HomeBusiness DigestMuckraker: Silence finally golden for Gono

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TUCKED away among the many slavish messages of support for the president on his birthday was a little advert from the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe.

Instead of getting on with its work to diversify the broadcasting scene, BAZ had clearly decided that it wished to advertise its loyalty to the Zanu-PF wing of the GNU.
Its message was couched in the redundant language of yesterday. It saluted Mugabe as “His Excellency, the Head of State and Government and Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces, Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe”, an appellation only found in the fawning state media.
The chairman, board, management and staff of BAZ evidently all see themselves as “comrades” of the presiden.? Instead of celebrating the nation’s cultural diversity through broadcasting, they want to celebrate their “cultural identity” through partisan messages.
Should they not be busy issuing licences? How many licences has this lot issued since its formation 10 years ago? Zilch!
Zimbabwe is the only country in Sadc that has a single broadcaster. And instead of remedying that disgraceful situation, BAZ board members are busy spending time and money saluting the president.
So was the Grain Marketing Board, the Rural Electrification Agency, the Forestry Commission, NSSA, Air Zimbabwe, Zupco, and Zimbabwe Newspapers.
What have they all got in common? One of the state-sponsored gang of bootlickers was Zinara, the Zimbabwe National Road Administration. Aren’t they responsible for all the pot holes?

Meanwhile, we were rather surprised to read the following message from Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo and President of the Senate Edna Madzongwe.
They described Mugabe as “a torch bearer of African self-determination, an embodiment of black empowerment who encapsulates true African values, an icon of the emancipation of the black majority from the yoke of colonial oppression.”
“Revered by friends and foes alike,” the message continued,” the consolidation of the gains of the revolution requires that we leave no room for complacency and that we emulate your illustrious life of dedication and commitment to justice.”

But this was by no means the worst of the praise-singing that went on in the advertising pages of the state media. The Manica Post took our award for the most “umble” display of deference ever carried in that part of the media already weighed down by prizes for hagiography.
President Mugabe had proved to be “a great visionary and revolutionary”, we were told. He was “an object of cynosure held in both veneration and reverence among other African leaders and in some international circles”.
He has “remained resolutely steadfast and as constant as a Northern star…”
“Under his astute leadership Zimbabwe has enjoyed a flourishing democracy, thriving on the cornerstones of a multi-party system, tolerance and reconciliation around which the egalitarianism is built”.
He is an “icon that symbolises indefatigability, for no amount of hate speech or the smearing mudslinging can blinker and distract him from championing causes that add value to the world order”.

Muckraker would love to know what “journalist” penned this classic case of purple prose. Cut it out and send it to your friends and relatives abroad so they can see what Zimbabwean journalism has been reduced to.
As usual Didymus Mutasa rose to the occasion. He described Mugabe as “a special gift God gave to Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole”.
Does God know, we wonder? And in a significant revelation of the way the tide is flowing, Mutasa added: “I know the young generation will not really appreciate the person in President Mugabe, but we know better,” he said.
At least the younger generation will find something entertaining when they read the Manica Post! And we loved the description of Mutare as “the Jewel of the East”.
Didn’t we read that all the jewels had been stolen?

A Mutare magistrate, Fabian Feshete, last Friday
sentenced Pishai Muchauraya, the MDC spokesperson for Manicaland and MP for Makoni South, to four months in jail or alternatively a fine of US$400 for assaulting a friend’s housemaid, Precious Zinyemba, inside the Mutare Central Police Station last August. The MP escaped the jail term after he hastily paid the fine.
Muchauraya assaulted Zinyemba whom he accused of stealing cash amounting to about US$12 000 and an undisclosed amount of British pounds from his friend.
Muchauraya and his friend took the maid to the police station for questioning in connection with the alleged theft.
But in a fit of rage when the police officers appeared to be ignoring his charge, Muchauraya took the law into his own hands and started attacking the hapless suspect with a wooden plank right inside the police station. She suffered a fractured right hand as a result of the assault. This was in full view of police officers on duty that day.
We find Muchauraya’s conduct disturbing considering this behaviour is characteristic of hoodlums from a certain political party that the majority of Zimbabweans no longer want to see still governing their country.
This behaviour sends chilling reminders of how MDC supporters and other “enemies of the state” were literally dragged from police stations and beaten up by war veterans and their accomplices. Others such as commercial farmer, Jock Kay of Marondera were not so lucky. Kay was murdered after being dragged from a police camp where he had sought refuge.
Muchauraya should know better that his party is seen as an alternative to Zanu PF because it has promised to do away with this Zanu PF culture of impunity that has tarnished the image of country.
He should also know that such behaviour can only play into the hands of Zanu PF who are always ready to capitalise on any such opportunities to portray the MDC as a “violent” party.
The MDC has to be careful with its choice of leaders because Muchauraya’s behaviour, if unchecked, can be its greatest undoing.

So it has now finally dawned on Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, Gideon Gono, that silence is golden.
This is what we have been trying to tell him all these years, that fixing of the country’s economy is not done through dominating news pages of state-controlled newspapers or radio and television bulletins.
We are glad Gono now knows better that all the media hype about his economic turn-around programmes were full of sound and fury but signifying nothing. We no longer see him as much as we used to on our television sets assuring Zimbabweans that this governor would see to it that this and that was done properly. This governor would provide this and that solution for resettled farmers to ensure they produced enough food to feed the nation. 
We are glad Gono has finally awoken to the reality that no matter how much you arm-twist the state media into portraying you as a “hardworking” individual, so long as things are not done properly chickens
will surely one day come home to roost.
Gono finally knows better what is required to turn around the country’s economy. That’s why he is keeping quiet. His silence is music to our ears!

We hope Morgan Tsvangirai’s surgery went well in South Africa last weekend. His injuries reportedly resulted from assaults on him and other MDC leaders at Machipisa police station in early 2007. Asked about what was happening to his assailants, Tsvangirai said words to the effect of letting bygones be bygones.
Is this the right message at this time? Does it not add to the culture of impunity and encourage those responsible to persist in their activities? What happened to Pasco Gwezere? Was he not the victim of that same culture which is
evidently authorised at the highest levels?
Tsvangirai should not jump the gun on this score. Let’s have forgiveness by all means, but let’s also have accountability first.
Meanwhile, some of Tsvangirai’s spokesmen have been denying that he had any surgery while in South Africa. It was a private visit, they said. “He is so robust that he could easily complete the Comrades Marathon,” Sibanengi Dube said.
We wonder which Comrades he was thinking of.

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