Kasukuwere — the executioner being executed

Kasukuwere — the executioner being executed

Source: Kasukuwere — the executioner being executed – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 7, 2017

There was that familiar ring of “here we go again” when Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere was this past week accused of “plotting to topple” President Robert Mugabe and nationwide stage-managed demonstrations by ruling Zanu PF party members were held baying for his summary removal.


From Zanu Ndonga leader the late Ndabaningi Sithole, MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, to former Vice-President Joice Mujuru and now Kasukuwere – they have all been accused of trying to unconstitutionally oust Mugabe, but without any shred of evidence to substantiate that. All we have seen are failed attempts to frame up each and every one of them, but without success – thanks largely to the still functional judicial system. So, the accusation against Kasukuwere should be seen similarly as a prelude to emasculating and removing him.

It’s the same with the much-hyped show trial that never took place of Zanu PF women’s league deputy secretary Eunice Sandi-Moyo and secretary for finance Sarah Mahoka on charges of “disrespecting” First Lady Grace Mugabe and extorting money from business and individuals using the First Lady’s name.

We are not fooled by “trials” held for appearances’ sake, but for which the verdict has been pre-determined, especially when the verdict is “guilty”, and the purpose of the trial is to make an example of the accused, who in this case are Sandi-Moyo and Mahoka. I hold no brief for either of them, but equally I hold no brief for stage-managed trials.

Even coarse characters like Mahoka, whose foul-mouthed rantings are on record, deserve the due process, not kangaroo court trials. No one is insinuating that it’s an attempt to smear squeaky-clean, upright persons, but that those behind the onslaught cannot hold a moral candle to anyone.

And, of course, there is a hollow ring to all this because if the party was totally against abuse of office, why is Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo and Youth minister Patrick Zhuwao, to mention only two, still in office despite strong, documented evidence against them of financial mispropriety at units which fail under them? So, as one can see, it’s more about settling political scores than probity.

Uprightness or honesty are only raised when you fall out of political favour. All this noise is about eliminating political competition and nothing else, notwithstanding allegations of grand corruption against Kasukuwere, including questions about how he could build that palatial mansion, shown on Facebook last year, on his ministerial salary.

Remember the unseemly hullabaloo when Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs minister Faber Chidarikire – rather over-excitedly and simplistically for one supposed to be an experienced politician – referred to Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s wife Auxillia as, by extension, Acting First Lady?

What should have been laughed off as a reference made out of innocent or playful ignorance was seen as threatening to someone’s status never mind that there is no such official title as First Lady in Zimbabwe’s Constitution.

It was beyond ridiculous that this was ventilated in the State media as a serious issue for days and days as pointing to some sinister plot to usurp the title and, consequently, oust Mugabe from office.

You need to make some distance between yourself and someone who is that highly status-conscious, placing too much importance on their place or level in society and taking offence at what they perceive as disrespect.

Remember the First Lady took offence that then Vice-President Joice Mujuru, on her way home from work in Harare, never ever passed by Grace’s Mazowe residence to “pay her respects” by saying hello to her?

Mutual respect is an ingredient in all aspects of life, but such status-conscious individuals just can’t get it that you don’t demand respect, but earn it. They end up having power without authority because their power is imposed from the top while authority, like respect, is derived from within the people.

This regime, like the racist Rhodesians, fails to get it that power without authority is tyranny – and Kasukuwere has been the blunt instrument using so much force and indiscriminately at that to achieve the aims of that tyranny despite that this impels all of humankind to fight against it.

And this week many people, I believe, felt inclined, not so much in words, to remind Kasukuwere: “We hate to say we told you so” – an expression used to remind someone that a certain event would happen in the fullness of time.

If others before him were thrown out by the same individuals or system, it was only a matter of time before he suffered the same fate. Kasukuwere, who has been spat out by Grace, should have known better than to get too close to her.

Hobnobbing with the high and mighty has its rewards, but it also has its dangers. It’s like a witness to a crime who is treated by the police as the chief suspect.

That proximity makes you know too much and you become the first one to be investigated when intimate plans come out. You will simply be got rid of because you know too much as that makes you dangerous. In other circumstances, you get killed for that. That’s how dangerous proximity to the powerful in closed and repressive polities like Zimbabwe can be. Not that Kasukuwere’s life is in immediate danger (although that can’t be ruled out), but it’s to point out that a strong warning is being sent to him that: “Stop it!”

One cannot bet against Kasukuwere surviving this and being rehabilitated, but what we are going to see is an emasculated and chastened reincarnation of “Tyson” . He revelled in his nickname, Tyson.

Like the real-life Mike Tyson, the former world heavyweight boxing champion who became big-headed because of his fearsome reputation, Kasukuwere has spectacularly fallen from grace, pardon the pun.

Kasukuwere has been ruthless and efficient in doing the regime’s bidding against opposition-led councils, suspending them at will, and Mujuru, among many, many others. Now this ruthlessness and efficiency is being applied against him by none other than the very same system itself – and all indications are that the First Lady is determined to see that through.

It’s like a brutal policeman who suddenly finds himself in the same cell with the people he has tortured. It’s like the inventor of the guillotine being guillotined, the executioner being executed.

Welcome to humankind, Cde Kasukuwere!

Conway Nkumbuzo Tutani is a Harare-based columnist. Email: nkumbuzo@gmail.com