State of the nation: Same old dung

President Robert Mugabe is feeling the heat. Zanu (PF) duped voters into believing it could create 2 million jobs and, through its empowerment drive, put all of us on par with Donald Trump.

Webster Shamu
Webster Shamu

At a party central committee meeting, Mugabe demanded to see results, calling for less meetings, less travel and more action. His comments come after an epidemic of touring broke out among cabinet ministers seeking to create an impression of industriousness: Parirenyatwa touring hospitals, Moyo touring media houses, Mpofu touring NRZ, Moyo, Mzembi touring Hwange national park. Mugabe said, ‘people will say what’s happening in agriculture? No change. The factories are not coming up… our roads are still the same.’

The cabinet is essentially the same old dung sprinkled with the scent of candy and repackaged as Swiss chocolate. For Mugabe to expect bovine excrement to suddenly take on the taste and quality of chocolate can only be the result of senility. Or ageing taste buds.

The Truth Emerges

State-owned cellular services provider NetOne has launched OneWallet, a money transfer service. Information technology minister, Webster Shamu said NetOne lags behind due to bureaucracy in government. It suddenly becomes clear why Munyaradzi Kereke of Zanu (PF) attempted, like a Chihuahua barking pointlessly at the heels of an elephant, to thwart Econet Wireless, whose product, EcoCash Save, he labelled ‘illegal.’

Tomfoolery in Parliament

Cubs grow into lions, pups into dogs. Boys, well boys grow into bigger boys. There were scenes akin to a playground argument in Parliament as legislators, feeding off the blood of taxpayers, exchanged ‘your mama’ insults. Kwekwe central MP, Masango Matambanadzo said MDC-T parliamentarians, who mock him for being uneducated, were unruly elements who urinated in dinner plates at university. He said they received ‘mafia intelligence’ training from the West. Speaker Jacob Mudenda had to play headmaster, issuing warming to the naughty boys, following an uproar from the MDC-T. While this makes for a good beerhall joke, one has to ask if anything constructive can come from this lot.

Mission Accomplished

The tedious saga of MDC-T’s Morgan Komichi’s trial has finally ended. Komichi was convicted of fraud and contravening the Electoral Act, after presenting ballots (to ZEC) which he claimed to have found in a rubbish bin. The judge said Komichi intended to discredit ZEC – as if ZEC needs any help in that department. To date only Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede has seen the voters roll. It has always been Zanu (PF)’s strategy to neutralise threats towards elections. Komichi is free on a suspended sentence, which is no surprise – ‘mission accomplished.’ The election is done.

The Bulldozers Return

Ignatius Chombo is not satisfied with making 700,000 people homeless in 2005. His second Murambatsvina has begun in Ruwa where council destroyed structures deemed illegal. Conveniently Zanu (PF) waited until after July 31 elections (as they did after 2005 parliamentary polls) before embarking on this compassionless exercise. Chombo’s deputy, Joel Matiza, showing a complete absence of human emotion, said government will not reverse its decision. Many will be left homeless and others with no income after houses and tuck-shops – their livelihoods – have been destroyed. And all this from a party that promised to create jobs, not destroy them.

All this madness began with the chaotic land reform. Zanu (PF) created homelessness and destitution. Jobless people who had survived on agriculture migrated to cities, causing accommodation shortage, which probably pleased property moguls like Chombo. Businesses linked to agriculture foundered, causing more job losses. Jobless people, unable to compete for the few available houses, found the solution in building their own homes. No action occurs without triggering a reaction somewhere else in the universe – cause and effect.

Old Horses

Public service minister, Nicholas Goche, has given reasons for Tobaiwa Mudede (70) remaining in office after retirement age. Goche quoted chapter and verse from the constitution, uttering words like ‘pensionable age is not retirement age.’ Please! We know Mugabe is a debonair gent and does not like to see one speck of dust on his shoes. Traffic rushing over dilapidated roads raises a lot of dust. Bob needs all the bootlickers available. That is why Mudede and 60 year old Rrrrreuben Barwe – his shoe shine crew – have not been sent to the knacker’s yard, despite their combined age of 130 years.

Travesty of Justice

Five Zanu (PF) members from Kadoma have been convicted of kidnapping a pair of nine-year-old twins, intending to kill them for some dastardly ritual that they believed would guarantee victory in the July 31 urban council elections. Fortunately the witchdoctor – this is by no means a ‘healer’ but a witchdoctor – did not go through with the ceremony as he felt a strong force protecting the children.

Most of the accused received jail sentences of less than six months and their ringleader, Dominic Musapurwa, received 15 months, six suspended. The courts are there to protect the weak and people do not come any weaker than two little girls. These people – and to call them ‘people’ is merely out of convention, for they showed no human qualities – have escaped lightly.

The worst fear for any parent is losing a child and a family came within inches of buying two caskets. Killing out of necessity or impulse – like in a robbery gone bad – is one thing but to hunt and stalk two defenceless girls, like prey, is the pinnacle of ruthlessness. Is a seat on the council of a little town, one with only a single traffic light, so important that people would resort to coldblooded, premeditated murder!

At the same time, we see headlines announcing that two poachers found in possession of a pair of elephant tusks have each received 9 years in jail. And two people convicted of the petty offence of DVD piracy have received 6 months – the same sentence for child killers! – proving that, by Zimbabwean court system, killing an elephant for its teeth or bootlegging CDs is more objectionable than attempting to kill children. There is something seriously wrong.

Ministry of Not-So Childcare

Three children have died after taking the Ministry of Health and Childcare’s bilharzia vaccine. An investigation would have been wiser, before resuming immunisation but permanent secretary for the ministry, Dr Gerald Gwinji, showing no childcare at all, said vaccination will continue. Bilharzia causes stunted growth and, frankly, shortness of height is nothing compared to child death. Some parents have withdrawn from the immunisation. In other parts of the world, somebody in authority would have fallen on his sword, or faced an avalanche of litigation.

Penniless Patrick

Finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa, says he needs more time to construct the 2014 national budget and added ‘possibly in December.’ Chinamasa also said government will enter into a payment plan with former MPs, to whom allowances are still owed. A spade will never be a spoon, so let’s call it a spade. There is absolutely no money and the man is pulling out what’s left of his hair, attempting to make money out of thin air. Oh Gideon, where is your billion-quintillion printing machine when your boss needs it. – Till next week, my pen is capped. [email protected]

Post published in: Opinions & Analysis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *