Editor's Bottom Drawer: Zim politics enters injury time

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It is neither a guard of honour nor is it out of love, that vultures circle high up in the sky over a demised animal.

It’s in anticipation of a sumptuous meal. And dinner has been a long time coming in terms of succession at the highest level in Zanu PF as President Robert Mugabe continues to hold on to power against a backdrop of power-hungry colleagues.

Lack of leadership renewal breeds conspiracies, and people who were once sincere, turn into fair-weather friends.

In history, many great men have often been felled, not so much by the enemy’s arrow, but by a friend’s kiss, Jesus by Judas, Caesar by Brutus, Patrice Lumumba by Mobutu Sese Seko and Bakili Muluzi by Bingu Wa Mutharika!

As Zimbabwean politics enters the “injury time” phase, one thing is certain . . . it’s now show time!
Recent WikiLeaks revelations are the icicles before the avalanche and have amply demonstrated that President Mugabe has either overstayed his welcome or has few friends left in his party, Zanu PF.

The MDC has a right to wish President Mugabe all manner of misfortunes that can bring his reign to an end as soon as possible, including befriending his perceived enemies.

After all, it is said that your enemy’s enemy is your friend. That is the function of competitive opposition, anywhere in the world.

When Britain, America, Scandinavia and the Commonwealth were coming strong against the Ian Smith regime, the nationalists simply loved it and encouraged them on.

The MDC has no business liking President Mugabe and, conversely, President Mugabe does not have to like them.

There is no love lost between the two and their dislike and disapproval of each other is mutual and comes with the territory of political competition.

Premier Morgan Tsvangirai wants to replace President Mugabe, because he believes that the President has ruined the country and he can do a better job. President Mugabe, on the other hand, thinks Tsvangirai is not up to the task.

But, recent WikiLeaks revelations have indicated that President Mugabe’s own comrades also share the view that he is no longer a viable option, and they believe that he should go.

They have been airing disapproval of his performance, to his avowed enemies behind his back. They simply lack the mettle to tell him to his face.

But what sort of friends are these, who resort to this sort of treachery against their own leader?

Is it not better to call for a meeting, close the door and be absolutely candid with each other and let the sparks fly?

Or, has President Mugabe unwittingly spawned this culture, which is now coming back to bite. It is an invidious position, when so-called friends are more dangerous than one’s so-called enemies.

Whatever the case, with friends like these, who needs enemies?

It is said that an old fox is not easily snared, and that, he that will deceive the fox must rise betimes.

When the Soviet ruling party saw that Nikita Khrushchev was no longer tenable as a leader, they surprised him by pointing this out to him at a congress, to his face, and that was the end of him.

When the South African ANC lost confidence in Thabo Mbeki, there was no equivocation, they went right ahead and removed him.

Is it not baffling that, time after time, these zealots have endorsed President Mugabe as their preferred choice and yet in their hearts they loathe him like a plague so as to even go and malign him in WikiLeaks, behind his back.

What then is their true position on the so-called sanctions for which Tsvangirai has been the fall guy?

What now . . . now that the cat is out of the bag?

Will the new protagonists have a showdown, or will they smoke the peace pipe and establish an uneasy truce, as both sides bide their time only to strike a final killing blow at a more opportune time?

Already some zealots are saying, the enemy has designed new strategies and implicating them in WikiLeaks, to hoodwink President Mugabe, yet again. They will never own up and apologise.

There is an old Arabic saying that goes: “Better a thousand enemies outside the house, than one inside.”