Provide good service and ‘pirates’ will go

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“What comes first is good service and customers follow.We cannot invert these natural laws of commerce to protect incompetent managers at the NRZ.”

President Mugabe always seems to choose the most inauspicious occasions to launch tirades against his opponents. At the burial of Zanu PF founding member Eric Gwanzura, Mugabe decided to lambast “promiscuous MDC-T officials” saying they should formalise their polygamous relationships than engage in immoral activities.

“If you want to be a polygamist, then do it properly and in a dignified way, not what is happening in MDC,” said Mugabe. “I do not want to divulge who exactly I mean, but that is what is happening in that party — dating multiple partners.”

In July first lady Grace Mugabe also described Morgan Tsvangirai as a “philanderer who wasted time in salacious exotic beaches instead of formulating policies that help improve the lives of the generality of Zimbabweans”.

Boomerang effect

However, the Mugabes’ righteous indignation has unwittingly brought unnecessary attention to their own indiscretions. Tsvangirai had responded to the attack in kind saying: “Of all the people, Grace Mugabe is not qualified to comment on the prime minister’s morals because she destroyed the marriage of an otherwise honourable first lady that we had.

“The philanderer the prime minister knows of is one president who fell in love with his secretary whilst his legitimate wife was dying of a kidney ailment. It is sad that Grace is taking us down this route during an important election where we should be talking about our manifesto, issues and programmes that address the people’s interests rather than name-calling.”

What goes around certainly comes around. And as many have said those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

‘Rogue’ signals

Amai Jukwa has a gripe with Botswana President Ian Khama whom we are told leads an “adolescently impulsive” government. This description fits the regime closer to home than well-run and economically stable Botswana.

“What I find most intolerable is Khama’s hypocrisy. It stinks and I worry that the contradictions of his actions escape him,” Amai Jukwa asserted without a hint of irony.

The source of the indignation emanates from Botswana’s hosting of transmitters for “pirate” radio stations that broadcast into Zimbabwe. Khama is a hypocrite, we are told, because eTV’s subsidiary eBotswana took the SABC to court for broadcasting in Botswana.

“Reading the above one wonders how the Botswana establishment can continue to support the beaming of rogue signals into Zimbabwe when one of their own companies has gone to court and successfully fought off signals from unlicensed South African players,” Amai Jukwa queried.

Condoning the bizarre

Curiously, despite Amai Jukwa accusing Khama of contradicting himself, the same article criticises war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda for saying government should revive the NRZ by imposing a ban on road transportation of coal outside a 30km radius of Hwange.

“The suggestion that consumers must be forced to use the NRZ is just as bizarre as suggesting that we block buses from using the Harare-Bulawayo route in the hope that travellers will start using those filthy NRZ carriages again,” noted Amai Jukwa.

“If the NRZ can’t even clean its trains why should the population be forced to endure their incompetence?”

The same could be said of government’s attempt to impose dreary and partisan programming from ZBC which has compelled listeners to tune-in to the so-called pirate stations.

Amai Jukwa couldn’t have said it better: “What comes first is good service and customers follow. We cannot invert these natural laws of commerce to protect incompetent managers at the NRZ.”

Stealing the show

IT was a no brainer as to the star of Johannesburg’s farewell to Nelson Mandela at the FNB stadium last week. Sign language interpreter Thamsanqa Jantjie stole the show with what appears to have been an ad lib performance. In plain language, he made it up as he went along. Those sign readers who saw him flapping his arms around and then folding them neatly and looking satisfied with himself were confirmed in their impression later the same day.

Not only was he a bogus sign language interpreter, he confessed to being a schizophrenic. In other words there was more than one of him!

SA’s greatest son

At another level, TV networks reported that the funeral cortege was the biggest Pretoria had ever scene. Actually, we don’t want to quibble, but the procession for ex-premier and Field Marshal Jan Smuts through Church Square in 1950 was a lot bigger. So was Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd’s return from the Commonwealth Conference in London in 1960 after South Africa had been booted out.

There was no TV in South Africa then, so people came to see for themselves. Hence huge crowds.

Royal visits such as that of 1947 attracted millions. But whatever the numbers, Mandela had a special place in the hearts of all South Africans and last week there was no doubting their sense of loss.

Telling it like it is

We were also a bit surprised that when networks spoke in glowing terms about the Union Buildings they omitted to mention the architect. It was Sir Herbert Baker. The twin towers, completed in 1913, represent the English and Afrikaner components of the then newly established Union of South Africa.

No mention can be made of Mandela’s funeral without acknowledgment of President Barack Obama’s speech in the rain-washed FNB stadium. He spoke of African dictators who, while paying lip service to democracy, made no attempt to reform their own countries. It received the greatest ovation of the day. Let’s hope someone noticed that!

No relent to bashing

In keeping with the state media’s relentless and clumsy Mandela-bashing crusade, this week Herald political editor Joram Nyathi (yes Joram Nyathi) also put in his two cents worth.

“But if the white race insists on the deception that (Nelson) Rolihlahla Mandela is the moral compass for all African leaders because he allowed whites to keep their loot in South Africa and Africans to forever live in squalour and poverty, then we have a dream deferred and an ideal gone horribly wrong,” Nyathi snarled.

Surely would Mandela have been able to overturn the legacy of three centuries of racial inequality in a single five-year presidential term?

Even in Zimbabwe it took three decades just to run the economy into the ground, not build it.

Granted, the glaring inequality in South African society is a ticking time bomb which should be urgently addressed.

Surely the blame for the lethargy should be levelled at the current ANC leaders, and not Mandela. However, it seems the state media mandarins are crying more than the bereaved. Despite the so-called “squalour and poverty” South Africans are enduring, millions of Zimbabweans are still flocking there.

On the precipice

Meanwhile, Muckraker felt rather sorry for President Jacob Zuma having to endure the humiliation of booing by his own party followers. At least in South Africa audiences are allowed to boo!

Oh yes, and nobody in South Africa is prosecuted for expressing their opinions in the back of a taxi! Some commentators describe the events of last Tuesday as a tipping point for Zuma.

If he gets less than 60% in next year’s poll, he’s out.

Populist posturing

Here at home Zanu PF has announced its intention to change the name of Victoria Falls. It will be given something more indigenous!

This is a gift to Zambia. They will quickly market the Falls as their own exclusive destination. In fact they are already claiming them as an extension of Livingstone.

The Zambians have no compunction about using colonial names. As Deng Xiaoping pointed out, it doesn’t matter what colour the cat is so long as it catches mice! And in any case Mosi-oa-Tunya is a Sotho/Tswana name flowing from the mfecane era. Before that the Tonga called them Shungu na Mutitima and the later Ndebele arrivals knew them as Amanzi athunqayo.

So let’s not allow Zanu PF demagogues get away with populist posturing to prop up their parochial political agenda.

Not holding breath

Finally, the Sunday Mail carried an interesting commentary on the Zanu PF conference in Chinhoyi which contained the following:
“Following the party’s victory in the elections,” it said, “a general lack of confidence has developed among Zimbabweans that Zanu PF is bound to fail.

“Some prophets of doom are already predicting an economic collapse of the same magnitude as the 2008 economic meltdown.”

So have no fear, the paper said. The conference has ushered in “a fresh vibe and it will not rest on its laurels”.

So if you believe that, that’s alright then.

Short and Sweet …

The famous seven

The Sunday Mail stated that the April 28 1966 raid by seven freedom fighters on Chinhoyi, “on unsuspecting and poorly armed freedom fighters”, was to lead to a gruelling 12-hour battle as the seven came “face to face with the might and brutality of the Rhodesian military”.

The Sunday Mail thinks we should all emulate the gallant seven on the economic front! Let’s hope they do a better job than the cabinet seven! The Sunday Mail claims the battle of Chinhoyi was the first such encounter between Zanla and Rhodesian forces but Zipra disputes this rewriting of history.

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