THE mother of all political enmities has erupted in Zanu PF following the ruthless ouster of Vice-President Joice Mujuru and her camp last year.
There has been a pattern of harassment, vilification and brutal assaults such as the one unleashed on notorious Zanu PF Mbare militia leader Jim Kunaka by his erstwhile comrades-in-intimidation and extortion for being in the “wrong basket”.
The attacks have gone beyond the bounds of decency. They have resorted to the poison pen tactic, writing anonymously with spitefulness, defamation and intimidation. Outright lies have been told and written, particularly against axed party secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa for daring to openly challenge President Robert Mugabe’s role in their expulsion.
It has been so bitter and twisted. Now they are saying Mutasa, who had been in charge of State security as Presidential Affairs minister before his dismissal, was a Rhodesian secret police spy all along. Such delusionary ways are common with pathological liars.
Those saying Mutasa’s past stinks are very much correct, but a victim does not have to be an angel. If you rape a prostitute, you still go to jail. Mutasa is tainted, but is looking more and more a victim of this pernicious system like millions of Zimbabweans.
Mugabe, according to a report in The Sunday Mail, “knew of Mutasa’s (Rhodesian police) links, but appointed him to key party and government positions as part of his (Mugabe’s) renowned statecraft and political acumen”.
Can anyone, no matter how much of a genius they are, be that all-knowing, futuristic, that they would bide their time and know exactly when to strike some 35 years later? That they would have more than the patience of the biblical Job? Well, we are not such deceivable.
Wrote pseudonymous Herald columnist Nathaniel Manheru, whose true identity is the worst-kept secret in Zimbabwe unlike Mutasa’s alleged spying which had been the best-kept secret, to belittle Mutasa’s role in the liberation struggle: “Reared in the white liberal politics of Cold Comfort (Farm), Mutasa only reconnects with the armed struggle in 1977, upon invitation by President Mugabe from Birmingham where he was ensconced. He had left the then Rhodesia, thanks to Guy Clutton-Brock. But did Rhodesia leave him?” Well, Comrade Manheru, don’t let your ideologising get in the way of the truth and facts.
Associating Clutton-Brock, merely because he was white, with white liberalism, is as big a lie as one can tell about him because he was not in the least one. It’s as bigoted a notion as today’s Islamophobia where all Muslims are labelled as inherently terroristic by white racists.
Clutton-Brock had a practical commitment to bringing justice and equality to blacks as opposed to a mere philosophical commitment often found not only among “white liberals”, as Manheru would have it, but black intellectuals as well, of which Manheru counts himself to be one.
Give me a white liberal any time than a black intellectual who sees no evil and hears no evil about the eviction of the Mazowe villagers to pave way for a pet project – an unimportant, unnecessary venture pursued for personal gratification rather than for the common good!
This cannot be, as Manheru would have it, “new politics”. This shows the disconnect between the political elites and the people, with those at the top lost in their own world of power and luxury.
These leader and their advisers have not reconciled to political, economic and social change. They are stubbornly holding to their outdated views. That is why the anti-corruption fight, if ever it was, is dead in the water.
We should not make heroes out of oppressors and exploiters. Such labels as “white liberal” are of no intrinsic value to our situation.
Clutton-Brock lived with and among black Africans (yes, because there are Africans of various colours and hues) on Cold Comfort Farm, not cloistered in white Rhodesian suburbia in then Salisbury (Harare) like other whites.
Cold Comfort became widely acclaimed as an oasis of racial freedom in colonial Rhodesia and for regeneration among poverty-stricken black Africans. Can you compare this focus, determination and sacrifice with the corruption and decadence being played out today at the top?
Today’s scale of inequality is staggering and it’s hurting economic growth to no end. Did Manheru deliberately omit to mention that this “white liberal” lies buried at the National Heroes’ Acre because that would have diluted his vicious demeaning of Mutasa?
Colonialism is not the only bad thing to have befallen Africa. Grave as it was, it also brought unintended beneficial consequences such as waking up Africans to their rights alongside other human beings at the same plane.
If these unreconstructed ideologues feel that strongly against colonialism as they would like us to believe, they should throw away everything remotely connected with colonialism. Like someone said to Taliban hotheads: “If you are that fundamentalist, why are you using cellphones? Why are you not on camels?”
Ideologising — expressing or complying with a particular ideology or vested interests, seeing things in terms of black or white, African or European, Christian or Muslim, Zanu PF or MDC in an antagonistic manner – has bogged down Zimbabwe.
If Mugabe takes back Mutasa today, well, those newspapers that have been ripping Mutasa to pieces will be the first to applaud the move because it will have come from Mugabe. That is how three decades of ideologising have caused untold damage to Zimbabwe.