By Tafara Shumba
Reading through Jealousy Mawarire’s Twitter handle, the alleged utterances of former President Robert Mugabe on his birthday celebrations, one can see a clear confirmation that the old man’s anger has matured into bitterness. It’s quite dangerous for his age.
While it is good for the family to organise birthday treats for their nonagenarian kin, the best they should have done is to seek counselling services for him. He must be rehabilitated into the new life of a political has-been. Admittedly, he played his part and fought a good fight although he eventually faltered. He is now in his twilight years and everybody would love to see him expire peacefully.
This is the reason why President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zanu PF in general have not been responding to deliberate provocations from the old man. Senility has taken its toll on him. The President knows the principle that one must not argue with a fool for he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
President Mnangagwa has been trying his best to salvage the remnant legacy of a man many believe was the author of Zimbabwe’s economic decline. Government is taking care of his welfare to an extent of funding his mother-in-law’s funeral. The president received brickbats for such benevolence. The shona elders would say, “kurera imbwa nemukaka mangwana inofuma yokuruma (the person you assist can turn against you one day).
If President Mnangagwa was not a God-fearing leader, Mr Mugabe could be in jail now, for he has many skeletons in his closet. He is the least qualified person to give a lecture on governance, rule of law and violence. He abused office to commit a myriad of crimes which makes him a good fit for jail. People are privy to the crimes he committed while in power including multiple ownership of farms, some of which were seized from land-hungry citizens.
By attacking President Mnangagwa, Mr Mugabe opened up too big a can of worms for himself. He accused the President of the crimes he recklessly committed during his reign. Netizens have revoked some embarrassing statements that he once made when he was still in power, statements that borders on bragging about his knack for violence. On several occasions, he blew his own horn on the degrees of violence he claimed to hold. Mr Mugabe’s self-proclaimed spokesperson, Jealousy Mawarire must explain if this violence that his master bragged about was against some beasts or what.
They say you must not throw stones when you are living in a glass house. Mr Mugabe threw the stones. People are throwing the stones back at him. His glass house is being shattered. He is now being reminded of the gukurahundi that he is alleged to have engineered though he managed to swing the blame to a mere minister who was not even in charge of the army. He is now being reminded of the 2008 violence which he masterminded after failing to win an election against the late Morgan Tsvangirai.
When the incumbent got into power, he unconditionally pardoned Mr Mugabe and vowed to look after him. The President opened up the democratic space which had been closed for some decades. Unfortunately that democracy has been abused by the opposition party, the MDC Alliance. They have been provoking the system with a view to stimulating its rage so that it acts the way it did on August 1 2018 and14-16 January 2019. According to the choreographed plan, the reaction would attract international attention. These are the incidents that Mr Mugabe seeks to profit from. The Kgalema Motlanthe Commission was set up to look into the August 1 incidence and the findings exonerated government’s actions.
While the loss of human life cannot be condoned, the military intervention was a necessary evil. Had it not been that intervention, Zimbabwe could be in full-blown civil war now, at least as per the plans of the hatchers of the vicious protests. Mr Mugabe should know better that it is better to sacrifice six lives to save several thousands of lives.
Mr Mugabe himself is abusing the hand of reconciliation extended to him. He has been using his birthday celebrations as a political platform to attack the system. He did the same thing last year. If Mr Mugabe did the right thing, he would be a respected statesman today alongside Nelson Mandela, Kenneth Kaunda, Julius Nyerere, Patrice Lumumba, Kwame Nkrumah, Sam Nujoma and other luminaries. He should have passed on the baton stick when he was still a darling. He haunted everybody who showed interest in his job. He wanted either to die in office or pass the baton to his garrulous wife. With all he did to President Mnangagwa, Mr Mugabe still finds his favour and benevolence. However, the President is human, one day his overstretched patience will desert him.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.