Sikhala looking for trouble


Job Sikhala who recently returned to the Morgan Tsvangirai faction of the Movement for Democratic Change seems to be looking for trouble. In opposition politics, trouble means greater world attention. And this could mean some financial backing as well. Sikhala, who could be trying to upstage some of Tsvangirai’s loyalists who have stuck with the beleaguered leader since the founding of the party, today advocated for a coup claiming President Robert Mugabe is spending too much money on medication and overseas trips at the taxpayer’s expense. “Why must we keep a leader who is surviving on medication? We should just depose him while he is away. He wants to behave like Yasser Arafat to die in office. We will not allow that. By the time he comes back from his so-called medical check-up in Singapore, we would have taken power,” he said at a rally in the capital. Sikhala received wild cheers from the crowd because this was probably something that they wanted to hear. But the people probably did not think about how Sikhala or the MDC could stage a coup without any troops? But that was the kind of talk that could land Sikhala in trouble, and of course make him a hero. Zimbabwean author and Guardian columnist Blessing-Miles Tendi summed it all in his book, Making history in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe: “There is competition between activists in civil society over who gets more badly treated, beaten or imprisoned by the state. The greater the degree of one’s history of ill treatment at the hands of the state, the greater one’s legitimacy as an actor in civil society.” Maybe that is what Sikhala is looking for.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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