The private media’s fascination with succession squabbles and in-fighting within the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front reminds me of Baba Jukwa back in 2013 before the July elections.
The media got hooked to Baba Jukwa, a faceless facebook character that claimed to be an insider in ZANU-PF which published exposes of in-fighting within ZANU-PF, and became a sensation within three months.
I said then I did not buy the story that Baba Jukwa was out to embarrass ZANU-PF or even to de-campaign President Robert Mugabe.
Baba Jukwa, in my opinion, was a propaganda tool to keep people thinking about ZANU-PF and not about the opposition Movement for Democratic Change at all. And I said people should watch if Baba Jukwa did not disappear after the elections because his job would have been done.
ZANU-PF won the elections overwhelmingly and Baba Jukwa disappeared a few months later, but with a bit of drama probably meant, once again, to put people off the ZANU-PF propaganda machine.
The same is happening now and the private media is hooked on the alleged faction fighting within ZANU-PF. First, it was between the two Vice-Presidents, Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko. Mphoko did not allegedly want to be overshadowed by Mnangagwa because they were equal.
The thread did not sell.
The fight shifted to First Lady Grace Mugabe with the support of the nice-sounding G40 and Mnangagwa. This was a gem. There was supposed to be a show-down at the party’s annual conference but nothing of the sort happened.
The only drama was the arrest of Justice Wadyajena for allegedly telling another party member some unmentionable words about the First Lady because the party member had put a poster of Grace Mugabe on his car.
I am not saying there are no faction fights in ZANU-PF. Far from it. They are there. If blood brothers can fight what more about people that are bound by an ideology with each wanting to get to the top? Former provincial minister Simba Mudarikwa even said ZANU-PF was like “a troop of baboons, incessantly fighting among themselves but coming together to face an external threat”.
What I am saying is that the media could have swallowed another bait created by ZANU-PF to keep attention away from the MDC, to lull the opposition to relax because ZANU-PF is disintegrating.
Already, Information Minister Christopher Mushowe, had disclosed that information about the fights is coming from government and party officials. Are they really out to destroy their cash-cow?
As I said in the 2013 article, Germany and Adolf Hitler’s propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, said about propaganda: "It is not propaganda's task to be intelligent, its task is to lead to success."
Another anonymous quote said: “Propaganda is as powerful as heroin; it surreptitiously dissolves all capacity to think.”
One of the main antagonists, Mnangagwa aptly summed it: “Kwedu kuMidlands kune zhou,” he told the people of Masvingo. “Kana zhou ichipfuura napamba pavaHungwe, tumbwa twava Hungwe tunohukura, tugohukura, tugohukura, zhou ichingofamba zvayo. Didymus achahukura, agohukura, ZANU ichingoinda mberi.”
I could be wrong. But I was right last time.