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Crafty Bob is not just history but our history

by Bishop Lazi
15 Sep 2019 at 06:43hrs | Views
No matter how intelligent we might be, sometimes it is difficult to wrap our heads around some things; they are simply inscrutable.

I am sure many people have heard the name Saint Augustine, whose name identifies some of our schools and hospitals, but few know who he is.

It is easy for the Bishop to relate to this pious man, who was also a bishop in modern-day Algeria around the 4th century.

For man of scripture and prayer, this saint is reputed for his invaluable work in trying to understand the divinity of God through theology and philosophy.

So important were his works that scholars actually believe he helped shape the Western Church, Western philosophy and Western Christianity.

But, for more than 30 years, there was something weighty that exercised his mind: he tried to conceive an intelligible explanation of the mystery of the Holy Trinity.

In his treatise (written work), De Trinitate, he tried to come up with a possible explanation of how God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit could be one God.

One day, when he was walking on the beach by the seashore, he saw a small boy running back and forth from the water to a spot on the seashore.

The boy was actually using a seashell to carry the water from the ocean and place it into a small hole in the sand.

After being asked what he was doing, the small boy told Augustine that he wanted to pour all the sea water into the small hole he had dug.

"Impossible!" Augustine reportedly said, adding: "the hole cannot contain all that water."

The boy reportedly temporarily shelved his task, stood up, looked into the eyes of the Saint, and replied, "It is no more impossible than what you are trying to do â€" comprehend the immensity of the mystery of the Holy Trinity with your small intelligence."

After the terse exchange, the boy â€" believed to have been an angelic apparition â€" subsequently vanished.

But, the message had been emphatically delivered: some truths and mysteries, no matter how we apply our intellect and acuity, can never be prised open.

Clearly, our thoughts and ways are diametrically different from those of the living God.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.

"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts," declares the Lord in Isaiah 55:8-9.


Ever since Robert Mugabe took his celestial rest in the early hours of Friday September 6, there has been an outpouring of literary works grappling to make sense of a man who walked this earth for the past 95 years.

Skilled literary artists, using their undoubted penmanship and craft, have been trying to sculpt an image of Mugabe for the past nine days, but it has all failed to measure up.

They have only succeeded in creating an effigy or lifeless sculpture that does not even begin to describe the colossus who straddled the political world for the better part of six decades â€" yes, a solid 57 years since joining active politics in 1960.

All this literary tapestry, which try to use the charm of words to smuggle and push a simple view of Mugabe, cannot possibly capture and interpret the complicated narrative of 60 years of nationalist, pan-Africanist, anti-colonial and post-independence struggle, especially in a world that continues to be at war with itself.

It is suffice to say, he was an enigma.

Bishop Lazi thinks you have to look no further than Dominic Benhura, who tried to carve out a larger-than-life sculpture of the man.

All he succeeded to do was to fashion out a barely recognisable monstrous 3,8-metre abomination.

He was, however, commended more for the effort than the art, however abstract he might claim his artwork to be.

It surely takes an indefatigable and determined sculpture to chisel away at mountain-sized springstone piece for six months in order to style a three-tonne monstrosity. Kikiki.

Today, it resolutely stands like a scarecrow in the former President's sprawling Borrowdale yard.

Perhaps, it is for art connoisseurs to judge, not the Bishop. But, this mirrors Mugabe's political life: his politics mean different things to different people.

However, the sheer preponderance his political accomplishments and milestones cannot possibly be ignored, let alone erased.

Some say history â€" the ultimate jury â€" will judge the man, but it will probably take a lifetime before the verdict is out.

Perhaps, it is not surprising that for someone who broke the mould, they cannot be a mould that produces individuals of immense consequence as Mugabe.

A man admired and respected by his bitterest critics and enemies.

Put simply, his life is made up of many shades; it is a maelstrom of competing forces and influences which shaped him as a teacher, activist, nationalist, Pan-Africanist, freedom fighter and statesman.

It cannot be possible for words to truly capture the man Mugabe was: he overflows critical epochs in the country's history; more importantly, he defines them.

Critically, he straddles critical epochal transitions from nationalist agitation of the early 1960s, the armed conflict from the late 1960s to the late 1970s and, most importantly, the transition to independence.

He also pioneered the country's march towards economic and resource nationalism.

No doubt, the land reform programme, which he agitated for and led, is one of the prized milestones in the history of Zimbabwe.

So in as much as he shaped and changed our history, history also shaped and changed him; thus, ultimately creating the political complex the Mugabe is.

Wily fox

So fleeting and enigmatic was Mugabe that his peers, even Bishop Lazi, struggled to keep up with him, with the result that oft times, many of them were left in a lurch by the cunning politician.

The late Father Zimbabwe, Dr Joshua Nkomo, in his autobiography "The Story of my Life" details several incidents where he was at the receiving end of the wily fox.

He recounts of an incident on the sidelines of the inaugural meeting of the Organisation of African Union (OAU) in Addis Ababa in 1963, which would have been hilarious if it was not a serious event.

He recalls: "The OAU offered us a splendid opportunity to gain attention of the world's press, and our press conference was booked for 2pm one day, the best time for the news media throughout Africa and Europe. Our publicity committee had agreed on a formal statement of the case for Zimbabwean independence, which I was to read before answering questions.

"The typing and copying of the statement as a press hand-out was the responsibility of the press secretary, Robert Mugabe. I arrived with one-and-a -half hours to spare, to get ready and prepare the answers to likely questions â€" but by the time the journalists arrived, neither Mugabe nor the copies of the statement were available. I had to make some impromptu remarks and apologise for the lack of the press statement that had been promised.

"Mugabe's absence was clearly deliberate, done to embarrass me and to sabotage our chance of publicity. . ."


Mugabe was to repeat the same trick when he stood up Dr Nkomo at a rendezvous they were supposed to meet after the conclusion of the Lancaster House talks.

Mugabe bakhithi!

Well, that was the old man.

As we prepare to lay him to rest, it is important to note that Bob is not history, he is not part of our history, but he is our history.

Long live the revolution!

Bishop out!

Source - sundaymail