Editor’s Memo

‘Send them 000ff’ too!

By Vincent Kahiya

MEN have always had a fascination with football. The sport does not only raise testosterone levels in both players and spectators, it also brings out the best or the w

orst out of stakeholders.


The allure of the game has driven men to name children after their footballing idols. Fanatical adults have adopted footballers’ names or nicknames to raise self-esteem and make heads turn when their pet names are called in public.


There is one banker friend who is trying to rechristen himself Zidane after that bald-headed star, whose butt-like-a-ram-on-rut earned him a red card in the last World Cup final. (Can we ever stop talking about that incident?)


To some Zidane remains a hero notwithstanding the assault on Marco Materazzi and to those stuck in the dogma of discipline, a villain reduced to naught by the red card.


The attraction of the game no doubt influenced the RBZ to come up with its “send them 000ff” advert to drum up support for the slashing of zeros from the local currency.


The advert starts off by saying “our goal is to play as one team” and the team needs “great players”. The performance of this team is being affected because players “are all over the field fighting for the ball, not scoring goals, just getting penalties and shooting in the wrong direction”. Three unruly players who are eventually sent off by the referee, the advert suggests, are causing all this.


There is something wrong with this team. It is not disputed that the coach had in the first place selected the unruly players in the team. Their thrashing all over the pitch and fighting each other for the ball also reflect badly on the coach. Where did he get these hooligans?


The referee though has had enough and is kicking them out. This is a cause for celebration for the coach! He now has eight players at his disposal. Is he going to win the match because the team is now lighter and stronger?


The RBZ advert is however just on the zeros. They were an impediment to business transaction and therefore had to go. Whether by design or otherwise, the advert appropriately captures what needs to be done in the current government.


Even RBZ governor Gideon Gono acknowledges that there are bad players in the government team like the three or four he said gather in the evening to determine the foreign currency black market price.


There are those in government who continue to cause disruptions on the farms and those who diverted concessional financing into non-productive uses.


Gono appears to have the inventory of the infidels who really need to be shown the red card but the coach, who is well aware of the shortcomings in his team, would rather keep the lot even when they are “fighting all over the field, not scoring goals, just getting penalties”.


The team is hurting big time together with its multitude of supporters who have been told that there is no crisis in the team. The coach knows there are players in his team who were mere zeros at Independence but have morphed into heroes, courtesy of the opportunities the coach has given them to continue playing even when they are not clear which way they should be scoring.


When the brief to the team has been to desist from causing disruptions on the farms, one player last month, soon after team talk, was in the Lowveld telling producers that they were not required. He is still in the team!


Gono on Monday identified three hazards that have stood in the way of national progress: indiscipline, corruption and speculation.


He merely mentions them without putting human names to the vices.


The players not only need to see red, they must be booted out of the club even if the coach is waiting for the referee to give them the red card.


When RBZ billboards advertising the new notes spring up throughout the country, let’s remember to “send them 000ff” especially those who miraculously rose from “zero to hero”!