To every dark cloud is a silver lining!


I ASPIRE to be a beneficiary of Zanu PF’s new-found wealth from the decolonisation process.

By Masola WaDabudabu

With so much wealth and business opportunities on offer through the indigenisation process, who am I to deny myself that birthright? Henceforth, I shall no longer bash His Excellence, the vote-winning President Robert Mugabe, but praise him.

I know that over the years I have been unreasonably critical of Mugabe. The few anointed patriots as well as a number of concerned citizens of our motherland point out that I deliberately ignore Mugabe’s notable deeds while I exaggerate his little failings and unwholesome moments such as “the moment of madness”.

In the hope of being allocated a farm and possibly being given some access to the uncut diamonds from Chiadzwa, I have decided to sing the hymns according to Zanu PF tunes. I have decided to highlight the good that has come out of Zanu PF, Mugabe and all the soldiers from the Gukurahundi era.

The first such achievement was Mugabe’s display of maturity and statesmanship during the Lancaster House Talks. Mugabe and his colleagues did Zimbabwe a huge favour.

Zimbabweans ought to be grateful that Mugabe and Zanu PF accepted a responsibility that could weigh heavily on their shoulders. The seasoned fighters actually did the nation a good favour by accepting to take control of the country in 1980. Imagine how bad things would be if Zanu PF had refused to serve the people!

People like Joseph Chinotimba would perhaps be engaged in running battles with unlicensed vegetable vendors on the streets of Harare. Worse still, people like Saviour Kasukuwere would have graduated to be cattle dip-tank assistants somewhere in Uzumba. Since Zanu PF and Mugabe came into power in 1980, there have been iconic achievements and notable strides towards making Zimbabwe the best nation on earth.

Mugabe showed his dedication to the well-being of the people of Zimbabwe by doing his best to ward off the threat from the apartheid regime of South Africa. In his wisdom and forward planning, he quickly invited the sly North Koreans to train a crack brigade which we lovingly dubbed the “Gukurahundi”. In that shrewd move Mugabe made sure the North Koreans drilled the men into fine soldiers.

Perhaps Mugabe and Zanu PF specified that the newly-trained men should be drilled into a super fighting force to outsmart the inhuman and dangerous South Africans. The North Koreans came, they saw and they gave us the 5 Brigade! Mugabe had tilted the balance of power to Zimbabwe’s favour.

Mugabe’s ascendance to the throne came during a rough patch in international relations with the cold war at its peak. Armed malcontents could be organised willy-nilly to cause mayhem. Zimbabwe was not different as internal dissidence gave rise to some armed malcontents.

These armed brigands had to be defeated. Mugabe achieved one of the swiftest victories in any known guerrilla warfare using the 5 Brigade. Were it not for Mugabe’s prudence, maybe Ndebele would be the language for job interviews in Zimbabwe. How absurd!

The mighty Mugabe has been emphatic in defeating his adversaries; yet he has maintained a degree of magnanimity in victory. He was given the title “Karigamombe” after he made mince meat out of Joshua Nkomo, a leader who had been previously considered invincible. The title Karigamombe loosely equates to a matador. Mugabe the matador defeated Nkomo, a man with a symbolic and totemic link to the bull.

After securing the country’s sovereignty, Mugabe did not rest on his haunches. He embarked on bettering the lives of all the people. He gave them schools, bridges over streams, houses, jobs and dignity. Besides giving the people a secure base for multiplying wealth, he also secured their health. Hospitals were built here and clinics were commissioned there; electric pylons were erected everywhere and electrons flowed in every village.

Mugabe was and still remains a generous giver. Many will remember how from nowhere, with nothing and based on a shoe-string budget, Mugabe paid lump sums to his former freedom fighters to placate them.

No ordinary economy could achieve that financial jolt. No president, especially from a developing nation had done that before. Mugabe was the first. In the mind of the economy, that jolt is still fresh. Imagine if he had dithered with indecision in that area? If he had not been prudent enough to pay the ex-combatants Zimbabwe would be using the dreaded Zimbabwe Dollar, an affront to our sovereignty as it was introduced by the Ian Smith regime.

Mugabe has this affable personality which seems to bind others in awe. He is almost a personification of some deity. Mugabe has achieved electoral victories under very difficult conditions. He knows the game very well and he plays to win.

Zimbabwe is blessed to have Mugabe and who am I to dispute this established truth?

Without seeming desperate, I await for my first ever voluntarily acquired Zanu PF membership card. Having fought for most of my life and failed to defeat them I now choose to join them. What; did I just say? This is sacrilege and an affront to what I have stood for since I left Empandeni Secondary School in 1977 to join the liberation struggle!

Over the years I have personally experienced the wickedness of Zanu PF and I remain physically and emotionally scarred. I cannot bring myself to sing praises for Zanu PF. Chanting their slogans would be like seeping hemlock from a chalice labelled “poison”.

Masola wa Dabudabu is a social commentator