Exiled former ZANU PF officials accuse UK-based Zimbabwean constitutional law expert, Alex Magaisa of an unwarranted attack against them using his blog, The Big Saturday Read (BSR).
Former cabinet minister Patrick Zhuwawo, who now resides in South Africa said Magaisa’s latest BSR, titled “Post Power Syndrome”,
… appears to target [Jonathan Moyo] in particular but mentions [Saviour Kasukuwere] myself in a weak attempt to make the article appear to be a conceptual piece although it is an ad hominem attack on [Jonathan Moyo].
An “ad hominem” response is an argument or reaction directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.
Zhuwawo, Kasukuwere and Moyo were alleged members of Generation 40 (G40) a ZANU PF faction that was attempting to take control of the ruling party during the late former president Robert Mugabe’s twilight years.
In a tweet on Monday last week, Prof suggested that the MDC Alliance should channel the US$120 000 donated by party supporters to buy party president Nelson Chamisa an armoured vehicle to purchase offices and bicycles for polling agents for the 2023 elections. Moyo wrote:
Dai ndiri shiri ndai buda mudungeon mangu ndobhururuka ndodzokera kudheni; ende dai ndiri 2023 presidential candidate ndine USD120K, ndaitsvaga vashandi vanoshandira musangano wangu kana kuti ndaitenga office, kana mabhasikoro emapolling agents kumaward centres!
In his latest BSR published on 17 December, Magaisa argued that people who have been in power for a long time manifest what psychologists refer to as “post-power syndrome” when they leave office. He wrote:
Post-power syndrome is a condition that afflicts individuals who believe they have power or status in society long after they have left their positions of power.
Typically, an individual who used to hold a position of power and influence, whether in a company, organization, or the state, but now they no longer have it.
We may, for convenience, refer to this stage when they no longer have power as the post-power phase.
For individuals suffering the post-power syndrome, they will be physically out of power, but mentally, they will still be wielding power and influence.
Turning to former ZANU PF officials who lost cabinet posts after the November 2017 military coup, Magaisa said:
The coup swept them away, leaving them without power. Some had to flee into exile while others were thrown from pillar to post in the politicized criminal justice system.
The post-power phase has not been easy for them although each of them has handled it in different ways. Some like Professor Jonathan Moyo remain vocal in the political arena, while by contrast, former police boss Augustine Chihuri has been on mute since the coup.
Mandi Chimene is allegedly holed up in Mozambique while others like Saviour Kasukuwere and Patrick Zhuwao are living in South Africa.
Dr Ignatius Chombo, who was detained and tortured during the coup, has been dragged around the courts to no avail.
Posting on Twitter, Moyo seemingly criticised Magaisa’s analysis, describing it as “egregiously unscholarly” and “anti-intellectual”. Said Moyo:
Zizi risina nyanga rinotora a concept from a political science textbook for undergraduate freshmen; roghaya kuti better riyishandise as a psychoanalytic tool for a sophomoric composition about the dynamics of political power; to entertain and amuse legions of thoughtless trolls!
It’s egregiously unscholarly and therefore anti-intellectual to lift concepts from undergraduate textbooks and abuse them to pre-analytically describe political phenomena that one has not empirically researched; and for which there’s no baseline research done by other scholars!