Zimbabwe’s fluid political drama has of late been spiced by the entry of Baba Jukwa into this turbulent mine field, who, within months, has attracted more than 130 000 followers on Facebook. He, like the fictitious Matigari in Ngugi Wa Thiongo’s Matigari, claims to have a compelling mission in Zimbabwe’s political landscape of fighting evil, corruption and nepotism. In his own words, he is a ‘concerned father, fighting nepotism and directly linking community with their leaders, government and ministers.”
Report by William Muchayi
However, unlike Matigari, Baba Jukwa is real and not fictitious although he prefers anonymity, promising to disclose his identity at the appropriate time. Baba Jukwa’s nasty public spat with Amai Jukwa, reflects the succession dynamics in Zanu PF where the Mnangagwa and Mujuru factions are pitted in a ferocious tug of war to succeed Mugabe.
Unlike Amai Jukwa who is an advocate of the status quo, Baba Jukwa is a reformist whose grand plan is to reform Zanu PF in order to ensure the party’s survival and continued relevance. In Baba Jukwa’s view, Zanu PF desperately needs renewal and a change of direction, if ever the former liberation movement is to survive and weather the challenges of post-independence Zimbabwe. The party fights for relevance and its liberation credentials alone cannot save it from extinction if it fails to reform and adapt to the challenges of the day. As Baba Jukwa views it, the current leadership in Zanu PF — the government, the military and police force have diverted from the core principles that guided the struggle, hence the urgent need for reform and a change of course by the party if ever it is to survive.
Attempts to rebrand the Mugabe image, which is already soiled, are futile as that would not resuscitate the fortunes of the party. Leadership renewal in Zanu PF, according to Baba Jukwa, must go parallel with a change in direction of the party, as the two are paramount to its survival. The old guard who are the torch bearers of the party are both physically and mentally incapacitated to effect the much-needed reforms. Their ideas, besides being archaic, no longer resonate with the electorate 33 years after independence. The Young Turks, who are expected to be better positioned to take over from the old guard, are in no better position as they lack credibility. This group, like the old guard, does not have the party at heart but just masquerade as reformers in an attempt to disguise their hidden agenda which deviates from the aims and aspirations of the struggle.
Nobody within Zanu PF has dared to challenge Mugabe and his leadership publicly before, besides feable attempts by Dzikamai Mavhaire, Margret Dongo and Michael Mataure. The above three have called for leadership renewal in Zanu PF before and as usual, Mugabe descended upon them with the force of a sledge hammer, with devastating political consequences.
Unlike Dongo, Mataure and Mavhaire, Baba Jukwa calls for not only leadership renewal, but a change of culture in Zanu PF which glorifies incompetence, corruption, nepotism , lack of accountability and violence. Mugabe, according to Baba Jukwa, is surrounded by a bunch of sycophants who compete to outmanoeuvre one another in praising the president, not because they love him so much, but for favours.
Surprisingly, the president seems to enjoy all this drama, as he has become the biblical Nebuchadnezzar listening only to praise songs and not to criticism. This culture, according to Baba Jukwa, has created a semi-god in Mugabe, thereby ruining the party as very few advisors surrounding the president are genuine and bold enough to correct him when he goes wrong. The rest just sing along, not because they enjoy the music, but because by singing as loud as they can, that guarantees them positions in government and protection of the wealth they have amassed.
Instead of addressing the genuine issues that are vital for the party’s survival, many in Zanu PF are up in arms against Baba Jukwa. Thousands of taxpayers money has been put on this mysterious figure’s head. Does anyone in Zanu PF bother to scrutinise the truths raised by Baba Jukwa?
Who really is this Bradley Manning of Zimbabwe who has dared to swim in crocodile-infested river against the tide? Is this character a real Zanu PF cadre or is a mole from the opposition? How does he/she get access to all the classified information? Zanu PF risks making the same mistake made by Jews in crucifying Jesus assuming that their redeemer was yet to come , unknowing that by so doing, they had murdered their own son who holds the keys to heaven.