Regime change: state media goes quiet after Wikileaks

For many years, the state-owned and controlled media has been lambasting civil society, independent media, foreign media and some foreign diplomats for pursuing what they called “illegal regime change” in Zimbabwe. Thanks to the now famous whistleblower website, WikiLeaks, we now all know that the chief protagonists for regime change, whether legal or illegal, are senior members of Zanu (PF) and close associates of President Robert Mugabe, the chief target of the proposed ouster.


The names of such senior Zanu (PF) politicians as VP Mujuru, VP Nkomo, Gideon Gono and Jonathan Moyo have been exposed as among those that have expressed displeasure at Mugabe’s extended stranglehold on power in this country. Naturally, some of them have denied that they ever talked to the US Embassy officials about Mugabe’s unwelcome stay in office.

They are petrified about what might happen to them should they admit that they sold out to the President’s arch enemies in that manner. They hardly sleep these days, and every official Zanu (PF) meeting is a horror to them.

Strangely, the state-owned and controlled media has suddenly gone very quiet about calls for regime change in Zimbabwe. It is obvious that any continued exposure of this hated concept is likely to hurt Zanu (PF) more than it can hurt or embarrass civil society and other groups that have been open about the need for regime change in this country.

Those who own and control the state media must have told their underlings to look for safer topics to publish for the sake of the devastated former liberation party. Mugabe has, to date not commented on the content of the US embassy cables. This has left his regime change promoters in Zanu (PF) in a quandary. They do not know whether to run or to fight in order to save themselves.

I bet some of them are quietly approaching the MDC-T leadership to consider allowing them to cross the floor once the next elections are called. There is speculation that Mugabe might be taking his time dealing with these quislings, but will swing the axe hard come December when the former ruling party holds its annual consultative meeting in Bulawayo.

What is, perhaps more intriguing about the whole saga is the fact that Mugabe’s detractors within his own party were all talking to the US Embassy officials – the very people who are among the most hated by Mugabe for imposing sanctions and travel restrictions against him and his close associates. In the language of Zanu (PF), these people easily qualify as sell-outs.

Just last week Honourable Chindori-Chininga was dismissed from Copac for allegedly “selling out” Zanu (PF) secrets to MDC-T. It therefore becomes very tricky for the same party leadership to avoid dishing out the same medicine to the regime change protagonists.

When the Tsholotsho saga broke in 2004, good old Jono and several other Zanu (PF) leaders were suspended from the party for a good five years. Some of them have since been restored albeit with little glory, given the fact that the Titanic is sinking. We wait to see whether the regime changers will also be given the same treatment. It would only be fair.

Jono will probably suffer the most since more cables are coming out clearly demonstrating a well thought-out scheme to send the old man back to Zvimba. Here again, the appeal for assistance was made to a British tycoon to bankroll the project aimed at juicing up Mugabe to exit State House. Unfortunately the whole scheme collapsed prematurely. Nevertheless, Mugabe must go.

Post published in: Opinions & Analysis

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