HARARE – The ANC’s Mangaung Congress this week dominated the political media space.
The Bull Eland observed that Zimbabweans were more interested in that electoral outcome than ongoings at home.
This attitude reminded me of how things that happen next door can come alive in one’s own home.
For instance, as we enjoy the festive season, a clear example can be a noisy neighbour.
The noise is really next door, but it just does not allow one to sleep. So one ponders between confrontation and sleeplessness!
For the sake of future relations, inaction is recommended. Politically, one wonders if ANC congress was just an event next door or a domestic affair.
For many Zimbabweans, what happens in South African politics is of interest for four reasons — but I will not even begin to compare it to the Gweru, Zanu PF conference.
First, it is always difficult for normal people to understand why Robert Mugabe, who is Mandela’s contemporary, refuses to resign and hand over power to someone within his party.
Broadly, the question is, if South Africa, which attained independence in 1994 is already on its fourth black president from the same party, why is Zanu PF taking so long? Kireni Zulu’s proverbial “mwana haana kukwana” (child is abnormal) maybe instructive.
Secondly, the political and electoral processes that the ANC goes through are a marvel to watch, the picture of freedom!
Most Zimbabwean youths have never enjoyed a similar environment during both Zanu’s internal primary and general elections at home; the freedom to wear their T-shirts and other regalia, carry around their party’s paraphernalia without any fear of death whatsoever; to openly sing praise songs for your preferred candidate and go even further to sing disparaging songs in the face of the candidates you oppose.
Most people in Zimbabwe can only dream of singing “Zanu yaora” or “Chikara cheZanu”. Even the brave will have to scan the surroundings for a green bomber, riot squad or even the much-feared intelligence agents.
In short, many Zimbabweans have never known political freedom, many lived through Smith’s apartheid regime and the rest were born under Mugabe, when the skin colour of the cruel oppressor had changed.
Most importantly, majority of Zimbabweans believe their personal security, their children’s schooling and food security derives from the current Zuma safeguarded relative stability.
More directly, there is a deep-rooted belief the political destiny of the inclusive government is in the hands of the Sadc-appointed facilitator.
Having stopped Mugabe’s premature election calls for close to three years now, many believe that Zuma has their interests at heart and has enough muscle to stop bad things from happening.
The Bull Eland can confirm that without Zuma and Sadc interventions, another bloody election would have been conducted, untrue results announced, the Zim dollar reintroduced, schools and hospitals closed, cholera and typhoid rampant and most hated of all, the RBZ would be minting cash and dishing out to the rich and well-heeled; whites dispossessed of their properties and chased away.
The fear of this gloom led many locals to silently support the Zuma administration, believed to be a power that sees through Zanu PF deception.
Zuma himself, an intelligence supremo, does not rely merely on what the parties tell him the situation to be.
His ambassador in Harare is widely believed to also hail from a security background. Both cannot be fooled by pretences such as the new found opposition to the agreed Copac draft.
It is foolish to believe that Jonathan Moyo was giving his personal and unsanctioned opinion when he hurled insults at president Zuma a few months ago, calling the esteemed leader a “huge liability” to Africa.
All Zimbabweans know that for anyone, including Jonathan to get a full page in the Zanu PF-controlled Sunday Mail every week, Gumbo, Shamu and Charamba must be in on it.
Articles not in line with party policy are not given space.
Just like ZBC will not cover non-Zanu government minsters; Moyo’s “personal” opinions carried by state media are in fact Zanu PF propaganda positions.
When he insults Zuma, he is merely the mouth of a bigger body.
Kasukuwere and Zhuwao on the other hand had clearly become best friends with Malema during his anti-Zuma campaign.
Various media reports have alleged that Malema’s gallivanting and campaign was sponsored by our very own diamond revenues.
Malema’s anti-white sentiments resonate well in Zanu PF circles, including State House — where he is the one of few youth leaders to be invited and dine there in three decades.
It is reasonable, therefore, to conclude that the anti-Zuma campaign supports Zanu PF or vice versa.
Its defeat therefore comes as a pleasure to many Zimbabweans.
The Bull Eland must insist, for clarity, that local joy for the decision to retain Zuma is not because Zimbabweans dislike Motlanthe (whose ideas many do not know) but because of fear of the possibility of a new direction in the Sadc facilitation process.