Mugabe's Impending Exit Sparks Looting Frenzy

By Sij Ncube

Harare, April 25, 2016 – A video in which a Zanu PF black empowerment activist, Acie Lumumba (pictured), accusing Indigenisation minister Patrick Zhuwao of corruption and an “extortionist public officer” bent on enriching himself through illegal deals has gone viral on social media.

Zhuwao fired his former side-kick Lumumba as chairman of one of the committees of the Zimbabwe Youth Empowerment Council, resulting in the disgruntled Zanu PF activist releasing a no-holds-barred video in which he blatantly says President Robert Mugabe’s nephew is rotten and unfit for public office.

But analysts say it exposes the extent of graft in the country under Mugabe’s leadership, pointing out that the revelations emerging from the fall-out confirms what most Zimbabweans have been saying all along; that indigenisation is a cloak used to enrich Zanu PF’s political elite.

Lumumba is said to be bitter that he has been removed from near the gravy train.

Speculation is rife in Harare the fight is evidently territorial with Lumumba seen trying to upstage a discredited Zhuwao who has been hogging political space using the indigenization mantra as a rallying cry for the marginalised youth.

Lumumba is seen positioning himself as an alternative youth leader to Zhuwao.

But with Zhuwao said to be close to Mugabe’s wife Grace, Lumumba is said to be shedding crocodile tears for being kicked out of the gravy train.

Critics equate the fight between Lumumba and Zhuwao to that of former RBZ governor Gideon Gono and his former advisor Munyaradzi Kereke who allegedly washed their clothes in public after the two dramatically fell-out.

The critics also point out at the fall out between former Zanu PF Mashonaland West chairman Temba Mliswa and other Zanu PF big-wigs such as Keith Guzha.

Skeletons fell out of the closets as accusations and counter accusations were exchanged as they sought to remain on the gravy train.   

On his part, Zhuwao has not directly responded to Lumumba’s claims, only confirming he fired him for being conflicted due to the involvement of one of his consulting firms in the lucrative Old Mutual deal.

Reward Mushayabasa, a political analyst based in the United Kingdom, says it is an open secret that Mugabe’s relatives and hangers-on were part of the termites that have been eating into the national economy.

“It is common knowledge that some of these people have used every slightest opportunity to enrich themselves by hook or crook.

“We all know most of them are a corrupt lot. They have been pilfering the country’s resources with all impunity. But it would be foolhardy of anyone to expect any action from these recent revelations, these people are not morons; they know they enjoy protection at the highest level,” said Mushayabasa.

Ricky Mukonza, a holder of a doctorate in Public Administration and teaches at South Africa’s Tshwane University of Technology, added his voice on the revealing fight between Zhuwao and Lumumba, saying it seems to be motivated by the desire by both to control and loot resources.

“That tells us of the deterioration of moral values of the young Zanu PF cadres, they are motivated by their selfish desires to milk resources for personal gain,” said Mukonza.

“There could also be a realisation that Zanu PF is a sinking ship and what Lumumba and Zhuwao are doing is to grab what they can whilst it’s still available. All this is a reflection of absence of leadership in both Zanu PF and government.

“President Mugabe is now a place holder and those around him seem to know this too well and are taking advantage.”

Maxwell Saungweme, a development analyst based in Afghanistan closely following Zimbabwe politics, says the Zhuwao-Lumumba fall-out was that of two monkey fighting over a banana.

“Their friction is a typical fight of two monkeys fighting for banana. It’s true tomfoolery but so revealing of the level of rot in Zanu PF and government,” he says.

Jacob Mafume, the spokesperson for the Tendai Biti led PDP, has no kind words either for Zhuwao whose only reason he was in cabinet is that he is the first family’s favourite nephew.

“They are now fighting over the spoils as they realise the end is near.

“He and his uncle are now even unpopular in Zanu PF as they have shown as family that they are only loyal to themselves going after people who have protected them for years.”

Reward Wafawanaka, a pro-Mugabe political analyst based in Australia, believes Zhuwao has been off-side on indigenisation from the on-set, citing his fights with a number of ministers over the black economic empowerment law, particularly Patrick Chinamasa.