Ata Ikiddeh writes: My family was part of the liberation struggle in Southern Africa in the 70’s. I was a child then, but I remember my father and mother sheltering Rodesians and South Africans atvour home. The late Prof Uya and my dad ran a fundraising programme to highlight the plight of fleeing South Africans. It’s why I find the script playing out in Zimbabwe intriguing , it’s a part of my childhood and a struggle I share”
While it’s difficult to piece together what exactly is going to become of Zimbabwe after the events of recent days, however history gives us a peek into the key actors in the drama currently playing out.
Now, this is the story tat many dont’t know.
Robert Mugabe the deposed President of Zimbabwe, Constantine Chiwenga the Head of the Zimbabwean Military and Mnangagwa the sacked Vice President of Zimbabwe were all very good friends and they were comrades when as young men in their 20’s they entered the jungle and took part in the liberation struggle to free Zimbabwe from white rule.
When Mugabe became the Secretary General of ZANU PF, and later the head of state, the other two men were equally given plum positions of power and have continued as the 3 musketeers presiding over the destiny of Zimbabwe for 37 years.
Sometime in the 90’s – Mugabe, the first musketeer had an affair with his personal secretary who happened to be married to another man. The lady was Grace. While Mugabe was still married to his former wife, Sally, he and Grace had children together.
In 1996 they became man and wife after the death of Mugabe’s first wife.
But Grace was no ordinary mistress turned wife. She was not ready to take a backseat and, she turned herself into Mugabe’s political confidant. Very soon, she made her way into the very centre and top of Zimbabwean politics straining the relationship between Mugabe and his two comrades.
Mnangagwa the 2nd musketeer after many years of loyalty became Mugabe’s Vice President in 2014, paving the way for his eventual hold on power following Mugabe’s retirement or demise.
But Grace had other ideas .
She wangled her way into ZANU PF’s politburo and began her move to take out Mnangagwa and eventually take power from her ailing husband.
In August 2017 Mnangagwa accused certain persons in the party of trying to poison him and made references to Grace. This didn’t go down well with Mugabe, how could anyone accuse his beautiful Serengeti Rose flower.
What Mugabe forgot was that boys are allowed to fight but the brotherhood must stay strong and united. In a move that shocked everyone (but not his beloved Grace) , he removed Mnangagwa from the position of Vice President.
Mnangagwa fearing his life was in great danger, fled to South Africa.
Now, in comes the 3rd musketeer Chiwenga Head of the Zimbabwaean military, a friend and brother of both Mugabe and Mnangagwa, “this is all the fault of one woman”, he is probably thinking in his mind.” We were one until this woman came. I trust Mnangagwa to takeover but I don’t know this woman. By the way, where was she when we were sleeping in the bushes before the liberation?” He must have been thinking in his mind.
Chiwenga sends a warning to Mugabe advising him to put his house in order. This was the first time he has ever spoken this way to his senior comrade. Thinking Mugabe will take the hint and , call him to negotiate and talk things over a cup of tea but – NO! Mugabe does the exact opposite.
He sends his Minister of Information to tell the Army General to stay out of State matters.
Mugabe then finalises plans to sack Chiwenga perhaps to pave an unhindered route to the throne for Grace.
The military chief thought this had gone too far.
His brother and comrade in arms had drunk deep from the strange woman’s bosom and it’s wasn’t him acting any longer.
So on the morning of the 15th November, he rolled out his tanks and seized power from his former friend.
He’s therefore right when he says,”this is not a coup” When you really look at it, it’s really about three friends who have only fallen out over the inordinate ambitions of a woman.
Latest reports say Mnangagwa the 2nd Musketeer is on his way back from South Africa. Unconfirmed reports say he’s going to be installed interim President.
The 1st Musketter Mugabe is under house arrest. The 3rd Musketter is in the saddle promising calm and quick elections.
The 3 men have held Zimbabwe under lock and key for 37yrs.
This is nothing but a change of baton.
Zimbabwe needs a real revolution out of the hands of the veterans of the liberation struggle. No doubt in the 21st century Zimbabwe is the frozen out Animal Farm in George Orwells celebrated work.
Meanwhile the woman Also known as Gucci Grace, who started the whole chaos, has fled the country leaving her beloved husband who sacrificed everything, to face an uncertain fate.
16m Zimbabweans could not remove Mugabe but a woman did.
The woman who shared his bed also brought about his downfall.