By Dr Masimba Mavaza| Presidential Advisor Chris Mutsvangwa has betrayed his boss, the President. Mutsvangwa acted like 5 year old baby crying for ice cream, and even (reportedly) secretly telephoned Nelson Chamisa’s office soon after losing the Norton election. There is a video recorded live yesterday. In addition to this, the man broke all protocol, to denounce the party and the nation’s leadership – his own employer, and all this sudden ambush caused by an upset over losing a mere primary election, for one of Zimbabwe’s smallest constituencies.
In the history of this great country, no advisor of the Head Of State has ever done such a thing. There are credible reports suggesting he will be a member of the MDC Alliance party anytime from now.
Mutsvangwa was hoping that his big name and his big words will give him a ticket to the parliament.
ZANU PF must make it clear to Cde Mutsvangwa and the rank and file in the party that ZANU PF would not tolerate indiscipline. Mutsvangwa should change and that change should be recognised by the people. The party cadres and the frontal organisations must bring good name to the party and not bad reputation. In recent times, there have been reports of the Presidential advisor, Cde Mutsvangwa acting in an overbearing manner. Comrade Mutsvangwa must remember that he is not above the party, eloquence does not mean wisdom. Big English words do not mean owning the party.
The lower order for strengthening the party is for the party activists to work as publicists for the party programmes. There is a positive opinion among the people about the party and we should make good use of it. You all should strive to make every village a bastion of the party. The behaviour of comrade Mutsvangwa is that of a jilted spouse. Mutsvangwa took a personal matter and blew it out of proportion; this was a party matter which needed to be dealt with within the inner circles of the party. Mutsvangwa lacked the charisma to have a following apart from boasting about his accomplishments. In that scenario he should not be expecting to win. How can he be an advisor to the president when he is a prophet of doom? An advisor advising the nation to take up arms against the government.
Cde Mutsvangwa instead of consolidating his loss, decided to throw away the baby and the water. Him comrade Mutsvangwa of all the people must know the need of a better cohesion and coordination in the party at all levels.
His duty was to be listing out various development activities being taken up by the State government and the party in villages like basic infrastructure. It is time to introspect, analyse and draw up plans for what more needs to be done in the villages and constituencies.
He is empowered to make the party strong in the respective districts from the grassroots level and should ensure that there are no differences among the leaders and see that all the district party functionaries’ work as a single cohesive unit. Drawing up a proper action plan and executing the same is important and having an efficient leadership at all level is equally important. Casting a dark cloud on the party because you have lost your popularity does not make you a good leader. With the latest economic survey in Zimbabwe, the double-digit growth rate of the economy shows how the new dispensation has worked hard in putting the country back on track.
Instead of attacking his regular sparring partner, Mutsvangwa let the Opposition Leader walk away unscathed and he attached his own party and its leadership. This is an egregious(outstandingly bad) error which must be corrected.
Well, it was worse than that, really. In the eyes of his colleagues, Mutsvangwa actually provided the opposition with moral cover. That was despite the Opposition Leader misleading the public over the bullet trains Mutsvangwa lashed out at the National Political Commisair Cde Engelbert Rugeje whom he described as a Political Novice. He went further to give unsubstantiated comments which were meant to cause despondency within the party by saying ED may lose this year’s elections.
In his unguarded comments Mutsvangwa said many ZANU PF members have been disenfranchised in the party’s internal polls which have been described as chaotic. He further said war veterans were not happy with the outcome of the primary elections. In his own words Mutsvangwa said.
“IT IS INCONCEIVABLE THAT THE PRESIDENT WILL WIN GIVEN THAT THE PARTY’S MEMBERS HAVE BEEN LARGELY DISENFRANCHISED.”
Mutsvangwa accused the NPC for seeking advice from an Ex-Gamatox commissar in the form of Webster Shamu to turn police into returning officers. This verbal misfiring is not new to Mutsvangwa but this time he spoke with emotions of losing to a little known person in Norton.
Mutsvangwa suffers from a serious problem where he thinks that ZANU PF is about big names. The new dispensation has brought in a democratic way of primaries.
It should be understood that the way the primaries were held this year was the first of its kind. In that scenario some mistakes were expected. But to castigate the NPC and call him a Novice is over the fence.
Cde Mutsvangwa has forgotten that he did not help the party from losing election in 2008. It was the now NPC who steered the party from the jaws of defeat to a great win and on that work done by Rugeje ZANU PF had resoundingly won elections in 2013 and will win again in July.
The utterances of Mutsvangwa are meant to cause anarchy and despondency among the electorate. It arms the opposition into having a false hope of success. The effects of such utterances are that if ED wins the opposition will quote Mutsvangwa and claim massive rigging.
Zimbabwe is already a very fragile state which grapples with legitimacy, the new dispensation is all out to restore that legitimacy and Mutsvangwa pours water into those efforts.
Mutsvangwa attacked Rugeje and said that he lacks the party’s institutional memory. This is not a constructive criticism but a personal attack. The problems which lay on the feet of the NPC are logistical problems which did not make people vote against Mutsvangwa. Mutsvangwa was hoping that his big name and his big words will give him a ticket to the parliament. This was not to be. He then hoped that the NPC will rig the elections for him but the NPC showed true democratic astute and showed everybody that there are no sacred cows in ZANU PF. The issue Mutsvangwa should know is that ZANU PF is the people and the people of the party spoke in Norton.
Cde Mutsvangwa was not the only bigwig who bit the dust. The only difference was Mutsvangwa bit the dust with his big mouth wide open. In that process he got a lot of mud in and it explains his anger and his utterances.
Mutsvangwa raised the spectre of the war veterans turning against the ZANU PF’s new administration; this was meant to incite rebellion and must not be left like this. Comrade Mutsvangwa had the first opportunity anyone from the party had to straighten things up after the primaries. All over the country ZANU PF members tuned in, waiting for Mutsvangwa to carry the fight to his opponent but alas he chose to fight his own party.
They’re still waiting. When ED appointed Mutsvangwa as Information Minister, he famously described him as a “fierce speaker who will match Jonathan Moyo (his friend) it was time for comrade Chris to go grizzly. Unfortunately for the party and the Government generally, he went cuddly. Inside the Party, right across the country, phones have been running red hot ever since.
With the opposition on hot pursuit really Mutsvangwa’s utterances was a chance to put a much needed dent in Chamisa’s goody-two-shoes image. In the eyes of his own party, Mutsvangwa abjectly failed.
Mutsvangwa has become a commentator rather than a participant. “He is no longer doing a job for the government. He thinks he’s just doing enough to turn up and cast dark aspersions on the party to the media. To think that he almost became the minister of information makes one sick.
“He completely undermined the Party’s message. And it’s not the first time either. Now he’s done it again.
“It goes to the fact that when politicians become media commentators, they become completely ineffective.
Mutsvangwa is low on perfomance
Now come to a very important matter the man is low on performance and most people have complained about his capabilities. – The internal bitterness over Mutsvangwa’s performance emphasises other colleagues’ doubts about him: whether he has what it takes to convince the electorate the party is a new outfit which is dedicated to change and prosperity. The NPC is an independent department which is not moved by public insults.
The attacks on the NPC are only but a line in the sand, the fire powered by papers it will die out soon. The new dispensation will weed out those who think they are household names in the party. The party will have new blood and the big mouthed good for nothing insulting cadres will understand that it is the voice of the people which counts.
To those waiting with bated breath for that favourite media catchphrase, the U-turn, I have only one thing to say: You turn if you want to. The Party is not for turning. “It goes to our fundamental economic credentials. If we did that the electorate would flick us as quick as look at us. And right now the economy is the only thing we’ve got going for us. The economy is improving and ZANU PF has done it in a few months of the new dispensation. The party must hold up where it counts because we are doing it for the economy.
Mutsvangwa betrays the nation
Instead of casting aspersions on the party Mutsvangwa was supposed to call a press conference to make one specific point: Zimbabwe is open for business. “And while it would have been too early to make any definitive claims about the impact of the new dispensation, and most particularly the abolition of the unfair industrial laws, on unemployment and economy in this country, I do believe new jobs have been created – it is reasonable to assert that one of the contributions made to this spectacular growth in employment has been the removal of laws and policies which discouraged investments and foreign investors from coming into the country.
Having, on his own admission, now definitively married his bitterness to ignoring economic prosperity for the first time, Mutsvangwa is no longer in a position to walk away from the core components of his creation. It’s like the old adage about feeding the crocodile an arm in the hope of saving the rest of you.
There are a lot of issues Mutsvangwa touched in his utterances, he has portrayed the party as den of problems, and he described the work done by the NPC so far as dog’s breakfast. The party must not be held at ransom by Mutsvangwa in the name of the War Veterans. If there was any problem Mutsvangwa should have used his eloquence in the Politburo where he is a member and shout all he need.
He is on record castigating the former first lady for washing dirty linen in public but he does the same with impunity.
He puts doubt on the party’s democratic manoeuvres and portrays the party as undemocratic one.
The party leadership must embark on a prompt and thorough remedial action against comrade Mutsvangwa. The party must not allow such indiscipline to continue.
Cde Mutsvangwa made very irresponsible and false statements that Cde Rugeje had deployed the Police as polling officers, this is not true. The police had a duty to maintain law and order at any gathering even if it was for the MDC. ZANU PF being the largest party it was obvious that it will attract a large crowd at its polls and indeed emotions were bound to boil. But it was sad for Comrade Mutsvangwa to stoop so low in his career and vomit such lies to the amusement of the opposition and the opposition media.
Cde Mutsvangwa must learn to accept defeat, what is he teaching the youth if he cannot accept defeat with honour? He wants to go down with the whole party that if he cannot be no one must. This is immaturity and must never be accepted.
ZANU PF has shown its greatest democratic ways in these primary elections. Credit must be given to Rugeje. He made candidates to campaign together and avoid hate speech. That shows the electorate that we are one unit. All ZANU PF needs now is those who preach unity and peace. We must face the opposition as one not as a fragmented party. Comrade Mutsvangwa must take his complaints to the party not to the press. ZANU PF is people not an individual.