Zimbabwe: Mujuru's Epiphany As Elections Loom

column

President Mugabe on Tuesday said the forthcoming African Union (AU) summit should discuss the appointment of a President of Africa to foster unity among Africans.

No guesses who Mugabe would want to assume that position!

Mugabe told visiting Benin President Boni Yayi that problems facing Africa such as conflicts can be averted only if the continent is united under the 1963 banner adopted by the then Organisation of African Unity founding fathers.

However, outgoing AU chairman Yayi parted from Mugabe's hymn sheet, defending the body's decision to seek Nato's intervention in Mali.

"The issue of Mali is very critical . . . you are right we did not succeed to resolve the issue. Not only to Bamako, we have discordance in the government," Yayi said.

"As Ecowas, we didn't succeed to resolve the issue. The rebels, as a result of religious intolerance, are killing people. They cut the hands, arms and the legs, everything, the women, the youths and so on. It is a gross human rights violation, very critical. They are moving from the north heading towards Bamako."

Hail the King of Africa

Yayi said if the rebels occupied Bamako it would not only be catastrophic for Mali and the sub-region, but that would affect the whole world.

That is unlikely to have gone down well with Mugabe who is still inconsolable over his chum Muammar Gaddafi's demise following Nato's intervention in Libya.

Mugabe's rants against Nato intervention go against the sentiments of even the Malians themselves who were relieved to finally see action being taken to stop the rebels in their tracks.

"The right way was to ask for assistance from Nato. We are ready to go to Mali to help our brothers," Yayi said, rubbing it in.

Mugabe seems to have taken on Gaddafi's mantle after accepting the deposed Libyan strongman's black and gold gown with which some Kenyan chiefs declared Gaddafi "King of Africa".

Paul Kamlesh Pattni the chairman of the house of traditional leaders in Kenya had said: "Mugabe stands for African leaders and the rights of Africans as a whole. We saw it fit to give him this gown which was given to us by Gaddafi before his death and we saw it fit to give it to Mugabe because he stands for Africans."

Gaddafi had been declared "King of Africa" six months before he was deposed and it seems Mugabe has taken over. That can't be a good omen.

Mujuru's epiphany

Meanwhile Vice-President Joice Mujuru was quoted in the Sunday Mail saying Mugabe was anointed by God to lead Zimbabwe at the age of 10 and those fighting to replace him are wasting their time.

Church leaders are anointed by God, she said, making them irreplaceable.

"People are wasting their time by opposing President Mugabe," she said. "It was prophesised way back in 1934 when he was only 10 years old that he was going to lead the country. How can a normal person challenge such a leader?"

There was nothing wrong with people having ambitions, she continued, and discussing politics with their wives.

"They should not however tamper with the presidency. It is sacrosanct. These positions come from God, they do not just come."

So it is not permissible to challenge Mugabe's current position because he is divinely anointed and therefore irreplaceable?

Unfortunately the events of 1934 have not been published and are therefore not fully understood. We are only hearing about them for the first time.

Roping in the divine

How does Mujuru know that Mugabe was anointed to lead the country at the age of 10? Was there a divine revelation of some sort that we are only now hearing about? And what about other nationalist leaders such as Herbert Chitepo, Josiah Tongogara, Leopold Takawira and Edgar Tekere?

Were they not also the beneficiaries of divine revelation because, after all, they were prominent in the Zanu leadership as was her husband?

Perhaps Mai Mujuru could spell things out for us. Are Zanu PF party members ever going to be permitted to challenge Mugabe for office or is it permanently forbidden because of a divine forecast of 70 years ago to a Zvimba goatherd which nobody has heard of until now? And of course this has nothing to do with forthcoming elections? Most people -- inside and outside the party -- are likely to see Mujuru's remarks as giving a hostage to fortune.

This is how they run a country, people will say. They will point to the comments as illustrative of the party's growing desperation when it starts inventing hagiographies of its leader!

Zanu PF mixed signals

We were interested in Patrick Chinamasa's statement that land guaranteed by Bippas could still be acquired by the state.

Herbert Murerwa said recently that foreign-owned land would not be seized. But then Chinamasa weighed in last week to say the government could do what it liked so long as compensation was full and fair.

Fascinating isn't it how Zimbabwe sends such mixed signals to the rest of the world. No wonder investors are not exactly lining up to rush in!

Meanwhile, let's see what fate befalls Zimplats after its capitulation to Saviour Kasukuwere and his circus.

Like fathers like sons

Regular readers of this column may recall our remarks some months ago about the child parliament. The institution seemed too close to the one-time ruling party, we said, with all those uniforms and marching around. Indeed some "officers" "put on" old-style badges and paraphernalia.

We were not surprised therefore that some of these senior "officers" were bullying juniors back at their school.

NewsDay reported last Friday that Form 1 boys were subject to four hours of corporal punishment when they angered their seniors by making derogatory remarks about them. They were made to kneel for four hours. Parents subsequently complained.

But what struck us was the way in which the bullies, who we gather had party connections, were expected to bully juniors in the same way their dads bully political opponents.

The fruit, it seems, does not fall far from the tree!

Money doctor

The garrulous Philip Chiyangwa was at it again this week declaring he is a "money doctor and champion of economic empowerment for the poor and down-trodden".

"I am Dr Phillip Chiyangwa, doctor of money. Do you know I am a doctor?" Chiyangwa declared in Chinhoyi where he launched a bereavement scheme "for the poor", NewsDay reports.

Members of the burial society would only pay US$1 monthly subscription and have their entire families covered by the funeral policy, Chiyangwa claimed.

We are sure Chiyangwa's long-suffering workers will beg to differ. Chiyangwa has been accused by teachers at his private school, Divaris Makaharis of using "bullying tactics" to stop them from demanding payment of their outstanding salaries.

However, in Chinhoyi, Chiyangwa was pledging to bankroll income-generating projects initiated by Zanu PF supporters.

Despite being very articulate in making promises, Chiyangwa is surprisingly mum on fulfilling them. He has suddenly become quiet on his pledge in April to donate US$1,6 million to the University of Zimbabwe.

He had also promised to bring "empowerment to the ordinary man's door-step" in Mabvuku saying he was "exploring" the idea of assisting emerging businesspeople in Mabvuku with collateral.

Three months on Chiyangwa is still to emerge from his expedition.

Dubious credentials

Chiyangwa, we are told, was last month conferred with an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree in Business Leadership (honoris causa) by St Linus International University in recognition of his "business acumen and sterling contribution to society". St Linus University, an online institute, is apparently headquartered in the Dominican Republic although it is registered in the Philippines.

Much like Gideon Gono's Atlantic International University, St Linus International University's credentials are open to question.

Juju faces the music

Poor old Julius Malema! The disgraced former ANCYL president is now being deserted by his friends who he says treat him like a leper.

"I have lost a lot of friends. I am one person who believes that those who leave you during difficult moments were never with you even before," Malema whined in an interview with the Rapport and City Press newspapers.

"We've seen friends speaking in tongues and some are even so ashamed to be seen with you in public because to them you look like you've got leprosy and some don't even take your calls. If they do, they are very impatient."

Malema isn't helping the situation by lashing out at erstwhile comrades like his successor Ronald Lamola who he has called a "traitor" and "sellout".

He claims to now spend his days tending his cattle and growing cabbages and tomatoes on a farm near Polokwane in his home province of Limpopo.

At least he gets to work for a change!

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