Cleaning out the stables

Our highly educated country has more than its fair share of mad professors, so I have to name Mad Professor Jonno as the man who is running round in such circles attempting the Herculean task of cleaning up the results of 30-something years of corruption and installing new boards to lead us all into the light of spotless integrity and unchallengeable rectitude.

Unfortunately, he is gyrating so fast he must have got a bit dizzy.

He sounded confused when he declared that he stood by his choice of two members of the ZBC board who fell far short of saintly rectitude (one of them is awaiting trial for murder, at least for the moment; we know how long they may need to wait) because “they have the skills necessary to turn ZBC around”.

Now, I don’t want to prejudge anything that is sub iudice, but surely, Professor, if you want a new board that is squeaky clean, you shouldn’t be appointing anyone whose cleanliness is sub iudice? The public demand more certainty than that.

But I suppose, when they have all been wallowing in the mire for so long, it is difficult to find anyone who wouldn’t be better for a brisk scrubbing down with scalding hot water and carbolic soap.

Yes, we have got a Catholic priest who is not Fr. Mukonori as chairman of the ZBC board, but he was only shoe-horned into that uncomfortable position because the Mad Professor’s first choice fell a bit too far short of even Jonno’s elastic standards of rectitude.

All of which leads me to reflect out loud on the chances of any honest person surviving in an environment where they are as scarce as they were at the critical time in Sodom, when, if you remember, not even God could find five human specimens righteous enough to let him spare the city from destruction.

To anyone aspiring to spread righteousness in the darkness created by half a longish lifetime of Zanu (PF) misrule, I would offer a gentle reminder that under the shade of that misrule, a jungle has grown up into which they venture at many times greater risk than Daniel entering the lions’ den.

“But” I have heard the hopefuls say, “we must be ready to take them at their word”. My dear, out-of-touch friends, didn’t you notice that it was just that Christian attitude that landed Morgan Tsvangirai in his present mess as late as last July? Remember the founder of Christianity didn’t urge us to be simple doves, but said that dovelike qualities must be balanced by the cunning of the serpent.

That jungle is full of hungry leopards, craftier than the lion, whose head-on approach might fit Border Gezi graduates, but not in the higher reaches of parastatal management, and I haven’t noticed any of those leopards changing their spots since July.

I ask these innocents “Are you better equipped for that jungle than were others we could all name? Or are you tired of living?” Either way, I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes.

“But” the apologists declare “if our St. George finds he can’t defeat the dragon, he can always resign.” Are they crazy? Few and far between are those intrepid souls who get as far as resigning. The last I can remember was one Nkosana Moyo, who posted his letter of resignation from South Africa on his way to America, where he arrived before his letter reached Harare. Nathan Shamuyarira is the only one I know of who survived jumping off the ZANU gravy train long enough to climb back aboard. And that was long ago, before most of you, dear readers, were born. We have yet to see whether Jonno himself has pulled off that trick successfully.

All of which goes to show that, even if there are some (as I believe) who sincerely want to make the whole mess look better, they stand as much chance as a snowflake in hell.

Post published in: Opinions & Analysis
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