Thirty-five years of political parties that are always formed after someone has been humiliated or at the whim of a sudden need to prove that one’s ego is still intact have proved beyond any doubt that we, in Zimbabwe, are too much of followers than originals.
We have embraced political mediocrity to a level that sees us strangling ourselves as we fight for air.
Yet another party has been registered in Zimbabwe.
Why a fledgling political party has to be “registered” by another political party in power remains a mystery to me.
Be that as it may, Dr Joice Mujuru, a Zanu-Pf cadre who reportedly interrupted her primary school education as a little girl to join the liberation war and who distinguished herself in battle so much that she remained in cabinet for the rest of her days in Zanu-Pf has formed her own party.
Dr Mujuru went as high as being Robert Mugabe’s Vice President for 10 years until she was waylaid by a cross-border trader who had managed to squeeze through layers of presidential security to bed Mugabe in an infidelity romp that culminated in a marriage that even the Catholic Archbishop of Harare joyfully solemnized.
After being pushed out of Zanu-Pf, the only political party she has known all her life, Mujuru established her own party last week.
And that, my friends, is a bit of a problem.
Mujuru, who persevered until she earned an academic doctorate degree in 2014, has heldno other allegiance except to Robert Mugabe and to Zanu-Pf all her life.
Now she has to learn to bear allegiance to herself and to her own party. And we know how founding party leaders virtually own a party they lead at inception. No one who formed and led a political party in Zimbabwe has ever stepped aside to let someone else take over to lead the party unless they are dead.
Mujuru should not beat her chest in gleeful self-congratulations because of the number of people reportedly rushing to join her party.
She must be reminded that she was, until less than two years ago, part of the machinery that castrated the political will of the people of Zimbabwe.
For decades while she was part of Zanu-Pf, people were murdered, elections rigged, treasury raided and one of the saddest chapters in our history occurred in the slaughter of thousands of our own citizens to suppress divergent thought.
I am troubled that Mujuru would still be in Zanu-Pf, defending Mugabe and sloganeering, had she not been humiliated out of there.
Unlike other political parties in the country,Mujuru arrives on the scene with a ready-made following. She did not have to look for supporters; supporters from all other political parties, including Zanu-Pf, were looking for her and that is both unusual and scary.
Unusual because a political party must sell itself first to impress followers; scary because she is being mobbed by old Zanu-Pf faithfuls who already seem ready to fight for positions in the new party.
The danger here is that we are going to have the same old Zanu-Pf people under a new name.
She must not rush or be pushed into coalitions. She and her party must stand alone at this point and make an effort to establish their political philosophy, aims and doctrine. This must be hammered into the people to make a clear distinction between itself and other political parties.
They must have an upper hand in substance and content, something all other political parties have failed to do.
They must shore up their base so that when uniting with other parties, they have an undeniable upper hand. All these other political parties do not want to join anyone but want to be joined yet they have nothing they bring to the table. Besides, they have tried it among themselves and failed.
They hate each other more than they hate Zanu-Pf so Mujuru’s party must take its time and try to be a people’s party before trying to be all things to all parties.
The people of Zimbabwe are weary and would like an opportunity to be left alone to care for their families without being dragged to meaningless rallies to watch fat cats getting fatter while they are starving and while their children cannot go to school.
The arrival of a political party comes with false promises, raising the hopes of Zimbabweans who are so keen to move forward but always get thwarted by bickering politicians. So Mujuru must not over-estimate her presence or popularity.
We are aware that she did not walk away from Mugabe and Zanu-Pf but Mugabe and Zanu-Pf humiliated her out of both the party and cabinet otherwise they would all still be in Zanu-Pf.
We are aware that they have been partners in crime for more than 30 years, supporting and protecting each other. This makes it almost impossible for either half to ill-treat the other in real terms without risking one side divulging decades-old secrets.
“He (Mugabe) keeps files on everybody,” Mujuru told the Sunday Times (UK) last week ÔÇô an indication that Mugabe spies on his colleagues with intention to blackmail them should they become wayward.
I just wonder how far Mujuru will go with this if it becomes a real threat to Mugabe.
For now though, she should remember all the things they used to do together.
She must start there and apologise to the very same people whose support she now seeks to stay relevant in Zimbabwean politics.
She could apologise for her own presence in government during the Gukurahundi genocide instead of trying to pass herself as clean by saying her life-long tenure in Zanu-Pf was just“a marriage of convenience” or like she tried to do last week with the Sunday Times.
It is difficult to believe that having been in cabinet since 1980 and having been Mugabe’s Vice president for ten years until last year, Mujuru knew nothing about electoral fraud.
“I never saw the rigging… I am sure it was a very small clique that was doing it,” she said. Insulting people’s intelligence like this is a sure way to lose credibility.
Many people have already been tempted into believing that the arrival of Mujuru’s political party in Zimbabwe is the answer; that it is the awakening of silence.
Zimbabweans seek the purity of Mujuru’s intentions. Seriously.
Zanu-Pf, Mujuru and the people she has already surrounded herself with ghoulishly remind us of Hotel California…”We are all just prisoners here of our own device…You can check out any time you like but you can never leave”.