julius malema.jpgBy Nobleman Runyanga

The South African opposition leader, Julius Malema has started the year on a very bad note. On Monday this week, he tweeted an unsolicited comment on his party’s Tweeter handle, @EFFSouth Africa: 

“Zimbabwe is going to be great again; (Former President Robert) Mugabe had to leave because a good dancer knows when to leave the stage. Even if (former First Lady) Grace (Mugabe) took over it was still going to be good,” tweeted Malema.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader seems to mistake the support that he gets from some disadvantaged South Africans because of his nationalisation calls to be continent-wide acclaim and licence to meddle and comment on issues in other sovereign African states. During the Operation Restore Legacy, Zimbabweans demonstrated that they could handle their own affairs without outside interference, especially from the likes of misguided and conceited foreign opposition politicians such as Malema. No one has the right to determines who rules Zimbabwe except Zimbabweans themselves.

Malema should concentrate on South African politics and crafting credible and practical policies to attract that country’s electorate ahead of next year’s elections instead of overloading himself with affairs of other regional countries. He should mind the affairs of his compound first before poking a grubby finger in the matters of a neighbour.

He should be reminded that the fact that he has interfered in another regional country’s affairs before and got away with murder is not justification for continuing with the vice. Back in 2011 when he was still the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League leader, he commented that Botswana was a puppet government which posed a serious threat to Africa. He later apologised citing that his remarks had poisoned the environment (relations between the two nations). He blamed the diplomatic gaffe by claiming that “we are a young people who will time and again commit mistakes and are prepared to learn from those mistakes.”

True, at 36 he is still young but if he failed to learn from the Botswana incident then one wonders what youthfulness has to do with such a recalcitrant personality. He may be popular with some sections of the South African society, but is yet to mature politically. In 2008, when he was still in good books with the South African President Jacob Zuma he carelessly stated that the ANC Youth League was prepared “to kill for Zuma.”  Such is the calibre of the opposition that the South African society is saddled with.

In an interview with the Qatari television news channel, Al Jazeera Malema gave out that his party was ready to remove the ANC from power “through the barrel of a gun.” This and his party’s childish stunts in the South African Parliament on key occasions such President Zuma’s state of the nation addresses demonstrate that despite commanding a modicum of political support, he remains an excitable youth who seems to have nothing meaningful to offer the South African nation beyond the populist nationalisation calls.

Malema is, therefore advised to concentrate on the EFF and South African politics instead of playing the political analyst and wise man of regional politics. Zimbabwe and South Africa enjoy brotherly ties, which trace their roots to the liberation struggles of both, and these should not be spoiled by some spoilt political brat in the person of Malema.  

 Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.