The Thing and its Shadows

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YES. It is a coup. Not against but about Robert Mugabe and his power. More than that it is a genocidal political cleansing. A political faction in the ruling party, a faction that cannot win a war of ideas has taken up an idea of war as the way to power. This faction has captured the national army and is using its state capacity for violence to cleanse the road to power of opponents, enemies and obstacles in the shape of those that have been defined as “criminals around the President”.
The irony is not concealed that real criminals have stolen the word criminal and are using it against those whose ideas oppose them; Jonathan Moyo, Saviour Kasukuwere and Patrick Zhuwawo, for gaining Mugabe’s political ear, arresting his attention and convincing him of a certain political vision during and after his rule might end up dead in all this, dead so that politically-dead Emmerson Mnangagwa can resurrect and be forced upon Zimbabwe not as a leader but a ruler.
Robert Mugabe the person and the phenomenon are safe from this ongoing criminality; even more, he is the winner. The biggest loser is democracy and constitutional governance in Zimbabwe. A military junta is afoot and seeks to force its candidate to succeed Robert Mugabe as Head of State in Zimbabwe. The political opposition and masses of Zimbabweans are nowhere and are nothing in the scheme of things, national interest has been suspended, and we are byproducts of history as we walk the land.
Like all other shadows, it looks like what it is not, gunboat negotiation, threats of a coup, show of force, performance of power, a rehearsal of a revolution and all, but it is a mask that covers a historical crime against humanity. Like a true Gukurahundi, behind the mask of benevolent Generals in the cells and hidden corners of Harare, those that have been identified as criminals are dying. This is a true North Korean political stratagem. North Korea is a country that is always performing national ceremonies and political rituals and festivals of power. Behind the national scenes, in the dark corridors, opponents of the regime, imagined or real, are slaughtered like goats in early Christmas.
Chiwenga has mesmerised the world. A smiling coup maker shaking hands with the target of his bullet is something new. Behind that performance of benevolence, the truth, the first victim of every war, is properly raped and killed. Mugabe is not the target of the General’s bullet in the very first place. Behind the curtains independent journalists, public intellectuals, political activists that have been marked for death are being hunted. By Mugabe, look at the pictures, Chiwenga is star struck and looks ready to kneel and worship.Advertisement

World News, Bad News
Here we are, in the whole world, pleasantly shocked that, at long last, a kind of a coup has been conducted on the Zimbabwean dictator, Robert Mugabe. In actuality, this coup of a kind is part of Robert Mugabe unfolding, becoming and also overcoming. This type of a coup represents Mugabe enhanced and reloaded. No doubt about it, what is happening in Zimbabwe presently will be the stuff of movies and mind food for political theorists for a long time to come.
I am not alleging cheaply that Mugabe is stage-managing the political events in Zimbabwe; I wish he was; it is much worse than that as history itself is stage-managing and performing  Mugabe in Zimbabwe, fulfilling his intentions in a mixture of tragic and farcical events that perpetuate rather than disturb Mugabeism in the beleaguered country. This paradoxical reality of a coup that is not exactly a coup is actually a representation of the personal irony of Mugabe whose victims even when they mean to harm and defeat him continue to pledge loyalty to and respect for him, Mugabe the thing in its actuality has silently taken citizenship in the minds and hearts of its victims and supporters alike.
Those now frowning and then smiling Generals cannot shoot Mugabe in the head because a lot of Mugabe is inside them; the so-called “criminals around Mugabe” that are being targeted are the easy targets upon whom the terrified soldiers will vent their anger and fear. For them Mugabe is an impossible target that cannot be shot without shooting themselves.
In a way that is how Mugabe has cooked his porridge of power, that soldier who must shoot him must first die in order to do it and the Generals are not equal to that task. They have been too lion hearted in service to Mugabe and Mugabeism and too chicken minded to notice their disease and to overcome it. Chiwenga would rather commit suicide than live with the history of having been the General who harmed Mugabe, he is too much of a Mugabeist to even dream of the deed. We are truly in world news and very bad news.
Upon what Meat did Mugabe Feed?
Robert Mugabe is a creature of fear that from a toddling age learnt how to survive by producing and spreading fear. It is important to examine the socio-psychological make-up of Mugabe in order to understand him as a political organism. Many writers have belaboured how rejection of his mother and family by his Father shaped Mugabe into a brooding and angry child that is driven by hate and revenge.
No biographer of Mugabe has noted that Mugabe did not only grow out of an absent father but also an accidental mother. Mugabe’s mother intended to be a nun but fell pregnant by accident; she did not intend to have children. What has been called Mugabe’s love and devotion for his mother was a kind of strange gratitude for being born after all and a mixture fear and anger that he was not originally wanted as the mother intended a life marriage to Christ. It is for that reason that Mugabe made the Catholic Church his parent and took seriously the prophecy of the Irish Jesuit priest Father O’ Hea who called him a child of destiny that will change the world. It is also for that reason that in his evil and political darkness, Mugabe carries himself with some Jesuit and missionary gravitas, a scary will to power.
It is said that Mugabe’s mother did not spare him the rod frequently and a few minutes after every punishment he would go and kneel besides his mother, clap hands and thank her profusely for “correcting me.” In a way, it was to worship the mother for the accident of his birth which he has extended into an accident of his life in power where he punishes and pays others, and has ruled through creating accidents, causing pain and suffering.
Mugabe’s political violence and cruelty are formed of the gravitas and anger of one who knows that he was not supposed to be born. That is the reason why all the people that oppose and challenge Mugabe are accused of wanting to kill him, of bewitching him and of being the anti-christ itself. He is possessed of messianic consciousness and delusion of christness, the political saviour of Africa that sees all obstacles and opposition as a mob wanting to crucify him. So, when those army tankers surround his home and guns point at him, in a strange way, Mugabe becomes fulfilled and actualised as a figure to be crucified and also worshiped. Are not the Generals kneeling before him, begging him for a way forward instead of shooting him in the true way of coup makers?
To Mugabe the dramatisation of a coup around him is the fulfilment of a true Judas, the army has been a disciple of Mugabe that is now leading him to his political cross; he is more of himself surrounded by tanks and other tools of destiny. On the 15th of November 2017, seeing how the Generals were full of fear and respect, sensing the support from SADC and AU, and knowing that the coup was about him not against him he urgently demanded to be killed. He demanded to die for his truths, and the Generals fell over each other assuring him that they will be the first to shoot anyone who even dreamt of the idea of killing him.
Once again this is Mugabe’s coup against history. A political religion will be born. Mugabe has no Juju, he has not fed on any strange meat that blunts killers and enemies, he has just managed to weaponise everyone against everyone but against himself and his idea.
Behind the Mask
A large part of our world is bewitched and enchanted that at last Zimbabweans, led by the army, are liberating themselves from a tyranny. Far from it. A tyranny is graduating into a monstrosity in Zimbabwe and genocide is about to be turned into an ideology of government. The war veterans and the soldiers that seek to impose Emmerson Mnangagwa upon Zimbabwe, by force, are the same people that conducted the Gukurahundi genocide and carried out the massacres of 2008 in Zimbabwe.
Behind the politeness of the generals and the shy smile of Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is performing political victimhood, is a killing machine and one that has been a crucial organ of the Robert Mugabe political organism. This smart coup, the polite military intervention or the benevolent coup is exactly that, a hand aggressively scratching the head to sort out an irritating itch and not to kill the body. Behind the mask of smilling generals, outside the view of the world, the so-called criminals around Mugabe, the opponents of the genocidal Mnangagwa faction are being tortured and punished. What has happened is that a political faction within the ruling party has taken over the national army and is using it to punish and eliminate its opponents.
This is a coup against the country not against Mugabe; this coup is part of the unfolding Mugabe political phenomenon. That is why Mugabe is safe from the coup but everyone else in trouble. This coup fortifies Mugabe as the untouchable child of destiny rather than humanise him as a failed and dangerous politician. Fear is circulated and distributed everywhere except in the direction of Robert Mugabe who is enjoying protection rather than attack from the army in the present.
Emmerson Mnangagwa whose other name is “the butcher of Matebeleland” is now using General Constantine Chiwenga, who changed his name from Dominic Chinhenge after Gukurahundi, to do the genocidal thing of eliminating political opponents and paving the road to power with the bones and skulls of victims while SADC and AU read the long bible. The referee and the ultimate player in this one game in the destiny of Zimbabwe remains Robert Mugabe, the thing in its actuality.
Eating the Revolution
In the secluded houses of Pretoria where he is concealed Mnangagwa performs himself as the gallant son of the Zimbabwean and African revolution that is being eaten by the revolution, whose very blood is about to water the tree of the revolution. Not only is he corruptly richer than the country, he has watered the land with the blood of innocents. Like Mugabe himself, this man has eaten the Zimbabwean and African revolution.
Bereft of political ideas but pregnant with ideas of politics as war, he is surrounded by excitable and truly excited sycophants that are quick to celebrate, mistaking his funeral for his birthyday. Already with dirty hands, this sort of a coup in his name will bury Mnangagwa forever in Zimbabwe and in Africa. Joice Mujuru and others are being vindicated and rehabilitated, all this as Mnangagwa’s noisy supporters sing and dance.
Unbeknown to many of his supporters is that Mnangagwa is drawn to political power by the love of money and the need for political immunity. Upon a much unlikely victory, his supporters will be the first victims that he sacrifices to seek legitimacy and favour, he might actually denounce this coup to buy back Mugabe’s favour and blessings.
As usual Sydney Sekeramayi is the presence that is absent, a clean dirty player that knows how to fall where its pieces can be picked up. The Generals are not sleeping doing their appointed dirty work, fear consumes them, the chance that any form of stress might collapse and kill Mugabe is a present nightmare, the way is long forward and backward, a true dilemma in hell.
Dinizulu Mbikokayise Macaphulana is a South Africa-based Zimbabwean Political Scientist and Semiotician.