I am not the one

Jonathon Moyo recently featured on a double-bill version of the BBC's Hardtalk programme. Stephen Sacker is not my favourite interviewer. He hectors those to whom he speaks and seems to believe that people will spill the beans if they are sufficiently bul

lied. But it is not a style that worked with Jonathan Moyo because there’s a gap where the beans should be!
I watched like a rat entranced by a very smooth snake as Moyo sat in an elegant Johannesburg hotel room for the interview.
Was this the man who littered the verge outside my house on Monday 2nd June 2003 with his ridiculous efforts to win our hearts and minds during the stay away? The thousands of pamphlets had obviously been tossed out of a moving car by the bundle. Each one had a picture of our flag and said,
No to mass action
No to violence
No to British puppets
No to Rhodesian Sellouts
No to the MDC
Zvakwana. (Enough)
Not one positive suggestion! It was the politics of his fertile imagination against phantom foes and it offered no way forward.
The pamphlet continued (brackets mine):
Enough is enough (There isn’t enough of anything)
Stand up for your rights (And be beaten and tortured)
Let the workers go to work (Over 70% unemployment at that time but it’s higher now)
Let the children go to school and let the banks and businesses remain open.
(My children, one at primary school and one high school, were both sent home because the teachers were on strike.) At that time the banks had no money but you could buy Z$5,000 for Z$5,500 from street touts! Many businesses had been forced to close as the Zimbabwe government continued its relentless efforts re write the basic laws of economics.
Moyo’s pamphlet ended with, Rambai Makashinga. Carry on being brave and strong!
The question I would ask over three years later is the same as I asked then. For how much longer can people be asked to carry on being brave and strong?
I’m constantly amazed that the spirit of some people who live in desperate circumstances is not diminished. It is so humbling and so uplifting to meet such extraordinary people. But this spirit is being desperately abused because they are so weakened by abject poverty. Many simply don’t have enough to eat. And as for a balanced diet – what’s that?
The health of the general population is undermined by lack of protein. A young woman comes to my house to collect the fallen seeds of the Natal mahogany (lucky bean) tree. She sells them for a pittance and last time she came I noticed that the hair of her toddler is turning that gingery colour associated with kwashiorkor. I gave them an orange each and a hand of bananas from the garden, even local fruits have long since been a luxury. But what she needs is milk, eggs and meat – all of which is way beyond her reach.
I’ve seen people on ARV treatment for HIV who faint from hunger, or vomit on empty stomachs as they wait for supplementary food benefits. ARV’S make you hungry at the best of times and these are the worst of times.
And the man who prevented the BBC from reporting on these things has the gall to tell us that his conscience is clear and that he simply did his job!
There are many people in is country who do loathsome jobs. But I salute those who refuse. I heard that there was a bulldozer operator who abandoned his machine at the time of Murambatsvina. I hope it was true. There are police and army officers and civil servants who have refused to behave as the lackeys of a corrupt government. And some very brave magistrates.
Those who remain doing jobs that entail behaving in a way that is morally wrong have the same gap in their heads as Jonathon Moyo. Psychologists call it denial and religious people call it conscience. Call it what you will, but hokoyo! The bottom line is that loathsome deeds keep us awake at night and torment our souls or spirits. We humans do not get away with this kind of behaviour. What we have done doesn’t go away just because we live in a mansion, have high status or six cars.
We can tell ourselves that we didn’t really order that person to be killed, or that meagre home to be bulldozed, or that farm to be stolen, or that tractor to be taken away from its rightful owner. We can tell ourselves that we were just doing our job. But there is a deeper part of our unconscious minds that knows that we are lying to ourselves.
Jonathon Moyo was repeatedly asked: “Why did you ban the BBC from Zimbabwe?” He simply pretended that the question had not been asked and waffled on in a terrifying mixture of lies, playing for time, half truths and the official party line all couched in his own spin.
But modern camera techniques are cruel and Moyo’s upper lip betrayed a sneer that comes from deep within his arrogant heart.
The only time I believed the man was when he was asked if Mugabe had threatened him when he left his post as Minister of Information. Otherwise empty eloquence and spin spewed out of his mouth on auto pilot.

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