How many people think that is funny? It is facile and tasteless.
President Sata was in Zimbabwe to officially open the 53rd Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo. He told his audience in Harare that he felt very much at home in Zimbabwe.
“I am back home,” he told the media that thronged Harare International Airport for his arrival.
Having arrived at exactly 7pm at State House for a state banquet, President Mugabe asked the First Ladies Amai Grace Mugabe and Dr Christine Kaseba to join them for a photo shoot.
But President Sata retorted: “Let them wait. After all they joined us later in our lives.”
There were more “jokes” during the signing of two Memorandums of Understanding between Zimbabwe and Zambia.
There were two chairs vacant in front of the leaders and Zambian Foreign Affairs and Tourism Minister Given Lubinda offered President Sata a seat.
“Why should I sit when the President (Mugabe) is standing?” President Sata asked his minister.
He then asked President Mugabe which ministers would be signing the MOUs on behalf of Zimbabwe.
Mugabe introduced Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Walter Mzembi and Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere.
“That big one,” President Mugabe declared pointing to Kasukuwere.
“Ha, Mr President, but they are so young,” Sata said. “What do you need young ministers for?” That was also deemed hilariously funny plunging the audience into “uncontrollable laughter”, according to the state media.
During the signing of the MoU on Youth Development, President Sata looked at the clean-shaven Kasukuwere and chuckled:
“Mr President, why does this man keep a bald head? During our days if a man is shaven like this, it was either he was coming from jail or he is mourning his dead wife.”
President Sata also had guests “in stitches” while delivering his speech during the state banquet.
He addressed President Mugabe as Chief of Chimurenga.
His tour of Dairibord was also spiced with laughter. Sata chuckled why Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara had signed the visitors’ book as Prime Minister.
“Mutambara was acting Prime Minister? Where was the Prime Minister? Why was he acting PM?” Sata asked.
At Tyron Farm in Goromonzi, Sata approached a group of white farmers telling them: “We are brothers, the war is over and let’s work together.”
“President Mugabe and his Zambian counterpart, Michael Sata, provided enough humour to make any stand-up comedian grin (sic) with envy at the banquet held at State House last week,” the Sunday Mail chimed this week.
We assume they wanted to say green with envy.
However, the Sunday Mail did not relate a “joke” that went wrong after Sata chanted a Zanu PF slogan during his keynote address at the ZITF.
NewsDay reports that Sata raised his fist Zanu PF-style and chanted Pamberi . . . pamberi ne jongwe (Forward with the cock — the Zanu PF party symbol)”, drawing the ire of MDC-T and MDC officials present at the state function.
This was despite the event being organised by the Industry and Trade ministry, headed by MDC president Welshman Ncube.
Reports say the arena became quiet as people were confused with the Zambian leader’s utterances in support of a political party at a business function. Zanu PF supporters and service chiefs roared with laughter and applauded this faux pas.
For his ill-advised chant, Sata got an equal measure of flak from the MDC formations.
MDC-T national spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora, said Sata went overboard in his bid to impress Mugabe and “in the process turned a non-political event into a political one”.
“Whatever Sata said after a gaffe like that therefore lost all its meaning,” Mwonzora said.
Meanwhile MDC organising secretary Qhubani Moyo was more direct saying Sata “just got excited”.
We liked the picture of the white farmer collecting his prize in Bulawayo. Sata must be aware that hundreds of farmers have relocated to Zambia where they produce maize that is exported to Zimbabwe. What a nice irony that went right over the heads of the Zanu PF chefs present at ZITF.
Visiting farms outside Harare before his departure for Bulawayo. Sata found time to praise the performance of those VIPs who had benefited from land seizures. But he failed to add that Zimbabwe’s people are fed from imports from Zambia. It is a pity he wasn’t able to drive down to Bulawayo so he could see the derelict farms on either side of the road.
It seems that it was not only President Sata who was gaffe-prone in Bulawayo last week.
The Herald reports that President Mugabe, upon his arrival at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport, took the crowd down memory lane when he first arrived in Bulawayo as a young man. He said he admired the second largest city, which at that time was the country’s economic epicentre.
“We could go to town and buy ourselves nice suits. My father came to Bulawayo in 1934 and stayed for 10 years when the city had its glory. At that time Bulawayo was the only city in the country with quality life,” Mugabe said.
Ironically, despite Bulawayo’s fortunes having dramatically plummeted on his watch, Mugabe was resolute in his call for fresh polls to bring his regime back in power.
“That is why we are saying we want elections today or tomorrow so that we can clear this mess. We want to revive Bulawayo industries to surpass their yesterday capacity.
“Now is the time to remove all the snakes on our way and ensure that Bulawayo and the whole of Matabeleland is vibrant,” he said.
Such an utterance would have sent a shiver down many a spine. In the 1980s, Mugabe had said: “Zapu and its leader, Dr Joshua Nkomo, are like a cobra in a house. The only way to deal effectively with a snake is to strike and destroy its head.”
The rest, as they say, is history!
That’s hardly what Bulawayans are looking forward to; reminders of the horrors of the 1980s.
The Sunday Mail quotes National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) chairman, Lovemore Madhuku, saying some Western governments –– through their emissaries in Harare –– had approached him to get assistance in toppling MDC-T leader Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and to replace him with an academic.
“There is a mentality throughout Western embassies that MDC-T must be led by an academic.
“They have confided in and consulted me on the best candidate to lead the party instead of Prime Minister Tsvangirai,” he said.
Coincidentally, NewsDay reports that Madhuku has also said he will soon relinquish his post at the NCA and venture into active party politics.
“It’s a difficult thing to do, but as soon as we get the referendum, I won’t be there,” said Madhuku while addressing participants at a public meeting organised by think-tank Sapes Trust in Harare last Thursday night.
“After the referendum, I don’t want to be there, I have been there for too long. If we lose the referendum, I will not be there and I would want to join politics after that,” Madhuku said.
Is Madhuku the “academic” he claims the West want to replace Tsvangirai with? Only time will tell!
You have to give props to flamboyant businessman Philip Chiyangwa for his determination to hog the limelight even if his financial fortunes seem to be on a downward spiral.
According to High Court papers, the Daily News reports, Chiyangwa risks losing four houses as he is failing to settle an US$8 million debt with a local bank.
Seemingly undeterred by this turn of events, Chiyangwa raised eyebrows on Saturday evening when he pledged to donate US$1,6 million to the University of Zimbabwe.
NewsDay reports that he made the pledge at a fundraising dinner organised by DPM Arthur Mutambara and also attended by former South African President Thabo Mbeki.
Chiyangwa, who has also been in the news for allegedly failing to pay his workers, stunned people who attended the dinner by offering to build a chapel valued at US$1,6 million for the university.
“I made the commitment because I have got the money. God gives me favour every day,” Chiyangwa said.
The garrulous Chiyangwa has been known to make fanciful promises that end up being just that.
Four years ago, states the Daily News, Chiyangwa promised to pay fees for hundreds of Africa University students but nothing came of it and some students even failed to write their exams.
Last month he was at it again, this time at Midlands State University, where he was addressing students on “Youth in entrepreneurship for economic development”.
Flanked by an entourage of several executive members of the empowerment outfit, Affirmative Action Group, and others from his Pinnacle Properties Holdings, Chiyangwa made a grand entry at the university.
According to the Daily News, no sooner had he started talking than he deviated from the topic of the day and started pursuing a new line.
Bemused students had to sit through a video about Chiyangwa entitled The Story of a Legend.
As if that was not enough, he began asking students questions on the Chiyangwa family. Students that got the first names of Chiyangwa’s parents were rewarded with US$20 on the spot.
“Business and politics can never be separated. You have to be affiliated to the correct political party and know the right people,” said a boisterous Chiyangwa.
At least Chiyangwa spells it out like it is unlike the Saviour Kasukuweres of this world.
Meanwhile Chief Luscious Chitsinde Negomo has vowed not to give up on Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai whom he wants penalised for “marrying” in the “sacred” month of November.
Last Wednesday, High Court judge Justice Bharat Patel nullified a default judgment passed against Tsvangirai by Chief Negomo’s court and subsequently erroneously upheld by a Bindura magistrate.
The chief had ordered Tsvangirai to pay two head of cattle, two sheep and a piece of white cloth as the penalty for allegedly marrying Harare businesswoman Lorcadia Karimatsenga Tembo in November.
The traditional leader even attempted to attach property at Tsvangirai’s Strathaven home in Harare. Justice Patel ruled that it was legally wrong for Chief Negomo to institute a complaint and later adjudicate it himself, and ordered that the matter be heard afresh.
The chief’s aide, Cairo Mhandu, who also happens to be Zanu PF MP for Mazowe North, said Chief Negomo was determined to penalise Tsvangirai for ignoring the court’s summons and defying his court order. This is despite Tsvangirai’s denial that he paid bride price to the Karimatsenga family, arguing he only sent emissaries to pay damages after he impregnated Lorcadia.
All we can say is something smells fishy here.
Finally, it was great to see Zanu PF officials attending a function this week to honour Sekai Holland’s contribution to human rights. Guests at the function were asked to sign in, as is customary.
However, Rugare Gumbo should note, you are not supposed to keep the pen!