HomeOpinionMuckraker:Charumbira must have been joking

Muckraker:Charumbira must have been joking

IT is nice to open this week’s column with a joke. Our thanks to Chief Fortune Charumbira for the following: “The president should remain in power to ensure Zimbabwe became prosperous again.”

That comes under the heading: “He must be joking.”
And it invites the obvious remark which we hope will be asked of every Zanu PF candidate in any forthcoming poll: “Just how do you think President Mugabe can achieve in the next five years what he has failed to achieve in the past 10?”
Please Chief Charumbira, exactly how will this miracle be achieved?

Perhaps Emmerson Mnangagwa has some idea. He has emerged from a long hibernation to provide this gem of analysis: “The West imposed illegal economic sanctions on Zimbabwe so that Zimbabweans would revolt against the Zanu PF government,” he claimed.
The MDC was changing goalposts on the new constitution having “realised” that they were “defeated by Zanu PF”, he told his rural audience.
So the MDC which won a majority of seats in 2008 has “realised” that Zanu PF really won after all. When did this epiphany occur?
It is always rather sad to see an intelligent man talking absolute nonsense because that is what is required of him.
“The price we paid for this country to be independent was just too high,” Mnangagwa said. “We can’t fail those departed comrades who shed their blood to see a prosperous Zimbabwe.”
Where is all that prosperity? Can anybody see it apart from him? There are admittedly a few mansions in Borrowdale. Newspapers recently showed one built by Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation boss Dominic Mubayiwa. Is that the prosperity Mnangagwa means?
Muckraker recalls a song by Marilyn Monroe: “Diamonds are a chef’s best friend.”
It will be interesting after Mnangagwa has finished spouting daft comments about neo-colonialists to see whether he is able to keep the military in their barracks when the next poll is held. That will be the test of his true worth.

On the lighter side, the Sunday Mail is obviously keen to compete with a paper from its own stable. It carried the following front-page heading: “71-year-old grandpa impregnates granddaughter.”
Shouldn’t that be in H-Metro? Or has the Sunday Mail decided the only way to go is downmarket?

We are following with interest the struggle between Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda and Minister Ignatius Chombo over the 4 000 ghost workers council wants to get rid of.
Chombo on the other hand is playing the populist card by saying the “workers” should stay.
“These workers have been in council so long,” Chombo says. “They cannot be dismissed now. Those were loose comments from the mayor.”
So workers who should have been fired years ago should in fact stay because they have been there so long? That is Zanu PF logic!
Chombo goes further to ask how you distinguish ghost workers from other workers?
That’s easy. The ghost workers are lying down. Masunda is correct in describing the council as “a breeding ground” where people are getting employment without any qualification.
Muckraker recalls a huge recruitment campaign ahead of the 2000 election. Zanu PF was busy infiltrating its followers whether they were qualified or not. They were well represented in the Harare Municipal Workers Union, a jongwe outfit.
Now they want to continue their comfortable life despite doing little or nothing to deserve it. Just take a look around the city. Rubbish everywhere. Not a municipal worker in sight.
This can partly be blamed on the absence of a culture of supervision and maintenance.
But it can largely be laid at the door of Zanu PF officials like Chombo who interfere in municipal business in order to attract votes.
Masunda must stand up to this damaging meddling. He needs to say two words to Chombo, one involving sex and the other travel.

The same advice should be tendered to Phillip Chiyangwa. The mayor may think he is being magnanimous in “letting bygones be bygones”. But in fact he is compounding municipal misrule.
It is the duty of the Harare city council to uphold the interests of residents and ratepayers. This has nothing to do with “seeking vengeance” as Masunda fatuously suggests and everything to do with doing the right thing. Does that elementary principle have to be spelt out for the mayor?
Thank goodness for Councillor Warship Dumba and his colleagues who understand perfectly where their duty lies. And that doesn’t include letting Chombo off the legal hook.

Perhaps the most disgraceful example of wilful misgovernance came last weekend from Media minister Webster Shamu. He ignored the seriousness of remarks by Zanu PF activists during the recent outreach programme that journalists and cartoonists who portray President Mugabe in poor light should be hanged.
Asked about this delinquency, Shamu said people were allowed to say whatever they wanted in the new constitution.
“Why would you want me to comment on issues they suggested?”
Because it is the right thing to do Minister, and you should know that.
Any government official in a civilised society would immediately say “those remarks do not represent my party or government”. But Shamu couldn’t bring himself to denounce this disgraceful attack on journalists. It seemed all OK with him.
At least Douglas Mwonzora understood the danger of allowing this hate speech to find purchase in the new constitution.
The people giving this “evidence” to the outreach programme were no doubt coached.
Their remarks in Mbare, Budiriro, Mazowe, and Murehwa were identical in phraseology.
Nobody says that sort of thing spontaneously.
We hope Zanu PF’s Rwandan-style politics will receive a wide circulation so the rest of the world can see what Zimbabwe’s media fraternity have to deal with.

The suspiciously nutty professor Arthur Mutambara was at it again last week at a public policy dialogue meeting. He audaciously claimed that the MDC-T was now enjoying the trappings of power and was therefore not interested in the elections next year.
Said Mutambara: “MDC-T is not confident on an election. I am just coming from parliament (where) ministers, who will remain nameless, were begging Welshman (Ncube), were begging me saying: ‘What can we do? We can’t have this election’.
“They were saying: ‘Can you go and talk to this old man (President Mugabe)?’”
MDC-T ministers, when they appear on TV, say ‘we are ready’. Tendai Biti, Chamisa are enjoying ruling. Do you think they want to go home next year? You are lying.”
It is common knowledge that Mutambara is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the GNU after being roundly trounced in Zengeza West in Chitungwiza during the 2008 elections. He and his colleagues in the MDC-M have the GNU to thank for their current positions. However, instead of trying to endear himself with voters by justifying his position, Mutambara has been putting his foot in his mouth, particularly when he sees the camera is on him.

From waxing lyrical about President Mugabe describing him as “a consistent leader with organisational capacity and strategic vision” to contradicting his own party’s position on Mugabe’s unilateral appointment of governors, Mutambara has become more of a GNU jester than a serious political player. His party’s spokesman Edwin Mushoriwa is continuously burdened with the task of distancing his party from the gaffe-prone professor’s diatribes.
It is ironic therefore that Mutambara sees it fit to accuse others of not wanting the GNU to end when he himself has called for the elections to be delayed up to 2013.
For a man whose leadership of his party is seriously under threat he seems to have so much time on his hands to comment on the predicament of others.
We can’t agree more with Nelson Chamisa who described Mutambara as “lost and mistaken”.
It is sad but true.

Finally, the EU head of delegation Aldo Dell’Arricia has been obliged to write to the Herald to point out that its story of November 1, “EU accepts Zim envoy” is incorrect. The actual situation is that the EU has given its agrément to Zimbabwe ambassador-designate  HE Mrs Muchada, but the decision about the possible presentation of Mrs Muchada’s credentials to the president of the European Commission, Mr JM Barroso, has not been taken yet.

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