“Yah man, I mean like you’re so quick to tell me to come back home, but you can’t tell Bob to go away.”
THE hare-brained Education minister Lazarus Dokora has struck again — this time banning Form 1 entrance tests and directing schools to wait for the release of the Grade 7 public examination results to form the basis of enrolment for 2017 form one places.
The directive was still issued despite the serious inconvenience and unbearable pressure brought upon parents as evidenced by what happened during this year’s enrolment for Form 1. It also comes when some schools have already carried out their entrance tests and Muckraker cannot think of a better example of a government closing the door when the horse has well and truly bolted.
We are in no doubt that Dokora is doing his best to outdo his predecessor Aeneas Chigwedere on sheer incompetence and nutty schemes. Where Chigwedere sought to introduce a uniform for all teachers, Dokora wanted all School Development Associations to put their money in one government account. And we all know what happens when government officials put their hands in the till.
Dokora is proving to be one of the worst ministers to grace the corridors of President Robert Mugabe’s inept government. The education system in the country has no chance of improvement with such incompetent ministers in the driving seat.
Like one reader observed: “It seems the government has banned common sense among some ministers.”
It’s just not cricket!
THE disgraceful treatment of the Zimbabwe national women’s soccer team on their return from representing the country at the ongoing 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil as they found a rundown bus from a local school and an insulting allowance of US$5 each to hitchhike to their homes shows that sports administration in this country is in the intensive care unit. This comes as the Zimbabwe national cricket team suffered yet another embarrassing defeat, this time a 254-run defeat at the hands of New Zealand.
Zimbabwe rugby and tennis teams performed no better as they were relegated to lower competitive divisions after pathetic performances. To add to the woes of the country’s sport, the country’s women soccer team were hammered in all its three matches at the ongoing Olympics, including identical 6-1 defeats against Germany and Australia.
This is what happens when the administration of sport is politicised with race, colour and cronyism trumping professionalism, competence and meritocracy. The hiring of Makhaya Ntini, who has no experience in coaching, as the national cricket team coach, will not help anything at all.
That some are saying that the women’s soccer team did the country proud after such heavy defeats because the administrators failed to create a conducive environment for them to prepare speaks volumes of how we have fallen as a sporting nation.
We are a country that celebrates mediocrity and failure be it in sport or politics.
As the saying goes: it’s just not cricket!
Who’s the hater?
Few if any right-thinking Zimbabweans would begrudge #ThisFlag campaigner Pastor Evan Mawarire of his new-found international fame after he played his part through social media to humbly articulate the trials and tribulations of ordinary citizens who have been hit hard by the socio-economic crisis brought on by years of Mugabe’s misrule.
While many to continue to sympathise with his brave stance and take umbrage at government, including Mugabe, for hounding him out of the country, many are still trying to process what appeared to be arrogance on the part of Mawarire who was responding to criticism that he had abandoned the peaceful struggle for the creature or material comforts of the United States, where he has taken refuge after threats from government.
“Yah man, I mean like you’re so quick to tell me to come back home, but you can’t tell Bob to go away,” Mawarire said in a recorded video amid giggles and gesticulations from a female fan who had asked, “Do you have anything to say to the haters?”
And so to Mawarire and his fans, ordinary Zimbabweans have suddenly become haters for simply questioning his conduct of apparently running to safety, especially after he vowed that he was not scared of threats. His cause and his courage have been there for all, but while it may still be too early to say, the germs of big-headedness appear to be sprouting and could very well blossom into fully-fledged arrogance and a dangerous entitlement mentality if unchecked.
This is a road so many erstwhile activists and even revolutionaries, including Mugabe himself, have travelled. Criticism does not equate to hate Mawarire. In the words of Irish rock band beloved of the Americans, Muckraker can only say “Achtung Baby”, beware Mawarire, pride goeth before a fall.
So the pliant state-controlled media on August 15, marking the anniversary of the death of liberation struggle hero Solomon Mujuru, chose to demonise the general over his alleged links to the MDC-T and Western governments. This is a road that has been traversed on several occasions by Mugabe and we have no doubt that the scribes at the glass-and-mortar building were doing their master’s bidding.
In all the “revelations” of how Mujuru’s widow, former vice-president Joice Mujuru contradicted Mugabe and collaborated with the MDC-T during the era of the inclusive (GNU government from 2009 to 2013), the state media may have unwittingly aided Joice who has been at pains to convince the public that her Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) political outfit is no appendage of Mugabe and Zanu PF.
According to ZimPF spokesperson Jealousy Mawarire, the revelations of Mujuru-Tsvangirai collaborations may have been made with “sinister intentions of portraying Mujuru as a sell-out, but they have had the inadvertent effect of showing Joice in a positive light. They have inadvertently demonstrated that even as vice-president, she was actually prepared to abandon Mugabe and work with the opposition in the national interest”.
Murder most foul
Muckraker is still processing this perspective of the fallout and is also still pondering the meaning of the continuing rabid attacks on a man five years after his death. Coming as they do from a president who didn’t seem bothered by the mysterious death of a general who risked everything to set him on the Zanu PF throne in the face of opposition by senior Zanla commanders during the war and some Frontline States leaders like Samora Machel.
This also from a president whose government insisted it was an accidental death in the face of evidence suggesting otherwise: Muckraker, just like most Zimbabweans, should be forgiven for thinking that the accident was actually an incident planned and executed with precision for political reasons. The plot is clear: murder most foul.
short and sweet …
Grovelling state media and Chiwenga the oracle
Staying with the grovelling state media, one cannot help but note how Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Constantino Chiwenga (pictured) has suddenly become an authority on all matters of the statecraft. Week in, week out, the Sunday Mail and their Herald colleagues have been visiting the Chiwenga oracle and the self-appointed deity has not disappointed “setting the record straight” on who is a legitimate war hero and who is not. The oracle has also identified and threatened fire and brimstone on all those allegedly seeking to destroy Zanu PF from within as if he is the political commissar or custodian of the party. All this is in addition to the usual doomsday scenarios for the opposition “working with Western governments to reverse the hard-won gains of our liberation struggle and return control of the country to imperialists.”
All along we thought the role of the army and its officers was apolitical and confined to protecting the country from security threats rather than threatening citizens.
Is it Chiwenga’s new PhD now making him sound like a know-it-all pundit just like his friend-turned-enemy (we all know who)?