POOR old Didymus Mutasa. Even his own captive press seems to have it in for him. This week Mutasa complained bitterly that he had been referred to as a “dwarf in huge robes” in a Herald editorial last week.
“You see, when you refer to us as dwarfs in huge robes, how do you expect me to answer?” Mutasa queried. “Because I am not in charge of any newspaper, I can only go to newspapers to answer, but which newspaper will I use if my own newspaper refers to me that way.”
We didn’t hear any complaints from Mutasa when Zanu PF’s opponents were derided and lampooned in the state media.
“You don’t use your office to scandalise those who are not in the same office and those who cannot respond,” Mutasa now lectures.
He is now facing the music.
Unfortunately Mutasa did not help his cause after being labelled an “intellectual dwarf dressed in giant political robes”. Instead of addressing the culprits behind the factional wrangles, Mutasa laid the blame for the infighting within his party on the media.
“This wrangle which has happened over the last two weeks was very unfortunate and it was propelled by you (media) who do not want to see peace in the country among your leadership.
“You want to continue causing clashes between the leadership and I think it is very bad … Therefore we want to work harmoniously. Please leave us alone and do not make us fight.”
You give us too much credit Cde Mutasa.
The headline in the Chronicle aptly captured what Mutasa needs to do with his political life:“Zip it, VP Mujuru tells Mutasa”.
The VP here was advising Mutasa to shut up in the face of criticism instead of exposing himself.
Mutasa is angry with his party colleagues who think that he is a “dwarf in huge robes”. To prove that he is not a “dwarf”, he has clambered atop the nearest soapbox to respond to the attacks while exposing himself in the process. It reminded us of the saying that the higher the monkey climbs, the more it exposes itself.
Mujuru had further advice to Mutasa to borrow his wife’s Bible and read from the book of Proverbs chapter 11 verses 5,6,7,9 and18. Here are what the verses say:
The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight, but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness.
“The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires.
“7 Hopes placed in mortals die with them; all the promise of their power comes to nothing. With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbours, but through knowledge the righteous escape.
“A wicked person earns deceptive wages, but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.”
We particularly like the counsel in verse 7, especially read together with a toadying statement like “Mugabe is our king”.
So much for sorry
We were amused by former US president Jimmy Carter who recently said he nearly punched former South African president Thabo Mbeki for denying HIV/Aids treatment to his people.
“The first time I came here to Cape Town I almost got in a fight with the president of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, because he was refusing to let Aids be treated,” Carter told the Sunday Times.
Then-Health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang recommended the use of a concoction of fruits, vegetables and herbs instead of antiretroviral drugs to treat the disease –– which won her international derision as “Dr Beetroot” or “Dr Garlic”.
“That’s the closest I have come to getting into a fist fight with a head of state,” Carter recalls.
Carter said he and Bill Gates senior were trying to convince Mbeki to at least provide antiretroviral treatment to pregnant women with Aids, “but Mbeki was against that”.
Funny how the passage of time has seemingly expunged Mbeki’s culpability in the avoidable deaths of more than a third of a million South Africans because of his government’s policy of Aids denialism.
According to estimates, 35 000 babies who could have been protected from the virus were infected. Mbeki’s policies also dealt a heavy blow to long-term HIV/Aids education efforts in South Africa.
Aids, Mbeki argued in 2000, was brought about by the collapse of the immune system and not because of a virus. The cause, he said, was poverty, bad nourishment and general ill-health.
The “solution” was not expensive western medicine, but the alleviation of poverty in Africa.
There was never so much as an apology from Mbeki nor was he brought to account for this dark chapter in South African history.
Loses the plot … again
After airbrushing his chequered history Mbeki recently told Al Jazeera that justice is getting in the way of bringing peace to Africa.
“These charges against people –– like Omar al-Bashir in Sudan or Uhuru Kenyatta in Kenya ––they arise out of situations of conflict,” Mbeki says.
“Our first task is to stop the killing of these Africans. But the challenge that arises is when someone says that the issue of justice trumps the issue of peace.”
If Mbeki had his way, leaders would butcher their people with impunity and then avoid prosecution under the guise of finding a peaceful solution.
Not again please. We have had enough of Mbeki’s harebrained ideas!
Muckraker was bitterly disappointed with the Sunday Mail story entitled “President Mugabe’s juicy sound bites as …” which turned out to be much ado about nothing.
“President Mugabe lightened the mood ahead of Zanu PF’s special extraordinary politburo meeting in the capital yesterday (Saturday) with juicy sound bites that belied the tense atmosphere that preceded,” was the inviting intro from the Sunday Mail.
Some cadres visibly looked uneasy, we are told, “as speculation swelled among them as to the likely resolutions of the meeting”.
“The fidgeting stops, everyone gets to their feet as the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces enters, in his trademark gentle, assured step, with hands clasped.”
It all goes downhill from there. The scene was set but the follow-up failed to rrise to the occasion.
“Oh, he who was lost has been found. Let us rejoice,” was one of the underwhelming “jokes” directed at Josiah Hungwe.
“Fellow president, how are you?” was another, this time directed at Senate President Edna Madzongwe.
“With the mood now lightened, some Politburo members found time to try their hand at stand-up comedy, a development that made it impossible to follow all of President Mugabe’s conversations,” the story rumbles, giving more examples of very dry humour from Zanu PF officials.
“Where is my handbag? It has US$10 million in it … where do I start?” from Abigail Damasane was an example of the alleged stand-up comedy.
Muckraker shared the bemusement with a number of Sunday Mail readers who voiced their displeasure on the comments section.
“What’s the point of this story? I want three minutes of my life back,” retorted a reader with the moniker Tate.
“Mr Journalist, why do you waste our precious time?” Kanyaga wanted to know.
Need we say more?
Shamu’s snail mail
Finally, the Embassy of Spain took a big leap of faith by posting through Zimpost snail mail invitations for their national day in the hope that they would arrive in time for the October 11 function.
We are glad to inform the embassy that the invitations to Muckraker arrived safely in November.
All the same, Muckraker is grateful for the invitation, especially if the same card can be used next year to avoid further embarrassing the hardworking postal services minister Webster Shamu.
short and sweet …
The international press has been commenting on the relief afforded to the Philippines recently. The United States contributed huge amounts including its flagship USSGeorge Washington while the UK sent HMS Illustrious.
And what about the giant of the east? China. It gave US$100 000. Only when people began to point out China’s failure to meet the crisis did they hike their contribution.
China is claiming to be the world’s second most important country. In that case it has to match rhetoric with performance.