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How Zanu PF stole Nehanda’s legacy

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AT the beginning, many thought it was about honouring the legacy and heroics of Mbuya Nehanda, who resisted colonialism leading to her execution, but sitting there and observing the proceedings during the ceremony for the unveiling of her statue, several things became clear.

First, it was telling from the crowd, the regalia and the songs by Zanu PF supporters, that the unveiling of Nehanda’s statue was a partisan party event.

The party’s youth were marching up and down Julius Nyerere Way denouncing the MDC Alliance and chanting Zanu PF and President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s slogans. The Mbare Chimurenga Choir was singing partisan songs, while vigorously shaking their bottoms as per custom.

The event turned out to be a manipulation of Nehanda’s name, heroics and legacy for partisan and political gains. It turned out to be more of an attempt at securing anointment and legitimacy of Mnangagwa’s presidency than honouring Nehanda.

Where he has been lacking in performance, Mnangagwa seeks to make amends via spiritual legitimacy.
The whole Zanu PF leadership, politburo members, and central committee officials, including Zanu PF vice-president and second secretary Kembo Mohadi who had fallen from grace after a sex scandal, were in attendance.

All this was done at the expense of the taxpayer as public resources were commandeered to fund the statue and the event.

Even the chiefs were commandeered to pronounce that ED was anointed by spirit mediums.

“Here is Mnangagwa, the one you said you had chosen to lead, the one you said we should respect because you chose him. We are grateful to you. May you give them wisdom and may they unite,” one of the chiefs said while evoking the spirit of Nehanda.

It continued with another chief saying:
“Your grandchild, Shumba (Mnangagwa’s totem) is the one leading the country, he is fighting for the restoration of traditionalism.  Give your child (Mnangagwa) and his officials wisdom and protect him.”
“We thank your grandchild, people are eating and getting satisfied. All the chiefs are happy, we thank you, also give us wisdom.”

Ironically, Nehanda did not know about Zanu PF or any political party but was fighting for her people. Tuesday’s event was however not an isolated case of Mnangagwa’s belief in spiritualism and politics as there is a history behind it.

In 2015, the Zanu PF factional fights spiralled to the late Johane Masowe Vadzidzi Vajesu Church founder Aaron Mhukuta Gomo (Madzibaba Wimbo), who was “kidnapped” and separated from his family.

In October of the same year, Mnangagwa visited Wimbo, who was said to have predicted the late President Robert Mugabe’s rulership in 1957, and the then frail church leader was forced to perform a ritual for Mnangagwa. Mnangagwa had to follow Wimbo, who was in a trance and wobbling around the shrine, asking for spiritual guidance.

A private media report in 2015 quoted Wimbo, speaking through an interpreter, as saying: “Anoda kubatsirwa, angazvigona seiko ari oga? Handizive kuti ndoita zvipiko. Vari kunditeera nditeverei nekuno (Mnangagwa needs help as he can’t do anything on his own. I don’t know what I should do to help him).”
Now, questions are being raised over his hand in the ordering of the exhumation and reburial of Mugabe at the National Heroes’ Acre.

Mugabe’s exiled nephew, Patrick Zhuwao, said Mnangagwa was behind the order to have Mugabe reburied as he wanted his predecessor’s mystic sceptre (tsvimbo yamambo).

He said Mnangagwa believes the sceptre was buried alongside Mugabe in Zvimba and had influenced Chief Zvimba’s order to have Mugabe exhumed.

Mnangagwa was also reported to have held a meeting with representatives of the Zvimba clan in the presence of Zanu PF and government officials on 11 September 2020 at State House to discuss how Mugabe had been buried.

According to the report, the meeting was attended by Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, Defence and War Veterans minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Information and Publicity minister Monica Mutsvangwa, Local Government and Public Works ministers July Moyo, Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu, Chief Zvimba, Chief Beperere, Chief Chidziva, Headman Chisora, Phillip Chiyangwa, Madzima Bhajabha, Nyikadzino Kamuruko, Edward Tome with a Nelson Mawomo taking the minutes.

Mnangagwa is however not the only one in Zanu PF who believes in spiritualism and politics as many leaders frequently visit traditional healers and prophets.

Party leaders once invited scorn and ridicule after falling for the trickery of a self-styled seer who convinced them that refined diesel could ooze from a rock.
— STAFF WRITER

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