BY the time you read this Robert Gabriel Mugabe, Africa’s last-standing wrong man who ruled Zimbabwe as if it was his chicken run, would probably have fallen. We should not be astounded by the sudden turn of events, for falling from grace is always the endgame for dictators.
Mugabe’s fall does not provide any fresh lessons in African politics. Rather, it merely confirms those we have learned over the years: The end always comes for dictators and in a humiliating way.
Mugabe and his family are under house arrest, quaking in their boots as they wait for the army to decide their fate.
It is an irony with a tinge of hilarity that it is the army, the very institution that has been the cornerstone of Mugabe’s brutal rule, which has led to his demise. Karma, they say, is a bitch. Baboons are running for cover.
There are those who say Zimbabweans are naïve to celebrate the replacement of a dictator with a military junta. That is fine and dandy but it negates that which motivates the celebrations.
The army has always been the chief’s bulldogs that menaced the villagers. Now that the vicious bulldogs have turned on their master the villagers see no problem.
Of course they might rue embracing the bulldog as a new master but for now they are happy with any reprieve they can get. That is how Zimbabweans are desperate: they don’t care who replaces Mugabe as long as he is replaced.
At this moment they can even accept a pig or baboon as a leader as long as they see Mugabe’s back.
It is not that Mugabe was an entirely terrible human being. His legacy shows that he educated his people and restored land back to the blacks. Cheers to that. But all that pales in comparison to the suffering he has caused his people.
For the past 20 years Mugabe has worked overtime to undermine that legacy.
Slowly but surely he has impoverished his people with reckless economic policies unbefitting of a man with several degrees, including one in economics.
Not content with rigging elections Mugabe has proceeded to meticulously bludgeon the opposition under the guise that he is protecting his country from re-colonisation. He has maimed opponents, nobbled the media and clobbered those within his circle he thought were getting too ambitious.
Sovereignty has been used as a cover to push back at international critics. Elections have been stolen hand over fist.
While at all these he has conveniently forgotten that his responsibility is to make Zimbabwe a better place for its people. The result is that millions have fled the debilitating poverty to seek refuge in places hostile to them.
Those who have remained have largely become vendors hawking second-hand clothes and trinkets. All the while his family and members of the inner circle live like kings amid vulgar levels of poverty.
Yet we should not forget that Mugabe was not a lone ranger in the mission to destroy the once flourishing country.
The army that has upended his rule played a significant role in that brazen plunder.
Those around him contributed immensely to the mess as they stuffed their already deep pockets with stolen wealth.
But perhaps the real reason Mugabe has fallen with a thud is not because he was a hopelessly incompetent manager of the economy. It has always been clear that the man was an empty orator. He can arouse the masses but not the economy. Away from politics Mugabe cannot manage himself out of a paper bag.
He is incompetent to the level that you would think he was trained to be sloppy.
Mugabe is being booted out for failing to manage the politics in his own party.
Precisely, he allowed his garrulous and greedy wife to manipulate him into turning against his comrades.
Grace, a former typist who fornicated with Mugabe as his Ghanaian wife was on her deathbed, had become the troublemaker in both party and government. Her rise was as sudden as it was shocking. Until 2013 Grace was well known for her shopping trips, fashion and a little bit of charity.
Her power was largely confined to the bedroom and the kitchen. Then things began to change as it became clear that age had stolen Mugabe’s mental faculties.
Every morning she would wake up to watch her husband, half a century her senior, wasting away. She knew it was only a matter of time before the old man kicked the bucket, to leave her at the mercy of hungry and angry jackals in the party.
So she entered the fray with gusto and recklessness.
She did not do so by building her own support base because even rats in Zimbabwe know that she is a political nonentity gifted with neither oratorical skills nor a good head on her proud shoulders.
Her only way was to get the old man to do her bidding. And he could not refuse because he had no capacity to think for himself.
The bedroom pressure started. The pillow talk intensified until the old man succumbed. First, they used trumped-up charges and allegations to boot out Mugabe’s deputy.
Next to be side-lined were the war veterans who had stood by Mugabe since before Independence in 1980. Comrades were purged at Grace’s behest.
Then this year she upped the ante and went after Mugabe’s other deputy. Her plan was to be the deputy while her husband breathes his last breath when he has been called yonder.
So the deputy was accused of disloyalty and deceit. He was kicked out of the government and party, forcing him to skip into exile.
But events this week have shown that she horribly miscalculated.
Mugabe, her willing horse to power, has been mortally injured.
Without the army’s support Mugabe is lower that a village sub-chief. With the army against him, Mugabe is a goner. The lesson here for any leader – whether political, corporate or religious – is that allowing pillow talk to cloud your decisions leads to peril. The rule is that you should listen but never implement unless you are cork sure that it’s the right thing to do. This also applies to female leaders whose husbands want to push their own agendas. The reason is simply that you are at your most vulnerable moment, physically, mentally and emotionally, when in bed.
Those smart enough to follow Muckraker will remember what she has called the 30-minute rule. Today she repeats it because a little bird has whispered to her that Grace has a lot of admirers. Mmmmmm, do you get her drift?
Mmmmmm, thank your parents for those genes that power your mind.
The crux of the rule is that anything said 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after the act in the bedroom should be ignored as just nonsense.
We have all said things we don’t really mean during those moments of pleasure.
Some have spoken in tongues while others have insulted their mothers.
Fantastic promises have been made.
Broke men have committed to buying houses and cars. Women in menopause have promised to deliver babies.
It’s all part of the game but we should never take those words to heart.
In that time we are momentarily mad.
It is therefore a sign of craziness to then take those words and use them to make decisions.
Muckraker says this with a straight face because it’s a lesson we should all learn. Don’t say she didn’t play her Aunty role when things start falling apart.
Let them take korobela
Nqosa Mahao has pulled a fast one on his opposition comrades to join Uncle Sam’s government. Muckraker suspected the bromance among the opposition leaders would end in tears but never expected Mahao to do the betraying. The lesson is that there is no honour among politicians and everyone has a price. The BAP’s price is two cabinet seats and some morsels to be flung its way here and there.
The opposition is furious at Mahao for stringing them along for three weeks while Uncle Sam whispered sweet little things in his ears.
They say Mahao attended their nocturnal meetings to plot Uncle Sam’s demise but was busy with a plan to get himself a mok’huk’hu in the government.
Their screams of anger are hypocritical. They too would have been charmed for the right price. Mahao just happened to have yielded earlier than them. None of them can claim that they were not approached by the RFP or its dealmakers.
No one could claim that they refused the RFP’s marriage proposal because they differed on ideology and principle. The only sticking issue was what was offered and what they thought their support was worthy. So let’s bin the hypocrisy and confirm that some of them overreached and overestimated their value by holding out for more spoils. It’s not their business if Mahao sold himself too cheap.
He was smart enough to understand that the market of political support was already flooded. That is being pragmatic.
In the end, it was a simple matter of demand and supply. Uncle Sam played the game well by lodging a scarecrow of a court case to delay the vote of no confidence to buy himself time. That blindsided the opposition leaders and allowed Uncle Sam to counterattack.
So while Lehata was laughing like a hyena in parliament and the opposition congregated at the BNP Centre for drinks Uncle Sam was cooking some delicious dish across town. It was only a matter of time before the aroma reached the politicians’ noses.
So while they were claiming to be united most of them were busy receiving calls to hear what was on the menu. It was a buffet of embassies and cabinet seats. The desserts were deputy minister positions and some small jobs for hungry supporters. The only problem with some of the opposition leaders was that they wanted to eat the whole buffet, including Uncle Sam’s portion.
Meanwhile, Uncle Sam was busy gauging what was enough to satiate the hungriest among the opposition leaders. In the end, he knew he didn’t have to part with much to get the deal and the numbers he wanted. Some politicians are saying Mahao could have asked for more because Uncle Sam was desperate and cornered. Not true!
Your tomatoes do not cost more simply because you worked hard to produce them or you think they are special. It’s the market that decides.
To get more for them you should get the timing right. The same applies to political support. Uncle Sam knew the market of political support would be oversupplied if he waited a few days before buying.
By the time he came to the market the available political support was about to rot and everyone was willing to sell at a huge discount. This is common sense but some opposition leaders want to pretend Mahao ambushed them by selling fast.
Muckraker suggests that next time they plot against Uncle Sam, the opposition leaders should visit a sangoma to give them all a huge dose of korobela so that none is tempted to find another lover. The best love portion comes from the North of us. Mwa, mwa, mwa!
How to share a stolen goat
Those who think Uncle Sam is now safe from the barbarians at the gates are naïve. Mahao’s defection is a temporary setback from which the opposition leaders are plotting to recover.
They are coming because Uncle Sam is holding something they cannot live without: power.
And they will not rest until they get it. Those who believe this fight is based on principle and ideology are unmitigated dimwits. Their claim that Uncle Sam’s government has failed is just a cover to justify their plot. They know they would not do a better job.
Everyone knows that because they have seen their epic bungling when they had a chance to rule.
The notoriety of their thievery, corruption, deliberate mismanagement and nepotism precedes them. They say Uncle Sam has failed to implement his party’s campaign promises but forget that some of them failed several times. If this was about ideology and principle it would reflect in the negotiations for coalitions. In countries where politicians still have morsels of self-respect and specks of shame, such negotiations would be dominated by ideological and policy considerations.
Political parties try to find some common ground on fundamental issues like the economy, education, climate change, trade and foreign policy.
Our rascals here talk about ministerial and diplomatic positions as if they are sharing a stolen goat; I want the head, give me likahare.
My ancestors said I should always eat the testicles. Give me the liver, I don’t have teeth. The heart is my favourite. In a way, our government is like a stolen goat being shared by thieves. Ba ja maleo.
It’s a fat goat stolen from Basotho. The politicians will eat it and not leave even the skin for Basotho to make a mat to lay on when hungry. The thieves are eating while the people watch.
Yet we people never tire to give the politicians the permission to rob and pee on them.
It’s tempting to say we deserve it but no one, not even the Devil, deserves the politicians we have in this country. Some say there is hell somewhere. Muckraker says we are already in a hell of some sort created by our politicians. We are being roasted slowly by politicians and they will never stop.
Does that make you feel depressed and hopeless? Well, you are not alone. There are worse places on this earth. Does that mean we should accept tosh because there is worse tosh in other places?
Well, it’s your choice.
Muckraker wishes you a wet weekend. Let’s hope Uncle Sam throws us a party to celebrate his great escape. You marched for him, didn’t you?
A beer is what you deserve for sweating from Maseru Mall to parliament.
Give Lehata a Bell’s
Mootsi Lehata behaved like a clown in parliament last week. Laughing like he was in a shebeen. Spewing insults as if someone had stolen his goats. He even used the ‘F’ word on Lejone Mpotjoane.
“Moshanyana enoa a se ke a ntella. Se ke oa ntella sonny, f**k you,” he said in response to Mpotjoane. Muckraker doesn’t know Mpotjoane to be a moshanyana. What she knows is what Lehata did to a ngoanana a few years ago.
The girl dropped the rape case on the condition that Lehata builds her a house and pays for the child’s upkeep. So ke eena ea tellang molao. Some might say it’s water under the bridge but Muckraker doesn’t forgive. Never!
For now, we should talk about his monkeyshines in parliament. He looked high on something. Lehata can however deny it. He can say he was shaking because he had spent sleepless nights plotting to topple Uncle Sam. He can claim he was shaking with excitement at the prospect of becoming a minister again. If that doesn’t cut it he can say wasn’t drunk but just suffering from a hangover.
That might work because he could say those who say he was drunk on that Monday should have seen him on Sunday. He could claim he was still suffering the effects of knocking down several bottles taller than him.
But whatever happens, no one can prove that he was high.
Yes, a test could have revealed that he had blood in his alcohol but that is now beside the point because it didn’t happen. In any case, Muckraker has seen worse things in parliament. Remember how some MPs spanked each other a few years ago?
Chairs and bins were given wings. An MP was once captured on camera groping another.
As for insults, worse things have been said. Some of the MPs don’t need to be insulted to feel humiliated. Imagine how it feels to be an LCD MP.
You see it in their faces that they are beating themselves.
No wonder they are not even mentioned as part of the opposition. They are not in opposition, not government and not in the crossbench. They are there, somewhere there.
Muckraker would not sleep well if she ended these musings without mentioning one small thing. During the debate on Lehata’s tomfoolery, one opposition MP said the Speaker should protect MPs so that their images are not manipulated to tarnish their reputation. Yeah, right!
You must have a reputation first for it to be tarnished. Muckraker and 98.9 percent of Basotho know 99 percent of our MPs to be freeloading, greedy and power-hungry charlatans.
That is their reputation. Those who say our MPs are honest and hardworking are tarnishing that sterling reputation.
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