State of the nation

When we learned that the president was off to the UN, we hoped he would wear an olive branch on the lapel of his jacket. But, miraculously standing up straight, without gripping the edge of the lectern, he hurled abuse at detractors and imperialists.

Lovemore Madhuku
Lovemore Madhuku

What is ridiculous about his UN speech is that with one face he was yelling about and with another face he made beggarish references to the economic woes of his country. Who does he hope to come to his aid, after firing off three ‘shame, shame, shames?’ Those who regard themselves as patriots for cheering the speech of filthy sanctions should be reminded ‘anemari ndiye mukuru..’ (he who pays the piper calls the tune.)

Make-Over for Joice

While Bob was relieving himself all over the UN dinner table, Joice Mujuru, acting president, also stood behind a lectern. While a lot of people like the idea of a first woman President, mother Joice needs a little schooling on speech giving.

She should be taught not to veer too much from her written script because slips of the tongue and outbursts that can easily be misconstrued emerge from her mouth. ‘I want to die as MP for Mt Darwin.’ She obviously meant that if she wants to be re-elected she should serve her constituency well. But a man less capable of reading between the lines might interpret her words as those of another African politician who wants to die in office.

We already have enough of those. And while they are polishing off the rough edges on Joice, perhaps her PR team could also consider dispensing with the Teurai Ropa nom de guerre. Apart from her Blood Spiller name, Joice is also known for shooting down a Rhodesian Air Force helicopter. As a fan of action flicks, the idea of girls with automatic weapons and bullets strapped across their chests truly excites me. But 33 years after the end of the bush war, we should focus on development and reconciliation and a name evoking death does not aid in patching up old wounds.

Nutty Professor I

Lovemore Madhuku has converted the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) into a political party. Professor Madhuku said the NCA could no longer remain merely as a pressure group while ‘jokers’ like Chinotimba were in parliament. He also said Mugabe elected ‘several Chinotimbas’ to ministerial jobs in which they cannot succeed. Zanu (PF) junior spin man, a boy curiously named Psychology, reacted with the usual Zanu (PF) abuse of the opposition.

Look Who’s Talking

Vice President Mujuru says workers should be paid decent salaries, in order to reduce corruption. Well, madam vice president. While we applaud your attempt to speak on behalf of the downtrodden workers, we would like to point out that the greatest cases of corruption have involved some very wealthy people who do not need to earn a dollar more – the Kangai GMB scandal, Nyagumbo and Shava in the Willowvale Motor Industries fiasco of the 80s, the Paweni debacle of the same era and, more recently, Diamond-gate which has sucked in some very influential people, some of them known for shooting down army choppers like a chameleon snatching a dragonfly from the air. These are not cases involving a $300-a-month cop demanding $1 at a roadblock.

In Cinemas Now – Nutty Professor II

First TV, an independent television station that ran on free-to-air decoders (Wiztech, Philibao and Delsat) has gone off air, owing to financial difficulties. Just when everybody thought they would never have to endure nights of Dead BC. Thankfully, the same decoders now show BOSStv which airs the soapies that everybody had missed. Meanwhile Jonathan Moyo and his Supa sidekick have said the 75% local content rule will return for the national broadcaster. The nutty professor asserts that the 75% local content rule will make our musicians better artists. And there we were all thinking that a professional improves his skills through hard work, focus and competing with the best.

If mediocrity is competing among itself, chances are it will remain as such for much longer. If, say, our local footballers competed amongst themselves and never played against Zamalek or Orlando Pirates, they would not improve much. If Professor Moyo feels our musicians need our support perhaps he should encourage radio stations to play their songs rather than issuing Animal Farm type decrees. And the Professor will do well to remember that there are other creative people – film makers, authors – who remain in competition with the world’s best. Writers such as Shimmer Chinodya, Charles Mungoshi, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Dambudzo Marechera, Yvonne Vera, Petina Gappah, NoViolet Bulawayo and Brian Chikwava have won international writing prizes, not by being protected by a minister but by being thrown into the shark infested waters of the global writing arena.

Hunger Strike

Workers at ZBC are said to have gone on a fast, during which they prayed for their salaries and medical aid which have not been paid since April. Rather than shove awful music down our ears, Professor Moyo might be better off dealing with that problem. However, viewers and listeners will not sympathise with employees of the national broadcaster. For the awful programmes they churn out, for the times they have tortured us with their songs of “commander in chief and head of state and government and annointed leader”, they have been paid exactly what they deserve. Nothing.

Promises, Promises

So much has been said about the old woman from Chivi – chembere yekwaChivi – who squeezed water from a rock. The chiefs of Chivi region have appealed for assistance as starvation looms. Paramount Chief Chivi said, ‘we went for elections and they are over, now we need the food that was promised. Politicians promised to save us from hunger so its time they deliver their promises.’ It is reported that the crisis in Chivi was exacerbated by the ban of 29 NGOs last year by former governor, Titus Maluleke., leaving villagers without much aid. Just as they did with voters transported into perceived MDC strongholds, perhaps Zanu (PF) will bus food and water from other constituencies into Chivi.

Miracle Water

From the party that brought you the movie, ‘Diesel From A Rock,’ starring Dydimus and Rotina, comes a new thriller called ‘Bumper Harvest from Catching Roof Water.’ Bikita East parliamentarian, Kennedy Matimba has suggested that farmers collect roof water via their gutters to alleviate water shortages. Matimba claims to have harvested 50 metric tonnes of maize from a 2,5 hectare field which was irrigated from rain collected off the roof of a four-roomed house.

First of all, honourable MP, your figures seem calculated by a man using an abacus with some of its balls missing. Matimba claims 50 metric tonnes can be harvested from 2,5 hectares. Honourable MP, not even miracle water can irrigate 2,5 hectares of land to produce 50 metric tonnes of maize. And to claim that such a quantity of maize lasts six months for one family illustrates Madhuku’s remarks about Chinotimbas in government. Even if it were a family of Godzillas, it would take a lot longer than six months to consume 50 metric tonnes of maize.

Big Brother

Government has passed a law permitting security agencies to eavesdrop on cellphone communication. Hmmmm… big brother is watching. In the never-ending battle between cops and robbers, the bad guys are always innovators. We wait to see what tricks they employ to circumvent this new law. – Till next week, my pen is capped. [email protected]

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