It was Mark Twain who once said: “I have seen so many troubles in my life, most of which never happened.”
The last three months have been quite tiring with continuous twists and turns as all speculated what would happen at the Zanu PF congress and which faction would win.
Some among us saw so many troubles which never happened. Now that Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has prevailed as I preferred, the question is whether he will now be given or take the space to stamp his authority.
One thing I have noticed is how our media continues to play a very decisive yet suspect role in creating expectations of what will happen next.
We have become a nation obsessed with political intrigue and gossip and this is typical in a society that is trying to fill the vacuum of lack of accurate information on potential political developments and what will happen next.
That is President Robert Mugabe for you, he likes to keep everyone guessing and thus create the illusion that he remains in control.
Now that we have substantive Vice-Presidents, our attention will no doubt be redirected to Joice Mujuru and her alleged allies and their likely reaction to what has really been a political massacre.
Because of that, we are not paying attention to the positives that Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko could bring to the table despite the past.
I must confess that I really did not know much about VP Mphoko until now so in my analysis this week, I will concentrate on VP Mnangagwa and what he could bring to the table.
One good thing is that we now have somebody who can take responsibility for developments within the Presidium, as most like to call it. Up to now, there has been an undeniable leadership crisis and some of us have written off Mugabe as someone who can no longer bring something new to the table and I think we are correct in that. We are now dealing with the post-Mugabe scenario.
It is now clear that the First Lady, Grace Mugabe, will certainly have more political influence going forward given what she has achieved in such a short space of time. I suspect that she will certainly get some post in government soon.
I also suspect that Mnangagwa will have to pay back the First Family with some assurance that if anything were to happen to Mugabe, he would certainly protect Grace’s interests. Whether she becomes VP in the future or not will much depend on Mugabe’s lifespan.
I think that Mnangagwa now has a bigger responsibility to Zimbabweans in general. In all conversations that I have had about him, Zimbabweans are concerned about his past and believe that he remains a calculating and cruel man who has repeatedly saved the day for Mugabe to ensure that he stays in power by any means necessary.
Concerns of his role in Gukurahundi and his clandestine work in the 2008 and 2013 disputed elections will not go away.
Well, that is the past and if we continue to focus on that we might miss an opportunity to encourage and support him to be a different man.
I think he certainly can bring back discipline and order within government and the public sector if allowed the space by Mugabe. He certainly has the gravitas and the personal courage to face tough issues head-on. As a country we have missed that. I also think that deep down he knows what’s wrong with Zimbabwe and what has to be done to bring things back on track; when and how he will do the necessary remains to be seen.
I would encourage him to look beyond Zanu PF and for a change, put Zimbabwe first. His statement that he will keep in line with the ideas of Zanu PF that he has learnt over the last 52 years is a preposterous proposition.
We can no longer afford to maintain an exclusive and confrontational political environment that is dominated by a predator Zanu PF cabal. We cannot continue with the racism that we have seen under Mugabe. We cannot afford to promote politics of fear, violence, intimidation and stealth. That is the past and I would urge VP Mnangagwa to expunge this from his mind. It will not create the Zimbabwe we want.
Our country has all it needs to become one of the best investment destinations in Africa. We have the resources, the talent and people who want to work to create the future they desire. The only thing that draws us back are the political divisions, corruption, greed and the lack of national consensus and vision of where we want to be as a country.
In my opinion, it will not be difficult at all to turn around our economy if we are united and serious about it. Our business sector knows very well what must be done. Our public sector has slackened because of lack of leadership and Mnangagwa can surely put that to an end.
Of course, we have to deal with the issues of human rights and freedom, but I always say that it is up to us Zimbabweans to demand better life conditions and be active in creating the future we want than abdicating that responsibility to politicians. The Constitution is on our side.
Of course, we have been wronged by Zanu PF and much national healing must still take place. However, this will take time and a concerted effort from all of us to build a new Zimbabwe. It will also take some humbleness and forgiveness from all sides. We must carpe diem.
Nobody is going to come and create better conditions of life for us.
Our VPs, from whom we are expecting much, must take the first step to show us that indeed we can go onto a new path and create a better narrative for our future.
It’s time for new politics.