‘Shame, shame, shame to the United States of America,” President Mugabe bellowed from the podium of the United Nations General Assembly in New York last week.
By the MuckRaker
Britain also got the “shame, shame, shame” treatment. But what was so shameful? Could it be shopping in the same US that you have just denounced; that you purport to dislike? Macy’s trumped ideology it seemed.
The “shameful” Western media reported on the “shameful” size of the Zimbabwean delegation which included the presidential kids whose exact function at the UN was not clear. There was official indignation when the Zimbabwean delegation was reminded of the parameters they should not breach during their stay.
In all, about 80 people travelled with Mugabe to New York, to a country which was imposing “filthy sanctions” on Zimbabwe and supposedly feeling “shame”! Delegates were supposed to be sharing Zimbabwe’s outrage.
But Zanu PF’s sanctions mantra made no progress at the platform of the UN, held every September. Everybody’s attention was on the talks between the US and Iran.
It is a “shame” to say it, but Zimbabwe has gone off the radar. International leaders are no longer interested in our pesky politics. And the size of President Mugabe’s delegation was simply embarrassing for developing countries which would otherwise have perhaps identified with Zimbabwe’s plight.
Mugabe got a polite round of applause when he entered the chamber. But with the exception perhaps of Venezuela’s new leader Nicolas Maduro who blamed the US for his country’s shortage of toilet paper, there were no takers for Mugabe’s extravagant prose.
“Heard it all before”, seemed to be the main response.
We are always surprised to see Nathaniel Manheru’s column missing when the president is in New York. Instead we had one of the anti-American brigade contributors using Zimbabwe for his outfit’s private war with Barack Obama.
They are obviously pleased to have a space of such vast proportions for their dubious views. But are Zimbabweans interested? Did anybody read it?
Muckraker recalls a conversation in the 1980s between revolutionary exiles who had just returned to the country. One was holding forth on a contemporary topic when his colleague butted in.
“Whatever you say or do,” he declared, “don’t declare war on the Americans. You won’t win.”
Land invasions are illegal and will be dealt with by the law, the new Lands minister Douglas Mombeshora declared.
“Any land invasions whether on white or black-owned farms are illegal as the issue of redistributing land in Zimbabwe has to be guided by clear cut laws and policies,” he said.
Such announcements ring hollow, 13 years after the onset of the chaotic jambanja land invasions characterised by the flagrant flouting of property rights and Bippa agreements.
Haven’t we heard this before? Former Lands minister Herbert Murerwa once gave assurances that investments under Bippa would be spared only for Zanu PF apparatchiks to swoop in and grab farms with impunity.
NewsDay reports that illegal structures recently demolished in Harare have resurfaced with a vengeance as new settlements also emerge in several areas in Harare and Chitungwiza in flagrant defiance of the government directive.
Mombeshora tells us his ministry is drafting the Land Commission Bill to “finalise” land administration in Zimbabwe. We won’t be holding our breath.
Of widening girths
Meanwhile the Daily News reports that ZBC employees were this week expected to embark on a hunger strike in protest over non-payment of salaries and cancellation of medical aid.
The fast, we are told, was also aimed at “unlocking” their unpaid salaries through seeking divine intervention.
Asked for comment by the Daily News, Sivukile Simango, ZBC’s public relations officer, was anything but sympathetic to the employees’ plight, who are clearly at their wits’ end.
“If they decide to seek divine intervention, then let them do so, but at their own peril,” Simango blustered.
In contrast, ZBC’s senior executives are getting “obscene” salaries and allowances with the least paid manager reportedly netting around US$7 000, general managers US$18 000, heads of department US$14 000 and the highest paid manager earning more than US$20 000.
The widening girths of the likes of CEO Happison Muchechetere and Reuben Barwe speak volumes of the gulf between management and employees.
We truly commiserate with our colleagues at ZBC and hope the responsible ministry will nip this madness in the bud.
More jokers to come
Lovemore Madhuku has shrewdly managed to cling to the helm of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), albeit in another guise.
After reaching the limit of his term as the body’s chairman, Madhuku last Saturday morphed the NCA into a fully-fledged political party, thereby clinching a fresh term as interim leader of the yet to be named outfit.
At the NCA congress Madhuku entered the political fray by laying into President Mugabe, whom he said appointed “several Chinotimbas” in cabinet with no capacity to deliver.
The Cde Chinos-bashing wasn’t over. The current parliament is packed with “jokers” such as Joseph Chinotimba, Madhuku stated.
Ironically MDC99 leader Job Sikhala is reportedly tipped for a top position in Madhuku’s party. Sikhala said at the congress his party was “99,9%” behind the new political party.
We are certainly in for interesting times.
So much for hypocrisy
Finally, the Zanu PF youth league says it will use the 18th World Festival of Youth and Students to be held in Ecuador in December to lobby for the world’s youths to join it in its struggle against imperialism.
A defiant sixty-something year-old Zanu PF youth secretary Absolom Sikhosana told ZBC they will use the platform to “expose” the West’s hypocrisy without a hint of irony.
“We want to tell them that their time is up, we are sovereign and should be respected,” Sikhosana declared.
That should also apply to you Cde Sikhosana. We reported last year that Zanu PF national and provincial youth leaders asked President Mugabe to reassign Sikhosana because the Zanu PF constitution stipulates that only people aged between 15 and 30 years can be members of the youth league.
One bemused Zanu PF youth leader said: “Sikhosana should do the honourable thing and resign from his post. You can’t have a 60-year old presiding over an organ of the party whose members are aged between 15 and 30. He is out of sync with the goings-on.
What does he know about the youths? What do you discuss with him when he is totally clueless about what is going on among the youths?”
The real youths in Zanu PF will have to wait their turn when they are in their sixties to take over from Sikhosana.