|Posted by t. d. chadya on August 21, 2011 at 5:00 PM||comments (0)|
by Tapiwa Diamond Chadya
Tapiwa Diamond Chadya is a Zimbabwean who studied Law (LLb) at the University of KwaZulu Natal. Currently he is practicing law in the Midlands district of KZN, South Africa.
It does not surprise many of us who have been exposed to the Mugabe regime that the Retired Army General died in a routine domestic fire in the dead of night. Solomon Mujuru’s sudden passing raises inevitable questions but Zimbabweans will not dare to ask them except in hushed tones and in international outlets. Once he goes to the national shrine the entire episode will be forgotten. That is Zanu pf style. So many of the inconvenient, turbulent or suddenly distrusted have disappeared or been involved in supposed crashes and no one is ever brought to book. Charismatic opposition leaders have been assassinated, including Jongwe, Kauzani, Mabika, Chiminya and, in some opinions, Susan Tsvangarai to name a few. Gone in a puff of smoke., or a blazing inferno.
Nor does Zanu-pf spare its own. Manyika, Gezi and Mahachi, died in mysterious car accidents and no one was arrested. No-one seriously investigated the deaths of Herbert Chitepo, General Josiah Tongogara, Mrs Susan Tsvangirai. No-one wanted to find the truth because everyone already knew it. Anyhow they were too busy arresting opposition leaders on trumped up charges. Tyrants seek absolute power, and scorn the rule of law.
The mighty Herbert Wiltshire Chitepo, the first black Rhodesian to become a barrister, was killed in 1975 in controversial circumstances and to this day we still do not know the identity of his murderer. Chitepo defended African nationalists such as Ndabaningi Sithole and served as a legal adviser to the Father of Zimbabwe, Joshua Nkomo. He was respected so much internationally that even Ian Smith's government dare not touch him. He canvassed support for ZANU and earned recognition and trust for the party he loved and served. When called to lead, and with the aid of his comrade Josiah Tongogara, he organised and planned successful guerilla attacks. And then he was mysteriously lost.
At such times its worth examining who might gain advantage from the removal form the scene of such an iconic figure. Chitepo’s death purged ZANU of its many rebellious factions and empowered Robert Mugabe as sole leader. Kenneth Kaunda, the Zambian President, commissioned an inquiry into the death, and it placed the blame on ZANU infighting. The implication was clear. Smith did not kill him.
As if this was not enough, Josiah Tongogara, Zimbabwe’s version f Che Guavera and a prospective political rival to Mugabe because of his aspiration, recognition and influential style, was likewise suddenly lost. His solders and supporters held their tongue because a man Capable of such deeds was capable of anything. And so it proved, with Gukurahundi and other atrocities. Thereafter Zanu was ruled by fear., and before long so was Zimbabwe
Accordingly its unsurprising that news of Mujuru’s death in an inferno on his farm has been sceptically received. Leading figures mistrusted by the regime keep suffering accidental deaths. People are asking how a former Zimbabwean National Army commander and a man of courage and strength was unable to escape from a simple house fire before the roof collapsed. All the doors were unlocked and the windows had no security bars. They wonder why the two soldiers stationed 50 yards away did not hear the flames. For that matter where were the security forces, usually omnipresent in the country? No wonder locals conclude that Mujuru’s demise was no accident. Fire wipes out all evidence. Most convenient. Of course it is just speculation; it always is, the first time, the second time, the sixth time.
But why might Mujuru have become a target? Of course it is all about the bitter succession battle in Zanu-pf, the ferocious battle behind the scenes fought between the supposed moderates led by the Mujurus and the hardliners line up behind Emmerson Mnangagwa. The stakes could hardly be higher, with massacres, murder, torture and theft to cover up, and millions to make.
It is common cause that the real struggle over presidential succession has been between two factions within ZANU-PF, the Mujurus and Mnangagwa, who has cronies in the security agencies and armed forces branches. Now Joice Mujuru has been crushed because her husband was her main ally due to his wide support amongst the grass roots and soldiers. After the formalities and sympathy, she will become an isolated figure. The forces of reform and moderation in Zanu-pf have been fatally wounded. By all accounts the Mujurus were considering forming a pos election act with MDC, a notion anathema to the angry old men of the party
Now the Mnangagwa camp can be certain that the future, or ant any rate Zanu-pf, belongs to them. Mujuru will be buried at Heroes Acre and the hypocrites will sing his praises even as the relatives divide his immense wealth (for he collected many farms, mines and diamonds, in the Zanu tradition). He will be remembered as a warrior and officials will portray him as a Zanu stalwart, omitting to mention that he knew the game was up, por that the knowledge probably cost him his life.
Meanwhile the MDC knows now the ruthlessness of its foe. Its is dangerous even for a war hero so much as to contemplate Zimbabwea without Zanu in charge. It is the end f moderation, the death of peaceful transition. Leapards don’t change their spots. It hardly matters whether Mujuru’s passin was accidental. No-one wil believe pleas of innocence.
Can MDC seize the moment? Alas Zimbabwe’s only true democratic party has been slow to react and has often seemed weak. There is no zeal for power in the MDC, and that has been its downfall. None of the current leaders, Tendai Biti aside, seems willing to die for the people yet many of their brothers have perished silently. If the MDC is waiting for the ballot, then they must forget ever ruling Zimbabwe. Zanu has always regarded elections as events staged every 4 years to appease Westerners. Now it is more concerned with placating African allies. Accordingly it goes through their motions, counts the votes itself, forces soldier and the dead t vote umpteen times, relies on intimidation and media control to do the rest and still needs 5 weeks to cook the books. Zimbabwe is an autocracy presented as a democracy.
So MC is wasting its time waiting for power through the ballot box. It remains to be seen if MDC is can convince and motivate the masses for an Egyptian regime change. Meanwhile the opposition needs to find a fiery person ready to go fight fire with fire thereby matching the tactics used by a sick old man and his disjointed party.
The death of Solomon Mujuru will force to the surface a lot of infighting in the ruling party. It’s time for genuine democrats to stand up, especially those lingering within Zanu. Did they fight for this, the killing of moderate voices, the fixing of elections, starvation, economic collapse, rich elite? Is that the Zimbabwe they imagined? It is the one produced by the party in power these last 31 years.
To Zimbabwe, we say to you, where to from here?
To Solomon Mujuru, we say to you, may your soul rest in peace.