(Amapondo Zinkomo is an expression for the early dawn in Sindebele, the language of the Matabele people of Zimbabwe, who were butchered in their tens of thousands in the early days of the Mugabe government. The words mean “the horns of the cattle”, and refer to that time in the early morning were the tips of cattle horns can first be made out against the lightening sky.)
Watching the TV images of jubilant scenes on the streets of Harare on the day Robert Mugabe resigned as president of Zimbabwe, one rather strange thing caught my eye. Not a single policeman was anywhere to be seen. There were soldiers, but no obvious signs of police.
It’s always very difficult to know what’s really going on in the so-called news, and trying to discern the truth of the recent events in Zimbabwe is no different. If Britain’s BBC is to be believed (not usually advisable) the story goes something like this: Mugabe’s wife, Grace, had become obsessed with personal power and persuaded Comrade Bob to sack his number two, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and give her the job instead. This provoked the army, devoted servants as they are to constitutional protocol, to persuade Comrade Bob to go, and for Mnangagwa to be properly restored to office. And that’s all there was to it. But there’s probably a bit more to it than that.
When this story broke I felt two reactions. The first one was delight, and the second was curiosity as to what’s really going on: who was really pulling the…