“I am Grace Mugabe jr”, says VP Mphoko screamed the headlines. When Phelekezela Mphoko has plucked out of political obscurity and appointed second Vice President he was not so naïve as not know he would be called upon to sing for his supper. Still even in his worst nightmares he never found himself doing so much grovelling as he is doing right now.
“I want to correct a misconception once and for all. Myself and Vice President Mnangagwa are just Vice Presidents and must only be addressed as Honourable but the first lady is as good as the President and must be addressed as her excellency,” he found himself explaining.
“We must correct these naughty newspaper writers who claim that I am being belittled when I am being asked to introduce the First Lady. When I took oath as Vice President I swore to be loyal to President Mugabe and that does not end with him only but his wife and family. I am serving at the mercy of the President and his wife and so am bound to respect her in that order,” said VP Mphoko.
Yes, and when you are “serving at the mercy” of a merciless tyrant and ever demanding wife you are in double trouble!
VP Mphoko has been co-opted into Grace Mugabe’s faction and so has had to drop everything and attend her factional rallies and not just introduce her but grovel and belittle himself before her and, worst of all, pretend he is duty bound to do so. Of course that is nonsense.
We have the State President who is also Commander-In-Chief of all the armed services; he holds the highest office in the land. He is assisted by first Vice President, who holds the second highest position in the land and when the State President is out of the country he assumes all the powers of State President. The second Vice President is the third most senior member of government and so on. This is all enshrined in our constitution.
The First Lady and the President’s family are not even mention in the constitution.
Grace is not a cabinet member, an MP or a civil servant; so why state resources such as two helicopters should be put at her disposal with a VP, 12 cabinet members, 50 MPs and God knows how many thousands of civil servants abandoning their tasks to attend her Zanu PF party rallies beggars belief! To understand what is going on here one has to understand that Zimbabwe is a lawless nation ruled by the whim of a tyrant.
When you live in a lawless society at the mercy of a tyrant we have to learn to predict his whim because there are dire consequences for getting it wrong as former VP Joice Mujuru would readily testify.
In 2004 Joice Mujuru was the beneficiary of Mugabe’s dictatorial whim in the he unilaterally and constitutional change the Zanu PF constitution to demand that one of the top four posts in the party must be occupied by a woman. Emmerson Mnangagwa who was poised to win the vacant position of VP then lost out.
Ten years later it was Joice Mujuru who was poised to win the VP position in the 2014 elective congress. She was accused of being “divisive and leading a faction”, all nonsense because all she had done is solicit support from party member same as everyone else would have done in the circumstance. In a lawless party like Zanu PF where Mugabe’s whim constitute the law and he and he alone constitute the judge, jury and executioner; Mujuru was accused, summarily tried and punished.
A tyrant’s whim is like the wind one cannot always be sure which direction it is blowing. Mai Mujuru benefited from the lawlessness in 2004 but come 2014 the wind suddenly changed direction and she was caught and blown off her perch.
No one in the party elected Emmerson Mnangagwa or Phelekezela Mphoko into their respective positions as first and second VP; Mugabe used his dictatorial power to assume the power to appoint whoever he pleased into those positions. This exactly what VP Mphoko meant when he said he is “serving at the mercy of the President and his wife”. And the two are merciless task masters.
Having accepted Mugabe’s lawlessness in 2004 because it helped her secure the VP position Joice Mujuru was powerless to complain when the same lawlessness was being used against her in 2014. Mnangagwa and Mphoko did not see anything wrong with taking away the voting rights of party members in the selection of the first and second VP; they got the posts and that is all that mattered, so they thought.
Grace Mugabe is going after VP Mnangagwa’s supporters harassing them and accusing them of factionalism and he is helpless to defend them; he cannot call for an end to this lawlessness now since he is the beneficiary of the same lawlessness. Mnangagwa is just a seating duck at the mercy of whatever Grace chooses to throw at him, at least whilst Mugabe is alive.
As for VP Mphoko he has to sit next to Grace cheering, applauding and grovelling knowing fully well that he is being used and when the time comes he too will be abused and discarded in like fashion.
In a lawless society like Zimbabwe one has to lick one’s finger every day and read the direction the political wind blows. It is very dangerous to have the wind blowing in your face and be the one accused of division and factionalism. But with the succession race hotting up the ruthless tyrant and his ambitious wife’s whims are like a whirlwind, it is near impossible to keep one’s back to buffeting the wind.
No one in Zanu PF is safe from becoming the next victim of its lawlessness!