by Simeon Gondovori
PARTICK Zhuwao , the Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment has questioned Vice President Mnangagwa‘s suitability as to succeed his uncle President Mugabe; on an observation from another angle while his views may be justified, politically this may not be a wise move. Hence for him ,this is turning into a mess.
As like many political episodes in Zimbabwe, the reaction from Mnangagwa supporters yet again illustrates the raw deal citizens in general endure on social media.
In this case ,ZANU PF Midlands, provincial secretary for administration and Gokwe–Nembudziya MP, Justice Mayor Wadyajena who is a staunch Mnangagwa disciple led a Facebook and twitter chorus, quickly attacking Zhuwao on infidelity allegations.
In my view this is a blow below the belt. Mnangagwa supporters crossed the borderline line defending him and in the process touched on sensitive issues about Zhuwao’s private life which seemed to be casting doubt about his ability to conceive. It is rather doubtful that they realised there are many citizens who could be in a similar situation but not a choice of their own.
Infertility is not a political issue but rather a social and medical aspect that if not handled properly, it can damage one’s reputation simply because the perpetrators will be deemed insensitive. There are many men and women out there who are struggling to conceive. Marriages have broken and lives lost because of this subject.
Many infertile men and women consider that, without children, their lives are without hope. However, here is Zhuwao who has committed himself to serving the nation of Zimbabwe. Yet, activists such as Frank Ziyambi, whose vile attack was widely shared after attracting so much public attention on Facebook attached Zhuwao’s image kneeling before Prophet Walter Magaya during a church service. The image seems to suggest that the Minister has gone to the prophet to seek divine intervention to end that barren spell.
Depending on one’s political orientation, one can choose hold to different narratives. One can believe that what Mnangagwa supporters have done is morally upright. Or, one can believe that Zhuwao’s actions to attack a more senior government officer appointed by his uncle influenced by succession politics is undermining the authority of those above him. Take your pick. The result is the same. None of these actions makes a right.
Now, it is evident to all that it is not going well in both Zanu PF and Zimbabwe. Some would argue, Mnangagwa should do more to unite the country given his past and association with Gukhurahundi massacres. Despite his continued denials, Mnangagwa, per the Chronicle of March 5, 1983, report, likened “dissidents to cockroaches” and the Fifth Brigade, which carried out the killings, to “DDT”, a deadly pesticide to wipe out the insurgents. He is also believed to be bankrolling a violent gang of Zanu PF youths in Kwekwe calling themselves Al-Shabab after the Somali based Islamic group
Zimbabweans should all understand what is at stake. It is hardly news that Mnangagwa and Zhuwao camps are out to destroy each other. The real problem is that each confrontation in which Mnangagwa fails to reign in his loyalists attracts a dim view from those who see him not only as insane but a weak leader who can potentially subject Zimbabwe to sad memories of Gukhurahundi. Even outside the political cloud, there were many who hoped that Mnangagwa openly act in a manner that will heal many infertile men and women out there who could have been affected by these remarks.
Simeon Gondovori is Harare based social worker .He enjoys horse riding and mountain climbing in his spare time.You can contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org