Mugabe descends to the dance-floor

via Mugabe descends to the dance-floor | newzimbabweconstitution. 31 October 2014 by Alex Magaisa

It was only a matter of time. Sooner or later, he would have had to make the decision – whether to remain on the balcony or to join his wife on the dance-floor. It is now clear, from events of the last few days, that President Mugabe is now firmly on the dance-floor.

Some, like a colleague who wrote to me this week, argue that he was already on the dance-floor; that he had long left the balcony and was now jostling with the crowds. That dimension is not far-fetched. But if that was the case, he was much less visible, lurking, as he was, behind proxies, the main one being his wife, Grace Mugabe who unleashed a torrent of abuse on Vice President Joice Mujuru.

When Grace Mugabe twice impetuously refused to shake the hand of his VP at the airport, Mugabe said nothing. When Grace Mugabe publicly called out for his VP to resign, he said nothing in his subordinate’s defence. When Grace Mugabe described his VP as lazy, incompetent, dull, corrupt and demonic, Mugabe did not defend her. When Grace Mugabe indecorously declared that she had told her husband to “baby-dump” Mujuru and threatened that if he did not, she and her supporters would do the “baby-dumping” so that she would be dinner for wild dogs, Mugabe did not challenge this prescription.

In short, Mugabe had left his Vice President to the wild dogs. He had “baby-dumped” her already, following his wife’s instructions. Grace Mugabe could not have been so daring if she did not have the support of her powerful husband. She was doing the dirty work that he himself did not want to do. But we waited for the day that he would pronounce himself.

In the last few days he has spoken the language that The Herald and other State media has employed for a number of weeks – speeches against so-called sell-outs, against people working with the West, against politicians bribing youth and provincial leaders and all this is directed at Mujuru and her faction. He has spoken out against those wishing for the end of his rule, the ‘child’, he said, who wants to remove him from power, the ‘child’ and friends who say he is ‘too old’. Grace Mugabe had already told us that this was one of the charges against Mujuru.

Mugabe yesterday poured vitriol on Jabulani Sibanda, chair of the war veterans and a man who campaigned for him vigorously in last year’s election. Sibanda has openly refused to join a group of war veterans that is denigrating Mujuru, arguing that he would not lead a “boardroom and bedroom coup”. He had already been singled out by the other faction and by tormented by the State media in recent days. Now, even the ‘war veteran’ credentials of this man, who on behalf of Mugabe, allegedly harassed and intimidated villagers across the country in the run-up to last year’s elections, are now being questioned. He was useful when he was singing the right tune. Now he is dispensable.

Then, like his wife, Mugabe poured scorn on Ray Kaukonde, Mashonaland East Chairman, describing him as having become big-headed and overstepping his authority, a similar charge to that preferred against the now suspended Mashonaland West Chairman, Temba Mliswa. Grace Mugabe infamously threatened Kaukonde, saying in crude language often heard in the streets, “Kaukonde ndakakamaka big time!” (I have a serious grudge with Kaukonde). Mugabe has followed the same script, describing him in derisive language as “a little man called Kaukonde”. It is clear that Mugabe is backing his wife and all those in her path are in serious jeopardy.
The strategy is very simple – decimate all of Mujuru’s pillars of power and leave her isolated by the time the National Congress comes in December. The aim is to either eliminate them or force them to jump ship – both courses would leave Mujuru in miserable isolation. Mujuru had cleared her path by controlling the provincial and youth structures. Now they are being taken apart, with the removal of troublesome chairs – first, Mliswa and Kaukonde’s number is up, too. More will follow, unless they jump ship.

As the temperatures rise and now that Mugabe has shown his hand, the likelihood is that some of Mujuru’s backers will desert her. Politics is a notoriously selfish business and politicians are a thoroughly selfish stock. They will do anything to save their bacon. With Mujuru facing serious political harangue of the type never seen before within Zanu PF, some of her backers will certainly skip and join the side that appears to be winning. Many who were sitting on the fence will also begin to come out now and declare their ‘abiding support’ for Mugabe and effectively, the other side.

When history is written, this is the moment when Mugabe finally showed his hand. It is the moment when he became a visible actor on the dance-floor. But some say, with both Mujuru and Mnangagwa having been named by the Politburo as faction leaders, this might provide an opening for the often-rumoured third party to emerge as the front-runner in the race for succession. In the end, Mugabe has both factions exactly where he wants them to be – accused of factionalism and fanning divisions and therefore, in his opinion, unfit to lead a united party. He will argue that choosing one will divide the party. Therefore, while the Mnangagwa faction may have led the brutal political offensive against Mujuru and are seemingly winning that battle, they themselves may find that the path to the highest throne has its own impediments, because ultimately, Mugabe has his own choice. This gives credence to the theory that he probably has someone in mind already and that someone is not necessarily a person favoured by either faction – the proverbial “Dark Horse”.

When all is said and done, Mugabe is now on the dance-floor. He is doing the pinching and trying to protect his wife from being pinched. But will anyone pinch back? Time, that great sorcerer, will tell.


  • comment-avatar
    George 9 years ago

    If at night I think of Zimbabwe, I am no longer able to sleep

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    Roving ambassador. 9 years ago

    The revolution highjacked. He set out to be president for life, nothing will stop him now. Mnangagwa and Moyo are aiding him in this venture. Shame

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    sekuru Mapengo 9 years ago

    Mujuru should now signal her intent to contest the Presidency of the party.
    Mnangagwa should also brace for Mugabe’s announcement that Grace is to be his successor.
    Then the dead hand of Mugabe will reach from beyond the grave to taunt Zimbabweans for many more years.
    God forbid.

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    David Rousseau 9 years ago

    As one listens to all this maneuvering within Zanupf, it is like listening to a bunch of children squabbling over toys……….the only difference is that the consequences are dire. Our political space is now dominated by idiots who sadly think Zimbabwe is owned by them. There is nothing mature or meaningful in what they say. May the Lord deliver us from this tyranny. The madness continues to spiral downward and who is going to have the courage to say enough is enough. People are suffering and our leadership couldn’t care less.

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    kalulu 9 years ago

    This is indeed a very good article well done prof Magaisa. This shows that zanu pf belongs to Mugabe and what he says goes in the party and he knows that no one can challenge him, his,wife, or even his dogs. Does this mean that the so-called war veterans left their homes and families to fight for Mugabe as their god and not to liberate the country as we were led to believe. What a waste of time and sacrifice. What a mockery of independence, what a mockery of democracy, what a mockery of freedom, oh cry the beloved ZIMBABWE.

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    Dopori 9 years ago

    The strategy is a long and well orchestrated exercise being organised at ZPF HO. I have no doubt that behind the scenes are people like Nyanhongo and Muchena and then of course there is Mutsvangwa and Muchinguri. These are the main players. Jabulani, Mutasa, Mvundura and many others have all been caught flat footed. I think that Joice Mujuru and her supporters and allies should do the obvious thing and that is that they should strategise and join Tsvangirayi/Makoni to launch a new opposition party. There is no love lost and nothing to be ashamed of. I have long predicted this scenario. That’s how politics goes.

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    Zimbabweans can get rid of the Mugabes. Follow Bikano Faso.

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    Rwendo 9 years ago

    Descending to the dance floor means one of two things.

    Either the overall strategy is proceeding according to plan and those tasked to do so have cleared a path to the floor and enough space for him to dance freely. This would imply the Mujuru’s faction is in disarray and the party neutrals silenced.

    Or else the strategy’s outlook remains guarded but is now irreversible. The bouncers have not cleared a very good path and they are hoping that fear and respect of Mugabe will do the rest. This would imply Mujuru’s faction is holding its ground and the provinces have not (yet) been panicked.

    Either way, more fire will be coming Mujuru’s way.

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    chemsoro 9 years ago

    Bob flows with the tide and in most cases comes out tops. Look at the land invasion…definitely that was not planned … Doc Hunzwi just happened to be there for the picking and God it worked

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    Mujuru must only challenge Mugabe at the congress in Dec,hazvirambidzwe izvo.It’s high time pole must stand against Mugabe.Tofa here varume nyika yedu ichingokumbira,gentlemen,Zimbabwe has been reduced to useless scarecrow.wake up Zimbabweans.Viva Mai Mujuru viva.

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    Ephraim Rushwell 9 years ago

    Typical of Bob indicating left and turning right Zanu pf as a party had said no one will be suspended or booted out before the congress. But now all provincial chairpersons alligned to the VP are being booted out left right and centre when the party has minutes of a politburo meeting where they all agreed that no suspensoons or expulsions before the elective congress so why waste time and resources on meetings and adopting things that can be deemed useless by Bob,s wife who is just a card carrying member of the party. Zanu Pf party and government are a joke i tell u

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    Nhamodzenyika 9 years ago

    First & foremost, a great analysis Magaisa. Mugabe has a preferred successor and that successor is not Grace Mugabe. By all means Mugabe wants Grace to be closer to the echelons of power for now and a post of Vice president is sufficient for this purpose as it will ensure protection of the family’s ill-gotten wealth. The real winner in this race may be Mr Sidney Sekeramayi, the man who controls the army as of now. Upon Mugabe’s fraudulent re-election which was engineered by Ngwena, he (Mugabe) promptly withdrew the Army from Ngwena and gave it to Sekeramayi. That was a clear show of trust to Sekeramayi and a clear show of mistrust for Ngwena (Mnangagwa). In a nutshell Munangagwa and Oppah are fighting a lost cause, they will not be where they want to be (Wanyangira yaona). Munangagwa should have just teamed up with Mai (Mother) Mujuru to retire Mugabe and ensure Mujuru gets to the throne and he becomes the 1st vice president.

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    ndiweni 9 years ago

    Well written article. Agree that there Mugabe would not want any of the faction leaders to take over as the party will split. also maybe not his wife. For me I admire the likes of Sekeramayi. He is not megaphonic and has not been linked to any faction or bad publicity or activities or opression. I vouch for him – Sekeramayi for next ZPF presidnet

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    Reverend 9 years ago

    There is no question, it is all about power and sadly no concern to “govern” this country and Mugabe has confirmed himself as a total fool by trying to force his wife on his party. Truly he is stirring the recipe for disaster and thankfully this moronic display of evil is going to crush zanupf. We need to pray that our God brings this evil party to total destruction.

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    Gandanga 9 years ago

    Mujuru must wrestle ZANU PF from Mugabe and we will support her all the way. Mugabe is a dying horse

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    For a lot of us this is what we have been waiting for. THE SELF DESTRUCT BUTTON.

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    Thembani 9 years ago

    Good article.Rwendo you could not have said it better.

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    george 9 years ago

    Zimbabwe Pty Ltd, a school of hard knocks. This party will never find peace with all the skeletons in their closets, the past has come to haunt you. Zanu-pf has been bad news for Zimbos from days @ least those in denial for generations can begin to see it for what it is…all they ever cared about is staying in power not governace.

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    Godobori 9 years ago

    Mugabe has all along been preparing Grace for the throne, while of course intimating that he will respect the will of the people. He then invited Madzongwe and Muchinguri to “nominate” Grace on behalf of the people.

    National TV and radio, paid for taxpayers was railroaded to crow from the mountain tops on behalf of this faction. Johnso and Emmerson will find that the chosen one is not even one of them. Mugabe even wanted Chatunga to lead the youths…ha ha ha, power is being transmitted sexually between the sheets.