ONE thing that the just ended Zanu PF 6th national people’s congress has made so clear to the people of Zimbabwe is that President Robert Mugabe who turns 91 within two months is no longer in charge of the ship of State. It is now clear that the First Lady and incoming Zanu PF Women’s League boss Grace Mugabe is now holding the reins of power.
With advanced age and a raft of its attendant illness taking toll on Mugabe, the man surely should have been resting by now. A slip of the tongue by Mugabe himself revealed what many have always suspected — that Grace is now the nation’s godmother.
Mugabe on Saturday shocked over 12 000 delegates attending the congress when he chanted “Pasi neZanu PF” (down with Zanu PF) following a slip of the tongue.
This was understandable in the context that age is now taking a serious toll on him. What is amazing is why party officials and supporters don’t see something so obvious. They should just be merciful and allow the man to rest!
That Grace could send a note to Mugabe ordering him off the podium after he had spent too much time rambling irrelevance is disturbing as it merely demonstrates the extent to which the man is now being abused by people seeking to fulfill their own political ambitions.
“Mukadzi anyora uyu, hanzi mave kutaurisa. Ndizvo zvandinoitwa kana kumba. Saka ndinofanira kuteerera,” he said and laughed. (It’s my wife who has written this note. She says I am now talking too much. That’s how I am treated even at home and so I must listen).
Mugabe’s task had been to simply dissolve the old central committee and pave way for the new one, but he had gotten carried away, going on and on about the history of the liberation struggle and his hatred of the British and Americans.
This was revealing information that clearly spells out that Mugabe is no longer in charge of the house – and by extension his political office – with Grace now calling the shots on both fronts.
Against this backdrop, it is not surprising it was only after Grace appeared on the political scene that Zanu PF was shaken right to its foundation in a manner that has not happened before.
One could never have imagined Mugabe – had he still been in charge – kicking out liberation war stalwarts in the mould of Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo at the behest of some people who were probably too young to have participated or had not even been born when the liberation war was executed.
There is little hope that the people of Zimbabwe can expect a change in their socio–economic fortunes following the congress which will probably only be remembered as the burial ceremony of the political careers of perceived enemies within rather than a platform to forge ahead.
Now that the congress is done and is water under the bridge, the people of Zimbabwe will still be battling the same challenges that Zanu PF – which instructs government – has failed to resolve over the past decade.
Sanctions, the scapegoat of many years, are out of the way now just as the MDC formations are now out of government and we can only wait and see if Zanu PF’s justification of their failures was founded on the truth.