A coup that never was: New Dispensation conspiracy

Zimbabweans, a population generally regarded as being very ahead as far as literacy is concerned, has become the butt of common jokes on the world stage. They have been tricked, left, right and centre since time immemorial. They only see the iceberg below the tip after swallowing hook and line. The first recorded historical blunder was the Rudd Concession which many jokingly ascribe to the sweet taste of sugar which Lobengula was experiencing for the first time, prompting him to grant unlimited access to national resources to the BSAC.

Since independence, Mugabe and his team have pulled out of their magical hat one trick after another, much to the applaud of the population. It seems they have eyes but they cannot see, ears but they cannot hear, and with their hands they cannot feel, and worse still ,with their minds they defy logic.

For many Zimbabweans , November 2017 gave a new light of hope after the long misrule of Robert Mugabe. Millions of Zimbabweans took to the street to celebrate the demise of Robert Mugabe in the name of a military coup. The military was praised for liberating Zimbabweans from the authoritarian rule of one Robert Mugabe but little did the people know that their joy was to be short lived. The new dispensation was supposed to be a total paradigm shift from the systems and operations of Mugabe’s governance. People expected to see a transitional authority approach to the governance of Zimbabwe, but alas, it was just old wine in new bottles. This made me think deep on whether the coup was really a coup or we missed the bigger picture and focused on what was played on the stage, missed the bigger play in the dressing room.
It is not by coincidence that soon after the overthrow of Robert Mugabe, his health has taken a serious nose dive. It seems Mugabe and the people around him knew that his expiry date was due, hence power had to change hands quickly in order to avoid creating a power vacuum. So the bigger question was not whether he wanted to relinquish power but it was a question of who to give the power to.

From time in memorial, Mnangagwa was always Mugabe’s closest loyalist, to the extent that it was unthinkable that he would plot against Mugabe and, at the same time, Mugabe owed Mnangagwa for his loyal service such that it was only fair for him to return the favour. The challenge arose from the fact that Mnangagwa did not command a loyal following within the party because of his cunning behaviour, hence the rise of another contender for power, the G40 cabal. Many will not believe this, but very few people in Zanu Pf surrounding him today are not for him but they are flip floppers. Very few people stood by Mnangagwa when he took a swing from Grace Mugabe. They only showed up after the “Coup”, hence the votes for parliamentary seats were more than those for the president. This made Mugabe hesitant and slow in handing over power to Mnangagwa as he had predicted that he would have challenges in putting his house in order both in party and government.

Grace Mugabe did not make it any better as their cabal was powerful and resourceful. I remember some people that I will not mention by name, bussing students to her rallies and these same people were on the forefront celebrating the coup. It seems to me that many people in Zanu Pf are mere chancers and not loyalists. Now this situation gave the old man a very difficult time as he had to come up with a solid choice as quickly as possible.

It seems Mugabe chose Mnangagwa way back, but the scheme had to be played very well and tactfully in order to beat the odds against him, the odds being that, firstly, he did not have popular appeal amongst the voters. Generally people resented him as he was associated with the Gukurahundi blood bath, hence people thought he was a brutal ruler. Secondly there was resentment within the party structures as Grace Mugabe had restructured the party with Kasukuwere as the Commissar. Hence he had to do the unthinkable in order to draw this appeal and stand a chance of winning the next election as Morgan Tsvangirayi was still alive, therefore a coup had to be staged. No one thought anyone would dare stand up against Mugabe, which is just what he needed to do to become the people’s favourite.

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe (R) shares a joke with his vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa during Mugabe’s birthday celebrations at Great Zimbabwe in Masvingo, February 27, 2016

If you look very closely at the events of November 2017, you will find that everything was just too perfect and calculated to be true. The generals had a press conference before the coup and still this did not raise indicators to Mugabe. Mnangagwa, after being fired, circulated a letter that he would come back in fourteen days to lead the people of Zimbabwe and this did not raise eyebrows. This could have been done perfectly, with fewer resources, just a month after when Mugabe would go for his 3 months health vacation in Singapore but it just had to be at that moment. Mugabe was not an absolute idiot and if he really didn’t want to step-down, he could have taken the constitutional route any day any time, to defend himself. We don’t know if he was going to be successful though, but he gave in so easily. The manner in which everything was so exaggerated should also raise eyebrows- heavy military presence, tankers, helicopters, just to fight Mugabe, Grace, Chombo, Kasukuwere, Chihuri and Jonathan Moyo , who, by the way, are well and fine, and some are even in the country with medical bills being paid by the state.

For now, this may be just one conspiracy theory to someone, but I challenge you to think deep and you will find that Zimbabweans, as a people, have been subjects to too many sideshows where we don’t see the real show at play but just the highlights or rehearsals. If it was a mass protest that took out Mugabe, as they would want the world to believe, why don’t we have a transitional authority? If it was a military coup, as they want Zimbabweans to believe, why is everything still the same as it was under Mugabe’s rule? If my theory is right, it explains why we are where we are today.

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