By Mbinji Mufalo
“They are behaving exactly like Hyenas, these are animals that go about looking for faeces. The MP’s ditching their parties are like Hyenas looking for fecal excreta.”
– Dr. Francis Manda (Lusaka Times. January 6, 2013)
Lately news, and indeed social media postings from the ifintu ni Lungu side of the political pendulum, has become mentally eliciting. Just the other day, I was treated to a picture of H.E. President Edgar Lungu in a boogie mood on arrival at Harare International Airport, again. I grant him that. He can boogie. Reminded me of my younger days, when we would walk singing, “I got the power” after Shupi had allowed us to simply touch her hand.
I wondered why H.E. was so boogie. Could be, he was also remembering his younger days. But, I read he had again gone to consult Robert.
There surely must be a new Robert around. The Robert I know is no different from my grandmother. You see my grandmother always has an upside down view of democratic political choices and governance. In the January 20, 2015 presidential elections, when she heard that the incumbent won, she rounded us up to find out who the culprit among us was.
“How could he win, when I had crossed him out? He personally told me he had no vision, so I put a cross against his name to show my displeasure”. What could we say? She is grandma, a very wise elderly. Sometimes, not very different from Robert.
In case there are those who do not know who Robert is. Robert Mugabe is that firebrand African president we so admired this side of the world. He became president of Zimbabwe in 1987. This is one of the very few African presidents who could tell Western world leaders to disappear if they did not like him or how he was governing his country. The one that talked more Karl Marx speak than Karl Marx himself. The one that claimed he fought and suffered for the independence of Zimbabwe more than any other Zimbabwean so he has to be president for life. Remember Ian Smith claimed he fought for the independence of Rhodesia, too. But I guess he was delusional.
We admired this fellow Robert then, but not now. Not because he has over stayed as president, but because his relevance was then, not now. Some may disagree with me, but this is one fellow that nearly brought Zimbabwe down to be a basket case. But thanks to the vibrancy and functional literacy of Zimbabweans, they persevered and still do.
We seriously need to ask our president what exactly he hopes to learn from this fellow that upholds visages of dictatorship. Perhaps, it is to do with his admission that he does not have enough wisdom, so he has to consult elders. But, surely Desmond Tutu or Uhuru Kenyatta would be more appropriate.
Or is the insatiable hunger for political hegemony the lessons he is getting from Mugabe? The pursuit of political hegemony necessitates that one attracts every sundry of political opportunists even if they disgusted one a minute ago, as long as they can help sustain one’s dominance.
It surely does not make sense that a political party in government that petitioned some parliamentary seats on the grounds of electoral corruption, can today embrace the same persons it alleged are corrupt. This is a party in government that even re-opened some closed corruption cases against the very persons that are now being accepted into the party.
Is the, “Only God who appointed me will remove me” mantra from Robert a lesson we are witnessing as learnt? If not, how else can we understand the fact that the return of hyenas does not seem to worry our ‘corruption averse’ president?
Sorry! According to Dr Francis Manda, though offensive, MP’s ditching their parties are like hyenas looking for fecal excreta. And who am I not to quote a very eminent person on our political landscape. After all, Dr Manda is a master in symbolic expression.
So for now, let us watch the hyena show. But be heedful that, like I observed in “Of hyenas and fecal matter”, the best I know about hyenas, is to run when one is in sight. We, the voters, should always take to our heels when a hyena is in sight! Let us not be prey to political hegemony.
Verbum satis sapienti – a word to the wise suffices.