Corruption Watch: Neville Mutsvangwa arrest: The theories are rolling

The 44-year-old Neville is seeing fire as we speak. It seems the authorities have remembered to be serious about people who run against the law by doing forex trading and what, what.

It so happened this past week that Neville, the son of Christopher Mutsvangwa, the Zanu PF information secretary, and Monica, the current minister of Women’s Affairs, was arrested for alleged shenanigans in the forex black market underworld.

Once he was turned in, the law enforcers had another good idea. They charged him with facilitating services of a yet-to-be-unbanned internet service provider, Starlink, that American company which is hoping to aid Washington’s surveillance on us by pretending to be doing what Econet, NetOne, etc are doing here.

The 44-year-old Neville is seeing fire as we speak. It seems the authorities have remembered to be serious about people who run against the law by doing forex trading and what, what.

The biggest takeaway about Neville’s attempted prosecution is the manner in which people are conspiracy-theorising about it.

Now, Monica is set for a PhD at our biggest university next graduation. She did a two-day long doctoral thesis titled: “The Sublime Correlation between Mothers’ Foreign Trips and the Prosecution of Sons: The case of Neville Mutsvangwa”.

That’s a brilliant thesis, I am tempted to think. I like the conclusion most: There is only one factor that determines whether or not the son of a politician will be guilty of a crime; the absence or presence of the mother in the country.

Her top-drawer recommendation is when she calls on mothers not to travel abroad so as to ensure that their sons are not arrested for forex dealing or any other crime.

Who says Zimbabwe is short of brains?

But then, I have to balance my review of the thesis, as academics are supposed to.

If the findings, analysis and conclusion of this thesis are taken too seriously, we may end up having big problems.

We will end up with a situation whereby, for as long as sons have living mothers, all boys and men will never go to jail for their crimes.

What would just be needed is for the mother to quickly cross the border and wait till the law enforcers get tired of waiting for her return.

The assumption here is that sons must never be arrested for as long as the mother is out of the country (ibid). That would be against criminal procedure and evidence rules. 

Even though this would help decongest the filthy jails, society will be burdened with high levels of criminality. It implies, ipso facto, that hardly any man would be arrested and prosecuted for as long as that happens when his mother is out of the country at the time the law enforcers pounce.

And then, I also like a chapter in Monica’s doctoral thesis when she posits that the sons of Zanu PF politicians are not capable of criminal commissions.

According to M. Mutsvangwa (May 2024; Social Media), the arrest of the son of a Cabinet minister and Zanu PF senior members only happens when those that send the law enforcers to do their job have an axe to grind with the mother — and father — of the son being victimised; such arrests are politically motivated.

One other grey area in this thesis, of course, is that the author hardly bothers to provide logical argumentation to support her statements.

But then, this doesn’t matter, weak or not weak, she will graduate. For there is a precedent to this. It took Grace Mugabe a few weeks to get a UZ PhD.

I have seen quite a load of other unpublished theses from all manner of corner since Neville was arrested.

One other that stands tall seems to ultimately concur with what M. Mutsvangwa (May 2024; social media) states. This one is doing the rounds in the pubs where it’s getting vivid reviews.

It posits that Neville was arrested broadly because of the perennial paw-and-claw fights within Zanu PF.

One compelling argument in this theory is that Neville’s father, Chris, has made so many internal enemies that the foes will grab any available opportunity to hit back.

In this regard, therefore, Neville was arrested at the instigation of his father’s enemies in Zanu PF, taking advantage of the current sting operation on money changers following the recent introduction of a new, zig-zagging currency.

Oh yes, this is titillating. You will remember that when Mutsvangwa was stood down as a Cabinet minister a few months ago, he had reportedly been seen and heard urging President Emmerson Mnangagwa to drop Constantino Chiwenga as a VP and give that succulent post to him instead. Put more simply, Mutsvangwa wanted to replace Chiwenga.

That would be as heretic as it is suicidal. How do you even start thinking of removing Chiwenga?

For crying out aloud, he is the dude who put his stiff neck on the block to remove Robert Mugabe from power. Nobody does a coup to be removed by a loquacious, whisky-guzzling wanna-be.

Chris’s power machinations also exposed Mnangagwa in a big way. The rule in the coup book is that Chiwenga must succeed (and must have succeeded) Mnangagwa.

If Mnangagwa entertains Mutsvangwa that much, it will show brazen betrayal. Now, Mnangagwa benefits more by having Chiwenga — rather than Chris — on his side as part of a strategic relationship.

In that case, Chris would rather go hang than having Mnangagwa spook Chiwenga into some crazy idea.

The fact that Mnangagwa and his hangers-on are insisting that the current president will still be there in 2030 doesn’t make things tidier. Chiwenga deserves his turn, and Chris must not spoil the sport.

There is a compelling premise in the political victimisation conspiracy theory. Nobody linked to powerful politicians in Zanu PF is capable of guilt.

If you see them getting arrested and prosecuted, that’s because there is someone who is manipulating the justice system.

These are the more equal animals. As it stands, he who is in Zanu PF and has not committed one crime or another must cast the first stone.

There is a third theory that I haven’t heard properly. This one must assume that Neville actually committed the crimes he is being charged with but must be subjected to a proper application of the law on him.  

After all, Neville has a track record of allegedly committing some crimes. The fact that he hasn’t been convicted on any of them is nothing.

Who said the absence of a conviction is proof of innocence? Forget that vile principle that says one is innocent till proven guilty.

The law is a dusty, smelly and water-fearing ass as always. There are so many people who have been convicted and gone to jail without committing any crime.

 Equally, Zimbabwe is teeming with people who have committed crimes but still don’t know the inside of a police station.

  • Tawanda Majoni writes in his personal capacity and can be contacted on [email protected]


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