Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

Deceptive Mugabe rooting for Chamisa

26 Feb 2019 at 13:28hrs | Views
Recent utterances by former President Robert Mugabe accusing President Mnangagwa and Government of killing civilians and "feeding on death" expose sinister shenanigans by the old political horse. Speaking at his 95th birthday celebrations at his Borrowdale residence recently, Mugabe claimed that Government was indiscriminately killing civilians and anchoring its rule on repression.
This is very surprising, coming as it does from Mugabe as his 37-year reign was littered with various allegations of human rights abuses.

Readers may remember that on the eve of the July 2018 harmonised elections, Mugabe came out guns blazing, attacking President Mnangagwa and the party he helped to form, ZANU PF, as undemocratic. He publicly vowed that he would not vote for ZANU PF, but would vote for the MDC Alliance candidate, Nelson Chamisa. ZANU PF and President Mnangagwa however went on to win the polls. Mugabe, in a show of bitterness, refused to accept President Mnangagwa's leadership. In a telling development, Mugabe complained that he was running short of funds to maintain his Borrowdale mansion. To the discerning reader, this revelation exposed a bitterness that emanated from his supposed lack of funds for the opulent lifestyle the nonagenarian believed he was entitled to over his 37-year reign. This raises questions on whether the "principled" Mugabe had betrayed his legacy as a principled politician, all for funds required to maintain his lifestyle. Would Mugabe change his decades-old reputation for the 30-pieces of silver?  

Mugabe could have been misled into believing that Chamisa would win the presidential polls and become the State President. His public endorsement of Chamisa was therefore a calculated investment in protection from potential prosecution emanating from a hard stance by the MDC that the party would have him prosecuted for his persecution of that party and its leadership since its formation. Mugabe may also have been motivated by the need to protect his vast wealth and business empire acquired over his long tenure. It therefore is apparent that the endorsement of Chamisa was a purely personal and selfish manoeuvre on the part of Mugabe.

Following the elections, Mugabe and his acerbic wife Grace made a somersault and publicly embraced President Mnangagwa, telling the world that he now accepted his leadership. Grace went a gear up to say, "He loves us. He knows we love him too. We pray for him because it's God's will that he is president." Self-preservation at its best. Because Chamisa had lost, it was clear the old willy politician had to change tact to preserve himself, hence his embrace of the President's leadership and victory. It was also the time when Mugabe's mother-in-law passed away and Government facilitated a charter plane to bring Grace from Singapore for the funeral.

His recent anti-Government utterances should equally be understood in the context of his ever-present need for self-preservation. The MDC is set to hold its elective congress in May 2019. The willy Mugabe senses a chance to renew his pre-election alliance with Chamisa and his supporters. This can only be achieved through an attack on President Mnangagwa and his Government as a ploy to curry favour with the opposition. Mugabe, as per his public declaration in July 2018, is obviously keen to have an MDC led by Chamisa, which somehow gives him some peace of mind.

His accusations against President Mnangagwa, who he publicly supported some few months ago, the attack coming as it does on the eve of the MDC elective congress, exposes the cunning politician that Mugabe is. He is staking his future safety and vast business empire on a good relationship with Chamisa whom he sees as a potential president of Zimbabwe.

Reports from sources in the opposition movement claim that Mugabe has gone to the extent of offering to bankroll Chamisa's election campaign as MDC leader. How duplicitous Mugabe is.

Even on Twitter, G40 stalwart Professor Jonathan Moyo, is supporting Chamisa to emerge as the substantive MDC leader. What is, therefore, coming out is a coordinated campaign by Mugabe and his political foot soldiers to malign President Mnangagwa and ZANU PF with a view to align themselves with Chamisa and the MDC membership. This is a significant misjudgement.  

The various allegations made by Mugabe and Chamisa against the President are convenient in that they consciously do not acknowledge that President Mnangagwa was a mere Minister in Mugabe's governments since independence. The ultimate culpability for all government actions lay with Mugabe. He should not confuse Government's magnanimity as a licence to subvert it.

As Mugabe's 37 year rule demonstrated, he is good at self-preservation. Chamisa may revel in Mugabe's attack on the President in the hope that he is a dependable political ally, he is in for a shock as the moment Mugabe sees a chance to exploit for self-preservation, he will dump him.  

Shipping vehicles from UK to Zimbabwe for less
Source - Bevan Musoko
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.