Readers had a lot to chew last week. So much to chew that if one was not perceptive, could have ended up in a maze.
Let’s dissect events of last week one by one and assess their impact on the domestic and international scene. We are a small, but very unique country.
First, there was a visit by South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) delegation led by the party’s secretary-general Ace Magashule.
The delegation held discussions with a fellow revolutionary party — Zanu PF, on the situation obtaining in the region and their respective countries.
The ANC visit followed another sojourn by South African government envoys dispatched by President Cyril Ramaphosa to President Mnangagwa.
This was after a flurry of reports broadcast on South Africa’s mainstream media and social media alleging all manner of things happening in the country.
While it was clear to a discerning eye that the flurry of negative and blatantly false reportage on Zimbabwe was systematically coordinated to internationally spotlight “a country in turmoil”, the South African government felt it critical that they dispatch envoys.
As a good neighbour with utmost respect for shared history and culture including being biggest trading partners, Zimbabwe welcomed the envoys and officially briefed them of the situation in the country.
The envoys went back to South Africa and debriefed their leader about their interaction with President Mnangagwa.
It appeared some within the ANC were not convinced by the debriefing that a resolution was passed by the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) to send a delegation to Zimbabwe to get first-hand information from Zanu PF colleagues.
With full awareness of where the pressure on ANC was coming from and the apparent recalcitrant attitude of some members of the delegation who are known to be cosy with G40 elements domiciled in South Africa, Zanu PF gladly accepted and welcomed the delegation.
It became clear as soon as the ANC landed, that some members within the delegation thought they were a “mediation” team sent to “pacify” contending parties in Zimbabwe.
The cat was already out of the bag when the leader of the ANC delegation told the media that they had received requests to meet them from among others — the MDC Alliance, some church organisations and from the United States Ambassador Brian Nichols.
If the ANC delegation had doubted America’s obtrusive interference in the domestic affairs of Zimbabwe, that request from Ambassador Nichols completely liquidated any illusions.
The two parties had candid discussions on a number of issues and it was clear from the resolutions that came out that illusions of an Armageddon painted on social media were non-existent.
However, Cdes Tony Yengeni and Lindiwe Zulu, who were part of the ANC delegation were particularly disappointed that their attempts to smuggle the issue of interacting with other “stakeholders” was quashed by Zanu PF.
Zanu PF submitted that interactions with other political players were not part of the resolutions as no agreement over the matter had been reached.
In fact, Zanu PF External Affairs secretary, Cde Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, emphatically stated that such kind of move was without precedence and out of step with expected norms of conduct between governing revolutionary parties.
So a lot of people who had built a storm about the ANC’s visit were left disappointed. In simple terms, while Zanu PF is respectful of a fellow former liberation movement, the party doesn’t brook any bullying or talk-down approach from a fellow like-minded revolutionary party.
We will not waste time on Cde Magashule’s “slip of the tongue” reference of Zimbabwe as “that province” save to say that Zanu PF surely feels vindicated in telling the ANC delegation to prioritise tackling its own domestic challenges.
The second issue that needs a bit of an explainer is the issue of the MDC Alliance trio of Joana Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova who were spotted at an apostolic shrine seeking help for their myriad problems-ranging from their pending court case and the general sterile efforts in having fruitful relationships.
Had it not been the fact that the trio is facing a serious case, we would have dismissed the trio’s visit to Madzimai Memory’s shrine in Hatfield as nothing, but amusing.
However, the real import of that visit clearly exposed the jittery of the trio who see the possibility of being exposed as charlatans faking their won abductions.
This is the real fear that the trio has and any MDC Alliance member who fails to see this, is in denial. And there has not been any word from the trio whose “muteuro” must have lost potency because of the exposé.
We keenly wait to see how the trial will progress.
Notice the desperation of some MDC Alliance officials wanting to pour cold water on the trio’s visit to Mapostori. I, however, have no doubts that in the cauldron private lives, they feel extremely embarrassed by the antics of the trio.
Let’s move on to another pertinent event that took place in Zimbabwe. Just like the Land Reform Programme, Zimbabwe always leads in asserting African freedom and independence.
Let’s talk about the African Factbook, a timely project that surely places Zimbabwe at crosshairs with those that have sustained a stereotypical image of Africans as perpetually sub-humans.
As said by President Mnangagwa, the launch of Africa Factbook is meant to deepen pride and appreciation of the continent’s history and heritage.
In his own words, President Mnangagwa said: “Through this ground-breaking inaugural work, we look forward to re-igniting the African spirit of Ubuntu, which says ‘I am because we are.”’
As proponents of Writing Back, we are pleased to associate ourselves with this ground-breaking research. This is the whole essence of Writing Back to empire because for long our own history was being interpreted, written and disseminated by foreigners who cannot escape from their own prejudices.
African Union chair President Ramaphosa was represented by the South Africa’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Mphakama Mbete.
Zimbabwe coordinated and supported the production of the first edition, which President Mnangagwa said is the country’s gift to Africa and the world. This is precisely the reason why Western nations use a different set of standards on Zimbabwe as compared to other nations. It dares to tread in territories where other nations fear to tread.
It is without doubt that the compilation by the Institute of African Knowledge (IAK) was mooted in 2016 when the African Union Commission then chaired by Dr Nkosazana Zuma, recommended that Zimbabwe leads the way in coming with such a project.
As proponents of Writing Back, we are humbled by the initiate taken by President Mnangagwa to lead and support the initiative. His words are profound and clearly illustrate that Africa’s future is far from dying in the present.
We have no doubt as enunciated by President Mnangagwa that the Africa Factbook project “will contribute towards the cultural, educational, mental and economic emancipation of the African people” and dispel the notion that Africa has no history and that its colossal monuments were built by foreigners.
We need to continue dismantling and deconstructing debilitating narratives about us largely informed by travelogues like the Heart of Darkness authored by Joseph Conrad.