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Tuesday, November 29, 2022
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Of Hope Among Illusions

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Saturday the 18th of November 2017 shall forever be remembered as the day which inscribed an indelible feature in the history of Zimbabwe. On that day, an entire nation conspired to run away from Satan in order to seek refuge in and surrender its soul to Lucifer.

By Partson Dzamara

After enduring 37 years under the morbid rule of Robert Mugabe, Zimbabweans from all walks of life converged demanding Mugabe step down as their President. It was surreal and unprecedented. For the first time since the attainment of independence, Zimbabweans were able to freely express themselves in unison.

A coincidence of agendas

The path towards this momentous Saturday was littered with curious landmarks which most people overlooked while raptured in euphoria. Anyone who dared to highlight the landmarks was labelled an anti progress agent. I was not spared that label because between Satan and Lucifer, I chose none. The nation was ready to cross over. Nothing else mattered and nothing was allowed to stand in its way.

What most people failed to pick was the fact that actions which culminated in the historic happenings of that Saturday were not emanating from the same premise. There were two agendas at play and one agenda used the other as a means to an end.

As far as the national sentiment or agenda was concerned, Mugabe in all his forms had to go. Sly power mongers in the form of defense forces generals, Mnangagwa and his crew saw that as an opportunity to augment their political and factional agenda. They steered the nation towards a precarious and fallacious conclusion that once Mugabe the person is removed then a new Zimbabwe would have been birthed.

Gullible and desperate for change, Zimbabweans believed and rallied behind these power hungry desperados and their warped narrative. Consumed with a burning desire for a new Zimbabwe and paying less attention to what was really happening, Zimbabweans essentially joined their voice to that of this power intoxicated bunch in a spirited fight to remove Mugabe.

Erroneously and naïvely, Zimbabweans thought that whatever was happening was being done for them. Very few actually perceived that they were aiding a power manoeuvre which had nothing or little to do with them.   Most had concluded that the moment they patiently waited for was finally delivered to them on a silver platter.

Surprisingly and regrettably, not many questioned why all of a sudden the chief cornerstones which had sustained Mugabe’s grip on power had suddenly turned against him inclining towards them. Not only that, not many deciphered the critical difference between the people’s agenda and the defence forces agenda. The people’s agenda was motivated by a desire to gain freedom from dictatorship while the defence forces agenda was motivated by a desire to gain power for themselves and their friends.

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But again, all that didn’t matter to many for as long Mugabe was removed. In fact, anyone who dared to pose such pertinent questions was told that we had to take one step at a time and that Rome was not built in a day.

The rise of false hope and illusions

On Tuesday the 21st of November, Mugabe eventually gave in to the pressure and he resigned. His resignation was welcomed with massive celebrations across the country. This was the moment most Zimbabweans had fervently yearned and waited for.

When the news broke, I was driving past the parliament building and the commotion caught my attention. There were many people who were waiting for the impeachment outcome in Itai Dzamara Square (Africa Unity Square). I too joined the wild celebrations but sadly, a few minutes into the celebrations I broke down and wept like a baby when I remembered my brother Itai. I retreated and spent that entire night in bed while almost everyone was celebrating the fall of Mugabe.

I can safely conclude that this development led to the rise of hope among illusions in most Zimbabweans’ minds. If it is anything worth to be classified under hope then it was false hope. To many, that was it. A new Zimbabwe had been delivered to them through the ‘help’ of the defence forces.

The most painful experience I endured in all this was being told happy new Zimbabwe by my fellow country men. I even attended prayer sessions where some excitable pastors told people to praise God for a new Zimbabwe. Something in me kept on impressing that it was not yet a new Zimbabwe and I  always made it a point to register that whenever I had an opportunity to do so privately or publicly.

Several of my friends and relatives in the diaspora asked me whether I thought it was the right time for them to return home and my answer was always an emphatic no. I was adamant that removing Mugabe the person did not mean an automatic death of Mugabe the system. It was just a moment of false hope and illusions.

The emergence of pseudo heroes

While the bizarre happenings unfolded, an extremely flagrant precedence was set. Some very strange pseudo heroes emerged. The defence forces generals, soldiers, war veterans and Emmmerson Mnangagwa emerged as heroes. In fact, Chiwenga earned himself a sexy nickname in the process. Some started calling him General bae.

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Well, if my girlfriend had called him that or if she had posed for a selfie with soldiers, that was going to mark the end of our relationship.

For successfully wrestling power in an unorthodox and unconstitutional manner from Mugabe, these individuals became heroes. For as long they removed Mugabe, nobody seemed to care about any other aspect. To many they were/are heroes who brought freedom but I persistently repeated that Zimbabwe had been called upon to make an impossible choice between Satan and Lucifer.

I am still wondering how posing for photos with soldiers or in front of tankers was decoded as a sign of freedom by my fellow country men. The irony is shocking and disturbing. The excitement of the moment blinkered most from what was really happening.

I shudder to conclude that very few of my country men really knew what had hit us at that point. That was the beginning of an undesirable journey towards a military state, of course with the aid of a meticulously positioned soundtrack from some camp called the military touch movement. That gifted voice also rode on the tide and yes most concluded he is the man of the moment.

The epic entrance and branding of Lucifer

After Mugabe’s resignation, ZANU – PF quickly installed Mnangagwa as its new leader. It was a quick transition from Satan to Lucifer or from fire to fire. Mnangagwa returned from self imposed exile to an anticipating nation. On the 25th of November he was inaugurated as the new President of Zimbabwe at the National Sports Stadium.

Mnangagwa’s inaugural speech was prolific. He told Zimbabweans what he knew they wanted to hear and that did the job. That speech caused most fence sitters to incline towards him. Even his critics gave him a thumbs up for that speech. It was an epic entrance.

As soon as Mnangagwa’s presidency began, a massive branding exercise was set in motion. He seems to have invested in agenda setting gate keepers especially on social media. They have been working overtime to brand him, including creating falsehoods and it’s working as evidenced by the number of people getting hooked and hoodwinked.

 

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