The ignominy of withered legitimacy

Richard Runyararo
MahomvaUndoubtedly now, the factional wrangles that rocked Zanu-PF were a result of the abuse of Cde Mugabe’s name as substantiated by the vanquished G40 cabal’s resurfacing using the same despicable methods.

The G40 cabal’s endeavour to reinvent itself as the New Patriotic Front invites a critique of its existential justification.

The cabal’s self-imagination of being a “new patriotic front” insinuates its ill-feeling towards a supposed old Patriotic Front – with which it has unfinished business.

In other words, the NPF portrays itself as the “new” Zanu-PF emerging as a re-branded version of the “old” Patriotic Front which has to be overthrown.

To achieve this, the NPF has taken the initiative to be part of the 2018 election race using an acrimonious manifesto and ghost leadership.

Therefore, by claiming “newness” of their brand, they are dissociating themselves from what they want to misname as the old Zanu-PF.

Out of desperation, they are clamouring for leadership change in favour of their aspirations which were ejected through popular disgruntlement.

It’s a public secret that those now emerging as the NPF were cronies in the succession race and their veil of legitimacy was their cordial standing with the Mugabes.

Therefore, the idea of a New Patriotic Front is divorced from Zanu-PF’s current interests as the Mugabes are no longer part of Zanu-PF’s new agenda – which is economic revival and widening the sphere of democratic inclusion and dismantling socio-economic polarisation.

Zimbabweans are collectively working together to redeem themselves from an ugly past.

Many are still immersed in Operation Restore Legacy euphoria and will not countenance a return to an unwanted brand of politics.

Zanu-PF needs no other renewal, more so from those whose misdeeds raised the need for the party’s reconfiguration in November 2017.

This anti-Zimbabwe “Patriotic Front” has nothing new to offer to the nation except asserting its malicious agenda to smear “VaMnangagwa and the generals”.

But that is impossible.

The New Patriotic Front represents a reversal of the gains of Operation Restore Legacy.

Through a series of ill-conceived, jumbled and unappealing NPF petitions, Patrick Zhuwao has tried hard to garble the establishment as illegitimate.

Yet, it’s quite obvious that he wants us to believe that he is fighting on behalf of his uncle, former President and nationalist icon Cde Robert Mugabe.

Somebody, please wake him up; he needs to smell the coffee. ED is the only coffee in town.

Zhuwao must just give ED the due recognition he deserves. Masamba achinja, comrade. Gashira kutonga kwaro. Chinhu chabatwa nevene vacho.

Zanu-PF was never a family institution.

All other families have an equal stake in Zanu-PF than yours – the Tongagaras; the Chitepos; the Muzendas, all of us.

Before the NPF’s “formation”, its members lobbied for the reinstatement of Cde Robert Mugabe in contention that he was “unlawfully removed” from power.

As if that was not enough, the face of the NPF, Zhuwao, launched a scathing attack on President Mnangagwa ahead of his trip to Davos.

The logic behind all this was to pervert the sincerity of Zimbabwe’s openness to mutually-beneficial business interests – let alone Zimbabwe’s enhanced interest in promoting democracy, peace and justice.

After his anti-narrative failed to sell, Zhuwao and his fellow minions and cheerleaders of outdated politics regrouped to form an opposition party against the Zanu-PF they claimed to hold so dear in their hearts not so long ago.

Their stand against the ruling party only demonstrates their seasonal love for Zanu-PF and its principles.

They are mere opportunists who do not know what progressive leadership renewal is.

After failing to usurp power through an attempt to obliterate the organic process of leadership renewal in Zanu-PF, the criminal elements think they can successfully Zimbabweans to follow a new “Patriotic Front”.

What has suddenly become wrong with the old and timeless Patriotic Front – and the principles it personifies? The departure of an individual and his wife?

The criminal elements’ conversion to an opposition party substantiates the unfounded ideological basis of those who have taken the oath to stand against the Zanu-PF they vowed to die for yesterday.

Their claims of loyalty to the party and its principles were solely based on grabbing power.

Patrick Zhuwao
Patrick Zhuwao

This is why Zhuwao only saw Davos as an opportunity to express his bitterness against President Mnangagwa for “unlawfully removing” Cde Mugabe from power.

Zhuwao’s disquieting selective memory omits how G40 is blameworthy in the injury caused to Cde Mugabe’s legacy.

Then before that wound is dressed, his legacy is abused by the likes of Zhuwao for their sinister project, subtly claiming blessings from the elder statesman.

The “formation” of the NPF also reflects a tradition of abusing Cde Mugabe as a means to dirty ends; the same ends which tore Zanu-PF apart and transformed it into a warzone symptomatically defined by denigration of the liberation legacy to give way to ideologically baseless “young  turkeys”.

Undoubtedly now, the factional wrangles that rocked Zanu-PF were a result of the abuse of Cde Mugabe’s name as substantiated by the vanquished G40 cabal’s resurfacing using the same despicable methods.

On the other hand, Dr Joice Mujuru’s demonisation of President Mnangagwa after her recent meeting with Cde Mugabe is absolutely preposterous.

Her effort to discredit President Mnangagwa is hinged on her fall from the Zanu-PF succession matrix.

Suppose it is true that the former president disclosed to her that her expulsion from Zanu-PF was plotted by the then “Mnangagwa faction”; how is that profitable to her now?

Besides, that was a private conversation which did not need to be taken into the public domain.

In November 2017, Dr Mujuru was among opposition and pressure group leaders who endorsed the people’s demonstration.

Dr Mujuru is on record calling for Cde Mugabe’s resignation and this she did at Zimbabwe Grounds.

If anyone is to blame for the alleged “illegal removal” of Cde Mugabe from power, Dr Mujuru is equally a culprit. She is on record calling for Mugabe’s exit.

Surprisingly, she has the audacity to divulge unsubstantiated contents of her conversation with the former president in a bid to portray President Mnangagwa as a villain.

Does Joice Mujuru honestly think that posing as a mouthpiece for Cde Mugabe’s supposed victimisation would make her a more credible 2018 election candidate?

I guess she thinks there are some disgruntled Mugabe loyalists who would seek asylum in her party because she has claimed cordial association with the elder statesman.

Dr Mujuru is still entrapped in the nostalgia of Cde Mugabe’s erstwhile prominence.

While it is true that some elements are manipulating the former president’s legacy to satiate their hunger for power, it is also important for the former First Family, particularly Cde Mugabe, to avoid meddling in initiatives advanced by mischievous elements to derail Zimbabwe’s progress ahead of 2018.

There is no point in fighting continuity inasmuch as there is greater need to support – not only the continuity of Zanu-PF, but the lasting nationalist values embedded in Zimbabwe’s aspirations for socio-economic development.

President Mnangagwa has committed himself to protecting Cde Mugabe. It is up to Cde Mugabe to guarantee protection of his legacy lest history forgets his noble contribution to the birth of independent Zimbabwe.

 

Richard Mahomva is an independent researcher and a literature aficionado interested in the architecture of governance in Africa and political theory. He wrote this article for The Sunday Mail

 

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