HomeOpinionDesperately seeking solace from the dead

Desperately seeking solace from the dead

A curious situation documented in the Sunday Mail last weekend. It concerned Zimbabwe’s sanctions appeal in the European Court and reads as follows: “Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana told the Sunday Mail that government submitted additional material to satisfy the court that the 112 individuals on the sanctions list, some of whom have since died, were against the embargo.


The widows of national heroes vice-president John Landa Nkomo, Nathan Shamuyarira, and Stan Mudenge as well as Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chief elections officer Lovemore Sekeramayi, were among those that signed supporting affidavits on behalf of their late spouses.

Did we hear that properly? That the government submitted material to satisfy the court that the individuals on the sanctions list, some of whom have since died, were against the embargo?
That includes deceased spouses of heroes? How did the government go about ascertaining the views of the deceased heroes? What did it ask them?

The Sunday Mail headline was “Britain develops cold feet over sanctions”.

Perhaps that should have read “Britain declines to be a part of Zanu PF’s antics”.

Nobody cares
Another interesting article appeared last Saturday. It was the “barrage of criticism” which the Herald said Morgan Tsvangirai received for waxing nostalgic over drinking beer for a dollar.
He allegedly said he missed Rhodesian rule that enabled him to get drunk for a dollar.

He was addressing party youths in Chitungwiza. It could be argued that this was an impolitic inclusion in his speech.

He certainly gave a hostage to fortune which an accomplished politician should never do. But on the other hand it was an honest commentary on the cost of living in what seemed like a halcyon era to many today looking back on their better lives.

“Smith left a surplus,” Tsvangirai said, “and then Zanu PF began to loot.”

What is interesting is that the “fire” the Herald claimed his remarks would ignite didn’t really materialise.

Instead we got the all-too-predictable party hacks peddling their redundant party line. What is significant here is the complete absence of anger.

Ten years ago there would have indeed been fury at remarks such as these. Now nobody cares.

You can hear “things were better under Smith” and nobody worries.
Food was available in the shops. That’s what mattered. And President Robert Mugabe could get a degree in detention supplied with all the things he needed.

It was funny in the circumstances to hear Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa referring to Jameson’s “loot committee”.
Mnangagwa would want us to forget the looting going on in the upper echelons of power by diverting our attention with history lessons.

RG hair-loss
What does Tobaiwa Mudede think he is doing? He is supposed to be Registrar-General, not condom expert.

Contraceptives have a negative side effect on women’s health, he claims.

This actually runs contrary to national policy on contraception.
“They are killing productive women and this is also affecting our population,” he claims.

What is Mudede’s association with productive women? Should he not be producing passports?

This country is becoming crazier by the day.

One of the side-effects is hair loss which Mudede demonstrates in his articles.

Endless fights
Then we had Zanu PF legislators fighting among themselves in the Midlands.

Rival politicians exchanged blows at a shopping centre, the NewsDay reported. The MDC-T will no doubt sit back and watch these very important individuals laying into one another instead of into Tsvangirai.

Power games
South Africans have been expressing anxiety about the way their constitution is being abused. In particular they are concerned about events at SABC.

“Enforcing the constitution was never going to be an easy task,” an editorial in the Sunday Times said.

“Rather it is a daily struggle against those who disregard it — a battle fought in the media, in the courts and by those who still have the backbone to say no. Our rulers will never gladly submit but will themselves use that same constitution against the ruled.

And when that fails there could be further resort to unconstitutional methods to achieve those aims. Such are the temptations of power and the duty that falls to all in South Africa is to remind those in high places that they serve at our pleasure.”

Wise words. And particularly pertinent when Zanu PF’s friends are resorting to the constitution as an instrument of power, not a liberating force.

“Surely Zimbabwe is not the first country to reser ve certain areas of its economy for exclusive use by its own people,” Manheru declared last weekend.

He is right. Nazi Germany did much the same. No Jews could be dentists.

The Daily News reported last week that President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF were ready to meet opposition parties and civil society to find solutions bedevilling the country.

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo was quoted as saying: “The economic transformation that we want to achieve requires the voice of everyone, including the opposition and civic society.”

It’s quite interesting considering Mugabe and Zanu PF widely discredited the unity government before the general elections were held in July last year.

They coined derogatory names, calling it a three-legged monster. Zanu PF thought it could go it alone and Muck is shell-shocked at this shift of policy by the ruling party. It’s no secret the inclusive government was instrumental in bringing back life to an economy that was in a coma.

Intelligent or not, Zanu PF is aware the MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai is indispensable if the economy is to remain vibrant. Ongoing political contests can never heal national wounds.

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