country.

Don’t be mistaken, I haven’t been known to be a whiffler. I don’t vacillate when it comes to matters of national importance. Grace is a disgrace to our people, the worst thing to have ever happened to our country. As I see it, those of high birth, powerful social position, etc, have the moral obligation to act with honour, kindliness, generosity, etc. It’s sad, really sad that Grace delights in our suffering. The sorrow of the many has become the joy of the few in Zimbabwe. Thanks to the Mugabes for running down the economy for their own benefit. Mugabe’s procrustean system of governance in Zimbabwe produces conformity by violent or arbitrary means. As a result, exploitation and oppression are the order of the day. Mugabe is answerable to no one, maybe he is answering to his wife because her loquacity and garrulous behaviour indicates she is yearning to take over from him. This is a move that we should all resist. We defeated the colonialists and now the heat should be turned on the Mugabes. We can’t continue as we are doing. Doctors are on strike because they lack the basic needs to make them effectual medical practitioners. They need our support just like every other hardworking Zimbabwean, whose hopes, dreams, and desires have been frustrated by the evil serpent in the form of Mugabe and his wife.

May God help Zimbabwe! The struggle continues unabated!

Mutsa Murenje is a social activist