So, after much anticipation, the Zanu PF election manifesto is finally out. After reading the document, one is left with one big question: why was the nation made to wait so long for it, seeing the shallow manifesto was clearly hurriedly written by someone behaving like a lazy sophomore.
Muckraker has read the entire thing, all 78 pages of it, and can confirm that it was, indeed, written by a juvenile author and elections strategist. A novice in fact. Reading the document was a tough job, but someone has to do it, even at the risk of losing a few brain cells in the process. But much like plumbers and scientists, who spend whole days looking at bacteria, someone has to do it.
The whole document is riddled with atrocious grammatical howlers, and many of the forecasts and figures just do not add up. Appreciation of basic mathematics, let alone economic concepts, is missing from its economic growth targets. Images have been grabbed randomly from the internet.
Let nobody convince you that this manifesto was written by adults, actual grown-ups who are part of a 55-year-old party that has been in government for almost 40 years.
Once you convince yourself that this was actually outsourced to a juvenile, it becomes less scary to think that this may actually have been written by grown folks in charge of a whole country.
Which grown men and women would come up with an election manifesto that blames the weather for some of their failures?
“Modest success was recorded under ZimAsset under the most trying times where challenges included sanctions, Zanu PF Government capture by G40 cabal, corruption, climate change among a host of other challenges that threatened to derail implementation of ZimAsset,” we are told.
This coming from a party with an army of leaders with PhDs! (no pan intended).
A most hilarious bit about the manifesto is found under a section called “Zanu PF’s unparalleled successes”.
Which ones are these “unparalleled successes”? ZanuPF has this gem of such success; “Zanu PF is a tried and tested party, whose unparalleled achievements for the people, over the years are unmatched.”
It ends there. No successes listed, beyond telling us that the “move from Pariah State to a global partner is a key success factor”. Who destroyed this country in the first place by the way?
This reminds Muckraker of those high school exam questions. You skip the question one because you have not studied a thing, you know nothing and you have no idea what to write. But when you get to the question two, it starts with “based on your answer to question one, list the following”.
It is at that point that you realise that you have failed. So you spend the remaining three hours just dawdling and drawing lewd pictures at the back of the exam paper. And that’s just how you end up with this type of manifesto.
No wonder President Emmerson Mnangagwa is not on the campaign trail yet. What does he have to sell to the electorate?
Zanu PF must be relieved that few voters actually read manifestos and base their voting decisions on ideological or positional considerations, not ideas and competence. Otherwise, with this manifesto, not even Mnangagwa would vote for himself!
It looks like the term “What Chamisa meant” has become the most heard MDC-T campaign message. Muckraker is losing count of the number of times MDC-T leader Nelson Chamisa’s rather tardy publications relations machinery, and indeed, his multitudes of adoring supporters, have had to rush to his defence in recent months, wielding that “what he actually meant” defence.
Even senior journalists have appointed themselves “Chamisa interpreters”, burdening themselves with the busy task of interpreting the MDC-T leader when he says something even slightly amiss.
But all this is to be expected in a campaign season. Candidates will inevitably make mistakes, and rivals will seize upon them. Even small errors will be made to appear as if one detonated a nuclear bomb.
Leaders and their supporters need to relax. Nobody is perfect, and everyone should acknowledge errors, sharpen their message, and move on. This is an election of imperfect politicians, not of these prophets whose flock thinks they are gods.
It is a race to get to the feeding trough and rule people. Nobody believes this is a race to holiness and heaven. Unless, of course, you are Minister of State for Midlands Province Josaya Hungwe, who has convinced himself that every senior political figure, including the First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa, is Jesus Christ and must be worshipped without question.
But, then again Chamisa must wake up. He cannot afford to make childish mistakes like he is doing now at a scandalous rate. Some of the things he says are completely unnecessary, he can do without that.
While he did well in London, addressing issues around governance (devolve, decentralise, de-corrupt); economy (recovery,); social rights (women, children, disabled, weak); infrastructure; and international relations, he needs big ideas, depth and clarity. He can’t afford to be pedestrian and wishy-washy on big stages.
This means he must read and focus. He should not be all over the place. Most people who engage him complain about his lack of concentration, urgency and maturity. Not that his competitors are any better, but he needs to up his game to avoid conclusions like the one reached by Diana Jeater, professor of African History at University of Liverpool, who wrote after Chamisa’s Chatham House address:
“The MDC Alliance is undergoing generational renewal. I had heard great things about Chamisa as an orator. So I arrived expecting to be impressed and encouraged. Alas, I left unimpressed and discouraged.”
Trouble in paradise
How quickly things change in a week, especially if they involve professional shape-shifters like former Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo.
It seems there is trouble brewing in the National Patriotic Front.
Last week, Moyo was praising Savior Kasukuwere as one of Zanu PF’s best-ever organisers. While we were still laughing at this comical fiction, Moyo, a world-beating somersault champion, then told us that Kasukuwere had in fact sold out to “the Junta”.
Trouble in paradise.
This is the outfit that tries to pass itself off as a serious political party, but it is really just shrapnel from former president Robert Mugabe’s shattered ego. Now they are splitting, and no amount of “Mhamha save us!” screams will save the party.
What did they expect? Anyone that puts Moyo and former Youth minister Patrick Zhuwao in one room and expects anything other than hot air to come out of there is overdosing on our newly legalised medicinal marijuana.
Which normal people can claim to be campaigning for “generational renewal”, while fronting that with a 94-year-old?
Besides, there is no honour among that lot. They saw it that horrific November night when Kasukuwere put on a bulletproof vest after a nerve-wrecking shooting by soldiers and skilfully disappeared into the darkness, leaving behind the scared stiff professor and their families.
We are now running out of fingers to count the number of parties that have come out of Zanu PF and MDC, only to go on and split themselves.
Former vice-president Joice Mujuru and her faction left Zanu PF and formed ZimPF, which then itself split into the NPP and ZimPF.
Meanwhile, Thoko Khupe’s struggling crew is only the latest in a string of MDC offshoots; MDC Ncube, MDC 99, PDP, Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe and so forth. Put three Zimbabwean politicians in a room and they somehow manage to form four parties, someone once said.
The General can’t be like rhumba star
For a while now, haters and detractors have been spreading malicious speculation that Operation Restore Legacy hero has been bleaching his skin. It has now been revealed to the nation that retired General Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga does not in fact use skin lightening products like DRC rhumba stars.
It was reported as breaking news by The Herald, which quoted Chiwenga at his sister’s funeral as saying he had been hit by a mystery disease that caused his skin to go lighter.
There is widespread relief, or is it disbelief. We were all beginning to worry that an avowed defender of African pride and Zimbabwe’s owner hated his dark African melanin so much.
We are, however, worried by the revelations that this mystery ailment apparently also spread to his wife, The “Second First Lady” Mary herself. Clearly this must be cause for alarm for our Health Ministry. They need to spring to action. How can they just chill like that when there is a disease out there that is turning this proud black nation into a Caucasian country of sorts?
We need a cure fast. Surely there must be a difference between our own General Chiwenga and General Defao, a DRC rhumba star from the 1990s, known as much for his nimble feet as he was for his bleached skin.
Now that we know that our VP’s skin was affected by a disease, it won’t be long before we are also told there is a mystery bacteria that afflicts one’s vocabulary, causing one to confuse one’s Ls and Rs with dyslexic paralysis.