The delegation led by Swedish Minister for International Development Co-operation Ms Gunilla Carlsson was in the country as part of a diplomatic initiative to normalise relations with Zimbabwe.
On its front page, the Sunday Mail — in a story covering the president’s address to Zanu PF’s youth congress — Mugabe was dismissive of the mission saying the visitors had been misled into demanding the ouster of RBZ governor Gideon Gono and Attorney General Johannes Tomana. He wanted the EU delegates to talk about sanctions.
“Instead of discussing sanctions, they were talking about Tomana and Gono and I said munei navo (What has that to do with you?). Kubva ku (To come from) Europe to come and talk about an appointed official,” Mugabe told the youths.
But on a story on page four of the same paper, Mugabe said the discussions were “friendly”.
“It went on well… there was good rapport. It was a friendly meeting… open. People spoke their minds,” said Mugabe.
But Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa was quoted in the press on Monday extinguishing his boss’s myth about the friendly and good rapport with the EU.
“They seem to want to undermine the inclusive government. They speak as much as MDC-T. They just swallow line, hook and sinker what the MDC-T says,” he said.
Chinamasa is disappointed that Western diplomats have failed to swallow hook, line and sinker his party’s myth that it is a victim of an international conspiracy called for by the MDC-T.
“We cannot fully re-engage if the Global Political Agreement is not fully implemented. The issue (removal) of the restrictive measures is decided at the EU. It is not up to (Morgan) Tsvangirai to take them away,” said Carlsson.
This is a banal fact the Mugabe and his ilk fail to appreciate. The onus of the removal of sanctions rests with Mugabe standing up to lead reform and not a cavalry bent on deception.
Equally deceptive early in the week were reports that police officers in the traffic section were being put through an “acid test”. The acid test administered to police in the traffic section turned out to be lying tests — using a lie detector — to fish out those who have been receiving and asking for bribes. If taking a lying test is an acid test for the police, what do we call subjecting suspects in police custody to electrical shocks, beating on the soles of the feet and simulated suffocation? Routine interrogation perhaps! Can the police be more serious about dealing with corruption in the force instead of employing laughable methods of asking cops wired to polygraph machines whether they have ever received bribes. The answer is a loud YES. But we want to know what is being done to ensure police spend more time hunting criminals and not haunting motorists.
There is need for a revolutionary change in the command of the police structures to ensure that the force sticks to its own Service Charter.
Also hooked on graft were security personnel manning gates at the Zanu PF youth congress last week. They wanted to be cooled by ice-cream to grant journalists from independent media entry into the arena. At first, the scribes were told by the security personnel at the City Sports Centre that they could not get in without producing cards from the now-defunct Media and Information Commission. It required ministerial intervention to enlighten the security personnel that the Mahoso card was not necessary.
The journos sought assistance from Information minister Webster Shamu, who ordered the spooks at the gate to allow the reporters to cover the event without press cards from MIC. Shamu had to explain to them that MIC no longer existed and that accreditation would be possible when the new Zimbabwe Media Commission is constituted. This intervention and accreditation cards issued to journalist at the Zanu PF headquarters to cover the congress seemed worthless to the security personnel — without the ice cream. “If you want to get in, you must buy the ice cream, otherwise you won’t get in,” snarled one of them. So the journos delivered the coins for the ice-cream and gates opened like the Red Sea. That’s how easy it is to make a security officer drop guard.
Online news site Kubatana.com this week carried this snippet: “A South African woman phoned up a new anti-corruption hotline and was shocked to find herself talking to President Jacob Zuma. The pair spoke for 10 minutes before she was told who she was talking to. The free hotline was launched on Monday and in its first three hours received 7 300 complaints from frustrated citizens,” the presidency’s Vusi Mona told the BBC.
“Can you ever imagine this happening in Zimbabwe? Yes, it should of course, but are our politicians brave and humble enough?” asked Kubatana. The problem with our leaders is that they associate bravery with shouting at the phantom of Gordon Brown or calling diplomats prostitutes. To them, bravery is a preserve of those who fought the liberation war. Answering difficult questions from the public is a weakness. Bureaucratic arrogance is a virtue to our ‘brave’ rulers.
This quote by Professor Jonathan Moyo aptly summarises this condescension by our rulers: “The rot in Zanu PF smells in government where the cabinet has become no better than a status club in which ministerial positions have no strategic policy value as they have become instruments of patronage to gain personal access to national resources and the illusion of power and influence.”
Moyo, it appears, has been missing the musky smell of putrefaction that comes with the status of being a Zanu PF member. This paper revealed last week that the good professor has applied for readmission into Zanu PF. Judging by his articles denouncing Zanu PF over the past three years, Muckraker would like to congratulate Moyo for exposing the desperation within Zanu PF. Party secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa this week said Moyo was an “asset”.
“In Jonathan Moyo, I find a very good and important investment for the party,” gushed Mutasa. They need Moyo because he is a “good information person”. This is a dangerous statement that should ring warning bells to those fighting for media reform. Zanu PF needs Moyo to strengthen the anti-reform bastion in the party. To Zanu PF, his past is not important as long as he can formulate a propaganda plan for the party in its new war against the MDC formations in the unity government. He is coming back as a strategic weapon which Mugabe intends to turn onto his opponents. He is one of the lucky few to be forgiven by a party that treats traitors harshly.
Moyo in his seemingly reformed state after exiting Zanu PF in 2005 never apologised to Zimbabweans for his role in closing newspapers or making Mugabe the leader he is today. Back in the Zanu PF fold, we hope that he will not apologise to the party for telling us “Mugabe has publicly demonstrated his leadership incapacity to make way for an able and dynamic successor by succumbing to manipulative tribal pressure from a clique in his party…”.
We also hope that he will stand by his word that “Mugabe is now leader of a shelf political party that exists only in name even with those seemingly high numbers in parliament because, in real terms, the hearts and minds of the bulk of its members have ideologically emigrated to a new all-inclusive third way beyond current party boundaries, the so-called third force which in fact is a people’s movement, such that Zanu PF membership is now only for strategic survival purposes in practical and not ideological terms which are temporary”.
Next time he hears Mugabe speak, I am sure that he would conclude that the address is “full of the same old clichés he has been saying over and over again to no useful end”.
In meetings, he should remind that party that the “presidium would be better consigned in a museum than anywhere else in a properly functioning society, let alone a democratic one”.
Is he coming in as the curator of the museum pieces or taking a place in a section of stuffed ngwenas and nyatis?