Muckraker: A Political Horse well Worth not Backing

IT is a fascinating commentary on Zanu PF’s internal politics that one of the most unpopular politicians in Matabeleland has thrown his hat into the ring in the current contest for the vice-presidency.

Mines minister Obert Mpofu has announced that he will be a candidate despite the fact that he is not only hugely unpopular in the Matabeleland provinces, he is ineligible in terms of the 1987 unity accord.
That agreement was very clear: Only ex-Zapu members qualify for the job.
That excludes Mpofu. He got into bed with Zanu PF in 1987.
After what appears to be a flirtation with Frolizi, Zapu awarded him sponsorship in 1973 to pursue his academic studies in India where he secured a BCom degree in 1980. But in that year he was elected to the Zanu-PF provincial membership in Matabeleland North.
He was appointed non-constituency MP in 1987. In 1990 he was elected MP for Bubi-Umguza representing Zanu-PF. In 1995 he was again appointed a non-constituency MP, suggesting that at key junctures in his career he was dependent upon patronage.
The “distinguishing” elements of his career include a spell as GM of the Bulawayo-based Zanu PF company, Zimbabwe Grain Bag, and blowing the whistle on Willowgate. He also worked for Zimpapers.
He wreaked enormous damage on the economy when he ruled at the end of June 2007 that all prices should revert to their June 18 levels. This was at a time when inflation was close to breaching the 5 000% mark and increasing exponentially.

So why does Mpofu think he qualifies? Very simply he is a favourite of President Mugabe. He is seen as doing the president’s bidding in Matabeleland. You can imagine how that goes down in that part of the country! Furthermore, he is not exactly highly regarded by the other candidates who see him as an intruder in the regional pecking order.
It will be fascinating to see how his candidacy progresses. There won’t be too many wagers placed on this particular horse.
We were pleased to see the other candidates telling Didymus Mutasa to get lost when he attempted to interfere. They have it sown up among themselves, with a bit of jostling here and there. When push comes to shove, John Nkomo, whose hobbies we gather include ballroom dancing, will quickstep up to his rightful inheritance.

We often wondered how Tafataona Mahoso was able to get away with the daft claim that the MDC drew up Zidera. Anybody even remotely interested in US politics would know that Congress does not invite foreigners to draft their legislation. That was an urban myth invented by Mahoso and propagated within the ranks of his party by undiscerning spokesmen.
Now he has a helpmate in the form of Gabriel Chaibva who, like several MDC-M members, really belongs in Zanu PF.
Chaibva on ZTV last month repeated the story that MDC leaders had drawn up the legislation. Mahoso quoted Chaibva approvingly in one of his interminable rambles last week.
And where had Chaibva got his information? From Mahoso of course!

Mahoso was distraught last week about what he sees as an “anti-land redistribution campaign” in South Africa.
“For instance, one Mondli Makanya (sic) wrote in the Sunday Times of October 18 an opinion (piece) called: ‘This isn’t Zimbabwe, so let’s ditch the myth of land-hungry masses’.” Black South Africans wanted jobs, not land, Makhanya pointed out.
This was of course heresy to the spitting Mashoso who denounced (and misspelt) Makhanya, claiming that “as usual the white racists hire an African to spread the myth that Africans do not want their land back.”
He forgot to mention that Makhanya is the editor of the Sunday Times, which is run by Avusa, a black-owned company, and has a circulation of several million.
Amazing isn’t it that Mahoso can propagate the racist myth that behind every successful or outspoken black is a white man!

Muckraker is not too keen to take issue with sensible Herald commentator Funny Mushava, but as he repeats another urban myth, this may be a good time.
“Zimbabweans made it clear at the March 28 2008 elections… the government that they want,” Mushava wrote last Sunday. “By not giving one party an absolute majority they were telling the politicians that they do not want a dominant political party as had been the case with Zanu PF since Independence.”
Is this really true? Were Zimbabweans saying that?
This particular urban myth is designed to comfort Zanu PF in its loss. We often see it wheeled out. But what Zimbabwean voters did was to remove Zanu PF’s majority. They said quite clearly they didn’t want a continuation of Zanu PF’s misrule. They didn’t set out to create some parliamentary balance. That may have been how things turned out, but it wasn’t a conscious decision by the voters. How could it have been? Mostly they wanted to protest against conditions wrought
by the ruling party. They wanted something better. Isn’t that the truth?

Muckraker was interested to see a letter in the Sunday Times regarding Pick ’n Pay’s interest in Zimbabwe.
“In my opinion it is not a safe venture to invest at the moment,” Kudzai Maweni wrote. “The government is too unpredictable. How do you all of a sudden become confident as an investor in a government that is controlled by a party that has no respect for property rights or, at the very least, chooses to ignore them when it sees fit? These are the same people who once implemented a price freeze in a hyper-inflationary environment. Need I say more?”
Nope!

Finally, we were interested to note that while an MPLA delegation was in Harare last week expressing its solidarity with Zanu PF and taking a swipe at white farmers, a court in Paris was
hearing the most shocking evidence of corruption involving senior French politicians and Angolan officials.
This involved the sale of oil to France and the supply of weaponry to Angola.
Needless to say, none of this was reported in the Herald!

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