Co-ministers of Home Affairs Kembo Mohadi and Theresa Makone were briefing Zimbabweans resident in South Africa on arrangements being made for their documentation and return. Things didn’t go particularly well, the Zimbabwean newspaper reported, as the ministers wanted complaints to be put in writing and sent to Mkwati Building.
The two ministers were anxious to express their high regard for each other and for the efficiency of the Registrar-General’s office, something the audience found hard to believe!
In particular they were sceptical of the claim by Makone that one Zimbabwean student managed to get her ID document within five minutes!
Makone said she was not going to involve herself in “gutter fighting” with members of the audience.
“I am not going to engage in gutter fighting because I am an intellectual,” she clamed despite some evidence to the contrary. And Mohadi didn’t help matters by demanding to be respected.
“I might be a bad person but respect me,” he insisted.
Altogether it seems to have been a rather unsatisfactory meeting. Leaving aside the clumsy bureaucracy Zimbabweans in South Africa have to deal with in their bid to get registered, Makone needs to be asked what she has done to improve service at the Passport Office and at the Beitbridge border post. A few questions on arbitrary arrests and compliance with an AU report drawn up some years ago might also be in order.
As for Mohadi, he needs reminding that respect is something earned.
The Herald’s handlers seem to think that if they place the adjectives “widely discredited” in front of “sanctions” it will change public perceptions of President Mugabe’s regime.
They don’t seem to understand that the arbitrary arrest of journalists, threats by senior officials such as SK Moyo, and Zanu PF’s blind refusal to enact the reforms contained in the GPA do more to discredit this regime than any manipulation of words in the state press. Only Zanu PF talks of “discredited” sanctions. You don’t even hear it from the ANC. In fact none of Zanu PF’s allies in the region use this childish language so why does the Herald insult its readers’ intelligence?
Zanu PF spokesmen can pontificate endlessly about “discredited” sanctions and Morgan Tsvangirai’s treason but it is unlikely to make any difference at the polls.
They tried the same strategy in March 2008 with facile accusations emitting from the Herald and ZBC and nobody took any notice!
How does the “discredited” political analyst Godwine Mureriwa explain how he got all his forecasts of a Zanu PF victory so completely wrong but now has the effrontery to repeat his threadbare pitch once again!
The Standard carried an interesting letter to the editor on Sunday. It is worth revisiting. “When we are free from Robert Mugabe, God willing, soon, we will remember how China supported and funded our tormentors. Mr Chinese ambassador, there will be a price to pay so steep it will make Mount Everest look like an anthill.” It is signed “Hip Hop Artist”.
This comes in the wake of a newly installed giant screen in First St which will transmit Xinhua propaganda to a diminishing number of shoppers.
The reader has a point. Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo has been thrown into jail for 11 years for nothing more than advocating democratic reform. This is what the Chinese call “subversion”. In calling for his release Taiwan made the point that “Concern for human rights does not distinguish between nationalities and borders”.
Liu was represented at the awards ceremony in Oslo by an empty chair. The awards committee reminded us that China is a signatory to the International Declaration of Human Rights. But obviously Beijing doesn’t care. And it has been busy arm-twisting smaller states to stay away from the ceremony.
Zimbabwe’s democratic movement, parochial at the best of times, needs to speak out on these issues. Human rights are not just for Zimbabweans. China is a bully that tramples on human rights at every turn. We need to remind the Chinese that Mugabe and his gang won’t be in power forever.
Meanwhile, the pro-China Zanu PF gang should tell us this: why is colonisation okay when Tibetans are the victims? We would hate to think you are all a bunch of hypocrites!
On the subject of human rights, one observer contacted Muckraker to point out the importance of posture. At last Friday’s ceremony in Africa Unity Square, Arthur Mutambara and Nelson Chamisa took their seats, looking very smart, sitting upright and engaging in what looked like intelligent small talk. Morgan Tsvangirai, our democratic champion, on the other hand sat slumped in his chair looking completely disinterested. He then gave his speech and left. Perhaps he was busy “not bothering” about WikiLeaks!
We were amused how the regime’s publicists in the Herald seem to think that sequels will only affect the MDC-T. Do they really think there will be no mention of the “crazy old man” and his acolytes again?
NewsDay has sustained another attack by the predatory Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe that doesn’t think there is enough about President Mugabe on the paper’s front page. For instance the MMPZ thinks it should have reported more on his visit to Libya.
“NewsDay all but ignored the Third Africa-European summit in Libya,” MMPZ complained, “and did not report Mugabe’s criticism of the West for perceived double standards over human rights issues.”
NewsDay readers were deprived of the chance to know that the summit had been boycotted by a number of African figures, it said.
This is editorial prescription at its worst. We appreciate the MMPZ is suffering from a cash shortage and needs to advertise to its donors that it is being even-handed. But at a time when Mugabe has the support of a stable of newspapers and the country’s only television station, we feel that if the editor wants to leave the president off the front page for whatever reason there won’t be a huge outpouring of indignation by readers!
And indeed there wasn’t!
However, here are all the letters to the editor which we suppressed: “Please give us more stories about President Mugabe.” “We want to know the president’s thinking on African unity.” “We don’t hear enough of the president’s wise teachings.” “You should write more stories like the Herald.”
Just kidding of course. But the Herald, which has been assiduously copying our SMS column, did slip this little bit in on Tuesday: “Thumbs up for Mutasa, Deketeke, Chikoto, and Malaba. Zimpapers will always be No 1. Others follow, especially Alpha Media. WikiLeaks has revealed all. Shame on you Ncube, Khumalo, Wetherell and Kahiya.”
It is signed “Anonymous”.
It is of course an in-house job. You can tell that when they get all the names right!
But it also reveals how Zanu PF is so pathetically dependent upon WikiLeaks for its election platform. Once again they will seize on anything which diverts the public’s attention from their record of governance.
Muckraker found it ironic that the Herald, of all newspapers, would publish Julian Assange’s article “WikiLeaks — Why shoot the messenger?” In the article, Assange pontificates about the role of the media in revealing the truth in light of the Wikileaks debacle. He goes on to accuse the Julia Gillard-led Australian government of trying to “shoot the messenger” because according to him they don’t want the truth revealed about their diplomatic and political dealings.
“The swirling storm around WikiLeaks today reinforces the need to defend the right of all media to reveal the truth,” Assange goes on to state.
While agreeing with Assange’s view, Muckraker however found it strange that the Herald has of late taken on the mantle of advocate for media freedom. It requires no rocket scientist to decipher why they have taken this stance. Because the stories coming out of Wikileaks suit them at the moment, they have shamelessly paraded themselves as champions of freedom of the media.
“Sometimes nations need to go to war, and there are just wars,” the article further says. “But there is nothing more wrong than a government lying to its people about those wars, then asking these same citizens to put their lives and their taxes on the line for those lies. If a war is justified, then tell the truth and the people will decide whether to support it.”
The fact that the Herald itself has been used to suppress the truth over the years shows the double standards at play here. The misinformation campaign they spearheaded during the DRC war is a case in point. The Herald was complicit in government’s aim to keep a tight lid on what was happening in the DRC in terms of the casualties and the toll the war took on the fiscus.
On top of that they have gladly been used in the creation of fictional coup plots and terrorists and in justifying violent campaigns against dissent to Zanu PF rule.
As Matthew 7:5 states: “Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”
The Sunday Mail carried a nice picture of the president and Grace Mugabe at the wedding of Grace’s son, Russell Goreraza, and Gladys Chiwaya last weekend.
Muckraker has one question. Where was the groom’s father? He didn’t seem to be “around”. He surely can’t still be in Beijing where he was exiled in 1995 on a “slow boat to China”.
Grace Mugabe had some advice for her son: “Do not turn this girl into a punching bag,” she admonished. This is a rather strange injunction if he had no intention of doing so!
We see that Sikhanyiso Ndlovu who was rejected by Bulawayo voters in 2008 is giving us the benefit of his views even though nobody wants to know. Here is another Zanu PF zealot who got things horribly wrong in 2008.
He wanted us to know last week that the WikiLeaks shocks are “nothing but a major revelation of treasonable acts”.
What hogwash! There is nothing remotely “treasonable” in the WikiLeaks cables unless of course you are 10 years old. Please can Zanu PF officials stop insulting our intelligence!
It didn’t get them anywhere the last time and won’t this time. Ask Ari Ben-Menashe!
And why should Tsvangirai call for the lifting of sanctions when Zanu PF has done little or nothing to comply with the GPA terms? Do you see the whole nation out on the streets demanding “Lift sanctions now”? And “Down with the treasonous one”?
Not much sign of that is there? Have you seen any changes at ZBC? How many people have been arraigned by the Human Rights Commission? How much healing has there been? Where is Joseph Mwale?Cde Sikhanyiso: Answers please before you next give us the benefit of your opinion.
We were tempted to pop in “widely discredited” there but will avoid it for the present.