This was the moment power was swiped from Morgan Tsvangirai's hands: the Mugabe inauguration on June 29 2008. Looking on as General Chiwenga congratulates the dictator are Air Marshal Perance Shiri and General Sibanda of the Army. Now they have come out in vocal support of Gideon Gono
What did I tell you?
I told you at the weekend that Gideon Gono, in putting his resignation to the president at his home in Helensvale, had said no ZANU PF leader was standing up for him even as he was vilified in public by the MDC-T.
He is said to have told the dictator. that he felt he was not wanted anymore.
On Monday, Mugabe duly oblidged and made a public statement (below) at the funeral of the Governor's brother. By now, if you have not been on Mars, you know what the old dictator said.
But, just as I said, now others are coming out of the woodwork. Service Chiefs, no less, Prime Minister Tsvangirai's nemesis, have come out in support of the man at the burial of the same brother.
Air Vice Marshal Henry Muchena, who represented the Defence Force Chiefs at the burial, told the gathering that the Defence Forces were fully behind him.
Patrick Chinamasa said anyone who wanted Gono to go was essentially calling for ZANU PF to go (gee, you think?). And of course, that will not do, he said.
Another ZANU PF attendee, Advocate Dinha, also spoke up in support. (Somehow I doubt Herbet Murerwa will be making the same comforting sounds to Gono. The two do not see eye to eye and Gono essentially got Murerwa fired as Minister of Finance).
Chinamasa, betraying the fact that Mugabe has now briefed the so-called heavyweights in ZANU PF on the "resignation" of Saturday, addressed Gono saying, "You may have been wondering where all the people who wrote those letters to you are now." (Meaning the written authorisations that Gono says he has for ALL his actions from several Finance Ministers that he served under.)
Chinamasa said he was one such Finance Minister who gave Gono orders and anyone who keeps saying Gono must Go is also saying ZANU PF must go.
Of course, this is not directed at the general population, who see nothing wrong in anyone calling for ZANU PF and Mugabe to go. Rather it is aimed at the Prime Minister (whom Mugabe pointedly accused on Monday of still pursuing the regime change agenda from within government).
Being seen in this light by Mugabe is not part of the Prime Minister's strategy. Therefore, I can assure you that as surely as the sun will rise tomorrow, the PM is going to decide that it is simply too costly to his continued stay in government to push Mugabe too far on the issue of Gono and Tomana.
Not that he was ever likely to achieve anything anyway. If anybody thought SADC was going to tell Mugabe to fire Gono or they will impose sanctions or expel Mugabe from SADC, then they probably have been drinking weird stuff.
As a commenter on the Mail and Guardian blog said last November in relation to Home Affairs:
"So now poor Motlanthe must force Mugabe to give MDC Home Affairs? What if he says no? He just pissed on Anan and Carter and he will do it again."
Still, it is strange that there is this much focus on a single man while the nation continues to burn (see three articles below). We have more substantive issues to deal with: the constitution, the repeal of AIPPA (which is still operational despite what the Prime Minister says) and POSA, a new Electoral Commission and many other things that would level the playing field in Zimbabwe.
As it is, it appears as though the Prime Minister is afraid to start any of these things in earnest. It is as if he fears that he will again be defeated on these litmus-test issues by the dictator, which would make the Coalition Government completely, utterly and monumentally useless. Pointless.
If we are facing such spirited fights now over people, what more when it comes to a new Electoral Commission? Will Mugabe agree to disband his "retired military chakuti"-filled Electoral Commission and leave the appointments to a neutral recommending body?
Will he or won't he?
I rather doubt he will and I think the Prime Minister is fearing to "go there" because he knows just how bruising that battle is going to be. If he insists on staying in government after that (when it does happen), then he will be finished as a political force in Zimbabwe.
We watch and wait.
PS What is it with ZANU PF and comparing Morgan Tsvangirai to Jonas Savimbi. Today's state newspaper, the Herald, carries yet another page-long piece in which Savimbi is brought up again. The article is an anti-Tsvangirai article.
Are they trying to prepare us for the day when they assasinate the Prime Minister and tell us that he had, like Savimbi, left a coalition government to go and fight a war in the bush?