INTRODUCTION: I passed through the Zimbabwe immigration at Harare International Airport without incident. About five yards away I heard two well-fed individuals in conversation. “Yes, he is the one,” the man said to the woman. “He is a professor,” answered the sister.
The two then approached me and whispered in my ear. “See what you see, and keep your mouth closed, temperatures are high in this country.” I took a few steps away from them and thanked God for the graciousness of my people.
There were at least four such incidents in the few days that I was in the homeland. A former minister said to me; “Ken, there is no democracy in ZANU-PF.” He explained that the so-called Congress will elect the leader, who will then fill in all substantial positions in government and the party. That, of course, is both cause and symptom of a dumb party. It explains the predicament in which Zimbabwe and ZANU-PF finds itself today.
This is where Brother Emmerson Mnangagwa comes in. I am reading Margaret Thatcher’s biography for the tenth time. A leader should have a bold plan for the future, and win the arguments well before coming to power. In short, he stands for something. Even the mad billionaire New Yorker Donald Trump, knew that much. He stood for something. Kick out the Mexicans, and build a wall so they don’t come back. There are several arguments which Mnangagwa and the liberation war veterans must win.
Because of their fearlessness, the war veterans are beginning to strike a chord with the populace, even though their past has much to be desired. Politics is the art of conflating different interests, and the primary interest of the Zimbabwean populace is to dislodge a family dynasty that has captured instruments of state.
The future belongs to the bold, my dear fellow. In the stupid arguments surrounding a 93-year-old leader, possible successors have forgotten to build platforms and say what they stand for.
The telling argument is State capture. People have eyes, they can see; they have ears, they hear what is going on. When Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos’s wife was found to possess 1 000 pairs of shoes, in a country mired in poverty, Marcos lost the legitimacy to govern.
The stories that surround Mukuru’s sons in Johannesburg, the purchase of Rolls Royce automobiles, the conversion of Air Zimbabwe into a family enterprise, the expulsion of Interfresh Agricultural Company from Mazoe Estates, and now the capture of Women’s League, all these serve to emphasise the purpose of the state has been diverted to serve one family.
Mnangagwa’s failure to repeat the success of the Command Agriculture should be turned to his advantage. That scheme, favoured by heavy rains is one of the success stories since year 2000. It was aimed at spreading agricultural wealth among the tenant farmers.
The upcoming December Congress is a cooked up affair to solve problems which do not exist. All the odds, except time, are stacked against him.
Mutsvangwa has toyed with the idea of a new contract with all Zimbabweans, including the expelled white farmers. That idea is not treasonable. It goes back to Kumbirai Kangai’s proposition that: “All those who want to farm, who can farm (with some training) should be allowed to do so.”
Thus, Mnangagwa should boldly announce, with the help of the veterans, that he stands for three things. ZANU-PF must return to democracy. All positions in the Politburo and the Central Committee should be elective.
The president of ZANU-PF is a leader, not a master of this new contract.
Secondly, Mnangagwa should announce that the future belongs to those who pay attention to economics, not those who create voodoo economics and hope that refined diesel will ooze from Chinhoyi Caves.
Is Mnangagwa acceptable as president?
Apparently, Mnangagwa is acceptable enough to ZANU-PF (or Mukuru) as Vice President of the Republic. We assume that he is acceptable to ZANU-PF followers as of this moment.
Unless one brings in Simba Makoni from the cold, all the old guard has been complicit in some gruesome manner of wickedness, Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina and now the daily fleecing of the populace by highway patrols.
The most damaging allegation is that he is a cold hearted operative, giving no quarter to his opponents or even rival lovers, causing permanent paraplegic status to a rival.
Whether Mnangagwa is acceptable as president is only meaningful if it assumes that ZANU-PF will hold a free and fair election. ZANU-PF has not won a free and fair election since year 2000.
The question is therefore moot.
ZANU-PF is in a state of lawlessness. It will need a cold-hearted man of steel, like China’s Deng, to bring sanity into the state apparatus.
Mnangagwa should ignore the attacks from intellectual prostitutes and their ilk. These opponents are surrogating for Mukuru himself.
Mnangagwa should seek a speaking slot at the conference. He can then lay out his platform for the future.
Boldness, boldness, my brother is what the urgency of the moment requires. I may have misspoken by assuming that at 75 years you have more time than Mukuru. Next time, there will be no helicopters to fly you to Johannesburg. Be bold, own up to your ambition. The New Contract, Command Agriculture, and New Democracy in ZANU-PF is a dream worth dying for. Peace be with you. Brother Ken Mufuka
*Editor’s note ― This installment was written before former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s sacking by President Robert Mugabe on Monday.