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Of Margaret Thatcher goodness and ZANU [PF] voodoo oracular politics
Rejoice Ngwenya
April 15, 2013

The Zanu PF narrative on Zimbabwe’s liberation history is flawed; deliberately marinated in partisan subjectivity. Zimbabweans are accustomed to propaganda of one Zezuru mhondoro [lion spirit] medium called Mbuya Nehanda Nyakasikana Charwe now appropriated historically as a Zanu PF prop, being responsible for ‘triggering’ the wars of liberation. A glaring omission reverberates throughout this perforated theory - the role of Ndebele King Lobengula as the bedrock of resistance. The first ‘liberation’ war was fought between 1893 and 1894 pitting predatory Settlers and compliant Shona chiefs against the King’s highly regimented Amajaha Warriors.

We are further told Mbuya Nehanda was executed by Rhodesian settlers for inspiring other Zezuru mhondoro like Sekuru Kaguvi and Chaminuka. This elevates the role that the Shona tribe played in resisting colonialism while we should scorn Lobengula for ‘selling the mother land’ to devious Cecil John Rhodes. The ‘evil white man’ narrative is later bestowed onto Ian Smith and ‘five thousand white commercial farmers’ who are said to have perpetuated colonial greed. Notice how this racist theory strategically ignores industrialisation of the colony! ZANU-PF historians even perpetuate the illusion that no ‘real’ Ndebele heroes participated in the 1970’s liberation struggle by habitually amplifying Mugabe’s role at the expense of Joshua Nkomo.

I am not a historian, but when Zanu PF despises someone and praises another, I get suspicious. Baroness Margaret Thatcher died and Didymus Mutasa – Robert Mugabe’s rabid vuvuzela – told the world how this ‘nice white woman’ had been good to Zanu PF by ‘promising to pay for land reform’. Ironically, Joshua Nkomo’s liberation warriors dismiss Mutasa’s hallucinations. And for good reasons: first, they question the truth of Zanu PF’s claim that Thatcher promised to bankroll farm plunder; second, they insist Thatcher helped Zanu PF rig the 1980 election in order to keep the pro-Soviet Union ZAPU out of power. ZAPU historians accurately blame Thatcher of being smitten with the so-called Mugabe aristocracy she not only ignored the Gukurahundi genocidal exploits of his Zanu PF in Matabeleland but also rewarded the dictator with a Knighthood.

I do not look at liberation history through Mutasa’s political prism. This would lure me into Zanu PF’s trap of condemning all ‘whites as land thieves and robbers’. My point however is; even if Thatcher had promised to pay for land reform and reneged on that promise, it took MDC popularity in 2000 to suddenly jolt Mugabe and Zanu PF into remembering this promise. What is more amusing is how Zanu PF, for the first time since 1980, suddenly saw the ‘real’ devil in the white man, so much so that Mugabe and his war veterans were overwhelmed with the ‘oracular spirit’ of Mbuya Nehanda to ‘take back our land’. The methodology, zest, anger, destruction and bloodletting were so demonic that even those ZANU-PF sympathisers who profess to be Christians succumbed to Nehanda’s spirit of vengeance! No wonder Rotina Mavhunga, the ‘spirit medium’ who lied about diesel oozing from a rock sold her illusion to Zanu PF leaders Didymus Mutasa, Kembo Mohadi and Sydney Sekeramayi. Belief in anything oracular has damned our country to voodoo politics.

God designated Zimbabwe a Christian country yet Mugabe and ZANU-PF have embroiled us in an orgy of oracular politics. We allowed them to evoke mhondoro spirits into the narrative of liberation. The devil himself, Lucifer, has taken personal charge of our elections, land reform and indigenisation so as to destroy the humanity in us. Look at where we are in now, the abyss of de-industrialisation, hatred and poverty.

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