When corrections fail: Part 2


Micheal Mhlanga

“The bigger they are, the harder they fall” so the saying goes. Last week’s instalment remembered the MDC tripartite and how it has failed to correct what it dismissed.

This week I want to remind Zimbabwe of Runaida Mugari whose history in the liberation struggle is now questionable. We have a memory of a 17-year-old helicopter shooter, which was challenged last year in a comically interesting narration.

I am one person who never ignores information however, funny it may appear. I always assume some level or possibility of truth in it. Runaida has always been a woman who made most women believe in the possibility of competing with men, however, physically demanding the legacy was.

The story of downing the helicopter may be true or untrue but what matters is the representation of her through that story in its “truthful” days. The history of the event depicts the possibility of any Zimbabwean woman shaping liberation legacy discourse.

Her memoir of political competition reflects the ability of young competitive women constructing policies that shaped Zimbabwe’s future. At 21, she made it into cabinet setting the governance agenda.

I can spend the whole day ululating what she represented for femininity and youthful achievements but let’s not forget how she threw all that away just because she felt the zest to join the band of failures. I don’t believe Joice Mujuru, as the world knows her, was rejected by Zanu-PF on 6 December 2014.

I have a strong conviction that she failed Zanu-PF. Her lack of discipline and denouncing of the system made her feel uncomfortable around people she had betrayed. Like any setup when people find out that you possess the Iscariosis —a terminal illness of betrayal, your settling becomes thorny. Like Judas, suicide is the only method of recusal from the infamy you have clothed yourself in.

The Vice of a President

Mujuru betrayed the people who believed in her and she knew she had failed. Her disloyalty to the party demanded that she be excused and she never dared challenge that. Had she been remorse, who knows, she could still be a rehabilitated daughter of the revolution. Like any other disloyal egoistic human being, feeling brazen and weak, above all, embarrassed, she formed a party together with those who had failed the retest — a party that did not see the next Ramadan.
One thing that perturbed me is, if she were sincere that her expulsion from Zanu-PF that December of 2014 was a passive allegation, why didn’t she stay out of competing politics and appeal to be re-admitted as an ordinary member like what others did? When she immediately forms an opposition party isn’t that confirmation that she expunged herself from the system way before her expulsion and the ejection by the party was justified? Isn’t she disloyal?

Didn’t she betray all those women who believed in loyalty to nationalism? So Zanu-PF wasn’t wrong after all, she was compromised and she could compromise what the community stood for, already, she had exempted herself from the system.

Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are

When she formed Zimbabwe People First with a group of expired cadres, who too, for 34 years believed in Zanu-PF until no more or otherwise we heard how they suddenly found fault in the system. To us, from them, Zanu-PF had lost the plot of the liberation ethos. To us, from them, we are in undaunted misery because of Zanu-PF. To us, from them, Zanu-PF steals elections. To us, from them, they are here to provide the alternative of Zanu-PF because they have been in the system and they know how it’s run and they know better than any other opposition.

She was the genesis of the “new” Zimbabwe, but I have questions which we have too long ignored. For 34 years Mujuru was a disciple of the system and had she not been expelled, was Zanu-PF going to be bad as she wants us to believe from her narrative? She won numerous elections on a Zanu-PF card, does it mean she stole the elections? The misery she talks of which she claims is a Zanu-PF construction, was she not part of its creation? When do we exempt her from all she creates for us to believe? Isn’t this another raging drag race by a bruised bull which wants us to share its bleed? Isn’t she reactionary, only out to prove a point to those she despises and wants to drag us to hell with her? Think deeply on that.

Alarming enough is how she becomes exactly like Morgan Tsvangirai when she is in opposition. I think this is now a resident characteristic of Zimbabwean opposition politics, to form, split, and attempt to coalesce and fail.

When Mujuru left Zanu-PF she presented herself as the best answer to the bereaved Zimbabwean only for people to find out how she has no plan of ousting her former masters. I find this hilarious because when people are not questioning her plan but expect her to be the answer in challenging the regime, how do they expect her to win? She has no charisma and political charm besides the rhetoric that she has been in the system which she betrayed and that she is a mother, she has alternatively nothing.

The most embarrassing moment was her discussion at Chatham House late 2016. At such a global space and you lack an ounce of eloquence to articulate your plan of challenging the regime we question the authenticity of your struggle for power — you most probably delved into it without an agenda — the agenda of the agenda-less.

Ornithological of identical plumage

Like any other opposition, on 8 February 2017 Mujuru woke up in the morning and decided to expel the “elders” Rugare Gumbo, Didymus Mutasa, Munache Mutezo and Margaret Dongo, among others. In the afternoon of the same day we were treated to a dosage of comedy when the elders expelled her from the same party they had been expelled. This is no different from the 2005 Morgan-Welshman Ncube parody. They always expel each other because they entitle themselves to the party.

The culture of self entitlement is cancerous in this country — people want to own the struggle as if it’s theirs, which is why they expel each other. At the end of the day I asked myself, how different is she from any other masquerades in opposition? It is about her, not the people as she claims.

So I ask again, is Mujuru different from Tsvangirai who defies the party constitution to extend his stay in power and when he is expelled he instead expels those who expelled him? What does Mujuru have on offer which she has said clearly? Does she have the political mileage which the opposition thought she had after listening to most of her speeches in and outside Zimbabwe?

How come her Bulawayo structures crumbled when she was still Zim PF and she failed to manage them when she is now NPP? If Mujuru has that political capital, what happened when her party NPP failed to mobilise female members for the 9 June Bulawayo Women’s rally at Amphitheatre that she had to bus women from Mashonaland? Does she even have structures in Bulawayo? If she were to run the race alone, would she get a single council seat?

Considering that she is part of the coalition, has she resolved her differences with the people she expelled or who expelled her? Will she ever identify with the ordinary Zimbabwean whom she says she represents considering that she only became part of that group after she had betrayed the system?

When do we start to trust a person who betrayed her own folks who watched her back in the bush when a bullet could have snatched her? Hasn’t she failed like any other quelling person? Runaida, mama think again.

Follow @mhlanga_micheal.