Ranga Mataire Writing Black
Realising the futility of aligning with ephemeral and rootless MDC Alliance, the former G40 fugitives domiciled outside the country attempted to refashion themselves as true representatives of Zanu PF who had just fallen out of favour with the Harare administration.
Notwithstanding the fact that most, if not all had at one time identified and supported the opposition MDC Alliance and had even formed their own political parties to challenge the ruling Zanu PF, the G40 cabal misrepresented themselves as maligned ruling party members.
The truth is they are no longer members of the revolutionary party governing in Zimbabwe.
I am sure it later dawned on them that it was difficult to earn the respect and acceptability in Southern Africa — a region still governed by former liberation movements.
And so a plan was hatched to “ambush” the African National Congress’ (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule and present themselves as “victims” of the new establishment in Zimbabwe.
This came on the heels of a social media hashtag movement; whose genesis was in the corridors of some Western embassies desperate to divert attention from gory human rights abuses committed by the police against blacks.
Archival videos and pictures of police clashes with citizens, some taken out of context and others simply uprooted from other countries, infested social media platforms.
The plan was to spotlight Zimbabwe ahead of the 40th Sadc Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government to be held virtually from 10-17 August.
Unbeknown to secretary-general Magashule, the approach by the G40 fugitives was meant to build a deleterious swirl around Zimbabwe and legitimise the ephemeral social media movement that saw some celebrities in Africa and some in the West being tagged.
An observer without deeper knowledge of Zimbabwe would have thought there was an Armageddon in the country.
It was only after secretary-general Magashule made contact with his Zanu PF counterpart Obert Mpofu that it became clear that there was no apocalypse in Zimbabwe.
It must have dawned on Magashule that it was all a ruse coming on the heels of a failed demonstration called by the opposition and supported by the fugitives.
And we also know that the two leaders, President Mnangagwa and South Africa’s Cyril Ramphosa are always in contact and each is aware of the true picture obtaining in their respective countries.
It must be a hard lesson to accept that Zanu PF and ANC have strong relations that remain unshaken even at their most challenging times.
In fact, all former liberation movements in Southern Africa are bonded by a shared history of successfully dislodging colonial rule in their countries and continue enjoy massive support in their countries.
In Shona, there is a saying that says anyangira yaona. President Mnangagwa is not only revolutionary and a trained military cadre, he also has a background in security matters. He is a seguranza — to use the liberation parlance borrowed from Portuguese.
The good thing about Presidents Mnangagwa and Ramaphosa is that they are both products of their respective liberation movements and political parties. They understand and valorise the liberation struggle and the generational mandate to safeguard that hallowed legacy.
And as post-independence leaders, they both understand the need for rapid and widespread economic transformation and modernisation of their respective economies.
They understand that the central challenge facing former liberation movements is economic delivery.
But they are also conscious of the perpetual attempts by imperial forces to roll back the map of liberation in Africa.
Besides maintaining a bond to repel the constant machinations of these imperial forces, the mandate that is being pursued by the two leaders is to ensure that their respective governing parties maintain the route of vanguard progressive centre left-mass parties that deliver strategic transformational development and ensure that they don’t play into the hands of those who want to implement regime change in Africa malleable elite parties with no emotional attachment to the liberation struggle.
It is gratifying to note that Zimbabwe has led the way through its land reform programme whose main thrust is to make the black man the owner of the means of production.
While it is acknowledged that individual nations have varying economic dynamics, the imperative of equitable land reform is more than apparent.
Post-independence opposition political parties in Southern Africa must realise that even with different influences shaping their thinking, former liberation movements are bound together by their basic frame of reference to their shared struggle heritage anchored on the ideals of Pan-Africanism.
Yes, South Africa has always been that friendly neighbour ready to assist in resolving whatever challenges Zimbabwe faces, but it is a futile exercise to attempt to create a wedge between their two respective governing parties.
For now, the G40 cabal needs to retrace their footsteps. As former members of the revolutionary Zanu PF party they are definitely in the know of the bond that exist among former liberation movements whose style of engagement is never megaphone and abrasive.
They understand that it’s not just about economic prosperity, but to cherish and safeguard the ideals of their hard won independence by repelling imperial forces keen on installing their preferred political outfits that will safeguard their nefarious interests and activities.