Lumumba's vulgar rant draws mixed reactions

HARARE - Acie Lumumba’s vulgar rant against President Robert Mugabe has elicited mixed reactions, with some saying the Viva Zimbabwe leader’s foul and strong comments “exceeded the red lines”, while others said malicious political japery has always been employed in revolutionary rhetoric.

Lumumba’s “offensive” comments about the 92-year-old president were flung into the political orbit as he launched his Viva Zimbabwe opposition party just after walking out of the governing party.

Speaking at the launch of his party in Harare on Thursday, Lumumba used uncensored language against Mugabe, saying the older generation has been making disastrous decisions affecting youths.

“Youths we are being used by various political parties, this is what we want to end, the red line of stealing our future, the red line of long queues at banks, look outside, the military police is guarding the police at bank queues, handiti hamusati mambonyatsotukwa, majaira kutukwa nemaprotestors …here is the red line Mr president … Mugabe f**k you,” Lumumba said.

The youthful politician’s use of  a crude slang to slam Mugabe was ridiculed by some and hailed by others.

“The 27-year-old’s blunt style and gangster comments could set much of the tone for the 2018 election race, with many Zimbabweans agog that he has veered into vulgarity during the campaign.

Zimbabwe Democracy Institute director Pedzisai Ruhanya dismissed Lumumba as a “relevance-seeking non-entity”, adding that he was only hurling insults at the Zanu PF leader because he is now outside the ruling party.

“Lumumba’s language is Zanu PF language of abuse and intolerance. It is not the kind of language acceptable to the democratic contingent,” Ruhanya tweeted.

Obert Gutu, spokesperson for Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC, said: “Although we are a social democratic party that puts emphasis on family values, we don’t encourage insults, we don’t encourage the use of foul four letter words, we are fathers and have to set an example.”

Spokesperson for Tendai Biti’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Jacob Mafume said the good thing is that for one reason or the other, Zanu PF is dismantling.

“Lumumba has a lot to prove to show that he is a genuine member of the opposition not a plant of Zanu PF put among the opposition ranks to distract us with clownish behaviour and theatrics,” he said.

Highfield West Zanu PF legislator Psychology Maziwisa said there are so many things that one can do and say in democratic Zimbabwe.

“But surely insulting the president, much more so with the F-word, just can’t be one of them,” he said.

Youthful political scientist Promise Mkwananzi said he saw nothing wrong with Lumumba’s rant, saying the opposition has become “too cautious” and that Lumumba was exercising his free speech.

“I think what Lumumba did is one of those necessary evils. I hope it will renew the true spirit of radical opposition,” he said.

Youthful PhD candidate Maureen Kademaunga said vulgarity can be extremely politically useful.

“It’s a crucial rhetorical weapon for the politically excluded because when crude obscenity is directed at figures of power, their prestige can be tarnished, even in the eyes of the most reverent of subjects,” she said.

“Malicious political japery has always been employed in revolutionary rhetoric.”

She said in the build-up to the French revolution, the much-despised Queen was nicknamed Austrichienne, meaning “Austrian b****” by the slanderers pamphlet — the Libelles.

“Those on the left know that the crass, ugly dispensation of judgment with little to no regard for propriety, the rejection of the norms of civilized discourse; the flouting of implicit conventions that create our social decorum, the use of swears and shouts where reasoned discourse is called for, is sometimes vital to convey the passion of messaging,” she said.

“There are arguments to be made over who constitutes a valid target, an appropriate messenger, ideally a morally upright person with a willingness to be disgusting, and it must be a clear response to political circumstances!

“To maintain its potency, vulgarity should certainly be the exception rather than the should be a selfless act and a clear response to political circumstances and never a tact to gain personal political expediency!”

Constitutional lawyer, Justice Alfred Mavedzenge, said Zimbabwean citizens have been insulted by the ruling elite several times.

“Truth be told, as citizens, we have been told f**k you after we voted and our vote didn’t count. We have been told f**k you when our money was turned into papers in 2008 and now being turned into bond notes.

“We have been told f**k you when our struggle against colonialism has not resulted in true freedom. Our revered nationalists such as Joshua Nkomo were told f**k you and had to go into exile,” he said.

“Citizens in Matabeleland and Midlands have been told f**k you when they asked for justice against perpetrators of Gukurahundi . . .we have been told f**k you so many times as if we are not equal citizens of this land.”

He added: “I am no campaigner for insults but a leader must act with honour if he is to be respected by citizens. You surely don’t expect people to respect you when you f**k their lives everyday. That I think should be the issue at the centre of our debate.”

Comments (9)

varume nyaya iri apa ngeyekuti vanhu vezimbabwe tarwadziwa kusvika pekupedzisiri haasi ega everybody vazhinji wanotaura pakahwanda vanhu havachadi period.

dofo - 3 July 2016

I get where Lumumba is coming from, I get where the greater youth population is coming from, because as was stated respect is earned and these old man have not earned our respect, the have looked upon us a their little minions that that they can rule over indiscriminately. Mukaona Sekuru votukwa nevazukuru zvinhu zvinenge zvaoma, if these people were clever they would wake up and start trying to put themselves in order to run this country zvakanaka because they have managed to wake even those that have been asleep for 35 year in this country. Handei, enough is enough , we are all equal citizens and deserve better leadership

B Moyo - 4 July 2016

the young man is wrong? mugabe started ruling before he was there. how can he say such words to his uncle. but which one is better, one who use vulgar or one who uses a gun? if you want attention you start by throwing small stones but you will go for bigger stones if no one is paying attention

zim rombe - 4 July 2016

Kana lumumba ari genuine ari right.mugabe haa deserve respect That man is evil

matsotsi - 4 July 2016

Why is the police wasting time. Acie Lumumba is a thief. He defrauded the Ministry of Youth by siphoning US$20 000 from the youth Fund being maintained in Old Mutual Account without the authority of the Accounting Office/Perm Secretary. This man should be in jail by now. Please police do your work.

ziso - 4 July 2016

Please find out why Acie Lumumba was fired by Minister Zhuwawo from chairing the youth fund. Dig deeper kwete kumhanyira kusapota zvamusingazivi. Acie Lumumba imbavha. Be careful with this thief.

ziso - 4 July 2016

@Ziso, If you are warning us to be careful with someone who stole $20K what of our Government that stole $15 billion? Even the Prez was amazed!!!!!

Sgwaza - 4 July 2016

Mugabe has been fucking your country for so long it is time someone told him "fuck you!". Well done Lumumba. From Kenya we wish you luck in rebuilding your country.

Quentin Luke - 5 July 2016

Mugabe has been f*****g your country for too long - it is time he was told f*** you! Well done Lumumba. We in Kenya wish you strength in rebuilding your country.

Quentin Luke - 5 July 2016

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