Finally Lowani has seen the light

DIVISIONS are deepening in Zanu PF ahead of the parliamentary election next year. There is no hiding them anymore.

One example is Makoni North where Didymus Mutasa is engaged in mortal combat w

ith war veterans who want to take over his seat. Dickson Chingaira wants to challenge Gibson Munyoro in Makoni West, who is reportedly “too old” to represent the constituency.

The battles promise to be equally gory in Mashonaland West. In some constituencies there are as many as five people vying for a single seat.

It is still a mystery how Walter Muzembi landed the Masvingo South seat. He was suspended, faced grave allegations of insubordination and expulsion from the party. But last week there was a sudden volte-face and a settlement. It was a speedy, suspicious and painfully sweet a deal to be believed.

Muckraker doesn’t know much about Muzembi’s war credentials, but we can’t understand how such a mafikizolo fits the political stature and intellectual perspicacity of the late Eddison Zvobgo. Only the masters of deception and intrigue in Zanu PF can explain.

Unless we accept the “how to kill a presidential challenge” theory that Phathisa Nyathi has offered.

Talking of mafikizolo reminds us of a policy somersault by one Lowani Ndlovu. In the past he has tried in vain to bend principle to suit his propaganda tactics. Last week the truth became so stark he was forced to hit it with his nose.

We have always argued that the problem with Zimbabwe’s land reform programme was in the methodology used. There was never a quarrel about the need for land distribution. That was a myth started and nurtured by Zanu PF to further its selfish electoral agenda.

Last week Lowani was forced to recant in the face of on-going farm evictions. In his own words: “If these evictions are necessary, they are certainly being done the wrong way,” he wrote in the Sunday Mail.

“In politics, and particularly in policy implementation, the wrong way of doing the right thing is just not acceptable but also dangerous because it always increases the risk of making the right thing wrong. So, what is right can end up being wrong if the method of implementation is wrong.”

These are not legal truths. They are simple matters of principle which an ordinary villager would be aware of from the law of natural justice.

We wonder why it took Lowani four years to see the light. A wrong method can spoil a noble cause. Unless the “ignorance” was calculated to give the reform process revolutionary zeal and maintain a veil of ideological cohesion, which is fast peeling off.

While Lowani in the Sunday Mail is protesting the mass eviction of peasants so that he can justify his own multiple farm ownership, Nathaniel Manheru in the Herald is celebrating the overwhelming success of the “revolution”. It’s a war between the lumpen proletariat and the newly-propertied class. Chinks are manifest in Zanu PF’s ideological armour. Chaos art thy name! The right hand knoweth not what the left is doing.

Sunday Metro last week gave us interesting testimonies about the cleanliness of Zimbabwe’s smaller towns and cities but refused to give the true explanation. In its City Check column the paper claimed to have visited Bulawayo, Chegutu, Kadoma, Kwekwe and Victoria Falls.

Here is the testimony after the tour: “There is less or no litter at all on streets. Roads have no potholes. There is no sewer flowing on the streets and no vendors obstructing pedestrians on pavements in the city centres. Public toilets and main bus termini are clean.”

It was suggested the Harare council could “learn a lesson or two” on how to maintain a city. City Check is very wrong. The reason the other urban centres are cleaner is because they have not been plagued by the Ignatious Chombo bug. It’s that simple and that is why Bulawayo residents are wary of Chombo trying to spread the Harare virus.

Muckraker was fascinated by Information minister Jonathan Moyo’s defence of his so-called 100% local content policy in the media. It was critical in “preserving our unchanging values which are permanent”, declared Moyo recently to a group of bemused soldiers from the Zimbabwe Staff College.

“Those values should never be changed and must be used as a means to recognise us as a unique society.”

He couldn’t pinpoint what it was that was “unchanging”. Culture evolves over time. That is music, games, the way we greet each other and the way parents and children relate to each change. So has our appreciation, evaluation and attitude towards Zimbabwe’s liberation war evolved since 1980. The only permanent thing is Zimbabwe that we must preserve for posterity. Or so we thought.

The revelation was sobering: “What is permanent about that society is the regime of that society,” cried Moyo in true imitation of George Orwell’s Squealer in Animal Farm. “We need to understand what is permanent about our society and make a policy about that.”

So Moyo’s sole aim in his fight against NGOs, civil society, academics, journalists, private media houses and the MDC is to preserve a “permanent” one-party “regime”? Regime in its pejorative, repellent sense as a ruling clique that has no popular mandate, not the masked ogre Lowani Ndlovu has been deviously trying to get us inured to in his Sunday Mail column.

A regime is by definition the nearest thing to a junta. It has the added danger of a pretence to election and laying a claim to legitimacy. It can therefore create militias in the name of the people.

Lowani’s attempt to sanitise a regime as “a people’s way of life” is a chimera. And Moyo appears to have fallen for this ruse.

Is there something that Zanu PF politicians are given so that they lose part of their brain? This is not an idle question after what Legal Affairs minister Patrick Chinamasa said of the MDC and the people of Zimbabwe last week.

Asked whether opposition parties would be given access to the public media ahead of the March election, Chinamasa reportedly claimed such access would be accorded only to parties “loyal to the country”.

He said it was a “matter of national security” that the opposition was denied access to the public media.

“I will reiterate that there is no way the US government will allow al-Qaeda space on its public media,” he said, “and similarly there is no way the Zimbabwe government will allow the opposition the opportunity to undermine the government of the day.”

Since when has Zimbabwe used the US as a yardstick for setting its policies? When was al-Qaeda voted into the US congress Cde Chinamasa? So John Kerry is head of al-Qaeda? At least we now understand why Roy Bennett did what he did in parliament.

But more to the point, Zimbabweans wonder how Chinamasa is qualified to judge their loyalty. It looks more like the fear of losing to the opposition than national security. How does a minister whose government has abused its citizens in every imaginable way claim to be most loyal to the country?

Muckraker normally does not want to embarrass fellow strugglers in the media. But we were irritated that Tendai Chari can’t get simple facts correct when he claims to be a media studies lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe.

In his opening paragraph of an opinion piece in the Sunday Mirror this week he said he was responding to an article by Dumisani Ndlela of “October 30 2004”. How was that possible? One of the reasons people refer to newspapers is because they believe they are accurate sources of information.

Chari then claimed Ndlela had failed to engage him “in a scholarly debate” over theories of mass communication. So he has been boring us with those rambling weekly articles in the Sunday Mirror because he thinks they are scholarly material? What vanity. It’s like Lawrence Moyo of the Herald boasting that he is now “a complete journalist” because he has been to Lord’s in England and to Pakistan. Give readers a chance to pass compliments. What’s the hurry?

Nor are we impressed by thought terrorists masquerading as media and cultural workers. Ngugi wa Mirii’s self-interest leads him to believe whoever criticises government policy should be closed down. He claims to be “working in the media” but celebrates the closure of the Daily News because he didn’t like what it wrote.

“For how long shall society continue to stand national humiliation in the name of free and democratic press?” lamented Ngugi in a long article in the Sunday Mirror in praise of Tendai Chari’s media theories.

We know he ran away like a fugitive from Daniel arap Moi’s brute dictatorship in Kenya while others fought for their freedom. Now he is ashamed to return to his native country because of that betrayal.

Maybe his countrymen have use for his totalitarian ideas about the media and his so-called culture. We certainly don’t although we know he has to justify his inclusion on various dubious clubs feeding from Jonathan Moyo’s table.

Ngugi wa Thiong’o should be ashamed of his turncoat, pennywise erstwhile friend. At least with Moyo they share a similar background. So he is in good company! That’s how far the whore of capitalism addles the mind! Kwaheri.

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