Ruling Zanu PFs warring factions are now locked in what could potentially be a deadly game of nhombo / fombo, according to political commentator Ian Makomeya
Makomeya echoed this in the wake of a botched press conference by Zanu PF Youth leader Kudzai Chipanga, which was meant to be a reponse to a press statement issued by commander of the defence forces General Constatino Chiwenga yesterday.
Nhombo or Fombo is a game played by children in Zimbabwe.
In the game, the contestants make a mound of soil and erect a small thin stick in the middle. They then take turns to remove a portion of the soil out. As the soil starts to run out, it becomes inevitable that one touch will cause the stick to fall.
When the stick falls the game is over, and the person whose last touch cause the stick to fall will get a physical beating of epic proportions.
Chiwenga’s statement yesterday which singled out Jonathan Moyo and Grace Mugabe without naming them put the G40 faction into a trance, and sent the President into ‘sixes and sevens’ according to sources.
Former Zanu PF youth leader Acie Lumumba yesterday stated that after Chiwenga’s statement President Mugabe had been put in a position where he either had to act and fire his wife and Moyo, or make a move against the military.
Khuluma Afrika co-Editor Maynard Manyowa likened the situation to a version of cricket called Tip and Run.
“In my school days we used to play a version of cricket called Tip and Run. The rules are simple. You hit the ball and run to the other end. Nomatter what. You can’t tip and not run. If you dont run you are out. Our politics has reached this level. Lumumba called it ‘touch is a move’. G40 has made a move. They have tipped. Now the other camp has to make a move.”
Chipanga’s clearly prepared statement today can be interpreted as a move which throws the ball back into the military’s court.
Just like in the game of nhombo, when the stick is about to fall, one must make sure that each move takes the least amount of soil.
Chiwenga’s move yesterday took away most of the soil, cornering Mugabe. But there was still enough soil for Mugabe to make a small move which does not make the stick fall, but now forces the military to make the next move, as it becomes their turn.
Political commentator and socialite Prince Noble added that the latest move though small throws the ball back into the military’s court.
“This is classic Jonathan Moyo. Chiwenga must now either act against Chipanga, and risk appearing a petty bully for going after a small boy. Or he can ignore Chipanga and risk the humiliation of people singing that a whole general was silenced by a small boy.”
A Zanu PF youth insider who spoke on the condition of anonymity stated that Chipanga had been sacrificed.
“It is not nhombo my brother. If you look at the video. He was uncomfortable. He was jittery. He has been sacrificed. Remember the rank and file of the youth is not in support of this, or they are genuinely scared. This is the military. This is the army. Not the salvation army. The whole army. Its not a game.” he said in a WhatsApp text sent to Khuluma Afrika.