George Charamba needs to learn to respect women

The latest instalment by Nathaniel Manheru, headlined “Mujuru: The story of scattered wisdom” made very sad reading through its misogynistic views as well as denigration of those among us without university degrees.

Information ministry permanent secretary George Charamba

Information ministry permanent secretary George Charamba

George Charamba, Mugabe’s Spokesperson who hides behind an effigy called Nathaniel Manheru, did not only attack Dr Joice Mujuru, the politician and leader of Zimbabwe People First in the instalment, but all the women in the country when he chose to base his attacks on what Mujuru was wearing and what he imagined about her anatomy beyond what was visible.

Charamba chose to ignore the political symbolism that Dr Mujuru’s gesture to Guy Watson Smith brings to the issue of the land reform and geopolitics but had presence of mind to fix penetrative eyes beyond Dr Mujuru’s skirt.

On a day Donald Trump reached a new low in his denigration of women in the American election campaign, one would certainly have thought Charamba knew pretty well the bigoted nature of his analysis of Mujuru’s meeting with Watson Smith was infuriating to decent and right-thinking Zimbabweans.

Charamba, in his Manheru instalment, comes across; not only as a misogynist, uncouth and sex-obsessed bloke but as a spoilt brat whose perchance for ribaldry is alarming.

Rather than dwell on his equally misplaced belief that paying compensation to former commercial farmers was reversing the land reform exercise, Manheru hit a new low, choosing to imagine what could have been beyond the skirt Mai Mujuru was wearing.

When Charamba says “Joice has ungainly revealed her bearded political innards too much ahead of 2018”, before telling her “to sit like a woman” you sense you are listening to a pervert with a rapist mentality and the kind of reckless sexual disposition that might, as well, explain the calamities that have befallen him lately, which had him cut short a visit to Japan.

But Charamba is not just a pervert; he is also a modern day Lakunle, Wole Soyinka’s caricature of an African intellectual fond of showing off the number of books he has read and the long list of verbose statements he has mastered which do not go beyond the catalogue of books at his disposal.

Take him away from the books, from reciting Amilcar Cabral, Basil Davidson, and others, the man is virtually empty. That is the reason he can never understand the world we live in today does not allow for the kind of bigotry and misogyny he so blatantly exhibits at the slightest provocation.

I have watched Charamba in my short life and the numerous occasions I have conversed with him, I discovered a deep sense of insecurity, an inferiority complex that he hides behind contrived public show of grandeur, fame by proximity to President Mugabe and an exaggerated intellectualism that makes him believe all those without university degrees among us are “rural idiots”.

He, rather naively, thinks university degrees, equal wisdom when, in fact, there are more stupid professors than wise ones. That is the reason why, in the bible, for those of us who believe in it, there is no mention of a degree in the same line with wisdom.

There are a lot of extremely wise people who cannot speak one English word, have never been to a university in just the same way as we have hordes of professors and Master’s degree holders like Charamba who are wallowing in sublime idiocy.

We have degreed but certified lunatics like Charamba who do not know what to say, when and where? People who think since they control state media, they can write obscenities because their reprobate minds command them thus. That is George “Manheru” Charamba for you, a man personifying some real darkness, a clear indication of the absence of light (knowledge) as suggested by his nome deplume.

In a typically unwise move Charamba chose to engage his mouths (pen) even when he didn’t have full facts on events at the meeting between Dr Mujuru and Guy Watson Smith, the former owner of her Ruzambu farm in Beatrice.

The fact Charamba goes to town insinuating Mujuru was undoing the land reform by paying compensation when it is the Zanu-PF government policy to pay such compensation indicates that either Charamba is ignorant of government policy or he is just disingenuous because it is Mujuru involved in the compensation matrix.

It is public information that Patrick Chinamasa (Mugabe’s Minister of Finance) agreed to use Treasury bills and a land levy to compensate former commercial farmers whose land government grabbed during the chaotic land reform exercise.

Presenting the Mid-Term Policy Review statement on the 8th of September 2016, Chinamasa revealed that “To date, $42.7 million has been paid out for 43 farms, notwithstanding fiscal constraints being faced by government.”

On September 12 2016, less than a month ago, the same Herald, where the Manheru column is domiciled, picked on the story making it very laughable that Charamba uses the same paper, without any form of dissonance, to attack Mujuru for pretty the same thing that Chinamasa and the paper glorified with sugar-coated platitudes.

While Charamba finds reason to attack Mujuru for starting negotiations to pay Guy Watson Smith compensations, may be in the region of $1million, he sees nothing wrong with the $43 million that Chinamasa has paid for 43 farms. Doesn’t that translate to $1million per farm? So what’s the hullaballoo about the purported $1million that Mujuru is said to have agreed to pay Smith? Is Mujuru’s $1million more in value than the $1million per farm that Chinamasa is paying? Why is it that what is good for the goose should not be good for the gander?

Didn’t we see in the Herald newspaper that Charamba micro-manages, a statement by Permanent Secretary of Lands, Ngoni Masoka, saying Mugabe’s government had invited more than 1000 white farmers to engage the ministry for their compensation?

In the statement Masoka said “The former owners or representatives should contact the ministry of lands, land reform and resettlement as a matter of urgency in connection with their compensation.”

Mugabe’s government has made a commitment to pay compensation to white farmer and with its serious looming insolvency, it should thank Mujuru for offering to help with the compensation for her farm than chide her. Charamba should be applauding Mujuru for her patriotism through the offer to help compensate Smith at a time when cabinet ministers are notorious for looting state coffers.

There is nothing extraordinary with Dr Mujuru’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Guy Watson Smith on the 6th of October 2016 whereupon the two parties (Ruzambu Farm (Pvt) Limited and Hanagwe Farm represented by Guy Watson Smith) agreed to resume negotiations for compensation. The parties agreed to negotiate cognisant of “the laws of Zimbabwe governing use of farm land and ownership and the need to abide by the rules of natural justice”.

The MoU also states clearly that the parties to the agreement are cognisant that “Ruzambu Family Trust lost two farms in Shamva under the Land Reform Act and that what is presently the subject of this MoU is a compensation for loss of the two properties in Shamva” and that “ordinarily Ruzambu family Trust laid a counterclaim with government (Zimbabwe) on the loss of their ancestral home of Chivero Clan, it being the same property owned by both Hanagwe and Mr Guy Watson Smith.”

It also indicates that the parties agreed that “Both Hanagwe and Mr Guy Watson Smith are entitled to compensation as prescribed by the Land Reform Act directing that compensation shall be given for land improvements, movable assets and reasonable consideration for lack of income arising out of loss of the above assets.”

The above agreed facts form the basis around which the negotiations are supposed to commence and the parties agreed that “this agreement shall become legally binding once their respective lawyers have crafted the final agreement.”

So Dr Mujuru is within her rights, as a law abiding citizen and a politician who respects the rule of law, to consider, not only to pay compensation to Smith but also to respect the court ruling by Justice Mary Dube in August 2015 which ordered her to pay compensation to Smith, a decision that was greeted with ululation among her Zanu-PF detractors like George Charamba who are now vilifying her for meeting the same person the courts ordered her to pay compensation.

Charamba, is aware that Dr Mujuru’s political star is growing by the day hence his desperate bid to label her as an enemy of the land reform. Dr Mujuru is on record categorically stating, at Chatham House, that the land reform is irreversible but its irreversibility does not absolve government from paying the white farmers their compensation in order that we can get title deeds to the pieces of land.

It is disingenuous on the part of Charamba to say that government can cancel title deeds that the white farmers are holding. If it was true, why then did Mugabe and many of his cabinet ministers pay for the farms they grabbed?

We have incontrovertible evidence that Mugabe and most of his ministers paid large sums of money, during the Reserve Bank money printing era, to white commercial farmers in return for title deeds. Attempts by Charamba to dissuade others from doing the same is not only hypocritical but cruel as it means only the Zanu-PF chefs enjoy security of tenure while the majority of those that benefitted from the land reform exercise continue under a false illusion of land ownership when in fact they are landless.

As it stands today, those that are on the farms where no compensation has been paid, land compulsorily acquired under Chapter 20:10 of the Land Reform Act, do not own land since, at law, every piece of land they purport to own belongs to Robert Mugabe, the President of Zimbabwe and Zanu-PF.

Surely, if we had problems with 4000 white commercial farmers owning 70 per cent of our prime agricultural land, what of one man owning 70 per cent of the whole of prime land in Zimbabwe?

The issue of security of tenure has to be addressed to ensure productivity on the farms and to do that we can never escape without paying compensation. No amount of Victoria English can substitute paying compensation. No amount of obscenities hailed on Mujuru by an uncouth, loose and wife-bashing Charamba can exonerate Mugabe’s government from its obligation to pay compensation to the white farmers. That is the way it is.

Jealousy Mawarire is the spokesman for the Zimbabwe Peaople First party.

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