ON June 2 this year, former Zanu PF secretary for youths, Kudzanayi Chipanga, made stunning claims before thousands of party supporters gathered at Rudhaka Stadium in Marondera and millions watching on national television that former President Robert Mugabe was “an angel”.
BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
Being the latest bootlicker within a party that had men and women who worshipped and sang praises to their leader, Chipanga took it to an unimaginable level and likened the aging revolutionary leader to the biblical angel Gabriel who, according to Christian doctrine, delivered the message of Jesus Christ’s miraculous birth to the virgin Mary.
In an unprecedented grovelling address, Chipanga further claimed that Mugabe’s late mother, Mbuya Bona, was inspired by God to name the veteran leader Gabriel.
“Truly speaking, in heaven there is God and here on earth there is an angel called Robert Gabriel Mugabe. You are representing God here on earth,” Chipanga said as Zanu PF officials ululated in agreement.
Still bubbling with ego, and on top of the game, Chipanga struck again a month later during another interface rally in Chinhoyi where he described Mugabe as “Deputy Jesus”.
“He is our messiah… He is second to Jesus. He is our liberator. We honour God and we have our Jesus. Thirdly, we honour President Mugabe. He is our liberator. When Jesus came, he liberated this world. When President Mugabe came, he liberated us during his lifetime. So, why not honour him?” Chipanga said.
Such preposterous claims were part of a culture of Mugabe deification that had become the chorus within the party which, under the behest of the then First Lady Grace Mugabe, was pushing for Mugabe’s re-election in 2018 or, alternatively, Grace’s take-over should her 93-year-old husband be incapacitated.
Chipanga was just one of the many Zanu PF officials and members who, over the years, had drawn parallels between Mugabe and revered biblical figures. Mugabe was showered with praises as if he was an immortal deity.
Before Chipanga came, a number of cabinet ministers and top Zanu PF officials jostled to get his attention through employing different bootlicking tactics.Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs minister Webster Shamu described Mugabe as Cremora, a popular creamer brand. Shamu even took his adulation to unprecedented levels, publicly expressing that he wished he was Chatunga’s sibling. Chatunga is the last-born son of Mugabe who, together with his brothers, had become known for an extravagant public life.
Not to be outdone was Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu, who even told Mugabe that he was his “most ever obedient son”.
The majority of Zanu PF members stampeded to bootlick the nonagenarian for their own benefit. This saw the party amending the constitution and declaring Mugabe their supreme leader whom they wanted to become life president of Zimbabwe.
Just two weeks ago, the game changed and so did the tune in the party following military and public pressure for Mugabe to quit. This was after the expulsion of former Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a development that did not go down well with the securocrats.
Mnangagwa’s expulsion came after a series of his public attacks by Mugabe and former First Lady Grace as well as party members seeking to curry favour with the then First Family. This was after Grace’s meteoric rise to power within Zanu PF following her “guided” election to become head of the Women’s League. She was now gunning to take over the reins of power from her husband both in the ruling party and government.
Following his expulsion, Mnangagwa skipped the country and promised to “come back in a few weeks”. The intervention by the military in the whole circus resulted in Zanu PF party members finding their voices. A whirlwind erupted and all provinces turned against the former veteran leader.
During a provincial coordinating committee meeting held in Marondera recently, Mabel Chinomona, one of the most energetic gyrators at Mugabe’s rallies stood up and spat venom.
“We are tired of Mugabe. He must take a rest. Even his wife Grace must take a rest and concentrate on cooking for her husband,” she said.
Speaker after speaker blasted Mugabe and his wife for “privatising” the country as their family fiefdom like Gushungo Dairies. The war veterans, who made Mugabe their patron, demanded that the flag with the former President’s image at the party office be removed. The darling of many turned into a villain within a flash of a second.
The praises turned to blasts as the youths and the elderly expressed their anger at the man who led the country for 37 years.It was clear that the angel had become the enemy. The writing was on the wall when the former “obedient son” took the honours and presided over the Zanu PF special central committee meeting to plot Mugabe’s downfall as President of the Chiefs Council, Fortune Charumbira, danced wildly upon hearing about the nonagenarian’s resignation.