Readers will recall that “causing confusion” is a very serious offence in Zanu PF.
Column by The MuckRaker
When the comrades become confused all hell breaks loose. This week they were turning reality on its head by claiming MDC factions’ accusations against army generals were “a clear sign that they do not have strong policies to sell the electorate”.
This view came in the wake of remarks by Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa’s that soldiers were free to support political parties of their choice.
Why are we only hearing this now? Why not when Douglas Nyikayaramba was holding forth? We suspect this epiphany came in the wake of the South African facilitation team’s visit to Harare recently. Mnangagwa, who was quoted extensively in Monday’s Herald, was discovering that while senior officers in the region were free to support parties of their choice, they should not hold political office.
“Political parties should come up with good manifestos and individual soldiers are free to vote for any party which they think has a constructive policy,” he said.
It is not for him to decide what is “constructive” and what is not. The voters will decide that.
Then we had “a senior government official who requested anonymity because of the negotiations between the EU and Zimbabwe over sanctions”, saying it was not proper for the bloc to leverage the removal of sanctions on local political processes”.
In other words there must be no improvement in the conduct of governance!
Of course it is proper for the EU to insist upon good governance and adherence to certain electoral norms before lifting sanctions. The Sadc Grand Baie terms are applicable to all 27 members,
We all know who the “senior government official” was trying to lay down the law on this score.
Government spokesmen make the silly claim that sanctions are “illegal” when they are perfectly legal and then proceed to press for their removal on the basis of that fallacy.
The not-so-mysterious official said setting preconditions for the removal of sanctions showed that “the EU had a desired outcome of the referendum and the elections”.
Of course it does. The whole political process over the past five years has been about establishing democracy in Zimbabwe.
That is the desired outcome. So is the reform of the media to remove the crude propaganda emanating from Zimpapers and the ZBC.
“Our position has always been that there must be unconditional lifting of the sanctions,” the official said. And the position of civil society in Zimbabwe is that the Global Political Agreement remains unfulfilled. How can we have democratic elections when there is only one public broadcaster? How can voters make an informed choice when that choice is between a couple of Zanu PF voices?
The Gushungo fashion label is “pushing new boundaries”, NewZimbabwe.com claimed recently. Their merchandise –– which included overalls, caps, berets, T-Shirts and umbrellas –– “was quickly snapped up at the Zanu PF conference in December”, we are told.
However, the website does not furnish us with details on where else, other than at a Zanu PF conference, the label is “pushing new boundaries”.
In keeping with Zanu PF’s modus operandi the label is co-designed by Asian “partners”, according to Allan Mapisa, the marketing director of the company behind the label.
“We have creative designers and we also work in collaboration with our Asian partners. Production is being done in China, Hong Kong and lately Thailand,” Mapisa said.
Judging by the brand’s oriental links, Gu shung-ho is a more apt name!
‘What makes our brand unique is the fact that our products are world class and Zimbabweans can easily relate and identify with them.”
Indeed Zimbabweans can “relate and identify” with poor quality Chinese-made products dumped on the local market after having been reduced to penury by Zanu PF’s ruinous policies.
Last year ZBC had claimed the label would “redefine the country’s fashion industry which is mostly dominated by foreign clothing labels”.
The clothing line celebrates the legacy of the president, ZBC stated, without a hint of irony. It escaped their notice that the Asian-made label is for all intents and purposes foreign, an indictment on Zanu PF’s indigenisation drive.
“The brand is also riding on a wave of a hero, our president. We are guaranteed success,” quipped Mapisa.
The less said the better!
Flattering to deceive
On a related note, we have former UK Big Brother contestant Makosi Musambasi who, since her unceremonious return, is suddenly a fervent supporter of President Mugabe despite once claiming she would be killed if she were deported back home.
Since her return Musambasi has been looking for a pathway into celebrity, albeit unsuccessfully.
To show her newfound allegiance to Zanu PF, Musambasi posted a picture online in which she held a Gushungo label umbrella. She now wants to meet the president and to that end indulged in a bit of flattery claiming:
“Who doesn’t? Even (US President) Barack Obama wants to meet Robert Mugabe.”
We are sure President Obama would beg to differ.
Speaking of changing tack Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) president Johannes Ndanga on Tuesday declared President Mugabe was “anointed by God” to lead the country into a “new epoch of prosperity”.
Curiously in the not too distant past Ndanga was not so flowery in his description of Mugabe and Zanu PF. The Standard of July 2000 states that Ndanga claimed to have been harassed by state security agents after speaking out against Zanu PF “terror tactics” during the parliamentary elections.
Ndanga had said members of the Central Intelligence Organisation had been calling his mobile phone and issuing death threats.
“I have been receiving phone calls from people claiming to be intelligence officers, threatening me with death. They are making all sorts of wild accusations which I do not even know.” Ndanga said.
He went on to say his problems with Zanu PF began when he became critical of government “mismanagement” and criticised the party’s campaign of “political violence and intimidation”.
“Even if the elections take place, there is going to be intimidation and dictatorship –– they are not elections,” he said.
Thirteen years later, Ndanga is singing a totally different tune, crooning that Mugabe was “head and shoulders above all the other pretenders vying to lead the country”.
“There are many people from within and without Zimbabwe who want to question President Mugabe’s ability to rule this country but people should know that President Mugabe’s age is his trump card to win these elections,” Ndanga gushed.
What could have changed Ndanga’s mind, we are keen to know? Zanu PF’s largesse could have something to do with it.
In 2011 Ndanga was demanding that Zanu PF provide vehicles and allowances to church leaders spearheading its campaign. He had claimed “real bishops”, like himself, had more Zanu PF followers as compared to traditional leaders, hence the need to award them cars and cash allowances.
Adding more flesh
Meanwhile Ndanga decided to add to the folkltale being churned out by Zanu PF claiming Mugabe’s rule was prophesied in 1934.
Following in Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s footsteps, Ndanga put more flesh to the fantastic tale claiming Johanne Masowe church founder Prophet Shoniwa Masedza prophesied Mugabe’s rule when he was 10 years old and “only God can remove him”.
We are keen to hear Mugabe’s comments on these claims considering his low opinion of prophets whom he decried for extorting money from people. He also said, under the influence of mbanje, some “spirit mediums” would pretend to be possessed.
Error of commission
Finally on the subject of pretensions, we were amused to note that Matthew Takaona, who is a member of the Media Commission, likes to be styled “Commissioner Takaona”. And then there is “Commissioner Mutsvangwa”, formerly our man in Beijing.
Why don’t we just call them all “La-Di-Da”!