LATELY Zimbabwe has had the misfortune of being turned into a huge arena featuring an entourage of circus caricatures drawn from the huge pool of ruling party politicians.
The Zanu PF congress held in Harare could only be likened to a séance of circus performers disguised as politicians. The performers attended in their multitudes to showcase their badness, misdirected boldness and moral baldness or paucity.
Puppets, flame-eaters, illusionists, snake charmers, tricksters, tight rope walkers, knife-throwers, clowns and a sole puppeteer rolled into town to raucous applause.
Yes, knife throwers and snake charmers were billed to perform! The knife-throwers who swarmed the arena could deliberately mis-throw their knives to cause harm to others and fire-eaters could misdirect their flames to spectators.
“At the congress, the stage was awash with politicians who could stick knives in the backs of their colleagues. Also in attendance were politicians with a propensity to play with fire in unsafe ways.
The fate of one retired general whose life was ended unceremoniously after his involuntary exposure to intense smoke and flames from a hell fire was enough testimony about the existence of evil arsonists within those who congregated for the congress.”
The arena was full to the brim with habitual plotters and schemers.
The fake smiley faces provided a disguise to the hatred and bad blood among members. Everyone pretended that everything was normal even when the core of the congress was gaping with absences of important performers.
Bravo to most members for pretending that everything was smooth sailing just to ensure that the plotters’ creed was adhered to. The false confidence exuded by the jittery party members was amazing.
The main protagonists put up a show of unity while individually and collectively making sure their knives were ready for action.
An independent observer would have found it difficult to spot any peculiarity in the members’ discourse despite the presence of a dark cloud of uncertainty hanging overhead.
Everyone pretended to be happy despite the pre-congress expose’s that precipitated Joice Mujuru’s pull-out from the congress against her contractual obligations.
As if to confirm the oddity of the situation, there was talk of most members aspiring for office having proudly presented dubious curriculum vitae showing that they occasionally moonlight as ruling party politicians.
To add a paradoxical dint to the shenanigans, all the aspirants seemed to have temporarily volunteered away their rights to express ambitions to succeed Mugabe. Those who ranked among the highest in the seniority list acted like wives in a polygamous marriage.
They seemed to be making obscene overtures to Robert Mugabe for his attention. There was open competition among the senior members to catch the attention of the leader.
The performances were enthralling as everyone wanted to woo and melt Mugabe’s heart. All participants did their level best in the hope of being afforded a tango dance with Grace. Indeed the senior ministers did not disappoint in the area of bootlicking.
Some of the things said and done by the favour-seeking ministers were chilling. In the main the performances were puerile, ludicrous and plainly over-rated.
What happened during the congress was an over-choreographed rendition of “How to endure the president’s putrid fart”.
The bootlicking became worse after Mugabe had mentioned Mujuru’s plot to assassinate him. Ministers suddenly developed a high sense of security awareness with Mugabe’s safety becoming a priority.
The unconscious reaction of the lieutenants demonstrates how the psychology of guilt works. All the plotters wanted to make sure that they are seen to be preserving the old cow so that they are absolved from being in the clique that was plotting to assassinate him.
It was not out of love that the Mnangagwas and the Bonyongos personally carried out security sweeps at the high table. The men merely wanted the crowd to validate them as Mugabe’s sincere disciples and also for Mugabe to remove them from the list of possible assassins.
Unbeknown to the circus Mugabe, the ministers were selling him a dummy by putting a unilateral moratorium on expressing their presidential ambitions.
The Ngwenas and company are buying valuable time to collect enough ingredients to brew a whirlwind that will help blow away Gushungo from his safe zone.
There is no way that only one faction was plotting to eliminate Mugabe. Mugabe has used his prudence to work with one set of plotters for his own good.
The congress was nothing more than a séance of the wicked where plotters and the plotted against were at peace with each other. At the end everyone agreed to deify Mugabe and his wife earned the freedom to exercise titular rights upon all subjects. Now Mugabe will exercise his pleasure in determining the fate of his party members.
Like the disastrous circus that rolled into town and achieved nothing of entertaining value, the Zanu PF congress achieved nothing of pertinence to the man on the street.
The congress only managed to decree that people who openly state their ambitions for higher office are committing sedition of the highest order and will be treated with disdain.
Masola waDabudabu is a social commentator