Former president Thabo Mbeki has provided the Zimbabwe state media with an opportunity to revive the claim that Britain planned to invade Zimbabwe at the height of the country’s crisis. There is no substance of course for this silly story being bandied about but it is the sort of thing the Herald likes when there is nothing else to write about and banging the nationalist drum earns dividends for the less sophisticated observers.
A salient point needs to be made here which the Herald and its sponsors have studiously ignored. Britain has over the past 60 years afforded some 52 nations their independence. It has made little or no attempt to block their path to freedom.
Starting with India in 1947 and proceeding through Ceylon and Malaya, moving on to Africa and the Caribbean, the record of decolonisation is unprecedented and mostly peaceful. Rhodesia was largely an exception. Compared with France, struggling in Vietnam and Algeria, the picture is very different. The same goes for Portugal’s refusal to relinquish its control of Angola, Mozambique and Guinea Bissau.
The suggestion that Tony Blair’s government planned a campaign against President Mugabe’s regime, needless to say involving the MDC-T, is off the wall. When General Charles Guthrie mooted the possibility he found no takers. Britain, with its over-extended commitments in the Falklands, Gibraltar, Sierra Leone and Belize, is not about to resume a costly colonial role. They already have to manage with the cost of two new aircraft carriers.
How do these stories get past editors who seem to enjoy advertising their Zanu PF style nationalist ignorance?
Which brings us to Nathaniel Manheru’s half-baked articles. They look as if they haven’t had the benefit of an editor of any sort.
On Saturday for instance Manheru was able to say Zimbabwe had endured 400 000 white “intruders” here for well over a century.
Just for the record, the white population has never exceeded 273 000 and that was 40 years ago.
Why are Zimbabweans taught to hate people “with whom we have a shared colonial history; taught to hate each other by our common enemy,” Manheru wanted to know?
The answer to that is very simple. Zimbabweans resent the advantages accorded to Chinese “intruders” but denied to locals.
And by the way this is not peculiar to Zimbabwe. Zambians feel just as strongly.
Meanwhile, Zimbabweans are conscious of the colonial character the Chinese have cultivated in dependencies such as Tibet. The people of Tibet have been reduced to second class citizens in their own country by Han Chinese occupiers, often with considerable brutality.
Manheru should give a rest to Zanu PF’s tiresome polemics. When Zimbabweans talk of zhing-zhong, that is not something invented by whites. It is a view shared by Zimbabweans alike.
Living la vida loca
Elizabeth Chiyangwa, wife of the millionaire businessman Phillip Chiyangwa, has been giving the nation an insight into how the Zanu PF rich and famous live (la dolce vita) in her divorce papers. She recounts how she was accustomed to a life of “unreserved flamboyance”.
“I was accustomed to a life of unreserved flamboyance and can state without hesitation that I have for the past 25 years enjoyed a very high standard of living, way beyond that of most, if not indeed the rest of Zimbabwean society, if not the entire African society.”
Mrs Chiyangwa states in her court papers that she lived and enjoyed the lifestyle of the most famous and richest (sic) in the world.
She states that she lived in a designer-made US$50 million matrimonial house built on hard cash without any loans taken.
She said the house had 18 bedrooms, 15 carports, 10 fully furnished lounges, four balconies, nine furnished servants quarters, two swimming pools and others. She described the home as “extravagant, opulent, palatial, and a magnificent showpiece”.
Mrs Chiyangwa wants US$360 000 to replace her current fleet of vehicles, US$350 000 to cover the legal costs in the divorce proceedings, US$100 000 to replace her current clothing, jewellery and shoes, and another US$100 000 to buy new household furniture.”
She is also claiming a once off payment of US$100 000 which she would use as a relocation allowance.
“Ever since the commencement of our marriage,” she stated, “and for the past 25 years I have never worked or earned any income of my own, independent of the respondent”.
This is really damaging to both Phillip and Elizabeth.
Meanwhile Phillip had no kind words for his estranged wife’s lawyer Isiah Mureriwa who he accused of mishandling the case by misrepresenting Elizabeth in filing the suit for divorce.
“He (Mureriwa) came out with his guns blazing, he offloaded, totally misrepresenting my wife. I will go after him using my lawyers. I have done reports to the necessary authorities and this guy must be exposed,” Chiyangwa fumed.
The correct expression is actually with “all guns blazing” –– not “with his guns blazing” Cde Fidza. And the only person being exposed is you.
Foot in mouth … again
President Mugabe should rule until he is 100 and lead Zanu PF in elections in 2018 because there are some people in the Bible who went beyond 100 years but still ruled.
This is another gem from the garrulous Didymus Mutasa who in the same breath oddly said people should control their “wild imaginations”.
Mutasa clearly did not heed Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s advice to keep a lid on it. This time the target of Mutasa’s ire was the private media which he accused of creating factionalism in Zanu PF.
Not too long ago the private media was Mutasa’s refuge after he was called a dwarf in huge robes by the state media. Mutasa’s utterances are clearly putting paid to this description.
Information minister Jonathan Moyo put Mutasa straight when he said: “I, therefore, don’t think anything will be gained by blaming or attacking the media as that will be no better than attacking the messenger when the better thing to do is to listen to the message even if it is unpalatable or plain wrong. The media is doing its job by honestly reporting what it is being told.”
Need we say more? Thanks Prof!
At least Msipa gets it
It is refreshing to finally hear some sense emanating from Zanu PF for a change.
Former Midlands governor Cephas Msipa said the decision to allow some white dairy white farmers to keep their properties and to continue production in the Midlands was out of national interest, saying if focus was not placed on production, the country would be importing milk. Just like we are importing grain from Zambia, we might add.
Msipa said the colour of a farmer’s skin did not matter as long as they were productive on the pieces of land they occupied, adding that he joined Zanu PF to bring positive change to the country and not for personal gain.
“People should understand that there is national interest and self-interest,” added Msipa.
“It is in the national interest that I said these dairy farmers should remain on their farms. We don’t have to import milk when we have people who are productive. It does not matter that one is white or black; what we want is development.”
Maybe you could tell some of your misguided colleagues in the politburo Cde Msipa.
Sobbing for supper
Finally there has been some unkind amusement over Kudakwashe Bhasikiti’s descent into tears at a recent politburo meeting.
Is he aware, we wonder, of the similarity with a few choice words from the Bible? “Bhasikiti wept,” another generation will report!