Mnangagwa: Is the West now seeking new, better puppet?

Mnangagwa: Is the West now seeking new, better puppet?
Published: 10 February 2018 (445 Views)
ZIMBABWE'S political discourse is intriguing. What is particularly striking is how the same old narrative that shaped Rhodesia is today playing a central role in all the factional dynamics bedeviling or otherwise reshaping the country's fortunes.

Didn't the Unilateral Declaration of Independence proclaimed on November 11 1965 by the then Southern Rhodesia prime minister Ian Smith repeat itself during the era of former president Robert Mugabe? While Smith told British prime minister Harold Wilson to keep his cold and uncharitable England, Mugabe told former British prime minister Tony Blair the same vitriol urging Blair to keep his Britain, while he kept his Zimbabwe. However, what is more fascinating is that the sun set on these leaders (both dictators) when they least expected.

The British and United States governments were integral to forcing Smith to respect majority rule, while today President Emmerson Mnangagwa seems to be also enjoying support from these countries despite the outcries of disgruntled members of Zanu-PF's G40 cabal, which lost the tug of war to the then Team Lacoste, which was fronted by Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is now president.

Could it be that the West is seeking a better puppet and Mnangagwa is proving amenable? Mugabe was an accomplished puppet of the West despite his public posturing as a Marxist as shown by his capitalist inclination in the early years of Independence, with the country receiving whopping support from donors and the Bretton Woods institutions.

He only became an enemy when he tried to bite the hand that fed him. Mugabe, obsessed with neat English suits, was close to being an assimilado, who ate, dreamt, talked, smiled and even blinked his eyes the British way.

Muckraker thought this to be a wise reminder that the current dispensation will likely stay longer as long as Mnangagwa knows that he who pays the piper calls the tune. That is precisely the African dilemma: dependency syndrome versus sovereignty. The latter indeed proved detrimental for this country, hence even despite the military controlling the levers of power, no hardline policies have been formulated.

Instead, a soft approach has become Zimbabwe's daily bread. Muckraker sees the shift in political orientation in Zanu-PF as a necessary boost for a party the majority had prepared to write an obituary for. Global financiers, who are being charmed to wine and dine with Mnangagwa, know for a fact that it will take a miracle for the opposition to win. This is not scepticism but certainty.

Is it a secret that Zimbabwe has been a one-party military state since 1980? Has anything changed, considering the army has now become that protagonist in effecting leadership change after 37 years of one-man tyrannical rule? Can any rational citizen forget the electoral farce of 2008, when Zanu-PF deliberately withheld poll results and only decided to tell editors at the state-controlled propaganda mouthpiece the Herald to flood the streets with a screaming headline, No Winner?

The short-sighted so-called activists are misled to think the project was meant to save Mugabe from Tsvangirai's menacing electoral punches that had left the old leader down and out. No, the project was a well-crafted manoeuvre to ensure the military and its choices would be catapulted to power and prevent the MDC from ruling.

Mnangagwa shall be declared the winner and those in deep slumber will realise that the MDC will play its ideal role as the biggest opposition in Zimbabwe, hence cementing the dubious concept of multipartyism — itself not the benchmark of democracy. The year 2018 is going to be an eye-opener.

Confusion

There is something really confusing about former vice-president Joice Mujuru. Which political mindset does she really represent?

It appears she is all over the show trying to be part of every new political project, from Zim-PF, NPP and now allegedly the New Patriotic Front, a formation of disgruntled politicians whose snout was removed from the trough after military intervention. We know unemployment has reached record levels, but is there a method to this madness? This coalition confusion does not help disgruntled former Zanu-PF politicians. Without being part of the processes on the ground, Mujuru and her associates remain alienated from the electorate. Indeed Mujuru should shape up before she finds herself on the political scrapheap.

Revisionism

The twisting of facts or outright propaganda has become par for the course in government circles. It is no exaggeration to say that it has become a way of life.

However, Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo took this to a whole new level. In his narration of events leading to the resignation of former president Robert Mugabe, Moyo said at a workshop for heads of diplomatic missions: "It (change of government) was a spontaneous reaction of the people of Zimbabwe. I know this is a question you are normally going to be facing." The remarks are a classic case of revisionism. The events that led to Mugabe's fall are as clear as day. Zimbabweans took to the streets on Saturday November 18, a good three days after the military had begun its exercise.

If anything, Zimbabweans only responded after the army intervened and not the other way around. It is baffling that Moyo would want to change the script of an event that was played out on the global stage and widely reported worldwide.

It is not in doubt that most Zimbabweans welcomed the exit of Mugabe who had become a massive liability, regardless of the manner in which he stepped down.

However, Moyo should be warned that providing an "alternative narrative" to what really happened will not win him any plaudits. If anything, it will make him look incredibly preposterous.

US$3bn FDI: Counting the chicks before they hatch

With elections around the corner, the silly season is well and truly underway. Speaking at an inaugural provincial rally in Mashonaland Central this week, Mnangagwa claimed that his government has secured foreign direct investment (FDI) worth a whopping US$3 billion in just seven weeks.

Mnangagwa would have us believe that he has secured foreign investment that equates to two thirds of the country's national budget in less than two months, which is ridiculous of course.

Promises of investments or expressions of interest cannot be declared as secured foreign direct inflow.

Indeed, this is the classic case of counting the chicks before they hatch. The Zimbabwe Investment Authority, who have approved investments worth billions but, on the ground have recorded investment worth a paltry US$300 million, could tell Mnangagwa a thing or two about wild expectations. Mnangagwa is not the only one to get carried away with a crowd and start spouting nonsense.

Movement of Democratic Change acting president Nelson Chamisa also got in on the act when he claimed at a recent rally that United States President Donald Trump had assured them US$15 billion. The US was quick to dismiss Chamisa's assertion for the hogwash that it was.

Chamisa seems to have forgotten that with social media, such bizarre remarks would be recorded. Those who argue that Chamisa needs a few more years to mature before he can contemplate succeeding MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai will point to this as evidence to buttress their argument.

- the independent

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