I know that this is something that shouldn’t be written about, but still I do. Because the state can go into the same mistakes as it did with former President Robert Mugabe. The newly sworn-in President Emmerson Mnangagwa, that after a bloodless military coup got a new cabinet and a new position. While Mugabe ruled for years upon end. 37 year to be exact. He had the time to build the systems around him and stifle the state reserves his way and to his loyal cronies.
Now the changes might occur, but the reality is that the Herald, the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and other state institutions have praised the new President. They have given him honor, they have named a barracks after him and soon we can await street changes too. There are even reports of will to change Robert Mugabe Avenue to Mnangagwa Avenue in Harare. That is just telling, that the Zanu-PF is on the same route. Just with another head.
The coup might change a old problem, the coup might change the pivotal part of the problem, but it hasn’t changed the organization behind it. They are still all able to live in riches and to be capable of doing similar acts as before. They are making clothes in similar fashion like with Mugabe, but with the face of Mnangagwa. We can wonder if the praises of ZANU-PF will be as godly as they we’re concerning the previous ones. The cadres of the party was putting him next to God, he was in bible and would even deciding the faith of all people at the pearly gates.
With this in mind, the Zanu-PF and the people should make sure they are not doing the same with Mnangagwa. He is from the same cloth as the previous President and he has been apart of the party the whole time. Mnangagwa knows the drills and knows the political game. Therefore, he will use his position, but also to his gain. If he will fall for the praises, the editorials of blessed leadership and the content built to build him up. Instead of having questions about the current leadership, about the party and the role of the military. The lack of partisan institutions and such. The need for change for a better New Zimbabwe. Than, the Mnangagwa era will be more of the same.
Since it has started where the Mugabe era ended. There have been a few arrests, but the Cabinet is more of the old guys plus a few military leaders. Tomorrow is also awaiting the press conference of General Chiwenga, to see if he steps up and becomes one of the two Vice-Presidents. That would not be shocking, because of the role of the military of late. Mnangagwa has to pay back in currency, since he wouldn’t be in-charge if it wasn’t for them.
Clearly, this will not be easy, as the same traits of a cult is building around Mnangagwa, as he is big new savior and big new change of glory. He will be the beacon of hope in the midst of inflation and rising prices on bread. There are enough issues going into Christmas. They will be there when 2018 strikes. What matter is that the people, the ZANU-PF and the rest. Should be aware and be worried.
That they are building a personality cult around Mnangagwa. Just like they did with Mugabe. It is just a 75 year old instead of 93 year old man. Mnangagwa deserve to try out and see if he can win an election in 2018. However, he isn’t a giant hero, before he has done something heroic. Right now he is just filling in the spaces left by the former administration. That he was apart until he was sacked.
The Zimbabweans doesn’t deserve another cult, around another Executive and another President. Mnangagwa, is just a man representing all Zimbabweans. Supposed to deliver government services to the Citizens. That is why he is President. He is not a President because he deserves praise or glory. He is just a man and let him be that. Emmerson Mnangagwa don’t need to glorified, he needs to be tested and needs to be put under scrutiny all the time. His reign shouldn’t be like the end of Mugabe, but be of questions and be of demonstrations for service delivery. That has been lacking for decades. Peace.
The whole story and political legacy of comrade Joshua Nkomo is to big for a small quick and brief article. This here is just a brief parts of his legacy of his history and what he achieved, while becoming the Father of Zimbabwe. The man who had deserved to be the President and be one who ruled as a just ruler in the Republic after the fall of Ian Smith’s minority government. It wasn’t only now disgraced President Robert Mugabe who liberated Zimbabwe, there we’re several people behind that. It was the now War Veterans and also other political leaders. There was also different external support of both ZAPU and ZANU, ZAPU was supported with weapons from Soviet, while ZANU was supported by Chinese and still is today. ZAPU through progression made a Patriotic Front. With time also got part of the one-party system and became disfranchised by Mugabe into the ZANU-PF.
Nkomo did a lot in his political career from being a Union leader and into a fully fledged Nationalist. Standing against the imperialists, even being questioned for his negotiations and his mindset towards the colonizers. Even so, he pursuit the goal and changed methods with time. He went from being allies, went into exile several times and even feared for his life. Because he stood by the cause, the liberation and freedom. While Mugabe used the liberation for his own personal gain and to take total control, one of the casualties was Nkomo and his tribe. Therefore, the cost of his liberation are still evident today. As ZANU-PF ate up his party, but his legacy will live on. Because he was steadily working on the quest for liberation not only from the British, but from a government who took away the freedom from its citizens.
Secret telegram to Nkomo in 1982:
“In September 1982, British government learnt that Nkomo’s forces were upset that he joined Mugabe and facilitated the arrest of Dumiso Dabengwa and Lookout Masuku” (…) “The full letter from Zipra forces to Joshua Nkomo who was at the time a minister in Mugabe’s government is believed to have triggered Gukurahundi: “We are declaring that we are no more commanders. Why are you supporting Mugabe the puppet and not returning Dabengwa and other commanders who are in jail? Why are you campaigning that the tourists be returned before our other demands are met? We want Dabengwa and Masuku from you now, Joshua because you are the one who caused them to be arrested. (The reason for this you know. You told us at Gwai.You are afraid of being arrested).This means you want to be a friend of puppet Mugabe, the one you were saying was a dog. This s the last warning until Masuku and other commanders are freed.To us ZIPRA forces, Zapu military wing, you are our enemy number 1.We shall prove it by action.(Do you remember saying a man keeps a club?). We will meet at the unknown capitalism, Zimbabwe. Down with puppet Mugabe. Down with Zanu PF. The war must be prepared for. We have the tourists too until our demands (B) are met” (Mawire, 2016).
Nkomo in 1983:
“In retrospect, I now believe that I and ZAPU were deceived and cheated by you and your party when you talked of unity, reconciliation, peace and security. I now honestly and sincerely believe that when you invited us to take part in your government you believed that we would reject your offer and set ourselves up in strong opposition to you and thereby label us disgruntled rejected plotters” (…) “It is now obvious to me that when you demoted me from the Ministry of Home Affairs which you knew was negotiated for a purpose at the time you invited us to take part in your government; that while you knew that we felt it was necessary for us to take part in one of the security ministries (Defence or Home Affairs) so that the former ZIPRA men drafted into the ZNA and ZRP may feel confident, thereby solidify both the army and the police, you deliberately took that action. It is clear you wanted us to pull out of your government at that time so as to destabilize the army and the police, create dissidents out of the deserting ZIPRA men and then call us plotters against your government” (…) “The double tragedy of Zimbabwe today is, firstly, that the routine and administrative use of detention, torture and arbitrary repression has been adopted by an independent government, and secondly, that this government uses the very same mercenaries and torturers as the former regime used against the struggling people. In fact the situation today is in some respects is even worse, as our government has abandoned even those standards of bourgeois legality which the Smith regime generally attempted to hide their repression behind. Under that regime you could be detained but a least you were more likely to be issued with a detention order. You were therefore, less likely to simply disappear as is the case today. The mercenaries and torturers used by the former regime are known and are very few, and therefore their exclusion from our security organs could not have disrupted those organs” (…) “One of the most disgraceful and shaming aspects of our independence which is difficult to defend, is that we have taken the methods and men used to oppress, torture and kill our people and tried to use them to consolidate our ‘independence’. You cannot take weapons, methods and people designed to defend colonial fascism and try to use to them defend the people. It is just not possible. Today in Zimbabwe the same torturers that Smith used against the people are back in business ‘defending a people’s government’. They must smile to themselves when they are ordered to continue their torture of patriots by an independent government” (…) “This is not government, it is the abuse of government, an abuse which transforms the rule of law into the law of rule. As such it cannot lead to a free, united, peaceful and prosperous Zimbabwe. But to one in which oppression, division, violence and poverty will shadow all our hopes, and make a mockery of the freedom struggle in which so many heroes gave their lives” (Nkomo, 1983)
Nkomo in 1984:
“‘We believe that what is happening has not been necessarily ordered by the authorities but that young men are doing things on their own. But when you appeal to the government for action and they don’t do anthing, you come to believe that some of these things are arranged,’ Nkomo said ‘We must fight against these things. You cannot have a one-party state with people torn to pieces by tribalism and hatred unless those in power are confused and continue with this gospel of hate,’ he said” (UPI, 1984).
From his own book:
“In his account, Nkomo was careful to distinguish between the new ZANU-PF government and ZANU-PF as a party. While he criticised ZANU-PF as a party for trying to kill him, Nkomo (1984, p. 1) remained committed to the newly independent government: Robert Mugabe had decided to have me out of the way, and he evidently did not care what method was used. But I hold the legitimate government of Zimbabwe innocent of this atrocity. Mugabe was acting not as prime minister, but as leader of his party, ZANU […]. As leader of ZANU he acted outside the law: but the law and the constitution of Zimbabwe remain in force, and I hold the ruling party, not the lawful government, responsible for the attempt on my life” (…) “It is not too late to change all that, to muster the collective energy of our people and build the new Zimbabwe we promised all those long years of suffering and struggle. During my brief exile in 1983 I appealed in this way to Prime Minister Robert Mugabe, calling as a start for a national conference of all the country’s interest groups, under his chairmanship, to begin the process of reconciliation. He did not answer then. Perhaps in the interval between writing this book and its publication he will change his mind and reply constructively. For my part, I shall continue working to that end. Long Live Zimbabwe!” (Ndlovu-Gasheni, 2010).
“Both Smith and Kaunda chose Nkomo as the right candidate for negotiations for two reasons. First, because it was perceived, he was a generally acceptable figure among Zimbabweans, also as a possibly leader of an independent black government. Second, Kaunda in particular saw Nkomo as an astute negotiator who would not betray his people by negotiating for nothing less than majority rule. To Kaunda, Nkomo had already shown good political negotiating skills throughout his career as the leader of SRANC, NDP, and now ZAPU. Although the talks broke down over the timing of the introduction of the majority rule, Nkomo was willing to compromise on some aspects in his quest for independence. One thing that he could not compromise on though was the need for political independence and equality on a one man, one vote basis” (…) “Undoubtedly, the memory of Nkomo’s contributions to the decolonization of Zimbabwe, as father of Zimbabwean nationalism, astute and untiring negotiator, nationalist and subsequently in the postcolonial Zimbabwe, statesman, will forever be part of our history. That is what perhaps Eddison Zvogbo, a onetime Minister of Justice, when he positively reflected on Nkomo’s legacy a few days after his death. He stated, ‘It is true that all of us die, but some truly don’t die. It will never be possible for Joshua Nkomo’s name to vanish from our history. Josh will never die’” (Sibanda, 2017).
This is just minor tales of the political maverick and ambitious Nkomo was and his wishes for the new Zimbabwe. His vision didn’t happen and Mugabe took control. The state didn’t significantly change. He also became a part of ZANU-PF government, even after the slaughter of his ethnic brothers. That stain has former been part of ZANU-PF and the oppressive acts of Mugabe and his henchmen. One of them has now become the President Emmerson Mnangagwa. There are several other leaders who participated in these events. While Nkomo went into exile and later came back again.
I have just focused on the early 1980s and the change from Smith to Mugabe government, where Nkomo got squeezed and his leadership got ceased.
But let end with the word of ZAPU Spokesperson Iphithule kaMaphosa earlier this year:
“Since the departure of the great visionary and father of the nation, Zimbabwe was plunged into all forms of anarchy and disorder with corruption, nepotism, tribalism, looting and sheer disregard of the constitution becoming the order of day. It became clear as to who was fighting these vices while it exposed Mugabe’s government both as instigators and perpetrators of these vices that has seen the demise of the once prosperous and strong economy to become a huge heap of ruins” (…) “His were aspirations of nation building with equality, dignity and fairness being cornerstone values of a democratic nation state of Zimbabwe. He abhorred tribalism and racism as practiced by the current government. He abhorred corruption which has today crippled the country’s economy. Violence was never part of his vocabulary. As we remember the great Father Zimbabwe, we will always strive to return Zimbabwe to where and what it should be, that is at peace, equality and an economic powerhouse it was. This can only be achieved when we all revisit and embrace Dr Nkomo’s values of peace building and respect for human life. The liberator he was, he conserved human life and that must be emulated, even by the current regime in Zimbabwe that feds on blood of innocent citizens who have died of poverty induced hunger and from violence that has been meted on them since 1980” (Iphithule kaMaphosa, 2017).
I think that is how this article should end. Peace.
Iphithule kaMaphosa – ‘ ZAPU commemorates Dr Joshua Nkomo, the President Zimbabwe never had’ (01.07.2017) link: http://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-press+release-byo-113199.html
Mawire, Gift – ‘Secret telegram that triggered Gukurahundi reveales Joshua Nkomo called Robert Mugabe a dog’ (16.11.2016) link: http://www.thezimbabwenewslive.com/zimbabwe-30252-secret-telegram-triggered-gukurahundi-reveales-joshua-nkomo-called-robert-mugabe-dog.html
Nkomo, Joshua – ‘Joshua Nkomo letter to Robert Mugabe from exile in the UK’ (24.12.2013) – Nkomo letter to Mugabe: “ INFORMATIVE LETTER TO PRIME MINISTER MUGABE’ (07.07.1983) link: https://www.google.no/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=6&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwip36LVruzXAhXmKJoKHcgWACUQFghHMAU&url=http%3A%2F%2Fnehandaradio.com%2F2013%2F12%2F24%2Fjoshua-nkomo-letter-to-robert-mugabe-from-exile-in-the-uk%2F&usg=AOvVaw3NKWJ6SwNORyTQ4AnGWQQb
Ndlovu-Gatsheni, S. and Willems, W. (2010). Reinvoking the past in the present: changing
identities and appropriations of Joshua Nkomo in post-colonial Zimbabwe. In: African
Identities 8(3): 191-208.
Sibanda, Eliakim M. – ‘The Contributions of Joshua Nkomo to the Liberation of Zimbabwe’ (2017), Cananda
UPI – ‘Opposition leader Joshua Nkomo accused the Zimbabwe government Sunday…’ (11.03.1984) link: https://www.upi.com/Archives/1984/03/11/Opposition-leader-Joshua-Nkomo-accused-the-Zimbabwe-government-Sunday/6579447829200/
“They’ve promised that dreams can come true – but forgot to mention that nightmares are dreams, too.”– Oscar Wilde
President Emmerson Mnangagwa have today announced his new cabinet of 39 ministers of the old and of the cronies with Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF). There isn’t a magic wand or big change from the people that Mugabe picked in recent years. What is new is that there is two military leaders within the Cabinet, this being Major General Sibusiso Moyo, who are appointed as the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The other are Air Marshal Perrance Shiri as Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement.
President Mnangagwa has not offered anyone the Vice-President position, the position and place he had until recently. Before the military coup and the eviction of Mugabe. Most of the ones picked in usual faces with ZANU-PF. There are no coalition or no place for Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and Morgan Tsvangirai, neither has the political assassin Acie Lumumba gotten any appointment, even after announcing him leaving his own party, Viva Zimbabwe. We can wonder if any other of the opposition feels like the Mugabe change was “much ado about nothing”.
The 18th November seems for all opposition like a betrayal as the Cabinet was announced. Only the ones eating in the Lacoste and the military will be happy. People are even spreading rumors that Zimbabwe Defense Force General Commander Constantino Chiwenga will get the honorable post of VP. That the coup has gotten all power and hired stooges of Lacoste fraction of ZANU-PF to make sure they got settled. The beauty of it all, was that Civil Society, Opposition Politicians and Activists bought into the narrative in the midst of change in mid-November.
Those dreams has been shattered. They have been broken and was brutally destroyed when the state sealed their deal with this cabinet. This is more of the same, just with another head, then the one who was there for 37 years and was preparing to install his wife. The family dynasty would eat the ZANU-PF and was close to do so. It was all prepared for the December conference for Grace Mugabe. As now President was put into Exile.
Now Chiwenga and Mnangagwa is continuing from where Mugabe left of. As explained by Jealousy Mawarire: “Mnangagwa Cabinet, retains 23 Mugabe Ministers, brings in 2 soldiers, including coup announcer & resurrects 3 fired by Mugabe” (Mawarire, 30.11.2017).
So there isn’t a real change, but more of the same, but another head. We just miss to see who he trust in his place. However, we wouldn’t be shocked if htat is Chiwenga. To just show the power of the Army, who has already gotten their space in the Cabinet.
We just know now, that the changes done are artificial and the next 8 months will not be much different. They want to secure their wealth and their positions. Not genuine change of any kind. Only some more military presence in the central government. Chiwenga will have something to say and that is without a doubt. Mnangagwa do not want to play with fire, as he used fire to get rid of Mugabe.
The people, #ThisFlag and all others has still a mile to walk. Maybe even further, maybe as far as to the moon. They have to show flex and show muscles. This is a continuation after the military took control and stopped the cult surrounding Mugabe, for a hot minute the same has been done around Mnangagwa. However, now the reality there. Even arrested Ministers like Chinamasa, the Financial Minister gotten his Ministry back. Clearly, the loyalty to the party pays off. Especially in the eyes of Mnangagwa. The Cvs and asking for references before hiring, was a PR Stunt and not a reality!
If you feel betrayed after the 18th November 2017, that is fine, but the ZDF and ZANU-PF are trying to keep control of all their assets and their riches. They are still showing the values that is eating them and the state. Soon, the goblin’s ways and the crocodile’s ways cannot be separated, as they act and talk the same game. Mnangagwa, has clearly tuned into the same tune, but not re-configuring to the promises and hopes within the people.
Some glasses has been shattered today, some hopes has been destroyed, but the people shall not give in and give way. After what they know and what they need to do. Last time, the Military did their duty and got rid of the despot. However, it didn’t get rid of the system or it’s cronies. All of them are there and are not planning to rest. Certainly, the movements and civil society has to react to this. They have to show their disappointment and see more of the disgraced leadership still ruling the country.
Mnangagwa has not given new brooms or new people a chance to make a difference. He has hired more of the same. Its not a good morning and smell the coffee. It is more of yesterdays burned brew and bitter aftertaste. “Much Ado About Nothing”. Peace.