President Robert Mugabe has on many occasions, at various fora, including during his party’s conferences and congresses, agonised at the level of public hatred Zanu PF has attracted over the years and the party’s irrepressible tailspin into political obscurity.
In fact, the President says he has had to sacrifice his health, outliving his political sell-by date, because he could not stomach the sight of his party crumbling, as he is certain it would, if he resigned leaving it in its present fragile state.
There is no doubt, none whatsoever, that Zanu PF was at independence, and even up to a decade later, the most popular party in Zimbabwe, with no threat at all from any quarter. Then, President Mugabe slept well — very well.
Over 80% of the population were Zanu PF through and through. President Mugabe had nothing to fear and could indeed have happily resigned had age and/or infirmity demanded then.
The painful questions that President Mugabe, and a few true and trustworthy Zanu PF individuals that remain in his leadership, ask is: What has become of the party ? Who is to blame?
It is indeed a curious paradox that President Mugabe, given all his education and wisdom, cannot or will not take decisive action to deal with the maggots that threaten his party’s existence.
It requires no rocket science to see that the once popular political giant has been weakened, tainted, disparaged and left in a coma by individuals who exercise no restraint when it comes to greed.
Liberation heroes and Zanu PF founders like Maurice Nyagumbo felt so ashamed to be implicated in a mere car deal that they took their lives. That is the level of moral fibre Zanu PF was made up of.
That morality has been torn to pieces and chewed by a shamelessly gluttonous crop of criminals masquerading as politicians.
These are the people that are responsible for President Mugabe’s restless days and sleepless nights.
A current case in point which should be a challenge to President Mugabe and those that care about him enough to want to see him allowed to go home and rest — in peace — is the wanton greed-induced lawlessness taking place in Kwekwe.
Zanu PF is in danger of total ostracism in this Midlands mining town because of the disgraceful manner in which its officials there have behaved themselves — how they stand on top of hills to shout out loud their disdain of the rule of law.
What does an ordinary Kwekwe citizen make of Zanu PF when they hear the party’s provincial security officer Owen “Mudha” Ncube dismiss as inconsequential and “of no effect” a High Court ruling meant to stem impunity and impede wanton theft?
Ncube reportedly boasts of having refused to be served with High Court indictment papers by the Deputy Sheriff ordering him out of Sherwood Block, a rich mining claim legally owned by one Robert Chipwanyira.
“I refused to accept those papers, that mine is ours,” Ncube boasted. “It belongs to the revolutionary party whose sons went to war to free our resources from colonial rule.
“We have called it Chaminuka Mine and it will be open to our youth once we have constructed toilets. We will not be intimidated by court papers. In fact they are of no effect. The people who claim to own the mine will not get anything.”
Ncube and his colleagues, who are reportedly embroiled in the invasion and subsequent looting of the gold claim where the discovery of pure gold nuggets sparked a gold rush in Kwekwe, are allegedly aligned to a faction of Zanu PF led, curiously, by very senior party officials.
Over 600 Zanu PF card-carrying youths were unleashed onto Chipwanyira’s gold claim to literally loot the place – ironically under the “supervision” of the police. The High Court ruled that lawlessness and ordered it be stopped and the mine ownership be restored to its rightful owner.
But Ncube thinks otherwise. The High Court order is nonsensical, according to him, and “once we have constructed toilets” the place will be open to “our youths”.
Signs that developments in the Midlands stand to plunge Zanu PF deeper into the political cesspit in which it already squats have emerged.
An influential Zanu PF district co-ordinating committee chairman, George Makombe, a well-known liberation war fighter, has described the attempted seizure and plunder of the gold claim as regrettable.
“This is not the Zanu PF I am a stakeholder to,” he said. “We went to war to restore the rule of law and equality amongst our people and Ncube just does the complete opposite of the founding principles of the party. This is not what the party led by President Robert Mugabe stands for,” Makombe said.
Added to this grim Kwekwe spectacle are the many incidents of lawlessness co-ordinated by individuals seeking to reap where they did not sow, using the name of Zanu PF.
There is the mysterious Chipangano which has seized control of money-making ventures in Harare and, just a few days ago, we had another group of anarchic youths setting up roadblocks in the capital and demanding money from motorists in the name of Zanu PF!
So, Comrade President, the party can never restore its dignity, popularity or stability, for as long as such greed-induced lawlessness is left to be — and you may forget about an early and peaceful retirement.