Mo­ment of truth for Mawarire

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Opinion/national News - Nduduzo Tshuma Po­lit­i­cal Edi­tor

SOC­CER fans on Sun­day snubbed Pas­tor Evan Mawarire of the in­fa­mous #ThisFlag cam­paign all but prov­ing the cler­gy­man’s is a chancer who has been bask­ing in the false glory of once shut­ting down the coun­try. The pas­tor had called on soc­cer fans go­ing for the epic match be­tween arch ri­vals Dy­namos and High­landers Foot­ball Clubs to sing the old na­tional an­them Nkosi Sikelel’i Africa in defiance of the Gov­ern­ment.

Mr Mawarire’s calls came af­ter vi­o­lent protests in Harare fronted by op­po­si­tion par­ties un­der the ban­ner of the so called Nera and shad­owy groups like #ThisFlag and #Ta­ja­muka among oth­ers.

In the run up to the game, Mr Mawarire posted a video on so­cial me­dia urg­ing soc­cer fans at­tend­ing the match to sing Nkosi Sikelel’i Africa in the 36th minute of the game in a protest against the Gov­ern­ment and to show them that “we are fed up.”

“High­landers and Dy­namos fans, let’s unite and show that we want to build this na­tion. We can’t let this to con­tinue hap­pen­ing,” he said in the video posted from his new base in the United States of Amer­ica.

Mr Mawarire wanted to hi­jack the Bosso ver­sus DeMbare duel in the same fash­ion that he had done the July 6 civil ser­vants strike giv­ing the false impression that he had or­gan­ised “a his­toric shut down of the coun­try.”

How­ever, events prior to the 6th of July show that the civil ser­vants had given no­tice to stage a strike protest­ing salary de­lays but Mr Mawarire hi­jacked the al­ready or­gan­ised ex­er­cise to make it seem as if he was the brains be­hind it.

This was the ba­sis that Mr Mawarire got in­ter­na­tional fame al­beit from a false ground­ing which the pri­vate and in­ter­na­tional me­dia con­ve­niently over­looked.

They had to present this dar­ing pas­tor who had be­come so pow­er­ful and in­flu­en­tial over night to shake the Zanu-PF es­tab­lish­ment to its core.

How­ever, Mr Mawarire on Sun­day failed to main­tain the man­u­fac­tured fame lead­ing to his des­per­ate at­tempt to try and re­main in the minds of the peo­ple and even his cre­ators from which he is fast slip­ping away.

In his typ­i­cal hi­jack­ing tac­tics, Mr Mawarire thought that he could in­flu­ence sup­port­ers of the coun­try’s soc­cer power houses to act in defiance not only of their na­tional an­them but their coun­try.

He wanted to cash in on the his­tory of the two clubs’ ri­valry to give the impression that he had in­flu­enced the 13 000 peo­ple who had come to watch the match yet it is a well doc­u­mented fact that the two teams al­ways record bumper crowds ev­ery time they meet.

Just like the June 6 civil ser­vants strike, Mr Mawarire wanted to ride on the pop­u­lar­ity and the ri­valry of the two teams to try and smug­gle his po­lit­i­cal agenda into the beau­ti­ful game of foot­ball.

What many soc­cer loving Zim­bab­weans saw as a day when the coun­try’s big­gest clubs clash and a foot­ball treat, Mr Mawarire saw a win­dow of op­por­tu­nity to try and ex­tri­cate him­self from ap­par­ent ob­scu­rity.

How­ever, when the game reached 36 min­utes of play, none of the soc­cer fans heeded Mr Mawarire’s calls throw­ing his plot into a spec­tac­u­lar tail­spin.

Fans stayed glued to pro­ceed­ings on the pitch, the duel be­tween the two soc­cer giants that they had come to watch.

Im­por­tantly, the snub by soc­cer fans shows that Mr Mawarire has be­lieved his own lies that he was solely re­spon­si­ble for the July 6 strike yet it is a ver­i­fi­able fact that the down­ing of tools on the day was an ex­er­cise by the civil ser­vants who had a dif­fer­ent agenda from that of the pas­tor.

He then built a false sense of bravado from that il­lu­sion to think that he can just snap his fin­gers and the rest of the Zim­bab­weans jump and re­li­giously fol­low his or­ders to the point of be­liev­ing that he could in­flu­ence a peo­ple to de­nounce their own na­tional an­them by re­vert­ing to the old Nkosi Sikelel’i Africa.

The snub there­fore was a mo­ment of truth for Mr Mawarire as it con­firmed his sta­tus as a po­lit­i­cal fraud­ster who has been rid­ing on the wave of false adu­la­tions.

What is true how­ever, is that Mr Mawarire, more than any­thing, rat­tled the op­po­si­tion par­ties with his #ThisFlag and jolted them into ac­tion as they felt that his cam­paigns were a threat to their re­la­tions with their West­ern han­dlers.

To the op­po­si­tion par­ties who de­pend on fund­ing from the West to carry out a regime change agenda, Mr Mawarire was an ir­ri­tant who wanted to shift the at­ten­tion of their West­ern masters.

And their re­ac­tion was telling. All of a sud­den they en­gaged in vi­o­lent demon­stra­tions and wil­ful breach of the law start­ing with the Harare protests whose ob­jec­tive was to push the se­cu­rity forces to re­act in a way that would at­tract in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion.

Some even went to the ex­tent of mak­ing struc­tural ad­just­ments within their po­lit­i­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions to counter what they felt was Mr Mawarire’s ris­ing pop­u­lar­ity not among Zim­bab­weans but the West­ern hold­ers of the purse.

How­ever, the Gov­ern­ment has long seen into those machi­na­tions.

Mr Mawarire should know that in any case, these chaotic demon­stra­tions will not be suc­cess­ful es­pe­cially in Bu­l­awayo where the prov­ince has been or­phaned in terms of lead­er­ship since the for­ma­tion of the MDC in 1999.

The MDC-T, which has had a stran­gle­hold on the prov­ince un­til last July’s by-elec­tions, has failed dis­mally in car­ry­ing the as­pi­ra­tions of the peo­ple de­spite be­ing ush­ered to both Par­lia­ment and the Bu­l­awayo city coun­cil.

Per­haps, Zim­babwe Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent, Mr Phillip Chiyangwa, had an apt de­scrip­tion of Mr Mawarire’s con­duct when he said, “Foot­ball and pol­i­tics do not mix and I want to warn Mawarire and his ca­bal to stay away from foot­ball. I came to Bu­l­awayo to see for my­self if foot­ball had suc­cumbed to these mal­con­tents, but I am happy that peo­ple ig­nored these non­sen­si­cal calls.

“He must know that foot­ball will not wel­come him. I am Zanu-PF my­self, but I never come to the sta­dium clad in party colours sim­ply be­cause I re­spect the game. If I want to do my po­lit­i­cal busi­ness, I go out there; I don’t take ad­van­tage of the pulling power of foot­ball. Mawarire leave our beau­ti­ful game in peace; we don’t want this non­sense.”

The truth that faces Mr Mawarire now is that he had his two min­utes of fame grounded on false im­pres­sions and that he is on a one way jour­ney to ob­scu­rity. The 13 000 crowd at Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium on Sun­day all but em­phat­i­cally con­firmed this.

Pas­tor Evan Mawarire Res­i­dents burn tyres to block a road in Makokoba, Bu­l­awayo, in this file pic­ture

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