Apparently frustrated by his party’s penchant for a quick buck and lust for power, Mugabe bombarded his party’s top members not once but twice over the weekend. Speaking to ZANU’s central committee on Friday Mugabe lashed out at the members over corruption saying,
These cases of [members] wanting to enrich themselves are increasing in number. You are not being fair — some people are just being crookish. Zanu-PF is going to embark on a major cleansing exercise to remove those elements bent on tarnishing the image of the party by their wayward behaviour with their private and public lives.
The aged leader, did not leave any stone unturned in his long harangue. Taking a swipe at the MDC over recent violence within the party, Mugabe charged lies and violence were seated deep within the party. He contended this was something western powers refused to listen to. He alsoissued a thinly veiled threat to the MDC about their planned mass action saying he wanted police given more powers to crush such revolts. He continued saying the only way to secure power was by election.
On Saturday the Central Committee found themselves under Mugabe’s cross hairs when Mugabe characterized some of them as rabidly power hungry.
The things we hear about succession, succession, succession — zvatinonzwa zvacho, zvakaoma. Hapana zvakadaro. If I were to write books, I would write volumes and volumes of nonsensical things. Vamwe vanoenda kun’anga kuti ndinoda kuita ichi. Imi weee . . . N’anga huru is the people of Zimbabwe. Hazvina n’anga mukati izvi. (We hear lots of unbelievable stories about succession. We hear some people are consulting witchdoctors . . . but the biggest witchdoctor is the people of Zimbabwe. There is no need to consult witchdoctors.)
“If you do your work and work with the people well, the people will recognise you. Unhu hwako tinenge tichida kuti hunge huri hwakanaka.” (We want people with dignity.)
Could he be wising up to the reality that unless ZANU did some serious soul searching and changed their course of action they are doomed? Think again. This was just another incident of the aged leader posturing as a sagacious elder stateman. Nothing more.
There could never exist a greater incongruence between speech and action than what is going on with our Zimbabwean leader. Here he speaks against both corruption, violence and ambition yet there is no action to back up the words. ZANU-PF has been violent since independence, there’s nothing new there. We also know they are corrupt, they’ve been that way for a while now. The same could be said about their hunger for more power. The jostling around succession can be traced deep into the mid-nineties.
None of that is news to the Zimbabwean people. It’s certainly not panacea to the plethora of problems our nation is facing. So until his words materialize tangible actions, these long speeches, however erudite, however sarcastic they maybe, will only remain a pointless waste of time and air.