The just-ended Zanu PF congress has sealed former President Robert Mugabe’s fate and fall from grace. Mugabe’s resignation on November 21 did more than just end a dark era in Zimbabwean politics.
His resignation, accompanied by ululations and ear-piercing screams in the streets, was a critically necessary thing to happen no matter how anyone may want to look it.
Mugabe had to go for any progress to occur; nothing can take away the unspeakable joy at Mugabe’s departure. Zimbabwe had no future under the rule of Mugabe.
There was nothing meaningful that he could promise Zimbabweans that he had failed to do in his 37 years of misrule. It remains odd how some were quick to attack the role of the army in the intervention.
One would honestly wonder whether these “analysts” would have wanted a continuation of Mugabe’s tyrannical rule, it really stretches common sense.
Aside from this matter, Mugabe’s exit has shown a very unfortunate, but evident dark characteristic in some Zimbabweans. One thing that emerges from Mugabe’s exit is that this country is full of people who lack principles, people who are only loyal to power and nothing else.
These people are near-mercenaries, they have no principles of their own and, like a dog they will wag their tails in pursuance of anyone holding a bone.
It is imperative to be principled. There is a serious need for people in politics and business to be known to stand for something.
The flip-flopping that has been witnessed since President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ascendancy to power reveals deviousness; such that people can hardly be trusted. Inside the core of politics we saw and heard them in their thousands who quickly strived to switch allegiance.
We have seen people who had denigrated Zanu PF and vowed never to return to it stampeding to deify the new party president. I have always stated that the fact of bootlicking is the first indicator of insincere schemers.
People who are principled have no reason to bootlick. It is playing out clearly that some in Zanu PF learnt nothing from Mugabe’s last days in office.
The very culture of gatekeeping a national leader and personalising governance had brought the country to its knees and one wonders why these sycophants can’t see this having lived in the cold themselves in the last three years.
Mugabe had become a man ring-fenced by a few who used his influence on perceived enemies fiendishly. We don’t need such days anymore.
Like Mnangagwa highlighted at the congress, he is and should be a president for everyone.
There were some even in workplaces who threatened fellow workers because of their ties to “former First Lady Grace Mugabe”. Some, taking advantage of the system, would emblazon their vehicles with Grace’s face and not even the dreaded extortionate police would dare touch them.
Such was the mafia-like rule that characterised Mugabes’ last days in power. Grace’s face was the law and like current minister of Finance Patrick Chinamasa said, things had come to a point where, in essence, both party and government were reporting to the First Lady.
Most notably, I could not help laughing at Zanu PF central committee member Philip Chiyangwa, a man who had staunchly stood, only a week before Mugabe’s ouster, clad in an apostolic sect gown at a Grace Mugabe rally.
The man, fond of selfies as he is, had even shot one alongside Mutare businessman and Zanu PF Chikanga-Dangamvura Member of Parliament Esau Mapfumi going to “amai’s” rally chanting the infamous Munhu wese kuna amai slogan.
Social media users will also remember foul-mouthed and controversial businessman Wicknell Chivayo who, around the time Mnangagwa was fired, posted a picture of a worn-out Lacoste label shoe in obvious reference to the sacking of the incumbent Mnangagwa.
Just like fellow mogul Chiyangwa, the man was at pains trying to appear a Lacoste supporter after the military intervention.
It is almost comic to hear Chiyangwa trying hard to distance himself from his family friend, former Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo.
It was funny to see a man who had enjoyed the privileges from the rumour of being Mugabe’s nephew for years trying hard to dissociate himself from the people whose honours he had immensely benefited from.
It is to Mnangagwa’s credit at the congress that he had to restrain the bootlicking that had crept to dizzy heights.
Mnangagwa remarked that the praise song he desired was the national anthem and not those songs that idolised him.
The sobriety and reformist mind-set that had characterised war veterans in their last days of isolation by Mugabe must not be outstripped by the trappings of power.
They have seen how lethal human deification is; they now know that no man is good enough to be trusted with absolute power.
As a final word, fellow countrymen, let’s stand on principles. Let’s be people who are prepared to stand for what is right no matter the consequences. That way can a nation move forward.