MNANGAGWA JOINS GUSHUNGO BOOTLICKERS CLUB | The “Zanu PF Bootlickers Club”, signed up a new member on Monday — Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Perhaps, conscious of the ugly economic situation that awaited his boss upon his return from the United States, where he had gone to attend the 72nd United Nations General Assembly, Mnangagwa — who was the acting head of State in President Robert Mugabe’s absence — went overboard with flattery to cheer him up a little bit.
The vice president likened Mugabe to the biblical David, the youngest son of Jesse who felled Goliath — a Philistine giant who measured over nine feet tall — using a sling and without even putting on his armour.
This was in reference to the Zanu PF leader’s sharp rebuke of United States President Donald Trump who is engaged in a war of words with trigger-happy North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.
Trump has threatened to wipe out North Korea from the face of earth.
Last week, Mugabe who is presiding over a failing economy had strong words for Trump who leads an economy with a gross domestic product of $18,5 trillion as of 2016.
Upon his arrival on Monday, Mnangagwa ensured he rubbed salt into the fresh wound.
He said: “We are here to show our gratitude and happiness to our father (Mugabe) and mother (Grace Mugabe) who had gone to New York.
“The United Nations has so many men: In Shona tinoti pane varume kwoita murume (in Shona we say they are men among men). Kumadzimai, handingazive, asi kuvarume kune vanhurume kozoita murume, (I do not know about how this would apply to women but among males there are some real men) and in New York only one man emerged and that is baba vedu vaMugabe,” gushed the vice president.
Mnangagwa went on to draw parallels between Mugabe and David who, in the year that followed, became the second king of the united kingdom of Israel and Judah.
“When you saw Goliath (Trump) speaking, people were left confused. And when our father spoke questioning whether the biblical Goliath was among us now, we saw the light,” he enthused.
“The next day, there was lunch, but Goliath did not invite David because he was afraid. While he (Mugabe) was there, we wrote a letter to him thanking him for his speech. He was not speaking only for Zimbabwe, but for Sadc and Africa at large: He was representing all progressive forces. We want you to know that when you spoke you were possessed by the spirit of Mbuya Nehanda herself and even God himself, there was none among the world leaders who could speak against what Goliath had said. Some leaders were attacked, but said nothing, but our David stood up against David,” he waxed lyrical.
While Mnangagwa might have forgotten to remind Mugabe of another Goliath that awaited him — the tottering economy — he was quick to remember the first lady’s contribution to the Zanu PF leader’s giant killing act in New York.
“We would also like to thank Amai because dai vakaenda papodium vasina kudya, zvanga zvisingabudi. Vanga vakaguta, vabikigwa, zvinonaka naamai (we would also like to thank the first lady because if he (Mugabe) had not had food that had been cooked by her, he could not have the energy to say what he said; he ate delicious food that had been prepared by mother),” reasoned the vice president.
This is not the first time that parallels have been drawn between Mugabe and iconic biblical characters as the bootlicking frenzy in Zanu PF reaches its zenith.
In fact, it is now the norm in Zanu PF to pick all the prominent, God-fearing characters from the Holy Book and liken them to the incumbent.
Recently, Zanu PF youth leader Kudzanai Chipanga said Mugabe would be at heaven’s gates deciding who enters and who does not.
Some have even likened him to Jesus who was crucified by the very same people he had been sent to deliver from evil. Others have referred to him as Angel Gabriel (Mugabe’s middle name), sent by God to deliver Zimbabwe and Africa.
Mnangagwa’s grovelling might also have been meant to save his skin.
Once touted as a shoo-in to succeed Mugabe, Mnangagwa has been under a barrage of criticism for plotting against his boss.
Lately, Mugabe and his wife had appeared to distance themselves from the vice president and on Monday he could not miss the opportunity to curry favour with the first family.
Before Mnangagwa took to the podium to welcome Mugabe, Zanu PF supporters had endured the sweltering heat for more than five hours as they patiently waited for Mugabe and his entourage to touch down at the Harare International Airport.
According to the Zanu PF leadership, Mugabe was supposed to arrive at 11am but only arrived at 1400 hours, which means many of his supporters had to wait on empty stomachs.
When he emerged from an Air Zimbabwe plane, the crowd went into a frenzy chanting his name.
The ageing Zanu PF leader wobbled down to the red carpet where his ministers and other top government official stood waiting for a handshake.
The country’s service chiefs were also there.
While the crowds chanted his name, pleading for his intervention to arrest the wave of price hikes that erupted during his absence, it was Mnangagwa who came out tops ahead of other ministers who also went to town about how Mugabe overshadowed everyone else at the UN General Assembly.