The Chiefs’ Council recently called for peace and tolerance during the forthcoming referendum and elections.
Column by The MuckRaker
The chiefs, reports ZBC, resolved to preach the gospel of peace and tolerance in their communities to complement the GPA principals’ efforts of ensuring a violence-free referendum and harmonised elections.
Chief Fortune Charumbira, Chiefs’ Council President, said chiefs were by-standers in the electoral process but said in the forthcoming polls, they will be in the forefront calling for peace and tolerance.
“We have made a position that we should be actively involved in preaching the gospel of peace, we want our people to tolerate each other so that we can build our nation. We have been able to agree on the draft constitution and that the process should go on smoothly,” said Charumbira.
Charumbira went on to declare that a peaceful referendum and election will “put to shame” the country’s detractors who “peddle falsehoods” during any electoral processes.
Meanwhile at Mubaira Growth Point in Mhondoro the youthful war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda described Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as an “agent of the devil” warning traditional and church leaders against accommodating MDC-T supporters, NewsDay reports.
“As traditional leaders, you should make sure that you don’t have anyone with MDC-T cards in your areas,” Sibanda snarled. “We should work hard to ensure that we restore the country from the MDC-T. They don’t believe in our own God, but in Satan. I am shocked there are pastors who are in MDC-T structures.”
Despite accusing the MDC-T of being Satanists, Sibanda went on a blasphemous tirade, likening Zanu PF to the biblical “first fish” from where Jesus Christ’s disciples fished a coin when they ran out of cash.
“Zanu PF is your first party. (President Robert) Mugabe is your first leader. Jesus said the first fish, not second, third or fourth. President Mugabe is your salvation. He represents the people’s interests, while Tsvangirai, Welshman Ncube (MDC leader), Dumiso Dabengwa (Zapu) and all the other parties are puppets of the West.”
Curiously chiefs Chivero, Ngezi, Mashayamombe and Ziruvi were in attendance as Sibanda spewed his pungent vitriol. So much for chiefs no longer being by-standers!
Zanu PF chairman Simon Khaya Moyo has told the United States and Switzerland the country’s political leadership will not allow any West-sponsored forces to interfere in the forthcoming referendum and elections to be held this year, ZBC reports.
It seems Cde Khaya Moyo is out of the loop considering the principals have tasked Finance minister Tendai Biti and Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa to hold out the begging bowl to fund the referendum and general elections.
In last week’s edition, Biti and Chinamasa revealed Zimbabwe only has a combined budget of US$25 million with the two processes estimated to cost US$250 million.
Moyo, however, unperturbed by this state of affairs boisterously told-off the US and Swiss envoys Bruce Wharton and Luciano Lavazzari respectively.
Zimbabweans, Khaya Moyo declared, do not expect continued interference by the West in the country’s affairs through NGOs, “which instigate violence to tarnish the country’s image”.
Khaya Moyo’s ominous attack on NGOs comes amid a renewed onslaught on civil society with the police storming the offices of Jestina Mukoko’s Zimbabwe Peace Project on Monday. On the same note Khaya Moyo would also want the repeal of the “illegal” Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (Zidera). He obviously wants his cake and to eat it too.
However, Wharton was unequivocal in his response saying while his ambition is to have Zidera removed, his hands are tied as the embargo was “put for a purpose”.
‘Public’ media abuse
In as much as we commiserate with Information minister Webster Shamu over the loss of his mother, the shocking abuse of the supposedly national broadcaster cannot go unmentioned.
The bulk of Monday’s main news broadcast was dedicated to Defence minister Emmerson Mnagagwa and ZDF commander Constantine Chiwenga’s visit to the Shamu homestead to pay their condolences.
Mnangagwa and Chiwenga were away last week on national duty in Mozambique and Sudan respectively, ZBC dutifully explained. The duo went on to describe the late Gogo Shamu as a “unifier, pillar of strength and an advisor who showed love to everyone”.
For more than five minutes viewers were barraged with an ad nauseam oration of the virtues of Gogo Shamu. Strange isn’t it we are only hearing about Gogo Shamu and her wonderful deeds now!
Since the burial we have been told of one group or another “consoling” the Shamu family. On Tuesday we had the Johane Masowe church from Rusape sending a delegation to the Shamu homestead to pay condolences.
Considering the minuscule coverage other parties in the inclusive government are allotted, it clearly smacks of abuse. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai can only dream of getting such coverage on our so-called “first and permanent choice”.
Media reforms cannot come soon enough!
One of the oft abused words in the Zimbabwean lexicon was once again in action with ZBC having received two “state-of-the-art” digital outside broadcasting units donated by the Chinese government to “enable the co-operation (sic) to meet the digitalisation thrust”.
They must have meant corporation!
“The new equipment includes the latest outside broadcast van equipped with 8-plus-1 high definition cameras with a super slow replay facility and a high definition satellite uplink van,” a beaming ZBC employee stated.
“The outside broadcasting equipment is capable of bringing live coverage of events between two points linking them to viewers as they occur.”
The equipment, we are told, “will improve the quality of transmission while bringing events to the people as they happen”. Haven’t we heard this before?
In the same week that ZBC was announcing its broadcast prowess, the corporation ran 20 minutes of news without the sound.
A stunning achievement!
What’s in a name
Malawian President Joyce Banda has taken flak for a costly directive to print new portraits to accommodate her new doctoral title.
South Korea’s University of Jeonju awarded Banda an honorary doctorate in economics for her achievements in “furthering global peace, economic reforms and furthering the dignity of mankind in the world”.
The initial portrait has a “Mrs” on the title but with the new accolade the Malawian government intends to replace thousands of portraits with those bearing the new title of “Dr”.
Defending the move Malawian Information minister Moses Kunkuyu said it was important that the president’s new title be featured on the portrait as it was an “honour to all Malawians”.
Former president Bingu wa Mutharika also spent millions of Kwacha to change his portrait bearing the title “Dr” to accommodate “Professor” soon after a Chinese University recognised him.
A few months into office, Banda had already coined a lengthy title of: “Her Excellency the State President and Commander in-Chief of the Malawi Defence Force and Malawi Police Service, Minister responsible for the Public Service, Statutory Corporations, Civil Service Administration, National Relief and Disaster Management and Nutrition and HIV/ Aids.”
No guesses where the inspiration for all this came from.