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Mugabe, Pope and how Saitan kills a good story

Scribes write in the Good Book that in the beginning before God made the Earth, he created angels. All resplendent in white, with elegant winged bodies of European models, they entertained the Almighty in the heavenly palace and ran his errands. God placed the angels under a powerful trusted chief called Lucifer aka Saitan.

But Saitan was not satisfied with his high office. He wanted to be God. So, Lucifer wooed and organized a team of angels and went to all corners of heaven campaigning to take over power when God retired. This tangatanga team made a lot of campaign noise in heaven.

God had no intention of retiring. He was secretly working on a plan to stay in power at the end of his term. So he was outraged by what Lucifer was doing. The tangatanga angels no longer listened to him. They took their instructions from Saitan, convinced he would soon be the big boss.

One day, God woke up in a foul mood. He kicked the entire tangatanga team out of heaven. Next, he resolved to create the Earth in six days, after which he would rest. He called this plan the Big Six Agenda.

On the sixth day, God created the first human beings, Adam and Eve. He rested on the seventh day. Saitan was still roaming the universe with his tangatanga team campaigning to take over power once God retired. He plotted to frustrate God’s plans.

Saitan turned himself into a snake and slithered into the Garden of Eden where God had built a magnificent home for Adam and Eve. There, Saitan lied to Eve and convinced her to eat with him a certain fruit God had decreed should never even be touched.

Upon learning what Saitan had done, God kicked Adam and Eve out of the garden. And from that time, human beings have always experienced suffering because of their broken relationship with God.

Saitan had ruined the good story of heavenly bliss. And now he had destroyed the Big Six Agenda.

Last week, Lucifer was up to his old tricks again. He hasn’t taken over power from God yet, which is his sole ambition, but he has not given up the quest. He and his tangatanga team are still roaming the Earth.

God sent Pope Francis to Mozambique to talk about the things popes talk about when they come to Africa – deliver long, passionate homilies about poverty, corruption, misrule, HIV/Aids, peace and conflict, development, inter-religious dialogue, terrorism, the plight of women and children and so on and so forth.

Saitan saw a great opportunity to silence the pope. He stirred up xenophobic attacks in South Africa and for the entire week, all the world news was about killings and looting in Azania and retaliations in the home countries of the migrants.

There was almost zero news about the pope’s visit to the land of the fiery Pan Africanist revolutionary Samora Machel.

And then Robert Mugabe died on Friday, September 6. Saitan’s plot to ruin a good story was complete. The media entirely forgot about Pope Francis. Mainstream and social media outlets dedicated their platforms to Bob.

For all his initial revolutionary zeal and despotic transmogrification once in power, Bob was always a good Catholic. (Okay, he kept a steamy affair with his secretary Grace while his wife was dying, got babies and married the much younger woman. That’s not what good Catholics do, but who are we to judge?)

At the height of the economic nightmare he had precipitated and the repression that drove millions of Zimbabweans into exile, Bob turned up at the Vatican in 2005 to attend the funeral of Pope John Paul II, now saint. While the whole world shunned Bob, here he was gleefully rubbing shoulders with the high and mighty – and almost ruining the good story of a saintly pope.

And then Bob pulled a fast one on his fiercest critic. With the opposition completely under “sieke”, independent media and civil society totally muted, the Catholic Church in Zimbabwe was the only voice that could speak truth to Bob – well, not the entire hierarchy of bishops; some were too compromised by the regime.

But not the famous Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city. Ncube became the voice of Zimbabwe inside the country and on countless international forums. He was fearless, eloquent and indefatigable. The cleric denounced Bob as a murderer, rallied his colleagues to issue stinging pastoral letters against the regime and even openly prayed for Mugabe’s death.

Many of Ncube’s admirers around the world worried about the simple priest’s safety inside Bob’s ruthless police state. He could be made to disappear or perish in a well-planned accident.

But Bob bided his time. He wasn’t going to do anything stupid about Archbishop Ncube. And then in 2007, he struck.

Bob’s intelligence boys and girls went to work. Within days, state media, enjoying monopoly of the news business, splashed the story of Ncube busted in bed with the estranged wife of one of his parishioners.

State media carried the nudes. Naked holy priest Ncube climbing on to a woman later identified as Rosemary Sibanda. The ex-husband sued the archbishop. The media trumpeted the strange soap opera each day.

Was that simple woman really the mighty archbishop’s secret lover or was she paid by state intelligence to bring down the man of God? Who knew the exact circumstances under which Rosemary broke up with Sibanda?

Zimbabweans were stunned. The world went numb. Vatican was dumbstruck.

Archbishop Ncube was quietly relieved of his duties in Bulawayo and has never been heard from. Bob had expertly removed the thorn from his flesh. And the Catholic Church no longer held the moral high ground to lecture him about governance.

Bob relished every moment of it, once offering publicly to pray for the fallen Ncube’s restoration.

Once again, Saitan had succeeded in killing the good story of an incredibly brave man of God almost single-handedly dismantling a vile dictatorship. Lakini will God ever win against Lucifer and his tangatanga team?

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