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Chamisa's politics of salving troubled consciences

03 Dec 2022 at 07:10hrs | Views
Politics and poetry

William Butler Yeats, I think it was he who said out of our arguments with others we make politics, but out of arguments with ourselves we make poetry!

We can forgive WB Yeats, the Irish poet who died in January 1939.

He left this life long before Triple C had been born, and thus could not have foreseen how in political praxis, Triple C would confound and reverse his aphorism.

But first things first!

Running telescopically

Tyson Kasukuwere has now declared his intention to stand for Presidency in 2023.

Nothing new, except his reticence in coming clean on this much earlier.

Barely two weeks back, I wrote that Kasukuwere would run for Presidency - run telescopically - which is why he was not part of the Moyo-Zhuwao letter seeking to reconcile with the ruling Party.

Barely days later, Tyson would announce his candidature, of course veiled by false dilatory procedures which he claims awaits his confirmation to run for Presidency.

Vaulting ambition

I am reminded of Shakespeare's play, Macbeth, whose title bears the name of its chief protagonist.

Remarkably ambitious to oust Duncan, himself the lawful King of Scotland, Macbeth's hubris is vaulting ambition which, in uncanny self-awareness and examination, he projects in the play's memorable lines: "I have no spur/To prick the sides of my intent, but only/Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself,/And falls on th' other."

I know Shakespearean English is rather hard to follow; let me assist.

When ambition is vaulting, it surpasses its target and, in overreaching, falls flat from its own ungovernable momentum.

Such was Macbeth's self-image: a victim of boundless ambition set to be his undoing.

Firstlings of my mind

Not that Macbeth did not try to do something about his hubris.

He tried, albeit without always succeeding.

After key courtiers of the deceased King had escaped, thus presenting a mortal danger to his usurped reign, Macbeth self-remonstrated with himself on his own dilatory indecision later to prove quite costly.

To overcome this inherent weakness, and to fortify his resolve to overcome it, he self-incited to prompt, decisive action by declaring: "The very firstlings of my heart shall be/ The firstlings of my hand."

By this he meant he would promptly act on his gut-feeling, even if it meant wading through a trail of ceaseless blood, to secure the usurped throne.

Tyson Wabantu

Saviour Kasukuwere jumped the border in the wake of the 2017 Operation Restore Legacy.

He surprised many, including his own comrades whom he now castigates, by surreptitiously engaging the new authorities, leading to his short-lived return soon after.

Later, without any plausible explanation, he slipped out of the country again, to return to South Africa, his current base.

From there, and after seeking to resurrect the late President RG Mugabe, with some assistance from some elements within the ANC and EFF, he made a second attempt at a comeback, albeit symbolically this time around.

From his South African base, he launched his "Tyson wabantu" thing, less out of political wisdom and more in honour of some raunchy lady by a close moniker prefaced by Zodwa, and hailing from the country of his self-exile. To this day, I fail to grasp what the associational benefit was thought to be, given his prototype's notoriety in pub debauchery.

Courage of convictions?

Needless to say the thing withered on the vine, faster than Zodwa would age and lose her raunchy lustre in pub and dance.

That he came and left, then came again, this time as Zodwa reincarnate (he launched his Zodwa thing in Bulawayo!), simply showed that "the firstlings of his heart" were far from being "the firstlings of his hand".

Although Macbeth's hubris was "vaulting ambition", Macbeth was not short of the courage to act on his conviction.

About that, let not more be said.

Let's give Tyson enough pen and paper to scribble his script, starting with his pledge to present himself in person in Zimbabwe, once the electoral game begins.

Followed by his claim he was anointed by the dear departed as the next leader of this land.

For it is in Zimbabwe – on this sacred soil, and among its voting citizenry, that the crown will be retained or lost, won and worn.

Nowhere else. By no other means, least of all political necromancy!

Recall 2008!

I elected to give Kasukuwere these few paragraphs, not because he matters politically.

I doubt he himself thinks he does. I have made him the part-focus of my piece in order to warn Zanu-PF, my party since the early 1970s when I became politically aware, and well before Tyson's political life.

What a better way of warning my Party than to recall for it events of 2008!

The previous year, 2007, had been a very difficult year economically.

The rains had failed, leaving more than half of the population feeding off the hand of Government.

NGOs were able to exert a preponderant role politically.

False narrative of a Tsvangirai win

Inside the ruling Zanu-PF party, instability brewed, coalescing around late retired General Solomon Mujuru.

The 2008 elections took place against this inauspicious backdrop combining the hand of nature and man, thus brewing a thick concoction of odds against the ruling party.

One lie which has been allowed to circulate unchallenged, placed Tsvangirai's MDC-T in a position of comparative strength, relative to the ruling party.

This narrative is patently false, whether by balance of forces then, or by subsequent statistics on the outcome of that ill-fated plebiscite.

The year Zanu-PF lost to itself!

An honest reading of results of 2008 will clearly show Tsvangirai and his party barely surpassed their previous electoral strengths, both by way of presidential and parliamentary result.

What took a drastic knocking was the ruling party's showing in key strongholds, but without any corresponding inverse gain by the opposition.

Simply put, Zanu-PF lost to none but itself; many of its supporters in its key strongholds simply did not come forward to vote.

Or if they did, threw their weight behind a local MP, but without supporting their party's presidential candidate.

This is what in local political lore came to be called "bhora musango"!

What the late General did not grasp

At the first Politburo meeting after this disastrous performance by Zanu-PF, General Mujuru was to mournfully confess he did not realise what our presidential election system meant, namely that whichever party won Presidency by 50+ votes, would carry the day and form the next government.

So the hung result denied both late President Mugabe and late Tsvangirai the mandate to form a government, thanks to the late Edison Zvobgo's 50+ clause; it saved the day.

The subsequent run-off, which wound up being a one-horse race, had never been envisaged by General Mujuru, which is how his dream of making kings and queens burnt and reduced to ashes.

The late General had misread the political framework, almost digging Zanu-PF's grave.

Zanu-PF is unassailable

Here is my point. Zanu-PF is in formidable form; it is invincible because it has delivered on its mandate beyond the slightest dream of expectation.

It's policies are unassailable; it's leadership is well fortified.

Above all, it has become the large tent for all, which the opposition cannot be.

Its gene pool has grown, including by getting many from erstwhile opposition.

Looking in the crystal ball, Zanu-PF can only lose to itself; Chamisa is nowhere in sight.

Even his backers admit to as much, with their forlorn effort reducing to hoping to employ foul means to discredit Zanu-PF's win.

Including investing in electoral and post-electoral violence, as they did in 2018.

I cannot say more on this matter, for fear of jeopardising countermeasures in place.

In any event, that is not the import or focus of this article.

Beware of a red herring

The import and focus of this article is to exhort my party, Zanu-PF, not to lose focus by worrying about a red-herring thrown in to distract it, a red herring called Saviour Tyson Kasukuwere.

He does not matter, and requires insignificant investments to lay him to permanent rest, politically that is!

What can and could make him matter is the distracting role which his funders have designed for him.

He is meant to tempt the ruling party into chasing a false quarry, thus losing focus.

The Congress and its immediate aftermath addressed all bona fide returnees; the rest are decoys we should not concern ourselves with.

Who is the real enemy?-

So, who is the real enemy?

The real enemy and focus is the Anglo-American challenge which nurses hopes of retaining the Trojan Horse they planted in our body politic.

Simply, we should dismantle that Trojan Horse, once and for all.

This is why for me, this election harkens to that of 1980: it is our own tool of parleying and negotiating with the hostile Anglo-Saxon world.

We need a landslide.

We must take no prisoners; only that way will we get the Americans and British off our back.

Chamisa's crocodile tears

Chamisa is shading crocodile tears on the loan facility extended to all parliamentarians by their employer, the Parliament of Zimbabwe.

Parliament of Zimbabwe has extended a modest housing loan facility of USD40k per each willing Member of Parliament.

That is very modest by any count, a measly recompense for what these men and women do or are supposed to do in their five-year tenure as representatives of the people.

Whether they do or did that, is quite another matter.

The issue is they deserve the facility, in fact much more.

So many puerile questions

There has been some useless, in fact puerile debate on why the loan came at the tail-end of the honourable members' tenure.

That cannot be a question directed to the benefiting MPs; or some enough, let alone sound basis for denying them a loan facility from their employer.

Both questions must be put to Parliament, and to the Executive, never to, say MP for Buhera North or Umzingwane.

How is that his or her burden?

Allowance is not income

Or an equally puerile argument that how will these outgoing MPs, whose return to the next Parliament is not guaranteed, service their loan?

I fail to grasp the link between the loan and the paltry allowances which MPs get from Parliament.

It is silly to suggest such a fatuous link.

The link is and should be between the borrower's income, and the employer whose burden it is to recover the loan.

And income is not mere salary or allowance alone.

It is both presumptuous and disrespectful to appear to know what each MP's income or asset portfolio and worth is.

The false "issues" of tenure and allowances thus fall flat on their face, to land very deep into the base of a dirty bin.

Who cannot default?

Another equally silly argument rests on likelihood of loan defaulting.

Aah, how is loan defaulting the sole bane of Members of Parliament, the same way it is not that of ordinary citizens, including those sanctimoniously chafing against the facility?

Every loan, whatever its source, carries with it the risk of default.

That cannot be new, surely?

Or a congenital/genetic weakness of this peculiar breed of bipeds called Honourable Members!

I won't even waste time on an ancillary non-argument which brazenly says Government is not a bank! Really?

One has to be extremely bald not to know that Governments do create credit: mortgages, loans, funds, bonds, etc, etc.

We cannot be detained by such a silly argument.

Or the yell that MPs must go to banks.

They will not; they will go to their employer who has made this a condition and facility of service, fullstop.

And they do so as individual borrowers; how long they will live in Parliament or in this life isn't any more material than it is when it comes to you and I, as deficit units in this Economy.

False emotional triggers

Then you have an emotive argument to say why give MPs loans when there is no paracetamol in hospitals?

Precisely for that reason!

They need a home so they release their earnings to afford paracetamol and other life-giving drugs for themselves and their families.

Anyway, make a case for the stocking of drugs in hospitals and clinics; you cannot make it at the expense of requirements of a contract or a condition of service as if to suggest MPs solely carry the cross of health for the whole of humankind.

Or the false argument that things and life is too hard for ordinary folks to permit such a facility for MPs.


Why have not monies for this belated facility which are only coming now, towards the tail-end of Parliament, not cured all the poverty in the country, or made things less hard for the folks in the four-plus years which have passed, and during which MPs did not have the money? Assuming this paltry figure is the tablet or capsule to all woes afflicting Zimbabweans?

I think we need to argue like grown-up literates; not this spite-driven childishness!

What real leaders do-

Which takes me to Chamisa.

A person is not a leader by virtue of his place in an organisation.

That could very well be an accident of time or sheer rascality.

A person is a leader because he defines the way forward; espies a vision unavailable and beyond the ken of ordinary mortals.

Often that entails taking positions which are unseen or unpopular, indeed which bulk the zeitgeist or the spirit of an age.

This is why we say real leaders do not look for and wear clothes to match the weather; rather, they make the weather, leaving the rest of us lesser mortals to scurry for warm jackets as coping mechanisms.

Bulking zeitgeist

How does Chamisa fare on this one score?

Again, I go back to Macbeth.

When King Duncan impliedly puts Thane of Cawdor ahead of Macbeth in succession, the ambitious Macbeth quips: "Thane of Cawdor….?/This is a step on which I must fall, or else overleap/For in my way it lies!"

Decisively, he eliminates the ill-fated Thane, thus clearing the way for his bloody ascendancy.

It was an evil thing to do; but Macbeth showed leadership and resolve, whatever public morality or opinion said or suggested.

A real leader is not like a wind vane; he does not follow the gale. Rather, he is the gale which blows lesser beings in a desired direction.

Good politics confirm reflexes

Being a faint-hearted leader he has always been, Chamisa has chosen dissembling populism over political practicalities and precedence which even his own career exemplifies.

This is not the first time he has done so.

He did precisely the same over Covid-19 vaccination programme.

He put false antipathy of Zanu-PF over life's exigencies in an era of a swallowing pandemic.

He refused to join the rest of the national leadership in getting the first jab.

His politics went against human reflexes, thus provoking his life-craving members to defy him.

Good politics dock on human reflexes; they are never life-denying.

When party line means homelessness

He has done it again, this time on an issue of his MPs' core welfare.

Again, he will be defied, thus inviting a show of needless cracks which his opponents will fully exploit, opponents both within and without his buffeted party.

Why would a homeless MP tore such a stupid party line which does not bring roof over his head or heads of his family?

A party line which condemns him to homelessness?

The loan in question is personal to him or her, both contractually and in terms of the welfare it is meant to build.

Triple C has not been invited to guarantee it. It cannot anyway, more broke than a church mouse, as it is.

Where more fingers point!

Today his MPs are reminding him of the countless benefits he culled back then as both MP and as Minister of Government under GNU.

In a rebellion he needlessly provoked, they ask him why he never turned down the perquisites which came his way then.

They ask further: why does he crave for a bullet-proof limousine when ordinary Zimbabweans have no basic drugs in hospitals; when there is so much poverty in the country?

Why does he swindle the poor for a superfluous bullet proof limousine?

How are all these less venal?

Then, now, in future?

Poetry out of arguments with welfare

As an aesthete, I enjoyed the fulsome imagery with which he couched his fawned abhorrence and condemnation of his loan-hungry MPs. He said: "…but the CCC were not supposed to drink from this poisoned chalice. They have joined the pioneer column, they have joined the grave (sic) train and they have crossed the line."

Except this is not an argument with himself, in which case poetry results.

This is an argument with those others in his party, whose welfare is threshold.

In which case we ask what politics is he making? He revealed more.

None of his MPs came clean on the loan issue when he met with them as a parliamentary caucus!

Do they believe in, or trust their leader?

Is he still their leader?

Indeed a lion is a cat!

Zanu-PF fully understands its customer. It threw a small morsel to Chamisa's ravenous lot.

They are at each other's throats, in the process revealing the extent of pre-existing rifts merely awaiting an excuse to show.

But the last lines of his poetic composition touched on my own kind, donkeys. He said: "To call it a loan is to be very nice; this is a bribe disguised as a loan; a donkey is a donkey, you cannot coal a lion a cat."

Well, he is right, in spite of himself.

A donkey is indeed a donkey; a lion is a cat, at the very least by family!

And a divided movement?

Source - The Herald
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