Journalists need to be familiar with certain usages given all the diplomatic bags coming and going, we said. “Brawling and chickening out” were good examples.
Last week we saw US diplomats passing through the capital. The Sunday Mail managed to turn this into a tongue-tied tangle which devalued their message.
Some of the diplomats — African Americans — had previously served in Harare. None of this of course was allowed to get in the way of a good story.
And at what stage are the current normalisation talks? It may be worth reminding more recent readers that we have a whole insurgency on our northern border going unreported.
The picture on the front page of our sister paper NewsDay this week of a woman scrounging the floor for leftovers from President Robert Mugabe’s lavish birthday celebrations in Masvingo at Great Zimbabwe ruins — what an irony given that the country has now been reduced to rubble by the “birthday boy” himself — last weekend aptly captures the saying a picture is worth a thousand words.
Forget about pictures of the birthday cake or delegates tucking in at the feast. The heart-rending picture was the clearest evidence yet of what the birthday party really was — a celebration in a sea of poverty. That one would be reduced to pick up crumbs that fell from the table at Mugabe’s party lays bare the detachment and insensitivity of a regime that is well past its sell-by date and also makes their claims that they are concerned about the welfare of Zimbabwean citizens laughable.
It also rubbishes fatuous claims by the state media that Masvingo was “honoured” to host the celebrations. It is in fact a grave insult by the state media to the people of Masvingo ravaged by drought to suggest that the celebration was “the mother of all parties”. The mother of all insults would have been a more accurate description of Saturday’s bash and one most of the country’s citizens would readily agree with.
Mugabe’s charge during his birthday address that his wife Grace is being abused by party members is the height of hypocrisy.
He conveniently looks the other side when his wife uses foul language castigating other party members on national television at her so-called “meet-the-people rallies”, but takes offence when those savaged by her hit back.
He surely must see that had his wife stuck to looking after orphans and supervising their crumbling dairy company, this hullaballoo would not have occurred in the first place. Mugabe should reprimand and rein in his wife for her tirades before chiding others.
Those he was chastising for the verbal attacks against Grace must have been itching to tell him (but won’t, of course) that charity begins at home, Mr President!
Mugabe was at it once again at his birthday celebration.
He told rain-soaked villagers that government is working “flat out” to create employment and blamed sanctions as the cause.
To many dejected youths, Mugabe must sound like a broken record as he has said this on numerous occasions with no action taken to fulfil his empty promises.
What happened to the 2,2 million jobs his party promised in 2013 fully aware of the sanctions that were in place then? We wonder.
In stark contrast to the promise of 2,2 million jobs being created by 2018, in fact 2,2 million jobs could be lost by then given the rate at which workers are losing jobs!
As usual Mugabe talked of tackling unemployment without giving any credible roadmap as to how his government would go about it. This strengthens the belief that it was, as is the norm, a load of hot air.
Education minister Lazarus Dokora continues to outdo himself in coming up with harebrained ideas. Just when we thought that the decision he made to ban entry examinations for Form 1 places was his moment of madness, Dokora has proved that for him madness is the norm rather than the moment.
His latest brain fade is the proposal to ban all school development committees to introduce a single government-controlled levy account. This preposterous idea is right up there with the proposal by former Education minister Aeneas Chigwedere for schoolchildren countrywide to wear the same school uniform. Do the two share notes by any chance? Whatever Dokora is smoking is extremely toxic and should be banned forthwith.
Given government’s abysmal record in handling funds, this would be a monumental disaster and would sound the death knell as far as development of schools is concerned.
Dokora is proving to be the greatest threat to Zimbabwe’s education system as he threatens to drag it back to the Stone Age.
The order by Mines minister Walter Chidhakwa to drive out all diamond mining companies from Chiadzwa has understandably caused a stir.
While it is commendable that Chidhakwa wants to restore order in the diamond fields, he is closing the stable door when the horse has truly and long bolted. Probably to another province! This is a typical case of too little too late.
The government is only reacting after diamonds worth millions of dollars have been lost to the country with no development to show for it. That Chinese diamond mining company, Anjin spent years mining the precious resource without any shape or form of accountability as revealed by Chidhakwa is a scandal and adds to the long and embarrassing list of failures by the government.
The clean-up is coming after former finance minister Tendai Biti and current Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa have made impassioned pleas for revenue from diamonds to be injected into the government’s depleted coffers to no avail.
This is why the efforts by Chidhakwa are an exercise in futility and will do little to help turnaround the comatose economy.
Government should hang their collective heads in shame.
Yet another break-in at Mnangagwa’s office?
There were reports of yet another attempted break in at the office of the Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa before police quickly moved in to dismiss the reports.
It is little wonder the police rushed to quash such reports given they are yet to come up with any meaningful results to the other break-ins in Mnangagwa’s offices.
The snail’s pace at which the investigation of the break-ins is progressing is in stark contrast to the lightning speed at which they break up demonstrations as the war veterans recently discovered.
It does however boggle the mind how the office of the Vice-President can have so many break-ins. Are the police sleeping on duty? Or are these, as some have cynically pointed out, stage-managed? Whatever the case, we are really getting tired of these reports which now seem fictitious and ridiculous.
Most Zimbabweans have gone from gasping in shock when the first one occurred to a stifling a yawn when they hear of yet another “break-in” at the Vice-President’s office.