Home » Governance » Mutasa – Renouncing Struggle When War Is Over

FOR two weeks I have played truant with you my followers. You deserve an apology which I hereby make unreservedly. For nearly two weeks, I was away in the land of the Pharaohs in Egypt.Even after reading so much about the shaduf and the Pyramids of Giza since the time I first learnt to read, I was still overawed by the size of the pyramids and the ingenuity that went into giving us these monstrous structures.

Before I explain the source of my wonderment, let me start from home.

I returned the same week Zanu-PF decided to expel from its ranks its former secretary for Administration Didymus Mutasa and his nephew then Hurungwe West legislator Temba Mliswa.

Mutasa was previously Minister for Lands and Land Reform, Presidential Affairs Minister and at one time Minister for State Security in the President’s Office. All very senior and responsible portfolios indeed.

Mutasa responded to his expulsion from the party and therefore Parliament this week by taking his grievances against the party post-congress in December last year to court, all to the ineffable joy of the real enemy — the outsiders in the West who know in material terms what potential a divided or weakened Zanu-PF presents for them.

It is painful when old friends with such a long history of shared suffering fall out in this dramatic manner.

Such spectacles are better off avoided even in the worst of times they are like a couple who have been married for about 50 years suddenly deciding, no it’s time to part ways.

But, as recent events in Zanu-PF have shown, there are times when irreconcilable differences must be allowed to run riot.

Political dissidence is common in politics. It is the real stuff of a living democracy, the material of an evolving, growing organism.

So that should not be new to Zanu-PF. That is why even at this late stage in the day some of us don’t believe the prophecies about a looming split in Zanu-PF.

We view this as the perennial prayer of those who have always wished for a diluted and weak revolutionary party which poses no threat to vested Western interests a Zanu-PF so neutered that it begins to define democracy and the rule of law and property rights in pre-1990 terms. But I digress.

The point is that there was nothing unusually extraordinary about dissidence in Zanu-PF in the run-up to congress last year so long as the party was talking to itself about matters of procedure and positions.

The rupture

Things began to fall apart the moment the disagreements began to be communicated through media which have not only always been hostile to Zanu-PF but also always wanted it weakened and beaten to the floor.

Suddenly a select senior members of the hated Zanu-PF had become favoured guests of these media, granted limitless media access and their every comment against the party lapped up, only to be vomited to gleeful opponents and bemused party loyalists in the following morning’s headlines.

Then came the bombshell when Mutasa gave an interview to South Africa’s right wing Mail amp Guardian.

As if burning at the stakes, Mutasa went for a renunciation, a recant of the very core of his party’s ideological mooring, declaring that he did not always agree with the land reform programme and the policies of indigenisation and black economic empowerment.

This from a man who had presided over the land reform programme and therefore for a long time was an aisor to the President on the same policy!

All this because one has lost a position in a political party.

I don’t know another term for such a policy volte face beside betrayal and treachery.

To tell the whole world that for the past 15 years Zanu-PF has been implementing policies on which senior party members were diametrically opposed although all of them were happy to benefit from the same policies and to even allocate land to fellow Zimbabweans is to speak of a scandal of no mean proportion.

It is to operate in the sphere of schizophrenia or to deal with people who have no principle, no guiding philosophy, lack conviction and are completely fickle. In short, this is to renounce the struggle after the war has been won.

That is the message coming from Mutasa.

It’s so sad. So sad because this about turn comes when we have reached a stage where resource nationalism in Africa has ceased to be an aberration, the populist language of a few demagogues.

Witness how closer to home South African president Jacob Zuma has started denouncing the “democratic” willing seller, willing buyer approach to land reform in favour of a more radical initiative albeit doing so under significant pressure from Julius Malema and his Economic Freedom Fighters.

To hear such loud denunciation of these defining Zanu-PF policies by senior people of Mutasa’s level must be music to the South African Boers and other forces of resistance to black economic empowerment.

Such forces are being handed free ammunition by the unlikeliest of enemies

This is tellingly so because this denunciation is made in the same breath which purports to be eternally loyal to Zanu-PF and its leader, thus insinuating that the entire party could be a phoney institution which people can embrace or renounce at their convenience.

It is a disposition moreover which is susceptible to purchase, and there is no shortage of bidders for such people.

They know a lot about the Zimbabwean state except what they themselves are worth. Enough of this outrage.

Let me touch briefly on Egypt for today. There shall be more later.

I went to Egypt at the invitation of that ancient country’s new government through its foreign affairs office in Harare.

I was a mixture of excitement and anxiety. I had never been to any Arab nation, and there is a lot of uneasiness in that land.

Against all that, we were treated extremely well on our arrival, landing at Cairo Airport around 2 or 3am and being accorded VIP passage through the immigration formalities.

The country is going through a painful transitional process since the fall of the Hosni Mubarak regime in 2011 and events leading to the deposition of the democratically-elected Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohammed Morsi.

We had the opportunity to meet with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi at the Presidential Palace in Cairo.

He talked at length about the scourge of terrorism and how this was not confined to a country or region.

This had become a global menace, he warned. He expressed his bitterness against the NATO alliance which toppled Muammar Gaddafi in Libya but left the country in utter chaos open to being turned into a breeding ground for terrorist organisations.

This was confirmed by the slaying of 21 Egyptian Christian workers the same week in Libya, forcing the Egyptian military to carry out airstrikes in that country.

We also visited those stone monuments, the pyramids.

I am still to get an answer from anybody at all on how, after achieving such feats of engineering, Africa lost it all to the marauding, and later colonising, Europeans.

Still, there is a lot going on in Egypt from which Zimbabwe can benefit.

Source : The Herald