Zanu PF, Mugabe — a big joke.

HARARE - The wave of political expulsions in Zanu PF is not subsiding yet Information minister Jonathan Moyo calls its genesis, the accusations of wanting to topple President Robert Mugabe levelled against former Vice President Joice Mujuru and a host of other party leaders by a hysterical First Lady, Grace ‘Dr Gucci’ Mugabe, “political banter”.

In his Hard Talk interview with the BBC staffer Stephen Sackur, Moyo chose to trivialise the battery of allegations raised by Grace describing them as merely “political banter”, some form of friendly teasing and humour ostensibly to liven up things in the run-up to the party’s December 2014 damp squib congress.

Shockingly, Moyo argues that “it was very important that all issues (banter) play out in the open and when that happens its more evidence of a democracy at work rather than the allegation of instability” as the BBC journalist was alleging.

It is evident that by describing the allegations as “political banter” Moyo wants to absolve Grace of any wrong-doing, yet if these were jokes, the other parties were supposed to have acknowledged them as such, and if not, Grace was supposed to have apologised for her bad jokes and taken responsibility for her infantile and reckless behaviour rather than trying to give herself a free pass by describing her tirade as mere “political banter” through a proxy.

It is grossly unfair for someone of the stature of a First Lady to savagely attack her husband’s subordinates publicly and in a very unsavoury manner then hide behind proxies and the phrase “it’s only political banter”. One has to take responsibility for what comes out of their mouths and if they spew trash, they have to show remorse and apologise.

As Tom Chivers of the Telegraph UK observes, “If you’re a grown-up, you know that your offensiveness may offend, and you either accept that or you apologise and don’t do it again.

“Saying “it’s only banter” makes you not only an idiot, but an idiot who can’t take responsibility for his own jokes” and if you cannot take responsibility yourself, then someone or some legal body like a court should make you take responsibility.

But was what Grace doing some form of a joke?

If it was, it was some bad joke, far removed from humour as we know it and to imagine that Moyo and his team at the Information ministry subjected the whole country to this lunacy for more than eight hours on national television smacks of disrespect to viewers and the licence fees they are harassed into paying.

We would forgive Moyo and his team at ZBC if his intention for broadcasting the so-called meet-the-people rallies on television was to show all and sundry that Grace was the joke, not what she was spewing

If Moyo meant to show Zimbabweans that Mugabe and the entire Zanu PF leadership which went berserk with the so-called votes-of-no-confidence as a result of Grace’s banter were big political jokes, then we would understand where he is coming from.

People lost both party and government positions and right now, more than $36 million dollars is being spent on by-elections because of seismic shifts in the political party leadership  that now need replacements simply because of  Grace’s jokes?

It is hard to believe that a whole government, a whole president, a whole political party politburo, would be jolted to act so callously, terminating political careers as a result of some joke.

It only makes sense if the government, its president and the party he leads are big jokes themselves.

But Moyo seems, to some extent, to make some sense when he describes Grace’s diatribes on Mujuru as political banter, but not in the line that he seems to sell to the BBC journalist, but in the sense that Grace’s drivel was the Dunning-Kruger effect exhibited for all to see.

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias wherein unskilled and usually dull individuals suffer from illusory superiority mistakenly assessing their ability and influence to be much higher than is accurate. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the often naïve dunderheads to recognise their ineptitude.

This is exactly what the whirlwind Grace did, over-assumed her ability as a politician to understand, and seeking to rid Zanu PF of factionalism which has been the hallmark of the party since the days of the liberation struggle by unleashing unsubstantiated statements against senior party officials which statements Moyo is correctly describing as banter — a catch-all word for silliness.

The factionalism that Grace thought she could end in Zanu-PF now was there in Zanu in the 1970s, the Vashandi click and the Bindura Zvinhu group that Christopher Mutsvangwa wanted to join but was dissuaded from by the late General Solomon Mujuru when he handed him over into the safe custody of Sobusa Gula Ndebele, were manifestations of deep-rooted factionalism in Zanu in the 70s, which Grace in 2014, wanted to cleanse Zanu PF of.

Surely, if a political novice like Dr Gucci thought, through her so-called “meet-the-people” rallies, she could do what her husband failed to do since 1977, which was to rid Zanu PF of factionalism, then it becomes clear that she manifests illusory superiority which is metamorphosing into naiveness and true to Moyo’s phraseology, all what she was doing was political bantering.

But away from the Dr Gucci bantering, Moyo, in his Hard Talk interview, managed to confirm that there was some third force, a distinct element driving Zanu PF factional politics that goes beyond the Mugabe and Mnangagwa factions.

That Moyo categorically denied that Mnangagwa was Mugabe’s heir apparent seems to show that Moyo knows some game is brewing somewhere and a dark horse might emerge to succeed Mugabe when the time comes.

Moyo’s feeble defence of both Mugabe and Mnangagwa on allegations of masterminding genocidal massacres of mainly Ndebele speaking people during the Gukurahundi period and his failure to comment on questions over Mnangagwa’s parody that he could “shorten” the “stay on earth” of “cockroaches” which did not “follow the path of the government laws”, yet he went to town over Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini’s  xenophobic statements and their potential to spark genocide seemed a tacit acknowledgement that the two (Mugabe and Mnangagwa) were guilty as charged and therefore part of a political past that needed to be done away with at once thus there was no need for him to defend them.

Listening to Moyo, one could not help but feel there is a plan that he is aware of or even part of, that has everything in place and that Mugabe’s successor is somewhere, hidden from the public glare but totally in control of the political drama and intrigue in Zanu PF today.

One Zanu PF insider seems to be in the know of what is happening and spoke to me about parallel Zanu PF structures run by sections of government and superintended by what he calls “champion farmers”, serving military personnel deployed in every constituency during the 2008 presidential election run-off, which military personnel was
never redeployed anywhere but remains functional in each electoral district and reports to some seniors in every province.

The existence of these structures is known by every Zanu PF MP who campaigned in the 2013 harmonised elections and the various teams currently restructuring the party in the country’s 10 provinces today know of these “champion farmers” and their purpose and brief in Zanu PF politics.

It is this parallel structure that can provide a successor when the opportune moment comes and Moyo might be aware of this hence his categorical and curt revulsion of the proposition that Mnangagwa is Mugabe’s heir apparent.

So, Moyo is right, it is not a given that Mnangagwa is the anointed one.

Moyo might be knowing something we don’t, and could be right in this respect, notwithstanding his gibbering about political banter.

So the talk about people democratically electing Mugabe’s successor might be the real political banter as it is clear in Zanu PF that people do not come first and democracy is part of the political verbiage that passes for political banter.

Comments (3)

maybe the statement 'political banter' is itself a political banter by the prof. the Zim politics are a combination of luck, intelligence and mystery. People must be patient God will avail the next leader , so my advice is political analysts should give themselves more leisure while the monied should channel funds to help the needy than waste on futile campaigns. How happy it feels to help a suffering soul.

jonsina - 26 May 2015

jonso is a gay ( banter)

Harare - 30 May 2015

jonso thinks he is of supper intelligence , wittier than the rest ,which i am not sure of , considering the countless enemies he makes everyday both in and out of zanu pf . Dare i say they will haunt him oneday its politics its not for the professors its a dirty game and jonso is being used and abused and sooner than you think they will throw in the rubbish heap , him they will not only fire from zanu they will throw him inside if he remains alive

Harare - 30 May 2015

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.