Don’t confuse the comrades

HOW refreshing to h

ave the views of veteran nationalist James Chikerema on our errant leadership.

In an interview with the Standard last Sunday, Chikerema said there was little likelihood of President Mugabe leaving office any time soon because he lived in terror of prosecution for human rights offences from the Gukurahundi era.

“Mugabe is scared stiff of his 1980s sins,” Chikerema was reported as saying, “and is strongly suspicious that once he bows out of office his entire world will crumble around him. He doesn’t see any assurance of security from prosecution if he relinquishes power. He has tasted the power of the presidency. He will be there until death.”

Chikerema laughed uncontrollably, we are told, when asked if Jonathan Moyo could assume the reins of power.

“That would be the joke of the millennium,” he replied recalling Moyo’s Damascene conversion in reverse.

“Moyo will never be president. He cannot be trusted.”

But he could be worming his way into high office via an elected seat. Muckraker doesn’t think the diversion of the presidential helicopter to Tsholotsho recently was an unplanned stop. That constituency is being cultivated the Zanu PF way! The “unelected” tag has begun to chafe and there will be an all-out effort to win Tsholotsho with all the resources of the state mobilised on the Titanic survivor’s behalf.

Meanwhile, Muckraker would like to put to rest reports that the MDC has set up a fund to send him on another boating holiday.

 Moyo’s alter ego Nathaniel Manheru has been busy attacking journalists in his Herald column, The Other Side. Andrew Meldrum, we gather, was deported for “compromising national security”. Anybody opposing his abduction and illegal deportation is a “racist”, according to the Herald’s deeply troubled correspondent.

And what “national security” did Meldrum compromise? The record of brutality, subversion of the rule of law, and economic sabotage that Manheru disgracefully defends, we can safely conclude.

He rails against the World Economic Forum for describing Zimbabwe as a basket case. This followed a WEF report that ranked Zimbabwe among the worst-governed and most corrupt countries in the world.

It was all a neo-liberal plot, according to Manheru. Reports of food shortages were “an agricultural lie”. Suggestions that land reform may have been violent were “reckless and false”.

Powerful British companies were behind the current collapse, the seriously delusional Manheru blathered on. “Evidence of a resilient economy was ignored,” he claimed. Perhaps because none could be found!

Manheru, like his delusional colleague Joseph Made who has been strangely quiet recently, forecasts a “looming agricultural boom thanks to land reforms”. Meanwhile, the World Food Programme and other donors are expected to save the country from starvation by feeding over six million people. Most readers — even Herald ones — will spot the contradiction!

No wonder Mugabe’s parrots like Manheru are in the business of mass deception. How else do they explain their record of criminal misrule? But these losers pretending to speak on behalf of Zimbabweans need to be assured of one thing. Assailing the press won’t keep their dark secrets hidden for long — just like the scandalous shopping trips while the nation starves.

And is it really a good idea for them to speak on behalf of individual judges while claiming the country has an independent judiciary? No self-respecting judge would want to be seen as being in the pocket of a  sinking politician-cum-commentator.

 A reader has sent us the following thought: Remember Reaganomics? This was the economic policy advanced by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s which included prudent monetary policies, lower fiscal taxes, balanced budgets, a stronger dollar, lower inflation and full employment.

Not to be outperformed, Robert Mugabe has come up with what South Africa’s Business Day has defined as  “Mugabenomics”. This involves accelerated economic regression characterised by value degradation, unprecedented hyperinflation, and social decay.

To put it in the words of one prominent economist: “Mugabenomics amounts to an idiot’s guide to a kwashiokored economy.”

Thanks to Nathaniel Manheru, we all now know who the idiot is. The same one who wants people to believe that the banks are short of notes because Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew $10 million for his bail!

 Tafataona Mahoso, in a predictable effort to blame Zimbabwe’s isolation on Don McKinnon, on Sunday pointed to the fine record of Shridath Ramphal as Commonwealth secretary-general. He was parroting the state’s standard propaganda line that the Club can be divided into the majority who support Zimbabwe and a racist minority who support Britain.

This particular view is facing an uphill push. If the majority support Zimbabwe, why haven’t they raised any objection to its continued suspension? All we have heard are a few words from South Africa’s High Commissioner to London. Instead there appears to be a consensus around McKinnon’s position. He had clearly done his homework. And the regime cannot have derived much comfort from Olivia Muchena’s treatment in South Africa recently despite her inventive claims in the Herald.

The fact is nobody is coming to Zimbabwe’s rescue. And there has been a significant change of attitude in the Caribbean, not to mention West Africa. As for Ramphal, readers will recall that his efforts to engage Mugabe ahead of its suspension in March were treated to a regal rebuff. The Commonwealth hauled him out of retirement to spare Mugabe unnecessary humiliation by attempting to engage him in dialogue as required by the Coolum process. If he wouldn’t speak to McKinnon surely he would speak to his old friend “Sonny” Ramphal? But Mugabe didn’t return his calls.

Mahoso is either unaware of this or is deliberately ignoring it. And his bold attempts to claim that Zanu PF’s programme of agricultural sabotage constitutes a scientific advance of some sort will be of interest to agronomists. Perhaps next week, at the risk of boring us to tears, he could explain why the UNDP has been blocked from assisting land reform. This might enable him once again to mention the entirely fictional figure of 300 000 households who have been resettled! Note “households”, not people.

 Another Sunday Mail correspondent — a pupil of Mahoso by the look of it —  complains of “white racist and capitalist imperialist interference” in the Zanu PF leadership race. This is having the effect of “confusing the people and stimulating jealousies and suspicions among comrades within Zanu PF”.

“Planted stories in planted media” are to blame, we are told. Listening in on presidential telephone conversations by foreign agents posing as journalists is also a problem. They end up knowing more than comrades. The trouble is “some comrades may not be clever enough to see through the gross manipulation” by the planted press.

The comrade writing this story was evidently clever enough. He could see the “devastating propaganda effect on African interests” of this devious strategy. It “demeans the incumbent as one who is so selfish that all he cares about is putting his favourite boy in office at the expense of national and Pan-African concerns and considerations”.

Surely not? And please remember everybody: Don’t confuse the comrades. It’s an offence under Posa.

The Sunday Mail’s creepy-crawly Under the Surface columnist meanwhile chides new Kuwadzana MP Nelson Chamisa for not contributing to parliament. He seems determined instead to join the MDC’s campaign of “boycotts and walkouts”, we are told.

Muckraker would like to reassure Cde Under that Chamisa is contributing fully to the public discourse as the following quote from a newspaper article on President Mugabe’s malign rule illustrates:

“We never imagined how his story would end. It opened with such promise and Mugabe was poised to be one of the greatest African leaders of our time. But now the last chapter is being written, it is one of despair and doom. Mugabe the hero has been replaced by Mugabe the betrayer.

“To ask what went wrong is a big question. Mugabe became addicted to power. He did not see democracy as the future. He wanted to rule until death, like the old chieftains. Power became a habit. After giving so much, he took so much. Now he has brought death to the edge of all our doorsteps.”

Cde Under the Surface: Are you sure you want Chamisa to contribute to parliament? He might confuse the comrades.

 The government this week came up with a surefire solution to end the country’s nagging fuel crisis. “Carrying fuel in containers banned” announced the Herald on Tuesday. The story was accompanied by a picture of drums of all sizes, as if that was the fuel the country needs!

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