They said ‘Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s President dies at age 92’……… the year 2016 in retrospect

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Some among us(Zanu PF) are now losing sleep each time Mugabe goes out of the country inquiring whether he is dead or alive:Kasukuwere

What a year it was! Looking back at 2016

Charles Mabhena

As we edge towards the end of 2016, your online publication ZimNews.net is proud to give you a tip reflection of what made headlines in the out-going year which was full of drama.

As factional wars in ZANU PF took shape, in January Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa who is believed to be President Robert Mugabe’s heir had his office broken into for the 4th time, with official information claiming that nothing was stolen, some claiming that it was factional war motivated.

ZANU PF is currently dogged by internal wars the party is divided into two camps Generation 40 of Saviour Kasukuwere, Jonathan Moyo, Grace Mugabe and others pitted against Team Lacoste claimed to be supporting Mnangagwa’s ascendency to the throne when Mugabe is gone.

In July, the country witnessed a spat of nationwide protests, with the capital city Harare resembling a real war zone, as police and citizens got stuck in running battles.

The protests that left property worth thousands of dollars destroyed by arson and sabotage started in Beitbridge and were triggered by the SI 64 which restricted the importation of certain goods mainly from South Africa.

The government responded by sending in riot police to attack the citizens, a move that was widely condemned.

In September 2016, the year’s drama took a twist with President Mugabe rumoured to have died on a foreign trip. On his return he scoffed at the reports, and joked that he had indeed died and then resurrected.

“Yes I was dead. It is true I was dead.  Resurrected as I always do once I get back to my country,” he told reporters at the Harare International Airport on his return from Dubai.

According to him, he had gone there on family business, while reports had it that his older son, Robert junior, was caught doing drugs.

Addressing Zanu-PF supporters in Harare after Norton by-election humiliation, Kasukuwere  made the startling claim that some ruling party bigwigs who are angling to take over from President Robert Mugabe(believed to be Mnangagwa and his team Lacoste faction) wished death upon the increasingly frail nonagenarian.

Kasukuwere was very straight to the point on succession war;

“There are some among us who are now losing sleep each time mudhara (Mugabe) goes out of the country inquiring whether he is dead or alive.
“Is that politics to wish others dead so that you can assume power? Isn’t it that you have to work for the people to get to the top?” Kasukuwere asked.

The other issue to make headlines in 2016 was the arresting of Jonathan Moyo for his abuse of funds belonging to the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund. Moyo was arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission after had dodged the body after it had laid ambush while he was attending a ZANU PF meeting under the defence of VP Phelekezela Mphoko.

Meanwhile, this came after VP Mphoko had claimed that no ZANU PF minister would be arrested for corruption, he claims arresting corrupt ministers is not a good thing, as it would destabilise the party and government. His view has led many to wonder as to why; with some taking it as a confirmation of the widely believed notion by opposition parties that ZANU PF strives on milking state resources to fund its projects.

Also to make headlines was the issue of bond notes, citizens and other pressure groups protested against the idea, saying it was Mugabe’s idea of bringing the local currency through the back door.

The matter even spilled into the courts, which ruled in favour of the state, as the challenge was based on the legality of introducing them. The President had to revoke his presidential powers to offer the introduction a base.

The move at first triggered people’s mistrust, pressure groups calling for protests in rejection of the bonds, but was stopped by the police.

On a lighter note the year has its own share of positive developments as well, in October, Charles Manyuchi a Zimbabwean boxer who is WBC welterweight champion performed a sterling performance at the HICC in Harare, knocking his Columbian opponent in less than 3 minutes.

On the other hand, the local women’s football team the Mighty Warriors taking part in the Olympics for the first time, though they lost in totality, but, they put up a spirited show.

Most recently, as if a jack of all trades, Mugabe has mastered the art of manipulating people in advancing his selfish agendas, and seems to be getting better in the trick with age like wine.

First it was Jealous Mawarire purported to have allegedly successfully sued the President to push for early polls in 2013. To add a feather to his billed reputation of being a calculative manipulator, he returns with another shocker, this time on the appointment of the new Chief Justice of Zimbabwe. He used a UZ law student to challenge so that he changes the Constitution in order to give himself power to appoint the CJ.

The ploy was exposed; while the Justice Service Commission (JSC) was busy conducting the public interviews in accordance with the Supreme law, with Mugabe was already implementing the student’s proposed Constitutional amendment, to give him power to appoint a CJ of his choice.