HomeOpinionMuckracker: If not the sanctions, it has to be Biti

Muckracker: If not the sanctions, it has to be Biti

Thanks to the BBC for their entertaining programme last week featuring Patrick Chinamasa.

By Muckracker

Chinamasa had assumed that he could bluster his way through an in-depth interview with Stephen Sackur on Hard Talk and get away with it. But Sackur had done his homework and managed to run rings around Chinamasa who barely managed to control his temper.

A visibly angry Chinamasa buckled under the barrage of questions on Zanu PF’s political repression including the ban on independent radio stations, intimidation of judges and violent land seizures.

Asked how many farms the Mugabe family owned Chinamasa could only reply “to be honest I don’t know”. He was also asked about the farm he had seized for himself forcing the owner, Richard Yates, into exile in Australia. Chinamasa justified it on historical grounds but his overall performance was largely comical.
Zanu PF’s ‘problem’

‘But don’t you think it inappropriate for a Minister of Justice to take a farm in situations where he might have to intervene?” he was asked.

Apparently not. Chinamasa justified everything on grounds of colonial redress.

Chinamasa said he had “no (sic) conscience”.

The short-wave radios distributed some months ago were part of the “regime-change” strategy, he rather lamely claimed.

Chinamasa is unlikely to get a pat on the back at Shake-Shake building for saying Mugabe’s issue of old age and failing health was a “problem” for his party and country to solve.

All in all it was a mediocre performance; he should have had a glass of water at the ready.

The audience where Muckraker saw the interview burst into laughter and applause when it concluded. Here was how an interview should be done.

An amused reader observed: No wonder Zanu PF mandarins don’t like to talk to the likes of BBC and CNN. They are used to the lickspittle interviews from the Reuben Barwes of this world.

Cooking up a storm

The state media has been conducting a war of words in support of Kenya’s new President Uhuru Kenyatta. They compared his opponent Raila Odinga to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and in the process made some wild claims.

“Just like his MDC-T counterpart Mr Odinga has tried thrice to land Kenya’s top job and came short every time…”

“Similarly Mr Tsvangirai lost to President Mugabe in 2002 and again in 2008 and analysts say Mr Tsvangirai is headed for his third and probably final defeat in the pending elections.”

Really? What analysts, what defeat? Hasn’t Mugabe stated publicly that his party lost in 2008? Mugabe “won” the 2002 election through violence and murder and lost in March 2008.

Herald and Sunday Mail journalists complained bitterly when they were blacklisted by the EU for telling tall stories. But they continue to do so.

Yet Kenyatta’s father Jomo Kenyatta was a close ally of Britain.

Upon becoming prime minister in 1963, and then president he inaugurated a policy of reconciliation long before Mugabe’s phoney one.

His son Uhuru, although the subject of an International Criminal Court warrant, is anxious to shake off allegations of incitement in 2007 and normalise his international relations.

Despite the Herald’s attempts to manufacture a war between Kenyatta and the UK, relations between Britain and Kenya are cordial. But that hasn’t stopped the Herald’s campaign of misinformation.

Blame anyone but us

Speaking of fabrication the Herald has been unrelenting in its Tendai Biti bashing crusade.

Biti was scuttling government plans to “import 150 000 tonnes of maize from Zambia to feed poor people facing starvation as part of the MDC-T’s grand plan to instigate food shortages and price increases ahead of polls”.

Biti’s crime was trying to involve private companies, “a development that observers say could be manipulated by pro-MDC-T groups to trigger food shortages and price increases”, the Herald sneered.

Biti’s scepticism with the so-called government-to-government arrangement is understandable considering not too long ago senior Zanu PF ministers were fingered in a Grain Marketing Board inputs scam. The inputs had been diverted to prop up Zanu PF’s 2008 election campaign.

If it isn’t the “illegal” sanctions it must be Biti’s fault, where Zanu PF is concerned.

The fact that we have become net importers of grain from countries like Malawi and Zambia conveniently escapes Zanu PF’s notice while they peddle the farcical claim of the “successful” land reform programme.

Adding to the absurdity the Herald goes on to accuse Biti of making “reckless statements to foment anarchy” after claiming he was conspiring to cause mass starvation.

They must take their readers for fools!

Back in the saddle

The Job Sikhala-led MDC-99 has called for the unconditional lifting of European Union and the United States sanctions on diamond mining companies.

The outfit’s International Relations secretary, Robert Matenga, was quoted by the Herald saying: “These sanctions are not only hurting our economy, but our people as well, they must be lifted.”

In a curious development the MDC-99 is now singing from the Zanu PF hymn sheet, applauding Mines minister Obert Mpofu for “standing his ground” in fighting the West.

Readers of Muckraker will remember that Sikhala “pulled out” of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) in 2009 citing that it “never had the blessing” of his party and “none of the party organs know anything about the political settlement”.

“In view of this,” Sikhala added, “be advised that the MDC-99 is no longer bound by any resolutions of the GPA and the party is going to contest in all by- elections.”

Judging by their rhetoric the MDC-99 must have secretly pulled themselves back into the GPA as if they are party to it in the first place.

Say no for a change!

How many of our readers have noticed the number of newspaper adverts appearing seeking change-of-use for suburban homes where the owners want to turn their homes into a crèche.

Nearly every day one of these adverts appears seeking the nod of abutting property owners.

Where an objection is made, the city is not bound by any such objection.

Indeed, one wonders how many if any such applications are refused by the City Director of Urban Planning Services.

“The application, plans and any special conditions which the authority is likely to impose in the event of the application being favourably considered may be inspected at the address below,” we are told.

That is Cleveland House, Takawira St.

What we have here is a licence to make money. The property owner doesn’t have to do anything except extract approval from his neighbours. Most of the time they don’t see the well-concealed ad.

But they do feel the consequence as the little ones make their presence known throughout the day.

There is also likely to be graffiti decorating the crèche walls with a tasteless tiny-tots theme.

Please Mr Director of Urban Planning, you don’t have to approve every one of these applications. They do nothing for the appearance of the neighbourhood.

Then there are the numerous restaurants that have sprung up all over the place, mostly without the permission of the Director of Urban Planning. Does he ever say “No”?

ZBC’s revival strategy

Finally we picked up some suggestions from the social media sphere for shows ZBC could flight to help bring back viewers:

  • Zimbabwe’s got Prophets as opposed to America’s Got Talent
  • Two and a Half MDCs as opposed to Two and a Half Men
  • Whose Farm Is It Anyway? as opposed to Whose Line Is It Anyway
  • Dating in the Dark proudly sponsored by Zesa.


Straight-faced lie

EMMERSON Mnangagwa would have us believe security sector reforms were never a Global Political Agreement issue saying they were aimed at undermining Zimbabwe’s security and sovereignty.

The only two outstanding issues, Mnangagwa said, are the “illegal” sanctions and “pirate” radio stations. Trust Zanu PF to deny the existence of a clearly stipulated provision with a straight face while at the same time accusing the West of being dishonest.

The reason “pirate” radio stations thrive is because the public can’t depend upon ZBC to tell the truth about what is happening in the country.

Things fall apart for AGO

ARTHUR Mutambara has found out the hard way how fluid the political landscape can be after being abandoned by five legislators he protected from losing their parliamentary seats.

Mutambara had saved the legislators from losing their seats by telling parliament to disregard attempts by MDC leader Welshman Ncube to oust them saying they belonged to his “party”.

If Mutambara thought he would be thanked by the legislators for saving their skins with loyalty, he had another think coming as the MPs have since registered to contest in the MDC-T’s primary elections.
Oh well! There is always robotics.

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