Arrest of journalists exposes reactionary Zanu PF regime

Professor Jonathan Moyo’s declaration that bonuses are a reward for hard work and not an entitlement to be automatically granted every year will anger many workers in the public service.


The Higher and Tertiary minister said some workers including civil servants who were seeking bonuses “do not deserve them as they were non-performers and drunkards”.

“I’m sympathetic to the view that payment of bonuses should be for extra performance at work and not an entitlement,” Moyo wrote on his Twitter account.

But Apex council president Richard Gundane said Moyo’s comments were reckless and in bad taste.

New parly
Zimbabwe is currently building a new parliament in Mt Hampden we are told. Chinese engineers have been active at the site. It may be churlish to complain about a project that is funded by others. But this is a major project which has been on the cards for over two years and is dear to the heart of government.
However, we are in the midst of an economic crisis generated by Zanu PF. They should be part of the solution when they are part of the crisis.
Whatever the case, Zimbabwe needs to advertise its intelligent design programmes such as fast trains. What has been built under the auspices of the current parliament? And what has Minister of Agriculture Joseph Made achieved beyond being Mugabe’s farm manager?

New minister
Another minister who is new to his ministry, Chris Mushohwe, has just completed a familiarisation tour. This comes in the wake of the arrest of NewsDay journalists who the government accuses of publishing falsehoods. Mushohwe said the media should not scare away investors through alarmist reports based on falsehoods.
Let’s put the minister straight here. Investors are indeed being scared away but the cause is self-evident. We have a government that believes in punishing journalists because it doesn’t like what they say. It is a reactionary regime steeped in the partisan shibboleths of yesteryear.
“Journalism is about getting facts right,” Mushohwe declared without justifying arbitrary arrests except to say government will not defend wrong things.
What will investors make of this? Will they part with their hard-earned incomes to listen to the nonsense spewed by Mugabe’s minsters?
“We must work as a team, as a family,” Mushohwe pronounced after the reporters had been detained. This was evidently one family few people would want to join.

Zim burning
Still on the subject of holidays and vacations, it’s always open season for senior government officials who take the cue from Mugabe to enjoy a vacation of their own. There’s no question that the country is burning while those who are supposed to douse the flames are somewhere far off and partying.
Civil servants have only just received their December salaries, but minus the bonus which has already torched a storm following the garrulous Jonathan Moyo’s comments about undeserving government workers. The party will not stop for ordinary people who will bear the brunt of an expected poor agricultural season as drought ravages many parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Exporting skills
Revelations that 14 000 Zimbabweans have applied to be exported to work in other countries would be comical if it wasn’t so tragic. While other countries are exporting minerals, crops and other products to the benefit of their economies, we are exporting humans! While other countries are exporting to gain much-needed revenue, we are importing skills to accelerate the brain drain. While the United States added 292 000 jobs in December alone, we are decimating our human capital. This is a damning indictment of a government that has failed to provide employment for its own citizens. Poverty of leadership has never been laid so bare.

What crime?
This leads us to Nathaniel Manheru’s column last Saturday in which he castigated the private media of being “nabobs of negativity”.
“They (journalists from the private sector) have become masters in drawing up the calendar of human suffering, human pessimism. Our self-esteem gets battered, the national ego gets willow wilted by these little men and women in newsrooms who think makers of history are pessimists, men and women of no hope, of desperation, authors of chaos,” Manheru bellowed in his weekly column.
But what crimes have the little men and women — as Manheru calls scribes from the private media — committed, we ask? Is it because we have pointed out the confusion of ministers who sit in the same cabinet every Tuesday fighting publicly over the indigenisation policy signed into law in 2008? Is it because we write about the dismal failure by government to inject 2,2 million jobs into a market where job losses are the order of the day?
Is Manheru irked by these little men and women pointing out company closures, continued farm invasions and continued de-industrialisation? Why shoot the messenger?
Questions abound.
Unfortunately, we cannot ignore what is happening on the ground to satisfy the ego of Manheru. Our remit is to report facts and not fairytales disguised as news such as the facile claim that there is only 11% unemployment in the country!

Cabinet tiff
We could not help but chuckle at Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa’s effort to play down his tiff with his dreadlocked colleague Indigenisation minister Patrick Zhuwao.
The differences between the two, Chinamasa would have us believe, were just part of robust debate.Well, maybe it’s just us being cynical, Cde Chinamasa, but being accused of treachery by Zhuwao hardly constitutes robust debate. It is really taking the art of understatement a bit too far. Vicious, crass or brutal attack is more like it.

Far East jaunt: Mnangagwa lacks sense of occasion
Anyone noticed the dark, hazy pictures doing the rounds on social media and featuring the First Family at some unnamed jaunt in the Far East together with the Second Family of Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa all standing to attention as if at some solemn occasion in Dubai.

What is the import of the pictures and what subliminal messages are being communicated to Zimbabweans and the rest of the world? Could it be that the two families have found each other and are so anxious for the rest of the world to know in the aftermath of First Lady Grace Mugabe’s rallies where she traversed the length and breadth of the country pouring cold water on Mnangagwa’s perceived ambitions to succeed her husband Robert?

Whatever it is that we should have deciphered from those poor barely visible images beg the question of whether there was no proper camera or even camera person. We may know not the answers to those questions but what we do know though is that Mugabe and Mnangagwa certainly lack the sense of occasion, dressing up as they did in formal suits when they are supposed to be on vacation in the exotic Far East. Those party poopers can certainly learn a thing or two from the carnival-loving Tourism minister Walter Mzembi. The minister who brought us the colourful Brazilian Samba dancers posted his own pictures to social media and he was every inch a realistic version of Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor dreamcoat with his sparkling beach shirt which was complemented by the matching Bermuda shorts.


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