‘When Elephants fight its the grass that suffers’.
The concubine turned wife of Robert Mugabe has been campaigning for the Zimbabwe ruling party Zanu PF. She has held several ‘Meet the People’ rallies to drum up support for her intention to head the Women’s League at least it seems. ZANU-PF congress in December will likely be one of the most interesting and divisive party elections where the party is expected to choose Mugabe’s successor and fill many influential posts.
Mugabe’s wife, Grace who failed her GCSE O levels and somehow landed a job in the President’s office was for a time enrolled at the University of London where she flunked out due to her dismal pass rate. However, a few months ago she enrolled at the University of Zimbabwe and two months later was awarded a PhD despite never having published a single academic paper in any journal as required in academia or having a dissertation or thesis in the university library system.
While on a campaign, Grace has now chastised men of Matabeleland accusing them of marrying a lot of wives and making too many children they end up failing to take care of.“It is very common here to find a man with 5, 6 or 10 wives what kind of a bull is that?” she said according to the Zimbabwe Mail. These words of tribalism from a woman who left her husband for a married man preaching morality and getting her the nick-name “disGrace” Mugabe.
Mugabe should be held accountable for his crimes against humanity against the Ndebele. While “disGrace” has aligned herself with the Mnagagwa faction of the party. Emmerson Mnangagwa, nicknamed ‘Garwe’ which is translated to crocodile in English due to his brutal leadership style in crushing of opposition leaders is a likely contender who got this nickname due to his reign of terror known as “Gukurahundi” translated the cleansing rain before the beginning of the rainy season during the 1980s ethnic cleansing in Matabeleland. The militia group that he led was known as the ‘5th brigade’ and was trained in North Korea by Kim Jong Um’s grandfather.
Emerson Mnagagwa certainly has shown the ability to use brutality in his reign in Zimbabwe but in many elections he could not even win a parliamentary seat in his home district showing his unpopularity even in a ZANU PF stronghold. Some have argued that if he cannot win a parliamentary sea how can he win a nation? Mnangagwa lacks charismatic appeal which is common among military personnel and he is thought of as out of touch with ordinary Zimbabweans. Mnangagwa, however, would be the perfect candidate for the International court at The Hague for crimes against humanity and perhaps not the image that the party would like to convey to the world.
In the midst of all this political chaos and confusion courtesy of ZANU-PF, there are reports that the Mugabe regime which has patterned itself in the past after the Kim dynasty in North Korea is adding the cherry on the cake by sending off Mugabe’s oldest son Robert Jr to North Korea for leadership training. Just maybe Mugabe is grooming his oldest son Robert Jr. To some in the party Robert Jr. lacks the diligence that is needed to become a dictator like his father. No one knows how much clout the Mugabes will yield without their father and with the knowledge that he is not ever coming back again. The successor issue is taboo in Zimbabwe however it is a matter of time when we will all find out. Mugabe in the early 1980s sent his elite squad 5th Brigade to North Korea and came back to Zimbabwe and carried out the worst atrocities of ethnic cleansing where they killed between 20,000 -50,000 Ndebele people in an effort wipe out that tribe.
The saddest part of all is that while ZANU-PF leaders clamor for power, Zimbabwe’s economy continues to crumble with no end in sight because ‘When Elephants fight its the grass that suffers’.
By Ana Mosi-oa-Tunya 2014
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