ZIMBABWE – Egypt Dzinemunenzwa is often the subject of much-needed amusement during national elections.
Bereft of resources and looking more like a struggling villager than the potential State president and national saviour he believes himself to be, Dzinemunenzwa has contested every election since 1990.
And despite attracting no more than a handful of supporters in the successive votes against President Robert Mugabe, the politician never gives up.
In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com at the Wedza Business Centre offices of his National African Party (NAP), Dzinemunenzwa said 91-year-old Mugabe would be history come the scheduled 2018 vote.
This because NAP leader, now aged 69, would soon turn-off Mugabe’s riva, or life support system.
Shona folklore has it that chiefs and kings would often use the riva to defy mortality and, with that, hold onto their thrones even when their bodies had effectively given up and reduced to vegetative repose.
The riva, said to be a ritualised version of the stone mouse trap Shonas use to catch mice “ a cherished delicacy in parts of rural Mashonaland “ would be located in a secret place.
Community leaders would have to find and release the trap so the cling-on chief could be forced into eternal rest.
Speaking as he was building a Blair toilet at the back of his party offices all by himself, Dzinemunenzwa claimed that Mugabe has a riva adding he knew its location.
Mugabe’s riva, according to Dzinemunenzwa, is located deep in the Ganamasungo forests along the Wedza mountain range and traditional rites where conducted at the site to ensure Mugabe’s lengthy stay in power.
Dzinemunenzwa however, refused to accompany NewZimbabwe.com to the site, saying it would be a perilous trip for this reporter.
If people in Zimbabwe had approached and talked to me nicely long back I would have unlocked Mugabe’s grip on power, he said.
But people of Zimbabwe have suffered enough and I’m going to save them by destroying Mugabe’s riva.
His disappointment with Mugabe is also personal.
Dzinemunenzwa claimed to have helped Mugabe take over power on the promise the Zanu PF leader would make him paramount Chief of Wedza.
The promise was not kept, hence the bitterness.
Critics accuse Mugabe of presiding over a corrupt and incompetent autocracy which has destroyed what was considered one of Africa’s most promising economies at independence in 1980.
Once the region’s bread basket and net food exporter, Zimbabwe is now unable to feed itself; the majority of its population lives in hopeless despair with unemployment above 80 percent.
Had Zimbabweans listened to then Britisih prime minister, Margaret Thatcher just before the advent of independence they would not be in this predicament, said Dzinemunenzwa.
He explained: If people of this country followed events in London in 1979 they will remember the confused Thatcher saying I’m going to hand over power to the majority of Zimbabweans, but a mistake is going to be made on the choice of the leader.
Again, well before that in 1960, Dzinemunhenzva added, Mutumwa waMwari Amai Chaza of Guta reJehovha’s church (GRJ) also prophesised that the first black president of Zimbabwe would be a dictator.
Despite contesting and losing all presidential, parliamentary and local government elections over the years, the father of 13 insists that he is the only serious and consistent opposition leader in the country.
He however, refused to reveal his manifesto or economic blueprint as rival political parties have been doing lately.
He is tired of Mugabe stealing his ideas and not giving him any credit.
The ruling party Zanu PF has been stealing, said the ANP leader.
They use my ideas during election time to lure the voters but have since been failing to implement them.
So I’m going to keep them close to my chest. When I’m in government that’s when people will hear about them.
Coalitions against Mugabe are currently in vogue and dominate discourse in local opposition circles.
Dzinemunhenzva however, said he would not be coalescing with anyone.
Coalitions are formed by tired leaders who know very well that, by themselves, they have nothing to offer.
Or leaders who know very well that they are no longer popular but want to seek relevance in Zimbabwean politics, he said.