So people like John Nkomo and SK Moyo –– and even Emmerson Mnangagwa –– would get into line with daft remarks that they would never have considered making in the past.
Of course we can’t regard Joseph Made as “sensible” in terms of his past record of public pronouncements, but he was certainly giving us an example of downright idiocy in his repudiation of Fewsnet’s latest crop forecast.
An estimated 2,2 million Zimbabweans are in need of food aid, the USAid-funded agency said.
Minister Made, not known for the accuracy of his crop forecasts in the past, declared Fewsnet “not transparent” and “insincere”.
“Why should they care about Zimbabwe when they imposed sanctions that are hurting our people?” he wanted to know. And he had more daftness to follow.
“In any case they should leave us alone and relocate to Australia where they are wanted because of the calamity there,” he declared.
One is tempted to laugh out loud at this calamity closer to home. But Made is evidently ignorant of the fact that Australia has a successful farming economy and even with the floods in Queensland it will still be able to feed itself this year although exports will be down somewhat.
What Made doesn’t reveal is that after 30 years of Independence Zimbabwe can’t feed its own people because of its disastrous agricultural policies. That’s why organisations like USAid have to come to our rescue, and Made waves a nationalist flag as a figleaf to cover his government’s naked incompetence.
Not content with exposing his ignorance on Australia’s situation, he moves on to the United States.
“It would be interesting to know food projections in America against freezing temperatures and climate change?” he mused.
Indeed it would. But we need to remind ourselves that he is a Zimbabwean minister, not American. His responsibilities lie here.
Meanwhile our thanks to Albert Nhamoyebonde for revealing to Herald readers the vast extent of efficient US agricultural production, witnessed while visiting his daughter in the States.
Zanu PF’s apologists are once again questioning the integrity of the electorate that keeps voting against the self-embedded gang that won’t let go of power.
“We must ask ourselves,” the Herald reflects in an editorial,“whether we have measured up to Murenga, the legendary fighter in whose honour we have christened our three revolutions?”
The answer is a resounding No.
No you haven’t measured up which is why voters keep rejecting you. And only party publicists cover themselves with the mantle of nationalist glory because they’ve got nothing else left. Nothing works anymore, not the railways, not the national airline, not the electricity system, and certainly not the government!
“President Mugabe has gained a reputation as the most outspoken and fervent critic of neo-colonialism in the world today,” the Herald declares, but “can we say we have done enough?”
This comes at a time, the Herald claims, when the powerhouses of the West have deployed their “full arsenal” against Zimbabwe including their “weapons of mass deception” such as “reactionary media” like the BBC, Sky, CNN and France 24.
The fact is that no one out there swallows this puerile nonsense any more. They know perfectly well who claims to be the saviour of the nation but lets it down at every turn. Corruption thrives and ministers get rich. They cannot get by in an electoral contest without beating the hell out of their own supporters as well as those belonging to other parties.
The Herald’s editorial came just as the names were published of victims of political violence handed to the Attorney-General. He declined to act.
Then we have Zanu PF’s weapons of mass deception such as the suborned ZBC which has lost its national audience because it is incapable of telling the truth. That’s why thousands of viewers have switched across to the BBC, Sky and CNN. Who wants a ZBC headache every night!
“Libellous and slanderous claims about Zimbabwe, its leadership and people are peddled daily by the local opposition and South African apartheid media without comeback,” the Herald pathetically bleats. “It is time we took the peddlers head-on even if it meant suing them in their own countries to prove the veracity of their claims.”
So Zanu PF’s newspapers and dissembling broadcaster are not good enough? They have proved unable to get their deceitful message across. They now think the British and US courts will give them a more sympathetic hearing.
We can hear the hilarity already. “Put up or shut up” is our message to these culpable cowards.
Is it seriously suggested by the Herald that Tichaona Chiminya, Talent Mabika, Tonderai Ndira, Elliot Machipisa, Washington Nyanga and dozens of others were all victims of a mysterious accident?
On a lighter note, what sort of defensive measures have our local policemen taken against followers of Bruce Lee who appear to have invaded our shores?
A local newspaper reported that a Chinese businessman used his kung fu skills to assault four policemen who had arrested one of his workers. He managed this amazing feat while handcuffed. All four cops were flattened, the report claims.
Interestingly, we are told, taxi touts in the area took the side of the police. A backup team arrived on the scene and took the businessman away. As he departed he shouted at the crowd: “You are stupid. All of you are stupid. Nothing will happen to me. I’m protected by President Mugabe.”
So now we know!
We noted the way Muammar Gaddafi was wrong-footed by the Jasmin revolution in Tunisia.
The bloodshed and lawlessness across Libya’s border was because Tunisians were in too much of a hurry to get rid of their president, he claimed, not without a hint of self-interest.
Gaddafi said he was “pained” by what had happened in Tunisia.
“Tunisia now lives in fear,” he said. “Families could be raided and slaughtered in their bedrooms and the citizens in the street killed as if it was the Bolshevik or the American revolution.
“What is this for? To change Zine al-Abidine? Hasn’t he told you he would step down after three years? Be patient for three years and your son stays alive.”
Tunisians weren’t prepared to wait, it seems. But what we detect here is a palpable nervousness.
We wonder what other dictators were glued to their TV sets!
Stories circulating about Madam Ben Ali reveal a life of extravagance and indulgence. The First Lady at one level projected an image of caring for her people as she headed numerous charitable foundations. But in reality, known as the Imelda Marcos of the Maghreb, she helped herself to anything she wanted.
The rest of the First Family were just as bad, according to reports. Anything they took a fancy to they simply grabbed. Somebody lost a yacht that way. Other relatives would hold lavish dinner parties where the food was flown in from St Tropez in the south of France.
“Power corrupts,” Lord Acton famously said, “and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Don’t we know it!
Meanwhile, the extent of Zanu PF’s concern was reflected in this week’s “My Turn” column by Caesar Zvayi.
“For us here in Zimbabwe I counsel vigilance,” he said. “Don’t be surprised dear reader to see or hear people from the usual sponsored quarters trying to instigate public disorder.
“…Zimbabwe is not Tunisia, and Tunisia is not Zimbabwe. Any attempted subterfuge should be met with the full wrath of the law.”
This is Zanu PF in its enforcement role. But can they turn back the democratic tide?
BusinessDay put it neatly when, referring to Sadc solidarity around Mugabe in 2008 when his near ousting at the polls threatened a domino effect, it said: “If history teaches us anything it is that people cannot be held down forever –– and that earthquakes do not respect borders.”
Hubert Nyanhongo seemed rather reluctant to tackle the issues his audience clearly wanted to hear. Whilst addressing a sprinkling of Harare South residents on Monday, he went on and on about how decimated the MDC-T was.
“The MDC is now officially dead,” he boldly proclaimed to a bemused crowd who hardly looked like willing participants.
He however did not furnish them –– or the ZTV viewers who had to watch –– with any reasons why the MDC has met with this sudden demise. It seems to have escaped Nyanhongo’s notice that while he was spouting ad infinitum about the MDC, some in his audience were holding placards protesting corruption in the allocation of stands.
Nyanhongo should be reminded that demise will happen closer to home if they do not address the disaffection within their own ranks.
We were amused by Zanu PF Manicaland chairman Mike Madiro’s statements in the Herald on Wednesday.
He warns “ambitious” members against using “unorthodox” means and divisive tactics in their quest to represent the party. Madiro’s comments, we are told, come against a backdrop of serious jostling for tickets to represent Zanu PF.
“Let me make this clear that the party will not stand aloof and watch some ambitious cadres disturbing the peace and tranquility in Zanu PF,” he said rather improbably.
“We are quite aware of the unprincipled means, the backbiting and other divisive tactics that some of our ambitious comrades are using.”
We thought Zanu PF condoned unorthodox and unprincipled behaviour when practised by their own supporters. Ask the MDC, they have a long story to tell in that regard.
“No-one other than the people of Zimbabwe will have a final say on who will represent them,” he added.
Hope you can heed the people’s verdict this time Cde Madiro!
Finally we liked the Herald front-page picture on Tuesday of John Nkomo laughing uproariously and pointing to a gift, a “Ding” we are told, a Chinese symbol of power and fortune handed to him by the Chinese vice-minister of commerce, Zhong Shan.
Nkomo seemed to be saying: “Ding Dong, what a funny little Zhing Zhong!” Which is better, we suppose, than expressing eternal revolutionary solidarity.