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MANDI'S SAKUBVA STADIUM COMMENTS IN BAD TASTE
By Charles Kungwengwe
On the 27th of July 2016 Manicaland Minister of Sate Mandi Chimene made a scathing but unprovoked attack on Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa by calling him a factionalist.
In her speech, the  'valiant' lady claims that there is only one faction in Zimbabwe, Lacoste, adding that this  faction graduated from Tsholotsho .
 I am sure disciples of Tsholotsho were not against His Excellency but   merely wanted to express the opinion.
Maybe in a sense Ngwena 's blameworthiness lies in 'leading a deviant faction' in as much the same way as a  football coach, and team alike ,  could be castigated for the unruly behavior of fans.
Of course ,she expected hand clapping ,high –pitched feet tramping and ululation to accompany her  speech, in the stage managed political circus, but ,instead ,a deathly ,high-pitched and communicative silence descended on the land.
This happened against a background when some ill-mannered  persons had the guts to spray his Excellency ,the war veterans patron ,with verbal bullets and  the concerned  War Veterans  decided to converge in Harare to express outmost displeasure  at such behavior and ,at the same time ,show solidarity with their President.
Given Mnangagwa, baptized to Crocodile (Ngwena),'s reputation, everyone  marveled  at Mandi 's bravery!. In fact she has since been given the praise-name, Chimheni(for Chimene),a  mini lightning. That episode was really unnerving and all attendants were  sent off the edges of their chairs.
While everyone does appreciate the lady 's valor , the timing of her rhetoric was unfortunate. The  gathering was meant to foster the much needed unity at a time when the ZANU is   facing the most formidable challenge in the form of a possible political wrestling tag-team match between Tsvangirai  and Mujuru ,on one hand ,and Mugabe and his partner most likely Mnangagwa,on the other hand ,in a 20 metre long steel political cage. This is the most anticipated political bout in living memory.
Madam  Mandi, whose political maturity people have never doubted ,ought to  know that ,though no one is beyond reproach ,it is unwise to attack one's senior or a leader in public. His Excellency even made this comment when Botswana President, Ian Khama ,made a verbal attack on his person. This practice is  unAfrican. Accordingly , her speech produced the opposite effect further dividing Zanu PF.
Perhaps to put the record straight: the history of the Zimbabwean liberation struggle will always be incomplete the moment we think-away such names as  Mugabe ,Mnangagwa,Rex Nhongo (Mujuru),the late Nkomo Joshua,Tekere ,Lookout Masuku,Nikita Mangena ,Ndabaningi Sithole,among others .In sharp contrast ,the name Mandi is nowhere in the books.
To most pan Africanists:  Mandi 's rhetoric also has a negative effect in the light of our detractors both within and outside the country as it gave the wrong impression that the leadership in the country is suffering from a severe crisis of legitimacy.
Of course right minded people would not want to demean this honorable politician for she is our  senior and we should therefore not say anything uncharitable concerning her person .After all ,she excused herself by implying that at times she takes the forbidden fruit of wisdom ,mbanje ,in order to boost her bravery. If her liberation war credentials are really genuine she should know that  Mnangagwa ,during the liberation struggle, occupied the most coveted post of Chief of Intelligence in ZANU while a parallel post in ZAPU fell in the hands of Dumiso Dabengwa , the Black Russian.
His Excellency was obviously not amused at such rhetoric and immediately protected his Vice, alleging that those with divisionistic tendencies are instigated by western powers while the Chief of the Military, General Chiwenga, passed a nasty comment which was a veiled reference to Mandy's  petulant outbursts. In sharp contrast to his attacker 's restlessness ,the V.P remained calm(unmoved) and that is quite typical of him .This automatically reminded me of this quotation from Shakespeare's Macbeth which I need to share with the reader:
'It is only the eye of childhood that fears a painted devil'.
Kunyarara hakusi kutaura here? If your superiors, cannot summon the courage to pass an uncharitable comment against Mnangagwa whence gottest the nerve to do so Chimene? Nzou haicheuki panoukura tumbwanana.
In all fairness no one has ever heard the former ZANLA intelligence supremo  indicating that he is aspiring for the top post .And as long as there is no evidence to substantiate one 's claims the suspect is still innocent till proven guilty(section 70(1)(a) of the Zimbabwean Constitution) and anyone making baseless allegations risks being sued for defamation(ibid:section 61:5a-d).
No doubt Mandi had  hoped to fatten her CV, increase her ratings in the eyes of the President and probably get promoted. Anyone  with the most basic knowledge of Zimbabwean politics will acknowledge the fact that  our President and Mnangagwa are inseparable  and no one can ever put a gulf between the two. An aside to  Mandi-bravery is demonstrated on the battlefield  eg by snaking one 's way through a cluster of soldiers of the enemy camp ,leaving them shooting thin air ,and not by attacking a liberation war genius of the stature of Mnangagwa. Yes we know the effects of mob psychology but that conduct  amounts to crossing a highly crocodile infested river! Or is it the guts to attack the crocodile in its own river? Time will tell.
In psychology this kind of behavior is called compensatory behavior.Kuridza mhere kupfuura vamwe vose pamariro hazvirevi kuti ndiwe wanyanya kurwadziwa nerufu amai Chimene. Shading crocodile tears,I guess
Let me conclude by saying: if Chimene is wise she should be 'wo'man enough to put on sack-cloth and apply ash on her forehead , and apologize .She could be the one 'mis'leading a faction while hiding behind the loyal pillar ,and indeed the embodiment ,of the liberation struggle –Ngwena
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Masvingo Mirror is a provincial paper for Masvingo, Zimbabwe.
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