Friday, January 25, 2008
Simba Makoni for President?
Word has been going around that Simba Makoni, one time Finance Minister, is plotting to lead a faction of Zanu-PF and challenge Robert Mugabe in the up-coming "elections". There have been denials, and speculation and anticipation. Even the West took a keen interest, sending a BBC journalist on a covert operation in to Zimbabwe despite the risks. I say he got help from high up within the regime's growing malcontents, just like that business with the Sky news crew who were brought in by Moyo. Could this developement also indicate that Makoni's presidential ambitions have the support of the West?
But this hope that Makoni will challenge Mugabe is not new. When he was running SADC, it was widely aired by the rumour-mill that he had simply been put out of the way as he already was a threat to Mugabe and his cronies. Then, it was said that in fact he had been considered a successor by Mugabe himself. In fact, legend has it that Bob brought this up in a Cabinet meeting in 1990 that he wanted to step down and pave way for new blood. It is said that the late Enos Chikowore wailed, "Nhai, shefu, munofunga kuti kwatakabva tichitambura tose, kwanga kuri kupasada here pachinzvimbo ichi?" Translation: O, Chief, did you think that we would come a long way with you without any aspirations of our own?". It was then that Mugabe came face to face with the fact that the cronyistic political apparatus of patronage and purges where expedient would not serve any possible change of leadership.
Even so, rumours that Mugabe would one day give the reins to Makoni persisted. When the latter announced that he would run for Executive Mayor of Harare, it is said that Mugabe rang him up and asked him, "Unotsvagirei usabhuku uhwo umambo uri hwako?" Translation; Why do you strive for a regional governorship when the kingdom is to be yours?
There are many of these urban legends. Whether they are true or not, they attest to the general feeling among people that Mugabe will one day get tired of fucking up the country and give authority to someone educated, progressive and enlightened- as opposed to all those gerontocrats who still fight Ian Smith and his Rhodesian rabble. Someone like Makoni.
Wait just a minute!!!!!!!
Simba Makoni is very much a Zanu-PF person. Why the hell should we even be thinking of him as Mugabe's successor? What about the one we chose for ourself, the one who got cheated out of the elections in 2002? If we let Makoni take over from Mugabe, we will have taken the political process back to the 80s when Mugabe was swept to power on a wave of Independence euphoria and the mistaken belief that because he could speak good English, he could talk to the West on our behalf.
We have seen Simba Makoni's legacy at SADC. Regional intergration is a joke, despite a few visas being scrapped here and there. In fact, wasn't it during his tenure that Botswana, the very country where the SADC Secretariat is based, signed a defence agreement with the United States, ensuring that the Yanks are never too far away from us and can do an Afghanistan on us any time they want?
Then, when he became Minister of Finance, what did he do? Nothing!!!
Most importantly, he has been a member of Zanu-PF's politiburo. The supreme organ that voted Mugabe back in to power time and time again, and plotted this Scorched-Earth policy that we are seeing in our country. Every atrocity that Mugabe's government has committed, he has been a part of him. And now we should hail him as our new hope?
I must go and puke now.
Posted by Masimba Musodza at 4:42 p.m.