IS there anybody in the state media who will tell us the truth? The ultimate deception was a Herald heading on Saturday which claimed there was “No Winner” in the presidential election.
So the man who came first did not win? Well, none of the candidates secured an absolute majority. Therefore there was “No Winner”.
So thatâ€™s how it works? And if President Mugabe had won 47% of the vote and Morgan Tsavangirai 43%, would the Herald have told us there was no winner?
Putting aside this gross dishonesty for which we waited six weeks, there was another bit of electoral news on the same page: “Brown humiliated in UK council polls”.
So the news of a local government setback for the Labour leader in the UK eclipses the manifest humiliation of our own leader whose pathetic 43% of the poll was the best he could do after blandishments, threats and inducements on an epic scale?
Perhaps the worst dimension to all this was Zanu PFâ€™s claim that the results “did not reflect the genuine expression of the will of the Zimbabwean people”. This was after Mugabe had told us (when he thought he was winning) to accept the results with good grace.
Emmerson Mnangagwa complained about anomalies, malpractice and inflation of opposition figures.
“The anomalies revealed a pattern in the management of the electoral process which was biased against Zanu PF and in favour of the MDC,” Mnangagwa claimed.
In other words all the things Zanu PF used to get away with are now the subject of bitter disputation!
Zesn was accused of being a conduit for British and American funds used to bribe electoral officials. Did the police find any evidence of that in their raid on Zesnâ€™s offices two weeks ago?
“In short Zanu PF and all its candidates, especially its presidential candidate, feel aggrieved and were greatly prejudiced by attempts by the MDC and its sponsors to tamper with the electoral system,” Mnangagwa declared.
Again, has this been proved? Or is it, as we suspect, the vituperations of a sore loser? We thought the lengthy sifting of votes in 21 constituencies was designed to produce the smoking gun Zanu PF was looking for. Evidently it proved elusive.
Tafataona Mahoso was equally bitter with voters.
“What Dr Gono did not reveal (in his latest monetary statement) is the shocking fact,” Mahoso said, “that a very significant minority among our own people, 47% of those who voted in the recently concluded harmonised elections, in fact voted for the very same foreign-sponsored party which asked for and received the curse of illegal sanctions upon the peopleâ€¦The continuing existence of such a foreign-sponsored party and the existence of such a significant minority who elected 99 sanctions-loving MPs into our parliament now constitutes a national scandalâ€¦”
Mahoso obviously hasnâ€™t learnt Rule No 1 in politics: Never insult the voters.
He is evidently one of those who view the people as unreliable and in need of reconstitution.
He is unable to grasp the fact that sanctions were the product of a systematic assault upon voters in 2002 which is now repeating itself.
There will be no respite for Mahoso or Gono as long as they persist in supporting a brutal and delinquent regime.
And is our information correct, that Gono was among the recalcitrant gang of service chiefs and others who beseeched Mugabe immediately after the poll not to surrender to the democratic outcome? A clarification from the governor would be useful.
Meanwhile, we were amused amidst the gloom to hear that Gono “waved his magic wand once more” in his monetary policy review to “bring relief to the majority of Zimbabweans”. His statement was “just what the doctor ordered”, the Herald declared.
Herald reporters who engage in such Pollyanna reporting should ask themselves what happened on all the previous occasions he got his wand out.
He may tickle their fancy with that wand of his but the country is no better off. So stop trying to fool the public.
And by the way, where else has a central bank governor changed policy on the back of advice from a joker?
Gono confessed that he increased cash withdrawal limits after taking advice from ZTVâ€™s Dr Zobha.
It is not surprising though because both doctors never read for their PhDs.
Zobha awarded himself one for playing the fool while Gono had one bestowed on him for managing royal accounts.
A Doctor of Patronage taking advice from a Doctor of Folly.
At least Zobha has the decency to cover his face in a mask.
The other joker still believes he is doing fine even when inflation is 200 000%.
It was good to hear recently from a genuine war veteran, Wilfred Mhanda, who is able to comment with some authority on the depredations of the imposters who terrorise our land.
He has been quiet for a while.
But he came out with guns blazing last weekend in the Johannesburg Sunday Independent.
He said that “an orgy of violence” had been unleashed by state security forces, “complemented by war veterans, youth militia and Zanu PF enthusiasts”.
“The Mugabe regime descended on the defenceless people of Zimbabwe as retribution for voting for change,” he told the newspaper. “Command structures for the campaign of violence are now fully operational.
Mugabeâ€™s illegitimate and repressive rule has degenerated into a fascist dictatorship reminiscent of Pol Potâ€™s Khmer Rouge reign of terror in Cambodiaâ€¦It is a crime against humanity and an abomination for former liberation fighters to indulge in retributive atrocities and human rights abuses against the people they fought to liberate.”
And we read on Monday that a farmer who tried to defend himself from brutal assault by a “war veteran” by using pepper spray now faces charges of assault.
In other words people are not able to defend themselves from attack by marauding thugs.
Mhanda was right: Zimbabwe is a fascist state where human rights are not protected.
It is a shocking state of affairs and little wonder that the international community are responding with a set of appropriate measures.
Gono should tell us why he thinks the victims of state violence should support him in his campaign to have sanctions lifted.
Didymus Mutasa is always good for a laugh.
His latest joke is that Mugabe will win the run-off.
“Our candidate is definitely going to win the election,” he declared last weekend.
And how did he know this? Well, the MDCâ€™s supporters will remain the same in terms of numbers, he claims, while all those tens of thousands of Zanu PF supporters who didnâ€™t vote on March 29 will turn out for the run-off.
“This time all of them are going to vote for their candidate,” Mutasa said, adding ominously: “We are talking to them.”
He is of course delusional. Zanu PF used every inducement in the book to get its supporters out on March 29.
And with all the resources of the state behind it, not to mention the threats of retribution, it still couldnâ€™t win.
Now that Mugabe has been shown to be beatable, itâ€™s the MDC supporters who will come out in strength. People have suddenly realised they can make a difference.
And ask yourself: Would you vote for a party that beats the living daylights out of you and your family, kills your livestock and burns down your home?
Mutasa says the MDC is a “pathetic party led by liars”.
Was it the MDC that faked a letter from Gordon Brown promising support for regime change? Was it the MDC that invented the story about Rhodesians coming back to take command of the security forces? We know who the liars are. And theyâ€™re not in the MDC.
With regard to tactics, Mutasa says “we are going to follow a different pattern altogether this time”. The country is already feeling it! And watch out for the “rigorous training exercises” the ZEC will be running for polling officers.
Mutasa is not the only Zanu PF joker. Sikhanyiso Ndlovu who hasnâ€™t won an election since 2000 thinks that criticising Aippa or Posa represents contempt of parliament.
This, he suggests, is because both laws had bipartisan support.
He was speaking at the Bulawayo Press Club.
This is one of several myths Zanu PF repeats. Nobody in their right mind would support Aippa or Posa unless they were trying to prop up a failed state.
But the Sunday News which carried his remarks didnâ€™t tell us what questions journalists asked from the floor â€” if any.
The Bulawayo Press Club needs to find its voice.
Just because its members are happy to accept the ministerâ€™s patronage shouldnâ€™t emasculate them entirely.
Ask him when heâ€™s going to find a seat other than in the bar? And which media houses have a “malicious approach” when asking questions of government?
What childish nonsense! We suspect he is talking about those that have, with the rest of the nation, rejected the pretensions of ministers who have created a desert where there was once abundance.
How much information has Aippa released into the public domain and how can journalists seriously support a measure that has been used to close down newspapers?
Ndlovu told Quill Club members in Harare last year that he would investigate cases where state newspapers treated individuals as guilty of an offence even when they had not been convicted.
It is routine professional procedure everywhere to regard a person as innocent until proved guilty.
But Ndlovu has been unable to report any progress.
Just this week the Herald was declaring certain farmers guilty on its front page. Mere allegations had become facts.
And what does the minister think of the language used by Nathaniel Manheru in the penultimate paragraph of his weekly piece last Saturday?
What does he think about editors who have no say in what appears in their newspapers? He wasnâ€™t asked, it seems.
We were interested to see Grace Mugabe on TV last week donating provisions to families who lost their homes in recent political violence in the Mayo resettlement area. Among the items handed out were 233 pairs of shoes. We werenâ€™t told if they were all hers.
The First Lady condemned political violence and pointed out that no one could become president through violence and destruction.
For whose benefit was that declaration? The footage showed her handing out goods to Zanu PF supporters.
She castigated some regional leaders for betraying the goals of liberation movements and dancing to the tune of neo-liberals and the Western agenda.
She also attacked “sell-outs” who did not stand by “the founding goals of the struggle”.
Who could she be talking about and where is she getting this half-baked nonsense?
First ladies should avoid partisan politics.
In particular they should avoid attacks on neighbouring leaders whose generosity we now depend upon because their policies work and ours donâ€™t.
Anyway, what does she know about the “founding goals of the struggle”? We want to know what happened to that Iron Mask farm taken from an elderly couple ostensibly to house street kids.
Grace was reported as saying that even if Zanu PF loses the elections â€” presumably meaning the run-off â€” she would not leave the country because she was born here.
Does she know something we donâ€™t? Or can she read the writing on the wall?
Sheâ€™s obviously not just a pretty face! But she needs to lose that awful Zanu PF outfit thatâ€™s been knocking around in her wardrobe since 2005, according to the designer label.
A reader has written in with a flash of inspiration: Why doesnâ€™t Gono copy the Post Office and issue “Standard” money.
Thatâ€™s to say a currency with no denomination, just colour-coded. Then he could announce, say every week, the values for the different colours. It would save a bundle in printing costs!