When Shakespeare wrote the above line in Romeo and Juliet, he was attempting to explain that no matter what anything is called, it still remains what it is.
I am daily angered at the labelling that goes on in foreign and local Zimbabwean papers about who is what and what is what.
Newspapers still call ZANU PF the ‘ruling party’ and people that lost their seats in the March 2008 elections are still paraded with the titles of office that they held in Mugabe’s previous cabinet…
Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
Mugabe’s ZANU PF party lost their majority in Parliament in the elections earlier this year. Surely that alone should remove them from the misnomer of ‘ruling party’?
But it does not put the party holding the majority, the MDC, in their place as the ‘ruling party’. Far from it – and I doubt that the MDC would want to be known as that – mainly because with that tag comes the memory of the 28 years of oppression and brutality.
I think that the MDC would prefer to be the party ‘of the people’s choice’… but Mugabe will move Heaven and Earth to ensure that it never happens.
Patrick Chinamasa and Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, both former ZANU PF MP’s that sat on Mugabe’s cabinet, the one which Mugabe described as the ‘worst in history’ and both lost their seats in the election, are repeatedly described as the ‘Justice Minister’ and the ‘Minister of Information’ respectively, often and repeatedly – and this is totally wrong.
Both individuals have subsequently been appointed MP’s by Mugabe in a retrospective move and neither holds any specific office.
But the confusion may arise from the insistence that Mugabe has is continuing to run the county (substitute ‘run’ with ‘ruin’ if you like!) with his old cabinet in place, and allows them the freedom to do and say as they wish.
Mugabe may have ‘won’ the Presidency in a one man sham election, but he is now intent on avoiding naming a cabinet which has to include the MDC (in terms of the power-sharing agreement signed on September 15th). Mugabe has grabbed the main ministries and they, the MDC and ZANU PF, continue to argue over who gets what and why.
Where else in the world do we have the loser of an election remaining in power and negotiating with the election winner as to how much say the winner has in a resulting government?
So the country is being run, in essence, by one man who only attained that office through the bloodshed, suffering and death of members of the MDC.
With the cholera epidemic not slowing and the very recent ‘shooting’ of a member of Mugabe’s Joint Operations Command (JOC), I believe that we are within an ace of Mugabe declaring a State of Emergency.
If he does that, then no amount of mediated talks, agreements or quiet chats will move Mugabe. And once the State of Emergency is in place, he will seek to keep it there for as long as possible, thereby denying the MDC the place in government that the Zimbabwean voters indicated it was their wish for them to have.
A rose is a rose by any other name. Indeed. And a dictator is a dictator no matter how ZANU PF dress it, and Zimbabwe remains in the hands of a killer.
Robb WJ Ellis
The Bearded Man