Muckraker had a good chuckle last weekend when the Herald told us that it was “carnival time, Brazil takes over”.
“If the Rio de Janeiro Carnival is anything to go by,” the paper told us, “then Harare will be set alight next month as the Brazilians invade town for the Harare International Carnival.”
“Samba dance, exotic salsa and street partying among others will be part of the line-up as the Brazilians will be in Harare for a week-long party.”
This should be interesting to see. The Rio carnival takes place at the height of the Brazilian summer when tens of thousands of scantily clad revellers pour on to the streets in a popular festival of dance and colour.
The city is literally thrown open to the revellers. And in case you were wondering, at least half the participants are of an entirely different persuasion to Harare’s intolerant rulers. Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa would have a fit if he saw what the Brazilians will be wearing — or what they won’t be wearing.
Pictures in the Herald showed two pot-bellied Zimbabwean ladies who were at least trying to get into the mood.
But in late May with temperatures nearing zero, it will be interesting to see how people meet the challenge. Karikoga Kaseke has estimated we had 600 000 to a million people attending the festival last year. Which thumb did he suck that figure from?
This year’s carnival will run under the theme “Celebrating our diversity”, Karikoga told the Herald.
Anybody who has experienced the bigotry that manifests itself in Zimbabwe’s street life may doubt that claim!
Let’s see what penalties are imposed on Hifa before we judge the carnival. Every year we hear of how much the organisers have to pay for the artistes to come into the country.
The Brazilians have given their word that they are coming, we are told following their turnaround last year.
Zimbabwean diplomacy was at its best last month when President Mugabe spoke about Nigeria and Nigerians in his birthday interview.
The Nigerian government summoned one of our top diplomats in Abuja to protest against remarks which depicted Nigerians as corrupt. The permanent secretary in the Nigerian Foreign Affairs ministry described Mugabe’s remarks as “vitriolic and denigrating on Nigeria and Nigerians”.
The Nigerians were understandably angered by Mugabe’s remarks.
“On the occasion of his 90th birthday, he took off considerable time to vituperate about Nigeria,” the permanent secretary, Martin Uhomoibhi said when he summoned Zimbabwe’s head of chancery at the Abuja embassy to protest.
Mugabe had told the funny little story about the Nigerian plane not taking off until the captain had collected sufficient funds!
Yes, of course, Nigeria is riddled with corruption, but you don’t say that, not in public at least.
And isn’t Zimbabwe catching up? Perhaps in 20 years they will say the same thing about us!
“Unkind and dishonourable”, was what the Nigerians said! What did he think he was doing?
Muckraker’s attention last week was caught when we read about the evictions taking place around Mazoe. Have we forgotten so soon about the 340 000 farm workers who were evicted across the country in response to the chaotic land reform programme in 2000.
White farmers were a relative handful by comparison. But they at least fed the country. Now we have the inevitable picture of land grabbers fighting among themselves accompanied by a dramatic collapse in food production!
Perhaps the most wicked facet of urban reform was Operation Murambatsvina which saw ordinary city dwellers losing their homes as this shockwave of Zanu PF’s menace tore across the nation.
We are looking forward to the gushing adverts from parastatals congratulating President Mugabe on occasion of the country’s 34th Independence anniversary.
The annual competition by the quango heads is not envisaged to be as stiff as it has been in the past especially after their “supper” was greatly reduced under the government crackdown on high salaries.
Let’s see if the parastatal leaders still believe Mugabe is a visionary and exemplary leader of immeasurable foresight …
Bulawayo’s hotels, lodges and guest houses are fully booked for the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair which starts next week. Rates have also been adjusted upwards to take advantage of this bonanza. But hotel service remains poor to the extent that hoteliers at Bulawayo Rainbow last week forgot to put batteries in a TV remote control, ensured there was no stopper in the bath tub and they had a technician knocking on doors after hours to repair doors.
It becomes more ridiculous when every hotel employee prefixes a conversation with the phrase “A refreshing good morning”.
Not so refreshing after enduring loud party music all night from adjacent clubs.