This line of reasoning by Mutsvangwa is not only to confined to himself, but has become the norm for the ruling ZANU PF party, as they desperately – but, unsuccessfully – try to reinvent themselves as separate from the former President Robert Gabriel Mugabe misgovernance – choosing, instead, to blame all the country’s problems on their party factional rivals – the so-called G40.
Mutsvangwa – as one of the most vocal advocates for this not-so-new dispensation of President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa – portrays a very disturbing and not so encouraging picture on the state of affairs in his party and government.
For starters, the act of finger-pointing and excuses has always been a distress signal by ZANU PF, whenever they have run out of new ideas, and are virtually crying out that they do not know how to solve a problem and would rather place the blame squarely on someone else.
They have regularly resorted to this pathetic method since they took power at Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, when they would firstly, blame colonialism for the country’s problems, then apartheid South Africa, and even so-called ‘dissidents’ and the Mozambique rebel movement Renamo.
The blaming of our country’s problems on ‘dissidents’ – a small band of militants mostly hailing from the Midlands and Mathebeleland provinces – led directly to the monstrous genocide that shamefully resulted in the ZANU PF government massacring at most 50,000 innocent men, women and children.
The governnent, nonetheless, did not stop there with its finger-pointing and blaming others for their own disastrous policies, as in the early 2000s they found a new scapegoat in Western countries, mainly the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US), and their allies.
ZANU PF proceeded further in linking these new foes to local ‘sellouts’ – namely, the opposition, civil rights organisations and the White community , especially commercial farmers.
As usual, ZANU PF sought to resolve this ‘problem’ through brute force – similar to how they ‘dealt’ with the ‘dissident’ issue – as they embarked on an ill-conceived, disastrous and violent land reform program, and atrocities towards any opposition voices.
As to be expected, such irrational responses to serious problems facing the nation, only led to more dire consequences, as severe hunger, economic meltdown, and polarization griped the country.
In recent years, as the ZANU PF blame game lost steam – as they ran out of external forces to constantly point at, and their own power-hunger intensified – they started pointing finger inwards, not in some newfound introspection, but in gruesome factional fighting.
Initially, the then vice president Joice Mujuru-led ‘Gamatox’ faction was blamed for the country’s problems, resulting in embarrassingly messy mudslinging, and their subsequent expulsion from both the party and government.
Nevertheless, the party’s insatiable hunger for power only went a notch higher, as once allies – Mnangagwa and then first lady Grace Mugabe, who helped each other oust Mujuru – turned on each other in typical WWE Royal Rumble fashion!
Mnangagwa’s ‘Lacoste’ faction was now billed against Grace’s ‘G40’, leading to late last year’s ouster of Mnangagwa – who had replaced Mujuru as VP – only for him to make a dramatic comeback a week or so later, fully loaded with military might to remove both Grace’s ‘G40’ and her husband – then president Mugabe.
After Mnangagwa’s ascension to power as the new president of both ZANU PF and the country, the party sought to portray itself as some sort of a completely new creature – separate from Mugabe’s ZANU PF – in what worryingly appeared like a serious case of schizophrenia.
How does this Mnangagwa government and party perceive itself to be different from that of the Mugabe era, yet most of the people in this ‘new dispensation’ were long-serving Mugabe lieutenants – until their expulsion only a few weeks before Mnangagwa’s ascension?
Even those as Mutsvangwa, who were expelled from both party and government much earlier, were very much a part of the Mugabe era as their rivals in the ‘G40’ and ‘Gamatox’ during their regime’s wanton destruction of a once vibrant government.
In fact, as irony has it, Mutsvangwa’s recently quoted comments were allegedly made when he was blaming the current cholera outbreak on poor governance by the ‘G40’, yet when the much more serious and fatal outbreak took place in 2009, he and his comrades were very much in the echelons of power with Mugabe, the ‘G40’, and ‘Gamatox’.
Similarly, is Mutsvangwa being serious in telling the nation that the few weeks that his ‘Lacoste’ comrades – and one week that their leader Mnangagwa – were out of power in late 2017, was the little time the nation was reduced to ashes?
Is Mutsvangwa, his ‘Lacoste’ and military comrades serious that they really do not remember being part of the Mugabe government since its inception in 1980 till only fairly recently?
Or, is he merely being disingenuous…maybe, the deliberate schizophrenia that is so synonymous with politicians in a desperate, but pathetic attempt to hoodwink the people.
Let it be know to the political elite, and their junta, that we – the people of Zimbabwe – has suffered too much from their injustice, atrocities, and misgovernance, such that we have not forgotten – and, neither will we forget – that they ruined our lives.
We know exactly their names – as to who was who in the Mugabe government.
As the Shona adage goes, ‘demo ndiro rinokanganwa, asi muti wakatemwa haukanganwi’, in other words, it is the axe that forgets, but the tree that was felled by it, will never forget.
When the people of the Midlands and Mathebeleland clamour for justice for Gukurahundi, they know who was who, and who did what in that government – so they do not expect to hear empty deceptive messages of denial or shifting of blame.
When the people of Zimbabwe die of cholera, they know who are, and who were, the people in charge of the country.
When families of those killed by the ZANU PF regime and their military counterparts during the 2008 election period demand justice, they know who did it.
When parents can not get cash that they earned, or can not even afford the very basic commodities to feed and clothe their families, they know exactly who did what in the regime.
When school and university graduates can not get the jobs they spent years learning and preparing for, they know who exactly was in the echelons of power for years, whilst the economy was going down the drain, and companies closing.
When billions of US dollars of the country’s resources were being plundered left, right, and centre – we know who were in charge of the various ministries, some of them still basking in the sunshine of the ‘new dispensation’.
We remember EVERYTHING!
So, Cde Mutsvangwa and your partners, please do not take Zimbabweans as suffering from some serious case of amnesia or Alzheimer’s – because our memories are as sharp as ever.
Do not take us for fools, as that would be the greatest mistake this ZANU PF regime would ever make – and could be the final straw that breaks the camel’s back.
We know that the ZANU PF regime has never had – does not have – a workable solution to the long-standing problems bedevilling Zimbabwe – which the party created – and so playing schizophrenic seems the only option left for the ruling junta.
ZANU PF knows that they may be fooling the international community with their ‘new dispensation’ hoax – albeit, not for long – the people on the ground who are suffering know all too well that nothing much will ever change.
° Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and speaker. He is the Programmes Director with the Zimbabwe Network for Social Justice (ZimJustice). Please call/WhatsApp: +263782283975, or email: [email protected]. Please also ‘Like’ the ‘ZimJustice’ page on Facebook.Post published in: Featured