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Mugabe must face reality like all of us

28 Feb 2018 at 05:51hrs | Views
The private media have in the past week or so afforded us a glimpse into the life of Zimbabwe's former First Family.

The former President, Cde Robert Mugabe, is an unhappy man, according to these reports.

His wife, Grace, is inconsolable, and cries every day.

The family has lost a significant portion of State benefits associated with Cde Mugabe's previous job.

He has been shorn of a few State security personnel, and some vehicles, which we assume belonged to the State, have been taken away.

The former President himself is apparently having a small problem adjusting to the zone called retirement, and his sartorial choices, of wearing a suit as though he is going to his former office at State House, appear to suggest these withdrawal symptoms.

In all this, and thanks to the private media, which we hear has ears right inside the former leader's family, we see a man, who would have no serious qualms about going back to his former position, even if it meant fighting, or raising hell — lots of it.

That is where the problem, and perhaps danger, lies.

But before we can illustrate the extent of the danger that the ex-President now poses to himself and all of us, it must humour the veteran politician that he is not alone in his loss, in his pained, disrupted life about events of last November — those 10 days between the 14th and the 24th — when he tried to discard his deputy, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa before a spectacular political jujitsu that forced him to resign on November 21, all in a scheme that was designed to maintain sanity in Zanu-PF, which even threatened national  security.

Cde Mnangagwa was sworn in as President on November 24.

The manner in which Cde Mugabe left office, when he resigned on the afternoon of November 21 just as a Parliamentary process of impeachment was taking place, was not how he, a man of such iconic status and pedigree, should have gone had he not let criminals around him become his advisors.

At party level, his organisation, on November 19, sitting as Central Committee, had recalled him.

In all this, plus the buffeting military intervention in the name of Operation Restore Legacy, an — expression of the long-standing balancing and self-correcting reflexes of the military and civilian dynamics of the revolutionary party, spoke to a succession question that was not managed properly.

The succession question should have been conducted a lot smarter and more hygienically.

Cde Mugabe made life difficult for himself and his comrades by appearing, and actually working towards a life presidency of the party and country.

Many people tended to marvel at his skills of preservation that were equated to one schemer called Machiavelli.

In a strange twist, in the latter days, he appeared to be open to the idea that his wife, the "little girl'', could just do well to replace him, spiting order, convention, organisation and camaraderie with his colleagues in the club called Zanu-PF and its supporters.

And Cde Mugabe must get this correctly.

The single most damaging point in his political career and one which precipitated his fall, was the perception that he wanted to impose his wife on the people of Zimbabwe.

He could have just done that at party level and at State level, whose instruments of power and coercion reposed with him.

Well, to some extent.

It must be noted sufficiently that people would have indulged and even endured Cde Mugabe for as long as he wanted, but the perceived imposition of his wife was just unacceptable.

Mrs Mugabe, whom he calls a "little girl'', was a divisive character, which she apparently remains, given to poisonous and sometimes indecent rants.

No one wanted that figure anywhere near State power, much less in the lofty and revered office of President, which it was largely perceived she was being prepared for by her husband.

Perhaps as a gift to his girl.

So when the army — among the political and legal processes — intervened, it became a people's army called to stop an unacceptable abuse of party and State.

Not to mention the fact that a venal cabal called G40 featuring the likes of Jonathan Moyo, Saviour Kasukuwere, Patrick Zhuwao, etc., had its fangs deep on the neck of the country.

People marched in solidarity with the army.

They did not like the idea of an imposed Grace presidency, which they had little power to stop democratically, because their will would have been subverted, anyway.

They did not like the G40 and its corruption and immorality.

And when people marched across Zimbabwe and world centres, it was not just opposition supporters.

Cde Mugabe must be disabused of that notion.

Some of us marched, that November 18, in Johannesburg, South Africa, so that President Mugabe could be saved from himself and the evil that had beset and surrounded him.

We did not agree with the opposition, its songs, chants and placards that demeaned him that day.

Far from being a celebratory event, it was a time to reflect on just how wrong things had gone.

With tears in our eyes.

The former President must understand this: the majority of Zimbabweans loved him, but they did not agree with what was going on and the trajectory the party and country were taking.

In particular, and it must be emphasized again, they did not like the idea of Mrs Mugabe straddling our politics even though they loved her husband, who had to be saved from himself and the evil around him.

Still, to this day, Robert Mugabe is a respected and loved figure.

His successor has also been magnanimous with him and regards him as a father figure and icon.

He reportedly cannot even ask to be called President before and by his predecessor.

Mugabe should be a grateful man.

Things could have been much worse.

People like to conjure ugly images of Libya and the last days of Muammar Gaddafi. Or Causcescu of Romania.

That Cde Mugabe is not one of the poor pensioners sleeping outside banks to get a pittance for a living should be demonstration enough of how he should count himself lucky.

It should also please him to know that the nation is willing to preserve the best of his memory and forgive him his weaknesses.

The nation had begun to move on, and to forget.

His latest actions, which tend to give ammunition to those that lost out to events of last year to mount an offensive against Zimbabwe on the world stage, will not help anyone.

Mrs Mugabe should also be advised to seek wise counsel. She is still young, and has a future ahead.

She will do well to remember that she is the singular character that precipitated that cataclysm that has affected her husband and their personal lives.

It will not help her to be consorting with rogue, fugitive elements that are so consumed with bitterness that they would seek to bring the whole edifice of post-Mugabe Zimbabwe down with them.

A common accusation when we point out these things is that we may be personally benefiting from the new order, or much worse, we are being unprincipled.

On the contrary, some of us who long revered and supported Cde Mugabe, and still do, are actually materially poorer for it, while opportunists and chameleons in the previous and present eras benefit and amass wealth for themselves.

But it does not hurt to give a dear, elderly statesman sound advice — for his own benefit. He has been treated rather too generously for what he tried to do in the last few months of his presidency that had been hijacked by a criminal cabal. That is why his legacy had to be restored.

Source - the herald
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