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This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles


  • Parliamentary Monitor: Issue 03
    Parliamentary Monitoring Trust (Zimbabwe)
    Janaury 25, 2013

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    Parliamentary Monitor

    Matigari was at his usual pessimistic self. He was holding a newspaper with the four leaders of the three political parties. It was a rare moment, Tsvangirai to the far left, followed by Mugabe, then Mutambara and Welshman Ncube, who was at the extreme right. He had folded the story and asked what I thought of the picture. It was a very difficult question. I realised it was every photographer’s dream moment. The four BIG men driving three political parties together. I pointed out that Welshman Ncube appeared not comfortable. Maybe because he was too near to Mutambara, the man he upstaged in one of the most intriguing and well calculated coups in post independent Zimbabwe. Coups, within political parties were child’s play during the liberation war. Then after my observation, he asked me what else I had made of the picture. He asked so many questions, why was Mutambara seated next to Ncube? Why Mugabe next to Tsvangirai? Was it a matter of protocol? If not, was it semiology? In the sense that the people responsible for the seating arrangement had wanted to send a message on the real rivalry in Zimbabwean politics. Was it not that Mugabe/Tsvangirai was likely to dominate while Ncube and Mutambara would battle it out. Then if so what were we supposed to make of it? Realize that there will be many small and cascading struggles.

    He then unfolded the newspaper and the story made me jump in happiness. At least we were getting direction. But Matigari asked me if it made sense that the four men had decided to hold the country at ransom. I asked what ransom? The political leaders were solving a political logjam.

    Then Matigari said; “Politicians create problems at night and wake up pretending to proffer solutions.” Should we have gone this far? He asked. How far? “I mean to these guys, don’t you see that this is a clear sign that we had no big voice in the document” said Matigari. I began to see the light.

    He went on to tell me that this was a clear sign that the people had been taken for granted. It was a moneymaking venture by the politicians. They used cheap tricks to make the people keep their eyes off the ball and the result was this. He equally had no kind words for Simba Makoni and his MKD. He asked where they were when the elites were doing all tricks. It is a clear sign that they are not vigilant, said Matigari. He said: “At least this will not affect my life in the short term but in the long run, we admit we have been cheated big time.”

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