Zhuwao WARNS against abuse of Mugabe’s image for political agenda
Former president Robert Mugabe’s family has warned against abuse of the fallen Zimbabwean leader for “political purposes” without his “express approval”.
This comes as loyalists have launched a so-called #2018Resistance campaign against the new authorities in Harare. The movement is already active targeting this year’s general elections with social media campaigns featuring Mugabe and his wife Grace and, curiously, linked to the official Zanu PF website.
However, Mugabe nephew and former cabinet minister Patrick Zhuwao distanced the veteran leader from the emergent campaign against his successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Zhuwao told NewZimbabwe.com this week, “I have noticed that there are a few people that want to use the names and images of Excellences Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe and Dr Grace Mugabe for various political objectives without their express approval.
“Whilst it is commendable that there are multitudes of Zimbabweans who wish to support and strengthen the Robert Gabriel Mugabe legacy, such support should be properly coordinated and prosecuted by people on whom proper and appropriate due diligence should have be done prior to them getting support to any venture.
“Any use of the names, images and brands of the Mugabe family without their express approval can be viewed with suspicion as being attempts to abuse them.”
Mugabe, in charge of the country for 37 years, resigned last November after a revolt by the military. His own Zanu PF party, also turned against him, launching impeachment proceedings with the backing of the opposition.
Silence since ouster
The veteran leader, now nearly 94-years-old, has not commented on the successor Mnangagwa government or his inglorious exit from power, quietly suffering his fate – apparently.
But his most ardent loyalists, chief among them former higher education minister professor Jonathan Moyo and nephew Zhuwao, have refused to go quietly.
Both were key players in the Zanu PF G40 faction which sought to block a Mnangagwa succession, but lost the fight last November after the military intervened.
Now exiled but their exact whereabouts undisclosed, Zhuwao and Moyo have condemned Mugabe’s ouster as criminal and repeatedly lambast Mnangagwa’s government as illegitimate.
This week Zhuwao also announced to launch of #2018Resistance against what he called “coup conspirators and terrorist junta”, in reference to the Mnangagwa government.
Zanu PF officials previously fired from the ruling party and government have ordinarily have on to form political parties and challenge the former strongman in elections, the latest being Joice Mujuru who formed her own opposition party after being sacked in 2014.
Destroy from within
However, G40 are being cagey about the form their resistance to Mnangagwa will take, refusing to indicate whether or not they will establish a separate political party or seek to destroy Zanu PF from within; the latter option a charge levelled against Moyo over the time he was in the ruling party.
Although the Mnangagwa regime has expelled several G40 loyalists, with a number of them including former cabinet ministers arrested for alleged corruption, Zhuwao claimed that the faction was still strong in the ruling party with disgruntlement running deep.
“The largest component of the #2018Resisitance is from within ZANU PF,” Zhuwao wrote in a recent opinion article. He added;
“They (Mugabe loyalists) are upset that the coup conspirators and terrorising junta stole the mandate that they gave to Robert Gabriel Mugabe.
“They will express their displeasure in the ballot box in 2018. I am one of them. We are the silent majority.”
South Africa-based political analyst Dinizulu Mbiko Macaphulana said although fragmented by exile, G40 was now the natural opposition to Mnangagwa and his Lacoste faction.
“G40 kingpins are in exile, exile can be good for political international mobilisation,” Macaphulana told NewZimbabwe.com recently.
“Lacoste went for coup route after defeat in ideas; that hasn’t changed (and) in terms of schemes G40 is still ahead. Their loss was because Mugabe, like Julius Caesar, was too proud and too confident to believe his own assasins would strike at him.
“Time and process is to name the victor. Elections need charisma and popularity which Lacoste can get but are already squandering chances, no unity, no reconciliation but vengeance.”