Welcome home Manheru: Let's have a clean fight
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He has finally identified his real enemy, that Standard Six chap, a miner who internalised and now personifies the struggle of the workers and peasants of Zimbabwe, and who rose through the ranks of his unions to become president of the umbrella Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions - the surrogate mother of the democratic struggle in Zimbabwe.
Morgan Tsvangirai has so vexed Manheru that he had to go back to his childhood where the fear of witches ruled his life, and where he would start counting down the days immediately after Christmas, anticipating when he would next have bread with jam again. Maybe this is what made him such a bitter man.
But to accord him that would be to afford him some pity, when in fact he deserves none. For he is as deceptive as a chameleon which camouflages itself indistinguishably from its surrounds, waiting to spring with its tongue and devour its prey before it has even blinked - even if it is twice the length of the chameleon's own body away
Such is his ability to blend among us like one who is as concerned about the welfare of our family as we are that he proffers advice about how we should try to resolve our disagreements in hushed tones, lest we draw in evil winds!
Instead we should find "conflict-managers within our national family to settle matters and restore composure. What rank hypocrisy. What he means is, lest the international community knows what is going on here. Was it trying to resolve matters internally and restore composure when they were killing Ndira and cutting off his tongue before dumping his body? Was it not to silence him even in death?
Was it to restore composure when they were battering Morgan Tsvangirai at Cranborn Barracks, breaking Ambuya Sekai Holland's arm, if not her spirit, and tearing off Grace Kwinjeh's ear â€“ all acts which Manheru justified, if not encouraged, through his column; acts which only yesterday he called the "scars for behaving with foolhardiness in front of the law."
Are we supposed to, like the battered wife, continue trying to reason while hiding the scars from neighbours, lest they know that all is not well? A conservative estimate of 200 people died in the 2008 election, which Zanu (PF) has refused to acknowledge. Even as it pretends to be working towards a free and fair election, it is prepares to unleash a similar punishment on us again for demanding the freedom that we thought we had already won.
Are we wrong then to ask neighbors to come and help in this family feud where the father is beating the children because they are crying of hunger, and the mother is told to shut up to preserve the dignity of the family?
Of course we want Jacob Zuma to come, and we want him yesterday. Moreover we are not ashamed if his intervention means that he has to come and box the father, instead of deceiving us that he is solving the problem. We can go further to Addis Ababa and to New York and Brussels, and shout it from the streets.
We do eagerly anticipate his coming, just as Manheru did Christmas, and we do get disappointed, and we do seek solace and lick our weeping wounds with meaningless words from Madame Zulu, however threadbare. That Manheru knows the depth of our disappointment, just like a setback in the war of liberation, makes his actions unforgivable.
But he can never camouflage himself such that we fail to see through his empty platitudes like: "The growth of nations lies in their capacity to resolve their problemsâ€¦assert our ownership of our natural resources..our rights over every inch of our territoryâ€¦" as if someone else was about to rob us, besides the same robbers that have been robbing us since 1980.
The telling line in his latest column was: "We assert our exclusive right to our disputes, to our quarrels, and the prerogative we reserve to ourÂselves to resolve them ourselves, in the best manner we know how." Yes. Like if you resolve to just kill Tsvangirai, it's your prerogative!
The world has moved on Mr Manhaheru. It is no longer your prerogative to do with us as you please because we are no longer your people. In fact it is dawn. Can't you hear the birds? If you really want to maintain your camouflage, you may as well change your name to Mangwanani, otherwise the sun is going to rise and find you naked, riding a hyena and feasting on the misery of a nation.
Twenty years is enough for disputes to have been resolved. Those years have honed our analysis enough to know that your kind is not looking for nation-building or conflict resolution, otherwise we would have done so a long time ago.
Let outsiders keep off, you say as you give cheers to the local solutions of the Copac constitution team. Yet without outside intervention there would have been no such Copac process! It was a fight all the way. So we say,"Mangwanani, Baba Manheru, you and your hardliners."
Maybe you are right, "hardliners" is actually too good a word to refer to the likes of Nyikayaramba, Mugova, Chedondo and Chiwenga, because it suggests that they are holding on steadfastly to something they believe in. Yet in reality they are simple lawless bandits who believe that they are more entitled to everything in this country because they went to the liberation war.
Going kohondo does not in itself make them heroes and Manheru should not defile the name of Fidel Castro by equating him with such renegades. Carrying the torch of Chimurenga from China, Tanzania and Mozambique and lighting up Zimbabwe with the national desire to fight for the upliftment of our motherland, harnessing our abundant resources and our energy for a national development effort, and defending Zimbabwe from capitalist greed and corruption would have made them heroes.
But as it is they are going to waste space at Heroes Acre, yet they have long abandoned their posts in Chimurenga and found their satisfaction in avarice, debauchery and gluttony; some of them have to have uniform sizes specially sawn for them because they cannot stop eating. Now they suddenly rediscover their revolutionary calling because the MDC is about to boot their illicit benefactors out of power.
They have fought a war that was destined to be fought and won; a war that was won by all of us and the rest of Africa; a victory which was only delayed because some were busy fighting for power â€“ history still to be written. They did not mould any nation; rather they simply demanded and got the same houses and servants that they were fighting for. Zimbabwe might have been a better country if they had not survived the bush war.
Now you look for Tsvangirai's weaknesses, now you know about his low education. Is that what you think you can sell to the electorate? Indeed they will ask you what your educated Mugabe has done, besides squandering the little capacity that had been developed by the Rhodesia Front and taking us back to the 1950s.
The high value that we are looking for in our leaders is for them to know our needs, we the workers and peasants; we the intellectuals and artists. Not how many Ph.Ds they have. Now you know about bigoted loyalties to Tsvangirai. Yes it is because he has shown integrity, he is a fighter who has defeated Zanu (PF); at the dusty growth-points and in grand conference rooms, on Zanu (PF)'s own AU and SADC diplomatic home grounds, and in resolutions that are now set in African ink.
Welcome home Manheru. Let's have a clean fight.
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Source: Lammiel Mangwanani
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