“Even party members would be confused if Zanu PF suddenly started doing what is right. How else would we tell it is Zanu PF if, for some reason, it started doing things in orderly fashion, and with no sign of cheating, corruption or violence?
Zanu PF has run its primary elections in pretty much the same way it has run the country; chaos and fraud all round.
There were cases of ballots being delivered late, and in other cases, never making it to voting stations at all.
Names of both voters and candidates were missing on registers. There was even a case of a ward where a candidate got zero votes. Even by Zanu PF levels, who would be so incompetent as not forget to vote for themselves?
There are many who have lied to themselves, believing they can bring some sanity into Zanu PF and change its culture. Repeatedly, Zanu PF has proved them wrong. We saw the scales falling off the eyes of the likes of Josey Mahachi, she of the never-ending “Dangote coming to Zimbabwe” soap opera. Feeling cheated in Hatfield after some ballots appeared from nowhere and disappeared into thin air, Mahachi complained that she thought this new Zanu PF was different. “I decided to run thinking new dispensation would do things better,” she whined.
We had even the Zanu PF chairman in Britain, Nick Mangwana, saying this was the most farcical primary election in recent history.
Well, calm down everybody. This is Zanu PF. At what point in its entire history has it ever held credible elections, whether internally or in its various guises as State electoral bodies?
Even party members would be confused if Zanu PF suddenly started doing what is right. How else would we tell it is Zanu PF if, for some reason, it started doing things in orderly fashion, and with no sign of cheating, corruption or violence? Surely that is the DNA of Zanu PF, and expecting it to act differently is basically expecting the party to lose its very identity.
Would all the shady characters that are joining the party in droves still recognise the party from a bar of soap if it suddenly started acting fair and competently running any affairs? Which party would all these land barons, fraudsters and illegal miners join if Zanu PF started playing clean? Surely even they need a party where they feel at home. No need to read too much into these primaries.
When the dust settles, and the losers have calmed down and licked their wounds, Zanu PF, as it always does, will adopt its usual baboon troop stance. Greedy baboons will fight among themselves, but always close ranks to gang up on an outsider. Which is why the reaction of the opposition has been naïve. Opposition leaders and supporters, including what is left of our academics and media commentators, have convinced themselves that the defeat of “bigwigs” automatically translates to votes for the MDC Alliance.
Clearly, we insist on listening to our own voices.
One guy who enjoys listening to himself a bit too much is Chris Mutsvangwa. However, it seems nobody in Norton likes listening to his voice as much as he does. After he lost the Norton primaries this weekend, the nation at large stood still, awaiting his grudging concession speech, dictionaries in hand. And we did not have to wait too long.
Seeing conspiracies and shadows everywhere as ever, Mutsvangwa blamed everyone from the G40 crew to Temba Mliswa for his loss. He even invented words in the process. “Revengist G40-Gamatox cohorts have zeroed in on Norton with the sole goal of blocking Mutsvangwa as Zanu PF’s candidate in July. In typical manner, they are trampling on every rule [of] proper electoral practice. They are harrying bona fide party cadres,” Mutsvangwa was quoted as saying.
At a National Press Freedom Day event this week, he called Mliswa a “putating fascist and a charlatan.” It is easy to see why Mutsvangwa lost. It has nothing to do with shadowy G40 schemers or even Mliswa. Clearly, while others were busy campaigning, Mutsvangwa had his nose deep in his ancient dictionaries, foraging for old big words to deploy against his hapless opponents. And, when he finally did go to the people to campaign, nobody understood a word he said. Who votes for a candidate that they cannot understand? The people of Norton obviously want an MP they can identify with, not a walking thesaurus from the Elizabethan era.
Muckraker was amused to find a small correction tucked away deep inside the Herald this week. Amid the usual pomp and fanfare, we had been told that a Chinese company, Touchroad, had committed billions to Zimbabwe in tourism investments.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority’s Karikoga Kaseke, still over-eager to get on Mnangagwa’s good side and hide his obvious incompetence, told us that we were getting a US$7 billion “tourism city” and that 17 Chinese billionaires were heading to Zimbabwe.
Much celebration all across the country. Only for the Herald to tell us that it was all a fib.
“On the 7th and 20th of April this year, we published stories to the effect that Touchroad International Holdings Group signed deals worth billions of dollars in the tourism sector. It has come to our attention that no such deals were signed.”
There’s a massive difference between an MoU and an agreement or contract. This is stuff that they teach in elementary ‘O’ Level commerce.
Clearly, our comrades at the Herald, and indeed those running our government, skipped a few classes. The Herald needs to go a step further and make similar apologies for all the other “mega deals” that they have been screaming about.
Speaking of barely visible investment, Muckraker was pleased to see Vice-President Chiwenga taking time out from his busy schedule to commission a paint factory in Harare.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has recently told us that in the few months he has been in office, he has secured US$11 billion in new investment commitments.
That figure would be more than double the national budget and not too far off our national Gross Domestic Product.
So it is quite underwhelming when we see our leaders descending from their high offices to cut ribbons and blow trumpets about the opening of what is really an SME.
Unless, of course, that SME is Splash Paints. By some coincidence, Splash Paints is owned by Anit Patel, who was in the press recently donating to Angel of Hope, our First Lady Auxilia’s new charity. Obviously, one must always show one’s gratitude to one’s benefactors.
In a country where very little makes sense, Muckraker has always been thankful to Jonathan Moyo for being such a reliable source of clarity.
For instance, this week, the whole country was on a high over news that the government had authorised the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. Some whispered that this was Mnangagwa’s bright idea to get the “Rasta vote” and to win over all these unemployed urban stoners roaming our streets.
We all wondered whose bright idea this was.
It needed Moyo to reveal that this bright idea was not ED’s after all. Just as Moyo once revealed to us that Mnangagwa had deceitfully claimed credit for Command Agriculture, when in fact that idea was the product of former first lady Grace Mugabe’s world renowned doctorate-in-three-months genius mind, Moyo said the weed idea was in fact former vice-president Report Phelekezela Mphoko’s idea.
“This followed two successful ganja-therapy trials, initiated by Mphoko, on two skin cancer patients,” Moyo helpfully tweeted.
At least now we can explain some of the behaviour we saw in the past two years; paranoia, erratic behaviour, storming police stations, and all those times the former vice-president looked like he was not aware of his surroundings and would rather be somewhere else.
Society which handsomely rewards mediocrity
Muckraker would like to commiserate with all the state media colleagues who ran and lost in the Zanu PF primaries.
In Mt Darwin South, ZBC journalists Tendai Munengwa and Andrew Neshamba had 130 and 134 votes each, compared to the winner who got over two thousand votes. Garikai Mazara of the Sunday Mail and Richmond Siyakurima fared no better either. Now they will slide back into their jobs and continue as if nothing ever happened. They will broadcast their news and write their articles like normal journalists, as if they never ran for office for ZanuPF. They will even claim to be objective in their reporting of the same elections they just tried to run in, and in their coverage of the same party they just tried to represent.
Instead of being vilified or recused from covering the election, Muckraker fully expects these comrades to be rewarded with a promotion. Why not? This, after all, is the type of journalist that is applauded over at the Information Ministry.