The visit by African National Congress Youth League President Julius Malema has left President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party trapped, political analysts said in Harare Tuesday.
Speaking in separate interviews with NewsDay some of the analysts said Mugabe could be regretting ever having invited the youthful South African politician in the first place.
Dr. John Makumbe a Mugabe critic and political science lecturer said Malema had surprised his hosts with his blunt truth of facts that had obtained in Zimbabwe and his grim prediction of the outcome of Zanu PF’s deeds.
“You could see it that the Zanu PF youth leaders were shocked. They had never had anyone tell them in their faces that they indeed used violence including ‘cutting their hands’ to force people to vote for them. They could not deny it there you see because it was truth being said by their own bossom friend only he was saying it on the wrong platform, where the world was watching,” said Makumbe.
Joshua Mufunde, a political science student said Mugabe and his party were “trapped between a rock and a hard place” by Malema’s advices and warnings.
“What are they going to do now? They cannot reverse the violence that they have unleashed on the people already. The many people that have lost their limps and many others that have being maimed in various ways will not forget. All the same, going ahead with the violence may cost them their friendship with the South Africans. Obviously Malema was not just speaking, he meant what he was saying and it could be a message from Zuma,” said Mufunde.
Malema took every opportunity during his four-day visit to Zimbabwe to lecture Zanu PF and Mugabe himself on the folly of using violence to win elections.
He started on Saturday evening while on a visit to Gideon Gono’s Donnington Farm just outside Norton when he went to great lengths to speak about how violence would work against Zanu PF and get the people to revolt.
His audience was visibly unsettled and unsure how to respond to such direct confrontation with the grim reality of their actions.
Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, who forms the inner core of Mugabe’s violence machinery, appeared to have learnt the truth and later praised Malema for “unique lessons” which Zanu PF youths would “always keep in their minds and hearts”.
Whether or not he meant his words will remain to be seen, but Malema appeared to have left a mark there.
The firebrand youthful South African politician repeated the same advice – this time to the leader of Zanu PF – President Mugabe himself.
“We have agreed with President Mugabe to help strengthen the structures of the party. We want Zanu PF to become strong again. We have agreed to engage Zanu PF in practical examples of how to win elections peacefully and democratically. We will invite their youths to South Africa for council elections and we will show them how it is done,” said Malema.
He had been much more blunt with Kasukuwere and Affirmative Action Group AAG activists and the excited coterie of Zanu PF youth leaders including Absolom Sikhosana and Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwawo.
“You must do like the Americans. They won’t beat you up to listen to them, they don’t cut your hands for you to listen to them – they use propaganda through newspapers, internet and television and you end up believing them.
“If you use violence and the people revolt, you will never stop them even with the whole army. Engage the people ideologically and persuade them to vote for you,” said Malema
Malema said Zanu PF risked invasion by world powers if they continued with their murderous ways and when that happened, the ANC and South Africa would just watch and do nothing because them too would not have a chance against the powerful nations.
“We must fight the battle ideologically on the ground, we need ground forces, and we need foot soldiers equipped with political fuel. It’s not about how you shout slogans and how you can exercise violence or use AK47 on your people.
“Once you do that you are inviting an invasion. The US is forever ready for you, they want to come here and if you give them the opportunity to come here you will have failed our revolution.
“They will attack you and after finishing you by virtue of being the superpower with all the machinery all of us here will never say anything. We will just keep quite because we will be killed. They want to destroy this party and if you give them the way in the form of militants you are going to compromise all of us,” warned Malema.