|ZANU PF politicians are falling over each other to try and please President Robert Mugabe as preparations for the veteran leader’s grand 91st birthday bash in Victoria Falls on Saturday take centre stage.
Previously Zanu PF youths would accost business people and farmers to raise towards the bash but this time the politicians themselves seem to be outdoing each other to please the First Family.
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa will on Wednesday dispatch his wife Auxilia Mnangagwa to go and supervise a cleaning exercise in the country’s resort town ahead of the celebrations.
Auxilia will lead groups of party youths in sprucing up the venue and its surroundings.
Not to be outdone is Mashonaland Central governor Martin Dinha who this past weekend rallied the Roman Catholic Church in the province to hold a sermon in commemoration of President Robert Mugabe’s “visionary leadership”.
“Ndiani leader akambotonga kusvika 91 years old akasimba kunge19 year old boy (Tell me of a world leader who has ruled up to 91 years of age and still remain as fit as a 19 year old)?” Dinha shouted during a church sermon in Bindura.
He continued: “If you read the number 91 vice versa, you will get 19…which other leader is so determined in championing the economic emancipation of his people.”
In Matebeleland Obert Mpofu and Jonathan Moyo have also weighed in with $40,000 and 20 beasts while Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda has contributed two beasts towards what promises to be a massive occasion.
As if not enough, Mpofu, who is Transport Minister, is also grabbing an NRZ train to ferry hundreds of party supporters over a 400km stretch from Bulawayo to attend the ceremony at the expense of the loss making parastatal.
Mpofu, who is said to be among the richest people in Zimbabwe, stands accused of failing to adequately pay workers at his Zimbabwe Mail newspaper (now a weekly) to concentrate on Mugabe, under whom he has amassed massive wealth.
In Moyo’s case, it is not the first time for the information minister to donate to the party.
August last year, the former Tsholotsho North MP joined hands with colleagues Saviour Kasukuwere, Patrick Zhuwao and Philip Chiyangwa to rescue a Zanu PF Women’s congress with the quartet donating 20 beasts, five apiece.
Harare based political analyst Fambai Ngirande says the Zanu PF politicians are taking full advantage of the celebrations to demonstrate their allegiance to the First Family.
“The occasion brings them together to show their allegiance to the system because they are beneficiaries of that same system.
“So it’s no wonder that they are keen to donate to that cause than to any other cause. It’s a case of ‘rub my back, l rub yours; you rub me hard, l also rub you hard’.”
Another political analyst who preferred anonymity for fear of jeorpadising his current employment concurred.
“Remember Zanu PF is just emerging or concluding its ugly witch-hunt
“What we are seeing must be viewed in the whole context of people trying hard to demonstrate their allegiance to the First Family. If you are not seen to be doing something, don’t be surprised if you are labelled.
“Remember one of the sins that Mujuru (Joice, former VP) paid for was her alleged failure to chant the popular Zanu PF slogan ‘Pasi neMDC’. So if you are a politician who has benefitted from the Mugabe largesse and do not seem to be moved by the occasion, it means you are not so grateful and as such are amenable to being swayed easily by other political forces opposed to ‘Gushungoism’ (Mugabe’s totem). This is all stage managed from the way l see it.”