Three years ago President Robert Mugabe peddled some fanciful witchcraft tales when he wanted to get rid of his then deputy, Joice Mujuru.
He claimed Mujuru was so desperate to take over from him she had taken to consulting Nigerian witchdoctors.
Mugabe claimed the then vice-president would visit the wizards in a state of semi-nudity where they slaughtered chickens in a bid to kill him.
He would also tell another bizarre story that Mujuru had allegedly captured black river beetles, which she gave names one after him and the other after her (the then VP).
The wizards allegedly set the creatures against each other. Mujuru, Mugabe alleged, had been assured by the witch doctors that the outcome of that fight would reflect the result of the leadership contest in Zanu PF that featured the two politicians.
He also claimed Mujuru had attended other ceremonies in Mashonaland East where sheep were slaughtered and rituals were performed in a bid to eliminate him.
At the time we believed he was counselling against the use of witchcraft to attain political power but we now know that it was just political banter.
The charges against Mujuru, including that she was corrupt, were concocted to push her out of government and the ruling Zanu PF because first lady Grace Mugabe had an axe to grind with her.
However, what is of interest is Mugabe’s whining last Friday that people were accusing him of witchcraft after Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa fell sick during his rally in Gwanda last month.
He even threatened those accusing him of witchcraft with arrest. Mugabe made similar complaints at the burial of Maud Muzenda and George Rutanhire a week ago.
The president is so aggrieved by the witchcraft allegations, he now makes it a point to complain each time he appears in public.
He is having a taste of his own medicine but this is not something that should pre-occupy a leader of a country that is facing so many challenges from a mounting HIV and Aids burden to a tanking economy.
Mugabe’s rallies that are broadcast live on national television are just a waste of time and scarce resources.
Some of the rallies, like the latest one that was held in Gweru, are organised during the week, which means work in government departments grinds to a halt.
Cabinet ministers and civil servants made a beeline to Gweru from all over the country, burning government fuel and blowing thousands of dollars in allowances to hear Mugabe complain about being called a wizard by his political opponents.
We do not want to be bothered about problems between Mugabe’s family and Mnangagwa.
Zimbabwe is crying out for inspirational leadership and this cannot be delivered by a team that is in perpetual election mode.
Mugabe clearly has no message to take to the people hence the whining about alleged witchcraft plots. He is only worried about losing power and has nothing new to offer.