The story that is yet to be told


WHEN the story of Zimbabwe’s July elections is written it will surely be the stuff of folklore for all the wrong reasons.

The Last Straw with Lenox Lizwi Mhlanga

It more than qualifies to be one, the kind that grannies would be churning out at the firesides for years to come.

It will be about what we scribes call a pyrrhic victory, one in which even the victors are so stumped they are still “digesting it”. On the other hand, the victims, because they can’t surely just be losers, are “walking around like zombies”, just to borrow from my former varsity roommate Tendai Biti.

The elections also bring to the fore another daunting fact — that my generation may never see and experience true democracy in our lifetime.

It confirms a discovery that I made all those years ago when I left university into the world of employment slap banged right into Economic Structural adjustment Programme (Esap).

I felt we were indeed a cursed generation.

It is a story about how a nation has been “nikuved”, a new term that is entering everyday banter meaning to be cheated or deceived. It bucks the boundaries of disbelief. Abantu abalankani nyanisi (people were absolutely surprised)!

What has been worrying is the growing queue of organisations and individuals beating a clear path to Zanu PF’s door to congratulate them on their “landslide” victory.
One Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma must be one very relieved President, now that a once perennial albatross is off his and Sadc’s neck.

That relief is so palpable given the speed with which he and the other Sadc leaders endorsed the election results, except of course, Botswana’s Ian Khama.
Trust Khama to buck the trend.

The same Ian that Robert Mugabe would see riding a tricycle each time he paid late Sir Seretse Khama a visit.

I admire the man for his forthrightness and his stand against anything nonsensical from whatever hallowed ground it may come. Add to the crew Phandu Skelemani his feisty Kalanga-born Foreign minister.

Phandu must have plenty of relatives from across the border with plenty of stories to tell.
The latest, of course, that they incredibly and overwhelmingly voted Zanu PF.
Skelemani has never had any kind words for Zimbabwe’s leadership except when diplomacy demands it. But for all the insults that are now directed their way via our State media, they wouldn’t be damned. It’s a question of principle.

Back to Zuma, we all know that the victorious party did not like him one bit. They have already clearly stated that the current situation, if one may call it that, does not require mediation. We are even told that Zimbabwe will not be on the agenda of the forthcoming Sadc summit. The party may pull one or two rabbits from their hat in the coming few days to buttress this fact.

While we are all walking around like zombies, it may be likely that some political horse trading could be taking place behind the scenes. Incredible as it may sound, Zanu PF could be considering offering the MDC-T a few token Cabinet posts to try and pacify them. That they are capable of doing.

The grapevine has it that Morgan Tsvangirai could be offered the other vice-presidency, while Nelson Chamisa, Tendai Biti and probably David Coltart, perhaps James Maridadi (kikiki), could sneak their way into what would largely be a bloated gravy train.

But like I said, it’s only speculation. One is allowed flights of fancy where anything can happen!

However, Tsvangirai’s legal challenge of both the presidential and parliamentary results and deciding to take up seats in their zones of influence leaving out any participation in the government and parastatals, could have put the spanner in the works.

All this could hinge on the outcome of the Constitutional Court challenge.
We are not giving out prizes as to which direction they will go given the sardine nature of our Judiciary. I must hand it out to Justice Lawrence Kamocha for having put on hold Jonathan Moyo’s request for a recount in the Tsholotsho North constituency.

You can’t even begin to imagine how thrilled I was. It’s a personal thing.
And, of course, we have the resignations of commissioners Mkhululi Nyathi and Geoff Feltoe from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

It brought tears to my eyes that we still have such upstanding, professional people in our midst who can stand up for what they believe in and vote with their feet. Bangamadoda emadodeni — They are men among men!

As a parting shot, I should mention that there was a noticeable shift in the post-election mood of Zimpaper’s Star FM.

One could tell that they were barely restraining themselves from bursting out in celebration.

Not that I am faulting them at this. Moving from here onwards it will be difficult to distinguish between them and the ZBC which in itself is very instructive to advertisers.

For all its worth, ZiFM has remained true to its creed, despite the fact that Supa Mandiwanzira — won on the party’s ticket. I am impressed by their all-encompassing approach. For now that is.

l Lenox Mhlanga is a social commentator