Joram Nyathi Deputy Editor
THis stay had become untenable after his own party recalled him.THE story of how former president Robert Mugabe left office is now in the public domain. The momentous development had the full endorsement of his own Zanu-PF, the military and above all, the people of Zimbabwe as a whole. Everyone felt Mugabe had overstayed his welcome, the masses of Zimbabweans flooded the streets demanding that he step down, which he duly did on November 21, 2017, albeit very reluctantly.
In his first public interview on March 15, 2018 a bitter Mugabe would claim that he was removed by the military. When it was pointed out to him that Zimbabweans from all walks of life had staged demonstrations across the country on November 18 calling for his resignation, his retort was that “those were opposition supporters”.
That was obviously not true. But the claim was based on a material fact. For 18 years the main opposition MDC led by the late Morgan Tsvangirai had been in the so-called trenches fighting for Mugabe to step down. Their campaign slogan became simply “Mugabe must go”.
Given the events of November last year, there is no doubt that feeling was shared by many in his Zanu-PF party, and also by millions of ordinary Zimbabweans who felt at 93 years and after accomplishing the historic land reform, it was time for the old man to take a break from active politics.
His reign was now associated with a lot of violence and trauma. Corruption became endemic, with all state institutions apparently beholden to the First Family.
Thus ordinarily Mugabe’s departure, by whatever means, should have brought relief to a principled opposition, that finally their nemesis was out, that Zimbabweans had spoken loud and clear that they no longer wanted Mugabe in the affairs of the country. It was time to try a new pair of hands.
But for a number of months now rumours have been circulating that Mugabe and his wife Grace were planning to stage a political comeback, either through a new project called New Patriotic Front or by financing the opposition MDC in all its shades, now led by Nelson Chamisa.
People who know the disastrous relationship between Mugabe and the MDC thought this was no more than propaganda, a smear campaign to “soil the good name” of the MDC. It was impossible for the ‘party of excellence’ to find accommodation with Mugabe.
Well, rumour became concrete matter yesterday when the wily old man threw caution to the wind. He called a Press conference in Harare to endorse Chamisa on the eve of a historic election today, all to spite his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa, not to help to further the cause of democracy. And in Chamisa he found an ambitious and fork-tongued young man who will do anything to get into power.
This is what we find shocking about Chamisa and his thoughtless praise-singers. He grew up in the MDC purporting to be fighting violence, corruption, nepotism and many other acts of malfeasance under the Mugabe regime, and also to promote investment and development.
Within a period of seven months into power, President Mnangagwa has achieved a lot in these areas, including re-engagement with the West, without one insult or attacking the opposition. Always speaking in the spirit of togetherness and peace for the people of Zimbabwe.
On the other hand Chamisa, in collaborating with Mugabe, is telling Zimbabweans that he was always of one mind with Mugabe; that he was against the November 18 mass demonstrations that led to the removal of Mugabe. He is telling Zimbabweans that they don’t know what is good for them, that nothing will stand between him and his hunger for power, not even the will of the people of Zimbabwe. He is saying in short he was always happy with what Mugabe was doing, when his party was chanting “Mugabe must go”.
In other countries such an association would be the kiss of death for any aspiring leader. We are dealing with a man without principle, no moral compass to guide and no ideology to buttress his vision of the future. It would be a tragedy indeed if MDC supporters endorsed this devious character for a national president.
Only a few days ago, Chamisa claimed public media were trying to soil his brand by associating him with Mugabe. All the time lying without shame. Now he has been revealed and confirmed: as a pathological and congenital liar. He simply is too unstable and unreliable to be president of this nation.
We know of leaders who start with a promise and get corrupted by power. In Chamisa we have someone who gets corrupted by the sheer desire for power. What happens should he get it? Zimbabweans can tell him today that they expect and deserve better from their leaders.
God’s counsel is clear on this in Deuteronomy 1 vs 13: “Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads.”