Angles and demons

Nelson Mandela has passed on. The news was on every single television channel, including sports stations. That is the measure of the man’s popularity. But like all heroes Mandela had his haters. Our friends – well they’re not really our friends – from George Silundika Avenue, attempting to please their libelous boss questioned Nelson Mandela’s legacy.

Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela

The reason for the attacks on Mandela is that the mention of Madiba will always be followed by African statesmen who are his complete opposite. When one mentions angels, one invariably discusses demons. Robert Mugabe – human rights abuser, election rigger, power clinger – is the antithesis of Mandela. So our not-so-friends from George Silundika attack Mandela to mollify their boss who must have spent the weekend flipping through channels, searching for a station that would not mention the name that stings his eardrums.

Free To Poach Again

A Chinese man caught with ivory at the Harare International airport has been sentenced to 20 days in jail or $150 fine. There is something the matter with our legal system if the poachers responsible for poisoning elephants were sentenced to 15 years and then those that are above them (the smugglers) receive a slap on the wrist. Drug barons receive higher sentences than mere street pedlars. In the war against poaching, there should be stiff penalties for ivory barons because they are the drivers of poaching. In China they execute drug dealers; one bullet fired at close range to the back of the head. While we are ‘looking east,’ let us learn from them in dealing with those responsible for decimating our wildlife.

Prison Broke

According to the ministry of justice, 100 people have died in prison during 2013. The cause? Illness and malnutrition. Zimbabwe’s prisons have a capacity of 7,000 but are currently holding 18,000. A hundred inmates dead, not because they were shanked or shot in the back while attempting a Michael Schofield Prison Break but because our government cannot even organise a chain gang to plant cabbages. Hunger should be the last cause of death in our prisons.

Apparently Patrick Chinamasa’s national budgetless Treasury has not supplied the inputs necessary for production on the 27 available prison farms. It costs $1million per month to run the prisons but Treasury is only releasing $300,000. Let us not attribute prison deaths to ‘illegal sanctions.’ Potatoes will sprout even from peels salvaged from rubbish bins and a good harvest of maize can be achieved even from non-treated seed. The government has 18,000 unpaid labourers at its disposal and an abundance of land but still fails to produce food for prisons. That is the height of failure.

Down on Bended Knee

The Masvingo provincial medical director, Robert Mudyiradima, dropped to his knee, not in a marriage proposal but in sycophantic appeal to the US ambassador, Bruce Wharton, for funds to help in the fight against HIV. ‘Spare us some few thousand dollars in future and we will continue our fight with the disease.’ There is nothing as pathetic as the sight of a grown man on his knees. Perhaps Mudyiradima did not receive the presidential memo. The message from our great leader is that we don’t need the Americans and we are never going to be colonised again.

Police Corruption

Last week, two separate police car chases resulted in two deaths. ‘Car chase’ evokes visions of flashing blue lights and sirens. Banish all such images from your brain. In one incident, two cops chased a kombi, on foot, attempting to bash the windscreen. By ZRP logic, that is how you apprehend suspects. The driver struck a pedestrian during the chase. The two officers, proving just how quick they are, ran away. It makes no sense that our police officers attempt to stop kombis on foot. Even Usain Bolt would not attempt to chase a speeding car. The number one cause of these kombi-chase deaths is police corruption.

When ZRP stop kombis, their motive is not law enforcement but to shakedown the driver for his fare. Corruption begins at VID where untrained drivers buy licenses. Any motorist who has gone through the proper training will exercise more caution on the road.

A return to a proper public transport system – with buses, timetables and designated bus stops – would increase state revenue (formal businesses pay taxes) and reduce accidents.

Is There a Doctor in The House?

A nervous Melody Dziva (Zanu (PF)) collapsed in parliament after she was jeered mid-speech by MDC parliamentarians. Priscilla Misihairabwi Mushonga (MDC) put aside party rivalry and collaborated with Mendy Chimene in wheeling her to the parliament clinic. The fact that it was Misihairabwi, a pugnacious MDC member, who assisted a Zanu (PF) parliamentarian, is only half the surprise. In a parliament with no less than three qualified medical doctors – David Parirenyatwa, Paul Chimedza and Aldrin Musiiwa.

Wise Man among Fools

Leave the white dairy farmers alone, says Zanu (PF) politburo member, Cephas Msipa. ‘It is in the national interest that these dairy farmers should remain on their farms. We don’t have to import milk when we have people who are productive. It does not matter that one is white or black. What we want is development.’ Even in a madhouse, sane people exist. Perhaps Msipa is a wise man sent to the nuthouse, to stop the madmen from setting the curtains on fire.

What happened to indigenisation? If we should not import milk what about the maize that we import from Zambia? Zanu (PF) have more pride that common sense. They should simply admit that they erred with their chaotic land reform.

Camera Tricks

At the funeral of Brigadier-General Misheck Tanyanyiwa, Robert Mugabe attempted to rise from his chair. He immediately fell back. The legs are gone. The camera quickly averted its eye – like a man walking in on his naked mother-in-law in the bathroom – switching to another scene. Attempting to hide a man’s frailty is about as dumb as trying to conceal a pregnancy. In the end it shows.

Frank Talker

Zengeza east MP Alexio Masundire did not only call a spade a spade. He took it and bashed Ignatius Chombo over the head with it, alleging that Chombo interferes with the running of town councils because he wants to protect his ill-gotten properties. Masundire alleges the minister has benefitted from corrupt land deals and appointed his ex-campaign manager Godfrey Tanyanyiwa as Chitungwiza town clerk.

Tanyanyiwa is in jail for looting town council funds. Not content with bashing a grey ministerial head, Masundire went on to accuse businessman and Chitungwiza south MP, Christopher Chigumba, of Chigumba Wholesalers fame, of issuing 1,000 stands on a piece of land meant for only 100. Perhaps Chigumba, accustomed to selling everything in bulk, reasoned that 100 plots was not quite big enough and a thousand felt more… um, er… bulky. There is no smoke without a fire. Chombo ordered an audit of land deals in Chitungwiza. The audit was completed a month ago but Chombo and deputy minister, Joel Matiza, have conspired to keep the incriminating report secret. – Till next week, my pen is capped. [email protected]

Post published in: Opinions & Analysis

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