Majongwe dancing with the devil

via Majongwe dancing with the devil – Nehanda Radio May 28, 2014 by William Muchayi

The simmering socio-economic and political paralysis that grips the nation offers no viable sanctuary for the naïve, for, destiny lies in the hands of the few dedicated and brave who dare stick their chests out challenging the regime at a very high cost.

Indeed , for the majority , Raymond Majongwe , secretary general of  the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ)  included , appeasement of the establishment is a survival strategy , the idea being premised on the flawed assumption that it’s better to feed their friends to a crocodile , one at a time , hoping that the crocodile will eat them last , as Franklin Roosevelt  accurately observed decades ago .

The charismatic and controversial Majongwe justifies his support for Mugabe as he alleges that the 90 year old veteran leader has teachers at heart unlike the opposition who failed to address their plight during the life span of the inclusive government.  God forbid! Is it a question of, if you can’t beat them just join them?

Curiously , hardly  months  down the line even before the dust settles down  when Majongwe competed with other fanatics in congratulating Mugabe for the ‘landslide’ victory,   the opportunistic secretary general sheds crocodile tears , bemoaning the betrayal of teachers by the regime as their situation has become untenable.

Naively, Majongwe pleads with Mugabe , ‘We are pleading  with the politicians of this country , we are pleading with the President of the country , we are pleading with the powers that be to consider and reconsider our positions and we are simply sending a very clear message that there is nothing political about this process.’

And, to express his allegiance to Mugabe and squash any misconceptions that might be construed from his pleas, Majongwe laments, ‘Zimbabwean workers are pleading with their government to be more sympathetic and more responsive…. No one is fighting Mugabe. He is the President of the country.’

Osh, that sounds like student rhetoric on campus!  Oh dear dear! It’s a pity that the civil service and teachers in particular are being duped by the naïve Majongwe who is so unsophisticated to the extent of believing that his crocodile tears can soften Mugabe’s heart. Indeed, it’s sad that the PTUZ secretary general strives to be accommodated by the establishment at the expense of those he shepherds, but, at best Mugabe just tolerates him.

Mugabe isn’t only cunning but calculative as well and he capitalises on the naïve like Majongwe to outwit the general populace in advancing his selfish and parochial interests that are self-serving.

After being duped into believing that the recent increase in teachers’  salaries  was  meant to improve their welfare , in spite of all the evidence  to prove that the gesture was beyond treasury’s  ability to fulfil as its coffers are dry, Mugabe outwits Majongwe again as there are rumours doing the rounds to the effect that the  government wishes to scrap salaries for April, August and December , the argument being that  teachers aren’t rendering any service  during this period .

Not only that , it’s  also rumoured that teachers who don’t have Science, Maths and English at ‘O’ level  irrespective of the subjects they teach and any other higher qualification they hold must rewrite these subjects within a grace period of time failure to which the system will eject them, beside the change of the curriculum within the next four months as well as a directive to have sporting activities to be conducted on Saturdays as opposed to during the week , thus, overburdening the already disgruntled underpaid teachers .

It is convenient and strategic for the regime to be on the offensive at this juncture against the passive civil service as a distraction to divert their attention from fighting for better pay and improved working conditions. Childishly , Raymond Majongwe deliberately opts to mislead teachers into believing that the real culprit behind all this mess is Lazarus Dokora, the  minister for education and not the Head of state himself , as he laments , ‘President Mugabe appointed Minister Dokora and the successes that we are talking about , 34 years after independence were because of Mugabe.’

Majongwe’s conclusion is invalid for it’s drawn from a flawed premise. Firstly, the PTUZ secretary general seriously underestimates the gravity of the crisis that grips the nation. Not only doesn’t he foresee  the possibility of  teachers not to be paid at all  for months  in the near future as treasury is bankrupt as happened in Zaire during Mobutu Sese Seko’s reign in the past , but ,  the fact that Mugabe doesn’t prioritise the welfare of teachers but that of the military which constitutes his power base.

Secondly, Majongwe is either mean with facts or is too ignorant to realise that Mugabe and Dokora are both hyenas who thrive on the toil of the general populace. For, how can Majongwe finds it convenient to use Dokora as a scapegoat to cover Mugabe’s flaws who is as culpable as the latter in the whole drama that has brought the country to its knees?

In any case, who appointed Dokora in the first place and shouldn’t that individual be held accountable for poor judgement? If Majongwe can’t see the correlation between Dokora and Mugabe, then it’s a wonder why teachers pin their hopes on him as a saviour, for,  they themselves are complicity in own demise.

The policy of appeasement, as spearheaded by Majongwe, is riddled with flaws that renders  it useless as a weapon to fight an entrenched dictatorship as Mugabe’s. In fact, it’s only a short term solution that doesn’t address the underlying problems bedevilling teachers . In as much as the policy is applauded for not being confrontational, it’s toothless as it prolongs the suffering of its followers.

In addition, appeasement from weakness and fear, as Winston Churchill observed, is futile and fatal, for, it gives the wrongdoer the false impression that they can’t be stopped. Not only that, the strategy makes the appeaser look weak and defenceless, a distorted impression that doesn’t help in intimidating the wrongdoer who capitalises on it to his advantage at the expense of the victim.

By embracing Mugabe with all arms unconditionally , in spite of a lack of repentance on the part of the latter, Majongwe’s strategy becomes tragic as the gesture is synonymous with a kiss of death , for, there is no reciprocity on Mugabe’s part let alone any sign that he succumbs to the PTUZ  secretary general’s pleas .

Contrary to Majongwe’s flawed assertion that Lazarus Dokora’s reforms are meant to destroy what Mugabe built for the past 34 years, it’s a pity that the PTUZ secretary general can’t even realise let alone acknowledge the fact that the destruction of the education sector preceded the minister’s appointment.

For Majongwe to be unable to realise this fact isn’t only regrettable on his part but is a bad omen for the thousands of hardworking teachers who are led to believe that the secretary general fights for their cause, for, he isn’t ,   as his main motive is to line own pockets through the subscriptions of the victims .

This realisation is a wake-up call  for those who have been following him blindly for, the principles that guide Majongwe aren’t different from those of the dysfunctional ZIMTA administration. As teachers starve, the flamboyant Majongwe, like Obert Mpofu, struggles to beat obesity, a problem associated with a lavish life style.

Isn’t it that the cosmetic attacks the PTUZ secretary general makes on Mugabe are nothing other than a veiled ploy to cover his tracks and attract a following from vulnerable teachers disappointed with ZIMTA but only to seek sanctuary in the jaws of a shark? Teachers are their own liberators and their only effective weapon is the withdrawal of service they render in society until their demands are met.

Begging for an audience with Mugabe as Majongwe does isn’t only naïve but futile for, it prolongs their suffering. Mugabe is prepared to pay only the military and ignore the rest of the civil service for, that is his power base and the earlier teachers realise this better for them.

Majongwe, like Madhuku and Mutambara before him, strives to be accommodated by the corrupt system that has ruined the lives of many and not to dismantle it .  The objectives of his struggle aren’t the same as that of teachers in Chikwakwa, Mhakwe, Biriri and Matusadonha.  That is the way it is and unfortunately, this world is so cruel for those who play by the rules.

William Muchayi is a pro-democracy and political analyst who can be contacted on wmuchayi@gmail.com

 

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 9
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    zanupf fear me 8 years ago

    Yeah. Mugabeland full of opportunists

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    Well said Writer. They are happy to receive a few extra dollars a month and then have 3 whole salaries removed per year. A grade zero student will tell you our education system is not going to the dogs now but it is actually with the dogs already. Very sad as it used to be our pride from the rest of the world.

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    furedi 8 years ago

    If teachers are going to lose 3 months pay because of school holidays,then soldiers must be permanently on half pay. They are not fighting any wars at the present time. Those who don’t like the situation can resign.There would be no terminal money packages either.

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    Raymond Majongwe was the worst SRC leader during my UZ Ubaship.

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    Panda moyo 8 years ago

    Go.raymond.dont mind these peoplle.they wnt teachers to fight their govt for them.gone are those days of machiya wearing his suit while teachers ar chased by police dogs ,while everyone hopes that if teacher sfortunes change so will theirs.well done ray i see even at college you were vocal.where was this silent uba chap who wants you to speak for him.?ptuz must not take orders frm cowards.

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      Saddened 8 years ago

      Sure Ray don’t take advice from cowards but rather from an illiterate like Panda moyo!

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    Panda moyo 8 years ago

    I m glad u think all illeterate people like myself cant think.so being a proffessor yourself what action rather than attacking a unionist have u taken?

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    worse crocodile in the sheep’s skin other than Morgan ”Richard”Tsvangirai….bad name get RICH for him is going to be HARD…..”in ISINDEBELE” we say ”SINOTHANZIMA” Mr Morgan TSVANGIRAI change this name to something…or read it carefully…you die without touching the DOORS OF THE ZIMBABWEAN STATE HOUSE….My God this name is going with the bad evils…please change maitiro aro….

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    Mapingu 8 years ago

    While the author’s analysis may be true to some extent he seems to strongly suggest that Majongwe, Madhuku, Mutambara, may be and a few others are the only ones who should shoulder the burden of dismantling the present dictatorship. This is far fetch & simply impossible – it only will only take the Zim masses to free themselves. Even sectorially, it will never take Majongwe alone for Zim teachers to be taken seriously by their government – otherwise that is expecting too much from a mere mortal. The teachers, in their masses, must wake up and smell the coffee. This is a bunch of docile people who would rather parade their caps of knowledge and gowns in some dingy rural beer outlet with nothing to show for those caps & gowns. And they would rather entrust their fate to anyone who is prepared to pretend to be their savoiur, Majongwe or worst still some Zimta lunatics.

    In short its not Majongwe, Madhuku, Mutambara,etc., its collective failure by Zim masses. We all need to grow balls and demand what we deserve as a nation. And we deserve much more and better than the circus that has be going for 34 yrs.