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the totemless ones
September 04, 2013
Mugabe appears convinced
that threats and scorn can work wonders to sway the electorate towards
him. The Old Man, in all his Zanunised wisdom, has drawn inspiration
from what he said more than a decade ago, when he referred to the
hapless Mbare citizenry as totemless. Despite that disparaging reference,
the people of Mbare allegedly voted for Mugabe’s candidate,
Hubert Nyanhongo, and for him - meaning that the message had sunk
in very well.
I am amused
by the fact that Zanu-PF purportedly
won in the July 31 polls when a new constitution had restored
the right of migrant citizens to vote.
They must, surely, have
learnt the good lesson that you don’t vote against Zanu-PF
as they had done in 2000, 2002 and 2008 -and get away with it just
like that. Remember, these so-called totemless people, whose origins
are in Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, etc, spent over 10 years wandering
in No Man’s Land because their citizenship had been withdrawn.
Therefore, Mugabe must be hoping that the generality of the electorate
in Bulawayo and Harare will bear in mind what happened to the totemless
ones, and desist from voting for MDC-T in the future.
Second, Mugabe could
just have tried to divert our attention, and seems to have scored
a landslide victory in that regard. Telling the Harare and Bulawayo
metropolitan electorates to go and seek salvation at Harvest House,
instead of from the looming Zanu-PF government, must have been strategically
designed to send us barking up the wrong tree. Here is how:
There has been a ringing
chorus that the polls were rigged. By openly disowning Harare and
Bulawayo, Mugabe could thus have wanted to create the impression
that he genuinely knows or believes that the polls were properly
conducted, and thus fair. Demonstrably, many people, including an
amazing number in MDC-T who should reason better, took that path,
as evidenced by the fact that they became busy lambasting him for
making that statement against the two metropolis.
shifted from whether or not the polls were rigged to the crudeness
of the President, Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces and Head
of the Judiciary, Parliament and Cabinet disowning his own people.
What people have failed to see is that, by reacting to his remarks,
they are actually legitimising the polls.
Instead of crying foul
over the purported exclusion of Harare and Bulawayo from national
governance, critics must have questioned why Mugabe thought it was
only Harare and Bulawayo, and not Masvingo, Mat South and North,
Manicaland or Midlands that had voted for him and his party, considering
all the talk of massive rigging.
Third, Mugabe spoke under
the captivity of the military. This makes sound sense when you consider
the context in which the burial at which he made the comments was
taking place. Karakadzai was a former (if ever there is anything
like that in Zimbabwe) top military man whom Mugabe, on his own
admission during the same occasion, had head-hunted to strangle
the National Railways of Zimbabwe. The military obviously played
an active role in shaping Mugabe’s tone and I wouldn’t
be surprised if his speech actually came from Defence House. In
a clear departure from the magnanimity he had just shown at his
own inauguration, the hard core in the Old Man manifested itself
during Karakadzai’s burial, and the hard core is a military
ill-advised broadside at MDC-T voters possibly betrays his hurt
ego. I still believe he wanted to take Morgan Tsvangirai and others
from MDC-T on board in the new government. Tsvangirai snubbed his
overtures and that drove him mad. I noticed that, all through the
post-election period until the Karakadzai burial, Mugabe hardly
spoke ill of MDC-T. Talk of roping in a group from MDC-T was gathering
increasing currency. Mugabe only changed his tune and came out with
all guns blazing when he realised he could not use MDC-T as lipstick
on his impending cabinet.
This becomes clearer
when you consider that at Saturday’s burial of Kumbirai Kangai,
Mugabe took his verbal arsenal to a new frontier, daring MDC-T to
bury its “minnows” at all the anthills dotted around
the country. He is angry and we will not see him let up on MDC-T
any time soon.
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