“All political lives, unless they are cut off mid-stream at happy junctures, always end in failure because that is the nature of politics and of human affairs.”
Surely Enoch Powell who said these true words was correct and in Zimbabwe today we are witnesses to this truth.
Our country is suffering from the fate of political lives which should have ended through the ballot box in 2008 and 2013 but were extended for nothing else but the greed of power, privilege and plunder. These political lives, which have cost so many of us so much, are clearly going to end in failure.
That ZANU PF is experiencing its worst crisis ever, is not in doubt. When George Charamba ( aka Nathaniel Manheru), a sworn ZANU PF functionary and Mugabe’s secretary as well as spokesperson whose blind loyalty is unfathomable, loudly agonises “The ideas that won us 2013 today emit a stench worse than that of a civet cat”, then you know the crisis is worse than we ever imagined. That is not necessarily a bad thing for many Zimbabweans who are tired of ZANU PF and want to see change. What’s bad for ZANU PF is certainly good for Zimbabwe.
When Jonathan Moyo, a long-time adversary of George Charamba, responds through twitter denigrating Charamba for voicing his genuine concern publicly, then you know chickens are coming home to roost. Things fall apart and the centre cannot hold anymore as each does their own thing-yangova njake njake.
A friend requested a Shona interpretation of Charamba’s articulation of the ZANU PF crisis. We managed to translate that as “Zvivimbiso zvakaita kuti tikunde muna 2013 nhasi uno zvonhunhwa kudarika mweya wechidembo”. Both of us like the Shona version better!
But we should not be surprised, should we? We have always been saying the promises made by ZANU (PF) were a delusion. Such has been the success of ZANU (PF)-the ability to reframe, lie and cheat and create the belief that they are indeed the sole depositories of all wisdom when it comes to state craft and the economy. That is a lie repeated endlessly and swallowed by those who fear change.
Not long ago, George Charamba boasted that he had the opportunity to meet the president every Monday during briefings with vice presidents and every Tuesday during cabinet meetings. He used this connection to convince gullible followers that all is well in ZANU PF. “Mugabe does not have any health or age problems, Grace and Mnangagwa have no qualms and ZANU PF was on course to deliver on ZimAsset” Charamba insisted. For him to make a classic summersault only a few days later certainly makes curious reading.
Again, not long ago, Charamba threatened independent media with unspecified action for continuing to report on fissures in ZANU PF, including turbulence of the so-called first family. For George to make a sudden or supersonic U-turn and tell us that the government is clueless as it has failed to deliver on empowerment, indigenisation and employment creation is either extremely truthful or terribly reckless. This after the inscrutable Zhuwao recently boasted that he was party to constructing the ZANU (PF) lies in 2013.
We are still curious, why George Charamba would wonder so loudly unless if there is serious disarray in what has been known as the revolutionary party. George Charamba cannot tell us that he has seen his Damascene moment so soon after saying a litany of weird things in support of this madness!
With Mugabe’s departure, which is not only inevitable but certainly imminent, George Charamba seems to be in both panic and frustration mode. Panic because he is likely to be jobless soon, frustrated because he is trying to influence the course of things but nobody seems to be listening to him, he is a lonely voice. At the same time, he knows very well that his master is seeing his last days. The revolution is over and the imperialism narrative is now moribund.
When Mugabe read the wrong speech in parliament the other day, it was Charamba who protested and made concerted effort to rescue the master. Again, he was blocked, nobody listened and Mugabe comfortably read the wrong speech to the very last full stop. This would be funny if it wasn’t sad!
The last time Mugabe made the correct speech in parliament, he emphasized what was called 10-point plan, itself a summation of ZimAsset. The rank and file of ZANU PF applauded the points, including Charamba himself. Why we are now told that ZimAsset is a failure when the points are laudable indicates failure of the highest level.
That ZANU PF is running out of ideas is actually an understatement. The correct position is that ZANU PF has never had ideas in the first place, at least working ones. If George Charamba believes that ZimAsset stinks worse than emissions of a civet cat, he can imagine what some of us smell given that for years, we have always said ZANU PF is a dead donkey.
In his next instalment, we won’t be surprised if Charamba says that he was misquoted or quoted out of context. Some of us will not paraphrase him, we have no time to misquote him. Rather, we will repeat what he said, word for word, “The ideas that “won” us in 2013 today have a stench worse than that of a civet cat”.
True and very true, as we have always said, ZANU PF and its policies are smelly! If that is not institutional discord, what is? If there is a mini PhD for “Amplification of discord in a deeply divided party”, let Charamba have it.
Vince Musewe is an independent economist based in Harare. Moses Chamboko is a pro-democracy activist and interim Secretary General for Zimbabweans United for Democracy (ZUNDE).