The reincarnation of Nicholas Goche

Source: The reincarnation of Nicholas Goche | The Financial Gazette August 12, 2016

THE readmission of former Cabinet minister, Nicholas Goche, into ZANU-PF last week proved one very old truth: That in politics there are neither permanent friends nor enemies, but only permanent interests.
Permanent interests in this case simply means: You scratch my back and I scratch yours.
Goche spectacularly bounced back into the ZANU-PF fold last week after spending nearly two years in the political wilderness.
A simple glance at Goche’s charge sheet, which ZANU-PF used to get rid of him, would leave one without any doubt that his union with the ruling party had irretrievably broken down, never to be mended forever.
The story is now very familiar: Goche was named as part of the inner circle of former vice president, Joice Mujuru’s cabal which had plotted to remove President Robert Mugabe from power through unconstitutional means.
The State-controlled press reported endlessly, at the time, that evidence showed Goche was the brains behind that alleged assassination plot which was hatched in Chiredzi.
Goche, reports said, had volunteered to find a sniper who would shoot dead the President.
The same press told the world that this scheme amounted to that odious crime known as treason, which attracts the death penalty if one is convicted of it, unless the person is a woman because the death penalty in the country only applies to men.
Also mentally ill and those above 70 years cannot be executed.
Given the charge sheet, to all and sundry, the former ZANU-PF secretary for labour was thus, to any keen observer, a dead man walking.
Countless times, again thanks to the State press, it was reported that police detectives were pursuing the matter and Goche would soon be arraigned before the courts to answer charges of planning to assassinate the President and overthrow a constitutionally elected government in the process.
Goche had to spend some considerable time in a private hospital in December 2014 after suffering severe hypertension, which was suspected to have been triggered by the treason accusations.
And how things can suddenly change: Goche is having the last laugh, having been readmitted into ZANU-PF along with his other comrades such as Jason Machaya, Chiratidzo Mabuwa and others who have successfully appealed against their suspensions before the National Appeals Committee.
That he was the one accused of being the mastermind of President Mugabe’s assassination plot makes his return most remarkable.
He actually was accused of having hired the assassin.
How incredible indeed! And how on earth have those very serious charges suddenly disappeared?
Indeed one is left with no choice, but to accept that this was political banter of the highest order.
And what former information minister, Jonathan Moyo, said during a BBC programme, Hardtalk, early last year is now making real sense.
At the height of the ructions in ZANU-PF, Moyo said there was nothing to substantiate allegations against Mujuru and her proxies.
This was all political banter, he told the BBC presenter, Steven Sakur.
And Goche’s return has proved that ZANU-PF’s political script is just one hell of a seriously twisted opera whose progression is hardly ever defined.
Despite the feverish onslaught against him and his suspected accomplices in the plot to oust President Mugabe, Goche simply hung around the fringes of ZANU-PF, where he kept his cool while ignoring the relentless humiliation meted on him at almost every public gathering of his party.
He bid his time, probably knowing how the animal called ZANU-PF behaves.
At a rally in Rushinga in October last year, First Lady Grace Mugabe acknowledged Goche’s perseverance and had a few words for him.
“If leaders of the party charge you for indiscipline and they say step aside for some time, you should not lose heart. Keep working faithfully for the party and the country. In due time, you will be rewarded and be brought back into the party. We have some people here who were suspended from the party, but are still working for it,” she said in a perceptible taunt.
And at the end of that rally, Goche was one of the members who fell over each other to donate goods to poverty-stricken and hungry people of Rushinga through the First Lady, after which the impoverished villagers gleefully sang Goche adzoka kumusha, mutambirei shuwa adzoka, in a bastardisation of a local Christian hymn. Loosely, the chanters were saying: “Goche has come back home, please accept him, he has truly come back home.”
There are some very interesting scenarios that obtain with Goche’s return.
Having been a Politburo member before his suspension and being the most senior party member in Mashonaland Central province, it would be interesting to see how the party would reconfigure the dynamics in the province.
Given that the party set a telling precedence when it reinstated Machaya as chairman of Midlands province following his acquittal, Goche might as well be seeking restoration to his old position.
He also now has a legitimate claim to his former Central Committee seat.
But will national political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, one of the chief architects of Goche’s demise, allow him to challenge the massive power he now commands in their home province?
Will President Mugabe consider him for any appointment as yet, be it in the Politburo or Cabinet?
Whatever the course events may take in the coming months, Goche’s most unlikely reincarnation is here and so is that of many others, who might be seeking to bounce back in the revolutionary party.
We are certainly bracing for interesting times.