Even the hired commuter omnibuses ferrying Zanu PF supporters were given free rein to test their cars’ maximum speeds. This was all under the glare of the police who were stationed every few kilometres.
As if this was not enough, motorists also had to contend with an almost kilometre-long presidential motorcade, which was also trying to keep up with President Mugabe’s helicopter. One of the cars in the entourage, a brand new Mercedes Benz E-Class, veered off the road and burst into flames.
It was amusing then to hear President Mugabe talking about having made “a defiant statement against sanctions and imperialism”.
The “revolutionary” party does not like the imperialists, but they surely like their cars which they continue to “defiantly” drive. Since we are now looking East one would have expected to see some more oriental car brands. Instead of these “imperialist” brands, cadres can choose from a wide array of Chinese saloons such as the Pegasus, Sailor and Wingle or even the Great Wall Hover-TT.
‘Our people have defied sanctions. This is a crowd of defiance; defiance of sanctions and defiance of imperialism,” he said.
The fact that free food and entertainment were available could have helped as well. The Standard reports that an estimated 60 cattle were slaughtered to feed guests at the lavish party.
Meanwhile President Mugabe expressed puzzlement at the losses Zanu PF sustained in the 2008 harmonised elections.
Speaking at the birthday celebration bash in Mutare, Mugabe said: “I am not happy that 20 out of the 26 seats in Manicaland voted MDC-T.”
“It was a shock. I did not understand what had gone wrong,” said Mugabe.
The fact that inflation skyrocketed to billions percent, unemployment rose to above 80% and there were empty store shelves under Mugabe’s watch could have had something to do with it, we think.
The “huge” crowds that greeted the president in Mutare were the biggest ever. They showed the president’s popularity was growing, Manicaland Central Committee member Esau Mapfumi said.
That’s a bit strange because we were told he was always hugely popular in Mutare. How then can his popularity be growing? The supporters weren’t bused in, Mapfumi insisted.
No Esau. Of course not. Zanu PF never does that does it?
“I’m still strong to lead,” Mugabe was reported as saying. Will anybody else ever get a chance?
Muckraker has enjoyed reading the contradictions mushrooming in the state media over the past week. Here were a couple of examples in Monday’s edition of the Herald: “Cops connive with cattle rustlers in stocktheft cases”. “Police officer in court for kidnapping”. And then: “Malawi police delegation hails ZRP”.
Great stuff guys!
Good to see Munyaradzi Huni back in action. Last Sunday he sought to justify the purging of Zimbabwe’s judiciary in 2000.
Zanu PF got “fed up” with the judges “frustrating” the Zanu PF government through their judgements, he says.
“Zanu PF got fed up with colonial residue on the bench and through the Minister of Justice, Cde Patrick Chinamasa, the party went on to transform the judiciary.”
“Now South Africa is seized with the same matter and the ANC, just like Zanu PF, is going ahead with the reforms and today Zimbabwe’s judiciary is a breath of fresh air as it reflects and represents the black majority.”
So there you have it. When the government is “fed up” with rulings it finds inconvenient it transforms the bench! Is the judiciary aware that it is part of a Zanu PF race-based campaign?
Huni refers to Lindiwe Mazibuko as “a senior ANC official”. In fact she is a senior DA official. And he seems to think the South African judiciary and media are still in the hands of whites.
Is the chief justice white? Is Huni unaware that the ANC regards the chief justice as an ally? And that much of the bench has been transformed in recent years?
As for the media, ownership was long ago transformed. The Mail&Guardian, Avusa which owns the Sunday Times, and other leading titles have been in black hands for some years. They have “published and been damned” for exposing the ANC’s endemic corruption.
Where has Huni been all these years?
The Sunday Mail’s Business Xtra carried a story telling us “Zim to lure South African investors”.
In the same edition we are told “Government moves into Zimplats”. That should go down like a lead balloon!
We were just wondering the other day what had happened to Zanu PF’s anti-sanctions petition when a story about it popped up in the Herald last Friday. The government had “stepped up the anti-sanctions drive with officials converting more than 2,2 million signatures gathered during the National Petition Campaign into electronic form”.
This should be interesting with Zanu PF officials in charge! What has been going on during the intervening period? A great deal of scanning we gather. What will the EU make of this dubious petition when it is presented to them?
We were interested to note that our old friend Godwills Masimirembwa, having been denied membership of the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) on the grounds of some small matter involving client funds, has hit back at the LSZ saying they had no legal basis to deny him membership and vowed to continue with his Zimbabwe Institute of Legal Studies project which he chairs.
The LSZ has said it won’t recognise the project or any qualifications emerging from it.
Masimirembwa says he has applied to the Higher and Tertiary Education ministry to be registered as a vocational training institute.
But LSZ chairman Tinoziva Bere said he would inform the ministry that Masimirembwa had been barred from practising.
Masimirembwa has been active in Mabvuku, we understand, preparing for the Zanu PF primaries. Readers may recall his role as Prices and Incomes Tsar in the dark days of economic controls when he arguably inflicted more damage on the economy than the rest of Zanu PF put together. Then there was the issue of the chicken farm which we will save for another day.
Meanwhile it was interesting to note that presidential apologist Nathaniel Manheru has been excusing Chinese workers in Bikita who have been helping themselves to tortoises for consumption.
“What is so unusual about some ordinary Chinese catching these for the pot?” Manheru asks without revealing these 40 animals were thrown alive into a pot of boiling water? He demonstrates contempt for Cites, “a convention that stops us from offloading ‘tasks’ (sic) from elephants all of them dead” –– which is more than can be said for the “mere” tortoises!
Will Cites staff and tourists please note this official condonation of cruelty and savagery by Zanu PF’s new friends.
Last week we had these officials saying it was OK to chop down trees designated for wetland conservation. The trees had been set aside for adoption by visiting heads of state but were now to be sacrificed to a Chinese hotel project.
ZTA boss Karekoga Kaseke was quick to say it was the enemies of our Chinese allies who were opposing the project, just as Manheru was prepared to justify extraordinary cruelty just to indulge our new Chinese masters. So much for sovereignty!
We were interested to note the discovery of Mr Oscar Munyoro Katsukunya who, we were told, taught President Mugabe in 1928. As soon as news got out, Media minister Webster Shamu descended on him last week with a posse of journalists who were amazed to discover there was somebody in the country older than the president!
Mr Katsukunya says he was either born in 1897, which seems unlikely, or 1907 which is what his ID card says. He said Mugabe as a pupil at Kutama Mission came to his and other teachers’ attention because he was “short-tempered though principled”. These are similar to observations made in his biography Dinner with Mugabe by Heidi Holland.
She recorded his temperament and capacity to sulk when teased by other boys, something Shamu omitted to mention during his visit.
We are amused by the number of letters or articles appearing in the government press excoriating the British in general and Morgan Tsvangirai in particular. These mailings are often sent from the UK.
One such mail appeared in the Herald of Monday and was signed “Cde Cad Mash, UK”.
He wanted to know why Tsvangirai hadn’t done more to promote development in Bindura.
Tsvangirai has recently been to Chiadzwa. Why is it that he expects Anjin, Mbada and Marange to build roads but says nothing about Bindura Nickel Mine?” Cde Cad Mash wanted to know.
We have another point for Cde Mash. Why does he pontificate from the comfort of the UK? Why doesn’t he come and share his patriotic zeal with the crazies in Zanu PF? How many places are there that have gone downhill since Independence and are crying out for development. Instead of challenging Tsvangirai to give answers, why doesn’t Cde Mash come and fix things himself. He might even promote development in Bindura if he sets his mind to it, instead of attacking Tsvangirai in the Herald of Last Resort which any fool can do? Come on Cde Mash. Put your money where your mouth is.
The bootlicking continued unabated this week. War veterans leader, Jabulani Sibanda, said President Mugabe’s birthday was an important day, not only for the Zimbabwean people and Africa, but for all other oppressed people the world over, including the Aborigines and Maoris.
This was all because Mugabe had “defended” them at United Nations conferences apparently.
“In song, dance, poetry, chantings and various antics,” says ZBC, “Zimbabweans from different social backgrounds came together in unison to express love for their leader and nation builder.”
Several groups including the business community, government ministers, students and diplomats were “out in full force”, ZBC claims. Whatever that means!
The Herald is running a competition to see who can make the most gushing tribute to Gushungo.
On Tuesday their letters column carried the following: “You are a living epistle and testimony of true leadership not written in ink but with the true revolutionary spirit that you are an epitome of. The devils of counterfeit democracy know you and tremble.”
It was signed “Bro Edra, Kadoma”. Look out Kadoma. You have a fanatic in your midst!
Muckraker is cutting out all the gushing noises to enter them in the competition. Cde Cad Mash and Bro Edra are leading the lickspittle pack at present. Other contestants will be announced in due course.
News that the Zimbabwe Media Commission is reporting the Sunday Times and The Zimbabwean to the authorities for not registering with the ZMC takes us back to the sinister days of the Daily News’ closure.
The Zimbabwean media face the same threats and hostility today that they did in 2003. Yet Aldo dell’Ariccia seems to think the position of the media has improved and Catherine Ashton claims things have generally improved in Zimbabwe.
A case of the blind leading the blind?