Revelling in absurdity

HARARE - Last week, Zanu PF held a party to celebrate its “crushing victory” in last year’s elections.

As has already been noted, there is something decidedly perverse about holding such a party at this time.

For starters, it was just a pointless charade.

How many political parties commemorate electoral triumphs a year later?

Will we have another one next year?

Perhaps Zanu PF wanted to compensate for the rather embarrassing funereal atmosphere that descended at the announcement of its controversial victory.

However, last week’s party turned to be a rankling absurdity.

How does one justify merry-making in the middle of such a sea of poverty and suffering?

The celebration was a faux pas at another level.

Zanu PF prides itself in being a people’s party.

“We are leaders from the people, of the people and for the people,” Mugabe said.

Hatife takambofunga kuti (we will never think that) because we are leaders we are above the people. We come from the people, we have come from the people because the people have definite interests and definite demands which they wanted addressed.”

There is something all-embracing and endearing in labelling oneself a “people’s party.”

A people’s party implies a political party which acts for the benefit of all.

But as we know, Zanu PF has shown us that they are the people, not everyone else.

However, when deconstructed, last week’s event bears a rather bemusing antithesis even to that claim.

Here is a “people’s party” holding a celebration within the posh precincts of State House — a venue out of bounds for the common man.

Deconstructed further, the irony becomes even more telling.

It is the vote of these commoners upon which Mugabe and others wined and dined last week.

A “people’s party”? I do not suggest of course that Zanu PF could have invited all its supporters.

Put aside the absurdity of the celebration in the first place, Zanu PF could have drawn a fairly large crowd of people — whom it says it is not above — from its districts and
provinces and held the party at its headquarters using its own resources.

If Mugabe’s wife, Grace, could spend a lot of money buying and donating food and other items just before the elections, in what many perceived as blatant vote-buying, feeding a sizeable crowd would not have been so much of a problem.

It would seem the relevance of the “people” ends with elevating people into power.

So when deconstructed further, the whole charade of last week shows that what a “people’s party” means, in the Zanu PF context is, in fact, its elite.

The “real” people were not invited by the “people’s party” to a supposedly “people’s party.”

Contrary to Mugabe’s  remarks, the Zanu PF elite or so-called “chefs” do think they are above the people — even those who voted for them. This is not a particularly new finding; it is a confirmation of what, disturbingly, we have known since independence.

Exclusion and elitism have now become hallmarks of the party, resulting in wanton self-enrichment of a few over the years without any accountability.

In its pastoral letter last week, the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC) noted the rise in corruption, adding that “the habit of ruling without being accountable to the majority did not die on April 17, 1980.”

Meanwhile, as the Zanu PF elite celebrated a “crushing victory”, the economy was not registering any victory; it was crashing, which makes last week’s revelry so depraved, especially for anyone calling themselves a “people’s party.”

While the elite wined and dined, the ordinary man or woman has not seen the positive consequences of this “crushing victory” that warrant any celebration.

It is perhaps this disconnect with the “real” people that led Mugabe to make a claim that the economy was recovering.

Perhaps in State House, where food is plentiful, electricity and water are always available.

    Comments (3)

    Indeed a CHARADE that celebration party was!Mugabe is a hypocrite,a good orator but greatest liar.ZANU PF has never been,is never&will never be for the people. The people will forever cry as long as ZANU PF retains power in Zimbabwe.

    DZASUKWA - 6 August 2014

    So true CN. Zanu PF chefs dont care about anyone else except themselve asnd their fattening stomachs.

    joe - 6 August 2014

    Thanks Conrad. Ivo veZanu vacho tirikukaura navo, varikutambawo nhamo yacho, vazive pakuvhota next time

    musangano - 6 August 2014

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