“Clearly Zanu PF has gone soft. Where are the 30-minute news bulletins on ZBC denouncing America? Where is Tafataona Mahoso with a brief 4 500-word piece in the Sunday Mail to quickly dismiss these meddlesome imperialist Kissinger-acolytes?”
IT is not every day Muckraker applauds anyone, much less scribes from the state media. However, the solidarity shown by the state media when overzealous Zanu PF Manicaland provincial chairperson Mike Madiro barred private media from covering the ruling party’s extraordinary provincial co-ordinating committee meeting held in Mutare on Saturday deserves rare applause.
“I am sorry if there are journalists, especially from the private media, they should leave the meeting except those from the state media,” he said. But state media journalists also walked out in solidarity with their colleagues from the private media. It is such buffoonery that makes Muckraker choke on his tea whenever the phrase “new dispensation” is used to describe the government of Mnangagwa who got into power riding shotgun (no pun intended) on the back of a military coup.
It shows that nothing has changed. If anything, this is a typical case of old wine in new skins as the fear of democracy and accountability remains. Madiro is one of those stuck in a time warp and has not received the message from his boss President Emmerson Mnangagwa that it is not business as usual.
In any case, to expect the same mandarins responsible for the country’s regression to lead a new economic order is nothing short of ridiculous.
Zimbabweans were shocked this week to learn that the search for an alleged mastermind of elephant tusk smuggling may have, fittingly, led to the ivory tower.
Muckraker is glad that the alleged ivory theft in which former first lady Grace Mugabe is implicated is finally being addressed. How many times did we hear salacious rumours that the owners of the trade, which at times involves the poisoning of poor elephants, led up right to “Blue Roof”?
A scandal of jumbo proportions, the gossip-mongers would say in hushed tones. It was the elephant in the room.
All loyal Zimbabweans should be hoping that all of these claims are just not true. One suspects that this is the new old dispensation, trying for the umpteenth time, to sully the reputation of the leaders of the old dispensation.
Besides, why waste national resources? Muckraker recalls some do-gooders celebrating the sight of Kenya burning its stockpile of ivory a couple of years ago, in a move they claimed was to cut off supply to the illegal market.
Now, around that same time, some people in Zimbabwe started suggesting that we too must burn our stockpile.
Storage space was running out anyway, they said. At the time, it was reported by National Parks that we had some 70 tonnes of ivory packed to the rafters in stock. Kenya had incinerated a 105-tonne pile of ivory, valued at US$106 million.
At the mention of US$106 million, calculators were whipped out. Had we burned that 70-tonne stockpile, the nation would have lost almost US$70 million. It must have been at the moment of that realisation that screams of shock echoed from Ivory Tower and all across the leafy Borrowdale Brooke valley. Why are people this reckless with our natural resources?
Surely, instead of burning money — and we know this money burning has in the past been a national preoccupation — surely a more reasonable arrangement could be made to save these tusks by surrendering them into the safe custody of trusted national leaders?
If reports are true, then it seems people saw sense in the end, and dutifully delivered said jumbo tusks to Ivory Tower for safekeeping.
Speaking of the need to safeguard our national resources, Muckraker is intrigued by the long queue of reformed imperialists knocking on the President’s door, cap in hand, begging to be forgiven and allowed into the country for business.
The likes of Lord Peter Hain and Mark Simmonds once led the crusade against our country, supporting the imposition of sanctions and cosying up to the opposition. Now they are front of a long queue of overzealous and opportunistic Brits trying to do business with the old new dispensation.
Muckraker remembers watching Lord Peter, then UK Foreign Office minister, almost tearing his hair out in anger back in 2000 after the comrades in Zimbabwe opened a British “diplomatic bag” at the then Harare International Airport.
In the long tradition of cultured British lords, he told the world that this was “not the action of a civilised country”. In return, Chen Chimutengwende, then Information minsiter, said Hain was a “loose cannon”, running a “one-man mission of vilification” against Zimbabwe. Hain called Robert Mugabe “economically illiterate”.
Well, Hain is now a consultant in Zimbabwe, this once “uncivilised” country once run by an “economically illiterate” gentleman, whom his former boss Tony Blair once said belongs to the “eccentric end of the market”. How things have changed, or is it.
Then we have Mark Simmonds, yet another British Foreign Office ex-minister. Four years ago, he stood in the British parliament to declare how happy he was that sanctions on Zimbabwe were working. Well, last week, a company Simmonds chairs, FinComCo, announced a US$1,5 billion agriculture marketing deal that it says will create over 600 000 jobs directly and indirectly over five years.
The British have finally learnt their lesson and we have them grovelling at our doorsteps. We always knew they would come to us begging for forgiveness, and business. Someone tell Mugabe; we finally conquered those pesky Brits.
Speaking of stubborn imperialists, how dare the Americans tell us to hold elections that are free and fair and respect the will of the people!
The Americans have released a long list of demands, disguised as an amendment bill to their Zidera sanctions law. The demands detail steps that Zimbabwe must take for re-engagement with the US and for the end of sanctions.
On the list of requirements are things such as an audit of the biometric voter registration voters’ roll, transparency on the printing of ballots, free access to public media for all parties, and all sorts of other unreasonable demands.
Muckraker is disturbed at how calmly this government has, at least so far, reacted to this American provocation.
Clearly Zanu PF has gone soft. Where are the 30-minute news bulletins on ZBC denouncing America? Where is Tafataona Mahoso with a brief 4 500-word piece in the Sunday Mail to quickly dismiss these meddlesome imperialist Kissinger-acolytes?
Clearly there is only one way to get these Americans off our backs. Simply, we must give them what they want. That what the Americans want, free and transparent elections, tallies with what a lot of Zimbabweans also want, is purely coincidental. People cannot stop demanding these things just because the Americans demand them too.
Except, of course, the part about paying back white farmers for resettled land. Nobody asked for that one, especially not with the white farmers demanding US$30 billion. We have better uses for our money, once we have it.
Mohadi’s volte face on miracles comical
Muckraker is disheartened to learn that Vice-President Kembo Mohadi no longer believes in miracles.
At a Zanu PF meeting in Epworth last weekend, Mohadi said voters should not expect miracles.
“For the past two decades, our economy was not performing well and don’t expect us as the new leadership to perform miracles,” she said. How comical can one get. One of the most enduring images from the “lost decades” — about four — is that of Mohadi and other Zanu PF leaders at the foot of that hill in Chinhoyi, barefoot, hands clasped together in gratitude at the miracle of purified diesel flowing from a rock. Whereas other countries invested millions into complex refineries that split hydrocarbon molecules to create diesel, here we were, hoping for miracle diesel from a rock. To now see Mohadi claiming he no longer believes in miracles is amusing. Isn’t this the same Mohadi who was last year caught in the now famous “I receive Man of God” trance at Shepherd Bushiri’s miracles church in South Africa getting a prophecy he would soon be vice-president?