Tyson’s Goliath moment looms

Source: Tyson’s Goliath moment looms | The Herald June 27, 2017

Herald Correspondent
A BITTER sweet autumnal breeze brushes the golden grasslands of the Mount Darwin countryside signalling the coming of a certain winter of frostbite and shivers.

The land is embattled by the oncoming winter that can perhaps be rivalled in comparison only to a Game of Thrones George R.R Martin-type winter.

And the message is clear. Winter is coming.

But perhaps more embattled is the political doyen of the area, who should normally be the political adhesive and powerhouse for the ruling party Zanu-PF, Saviour Kasukuwere.

Never, in the field of modern day local politics, has a political commissar of the party, himself meant to be a cohesive agent to the party, been instead divisive.

And since a wave of protests broke out against him, including in his home province, his opponents and the people have played with him as a cat plays with its food. Toying with him. Piercing him but not taking the one step further to expunge his political career.

And last Wednesday again the sword of Damocles was left hanging over him.

But perhaps to see what his prospects were in surviving both the Politburo battle as well as the party position, it was necessary for The Herald to make the arduous journey to the home of his political fortunes to gauge the will and voice of the ordinary people.

The corridors of power at Zanu-PF Headquarters may have an opinion, which is a long time coming, but how does he fare in the court of public opinion in his own constituency?

After all the popular notion goes vox populi vox dei (the voice of the people is the voice of God). For whatever decisions are reached at the high offices in the corridors of power, if they do not resonate with the will of the people, the party faces dire prospects in the electoral process, especially in the case where Saviour Kasukuwere, popularly known as Tyson after boxing legend Mike Tyson, is supposed to help shape the party’s position going into the next poll.

Embattled and beleaguered, it is here that the political fortunes of commissar Kasukuwere were born when he broke into mainstream politics promising public service and people centred servant leadership to much pomp and fanfare.

After all, he is their son and had grown up among these thickets. His feet had felt the sharp pain of being pierced by the wait-a-bit-thorn-bushes like every child here. And like every child here, his name was etched on the rocks and boulders that constitute the topography that makes Mount Darwin such an enigmatic beauty to the eye.

Do the people still have faith in their man?

“Definitely not,” says a staunch and unflinching old man, Ruwizhu who claims to have seen the rise of Tyson.

“We hear what is being said about him and have seen him transform his family home into something palatial but precious little can be said about his service to the ordinary people. So when people allege that he is not prudent with public funds then you can’t help but believe them because you see him live the wealthy life,” he added smoking diligently at a thick pipe.

His drinking mate as they imbibe on opaque beer, Manuwere, cannot help but concur.

“We went and said we wanted him out and up to this day we see his case is being deferred all the time there in Harare. What is so special about him? When we say we want him out we want him out but whatever happens the party (primary) elections are coming and we will make sure we push him out for good. If they want him in Harare where they are keeping him then they shall vote for him there and keep him,” he says.

It is a stern warning even to the powers that be.

However, the Politburo decides in this long drawn out case of the fate of Tyson, one thing may be darkly apparent. This political Colossus, who calls himself the Tyson of politics and dares all before him describing the maternal natures of journalists in unprintable colourful brazen words may not have to worry about an equally mighty force giving him the sucker punch.

It may well be these fragile old men, with gap teeth, old worn out pants and hand-me-down clothes from the second hand market, who may give him the ultimate blow.

Like the Biblical Goliath who succumbed to an unlikely David, it may be the poor seemingly powerless ‘povo’ armed with nothing but their poverty and democratic vote that may send him packing.

“And that connection with Mafios is a reviled combination. They think they hold the power in their hands and hold sway but we are saying it is the people and we have had enough of their nonsense,” added Manuwere.

With the hills swallowing the sun, it was time to rest before another day of finding the word of someone, who perhaps could attest to the good that Tyson may have done. A devil’s advocate perhaps. After all, there were many young people who had said “I’m with Kasukuwere” in the political battles that had broken out in the province and his constituency in particular.

And the morrow came.

“I don’t think he will win. He has been there long enough and the whole issue that he is fingered in corruption has tainted him. He may be a strong political figure, but we all know what happened to Runaida (Joice Mujuru), who had even done more for her constituency than Kasukuwere and was even bigger in the party as a potential up-and-comer, but she has become nothing. If she could go I don’t see how this one will stay,” said Alfred, a youth from the area.

He was right. In the game of political chords and cymbals, Joice Mujuru is Michael Jackson and Saviour is Tito Jackson. If a stronger person fell what more the less powerful Tyson?

His friends, also having their drinks of choice, concurred. Everyone was wary to have their full name interrogated.

“He is still powerful and if you have killed a cow you know it becomes even more powerful and deadly when it is taking its last breath or cornered. We don’t want to be left exposed in these last days,” he said.

“He built a clinic, yes. But it was him overseeing the building from funds donated to the community and not his funds as many seem to believe, but the quarry companies. And even then murmurs persisted around the prudence of those fund’s handling,” he added.

“If Harare (presumably the party) exonerates him, it will be like a hen lying on a rotten egg, which is futile because it will never hatch. It is just prolonging his eventual fall at the hands of the people ku party!”

Evidently, the political commissar’s political fortunes have not only hit rock bottom. But they have started to dig!

The Devil, in all his lack of glory, stands a better chance of getting a bouquet of roses from Mount Darwin voters than Saviour (Kasukuwere). If anything the political commissar ironically needs a saviour for his public service career.

“His sister operates paSarah. Perhaps try calling her as a constituent because we hope she sees what her two brothers Saviour and Dickson have done to us,” revealed Alfred.

A call to his sister Sarah elicited fumes of anger. She was at a funeral.

“I am mourning a sister and don’t concentrate on politics. However, you people at The Herald keep calling Mafios our brother. He is not our brother and he (Mafios) personally has even made mention of that; they are boys from Matope Village.

“That does not make us blood relatives and you as a credible newspaper should not report hearsay and village gossip as fact. Mafios is a Mafios and has his own father and mother and we have our own. It is disrespectful to the Mafios people and to the memory of our dear father to keep calling someone an illegitimate child who is one of us when he isn’t,” she said.

The line went cold.

But it was telling. His sister had chosen to defend the cold memory of her late father and his honour than to defend her living brother choosing that he fight his own wars.

Saviour (Kasukuwere) may survive a thousand Politburo inquests. But on the ground, it seems the people are spoiling for a bloody fight at the polls.

Political bookmakers might as well start predicting how long the Waterloo may reach Tyson; it certainly seems in sight.

Can this man lead a whole party to the polls as the political commissar when his own backyard has blood on the political dance-floor? That is a question for another day. What is certain is winter is coming. And it is going to be a cold and blistering one for Tyson.