“This must come as a shock to all those who thought Mnangagwa was Mugabe’s right-hand for over 45 years. At which point did he realise that his master had poor vision? . . . Unless, of course, Mnangagwa was merely talking about Mugabe’s notoriously bad eyesight.”
IT must have been with much shock and horror this week that the European Union discovered that the country’s favourite national newspaper, The Herald, is not exactly the most trusted source of news. Who knew?
A few days ago, the paper ran a screaming headline: “EU blasts ‘sexist’ Chamisa”.
The article was based on a few tweets by EU ambassador to Zimbabwe Philippe Van Damme, in which he cautioned against the verbal and physical abuse of women, offering assistance to Zimbabwe to fight such stuff.
Of course, over at The Herald, there must have been much celebration. Genius editors dispatched their reporters to jot down the tweets. The paper ran to tell the world that the great and mighty EU had “blasted” this sexist upstart Chamisa.
“The European Union (EU) yesterday joined Britain and a growing number of people who have criticised Mr Nelson Chamisa and his MDC Alliance for abusing female commissioners of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), including its chair, Justice Priscilla Chigumba,” The Herald reported. What a triumph! Many bottles of fine whiskey must have been opened at such massive news.
Only for the EU to come out to spoil everyone’s fun.
“We clarify that (Van Damme) neither ‘blasted’ Nelson Chamisa in his tweets about Gender-Based Violence nor labelled him “sexist”, as purported by The Herald. The statement about GBV — a global and Zimbabwean concern — did not single out individuals, but a phenomenon,” the EU tweeted.
Of course the EU is only discovering what Zimbabweans have always known: if The Herald reports that the sky is blue, you are best advised to look up in the sky and take a second look.
It is clear that the only thing factual on the front page of The Herald may be the date.
According to Mwawampanga Mwanananga, dean of African diplomats, Zimbabweans have far too much freedom. We are so free in Zimbabwe, we were informed, that we just don’t know what to do with all our freedom.
“The current environment is characterised by too much freedom. When you give your children some freedom they tend to abuse it. The Zimbabwean people should understand that freedom is there for you, but you should manage it properly.”
Mwanananga is also the ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo to Zimbabwe (DRC), so it should not shock us that he is shocked at the sight of any freedom, even the wafer-thin sort that we have in Zimbabwe.
The last time people tried to demonstrate in Mwanananga’s country, five protesters were gunned down by police. And why were they demonstrating? Well, because the man that Mwanananga is representing here, Joseph Kabila, refuses to leave his seat even though his term of office expired in 2016.
When your leader is in power illegally and kills those who simply point this out, it is quite easy to be shocked at the sight of any demo.
Once the DRC holds free elections, or any elections at all, maybe Cde Mwanananga can come preaching about democracy and its limits.
In the meantime, he can focus on whatever it is he has been doing in the seemingly 173 years he has been ambassador to Zimbabwe. It looks like not even Kabila has better use for the man than to park him here.
Muckraker was also quite amused to read an editorial in The Herald complaining about how all of us ingrates are abusing our freedoms.
“We have reached a point where we feel Government must revoke certain freedoms if those meant to enjoy them choose to wilfully abuse them,” the paper said in an editorial.
One has to commend the government’s many apologists for keeping up appearances for so long. Eight months is a long time for anyone to pretend to be someone they are not. It must have taken great resolve to keep the mask on.
Some, like Foreign minister Sibusiso Moyo, have been struggling to contain their anger with ordinary people freely saying what they want about anything at all.
“We’ve been quiet while abuse has been spewed at us,” he tweeted. He should take a leaf from ordinary folk on how to deal with constant abuse for decades.
And, to be fair to The Herald, they can never be accused of inconsistency. At no point, during the term of the “new dispensation”, have they pretended anything had changed as others did. At all times, they have remained the centre for bootlicking and discrediting Journalism, a fine institution of education where cub reporters can visit from all around the world to learn how not to run a newspaper.
Muckraker is glad to see Samuel Undenge go to jail. No qualms about it. Many have been tempted to feel pity for the chap because he nicked “just” US$12 000 and not the billions that some may or may not have salted away into foreign accounts.
But even if he had prejudiced the taxpayer of a single bond note, the man deserves no pity. With this lot, you are better off sending them away before they steal big.
Once they cross a certain threshold of skill in the theft business, they become untouchable. Before you know it, they are in charge of the police, owning half of Matabeleland and being appointed to take charge of a whole ruling party’s administrative affairs.
Undenge’s crime is not the amount, but the abuse of office. We are happy to hear that President Emmerson Mnangagwa has set up a new unit in his office to deal with such crime. We are certain that his broom will start right there in his office.
Did we not see the President’s Office admit to Undenge-style abuse of office? Was a contract not given to the Second Lady Marry Chiwenga to handle government travel without going to tender? The same sort of crime that Undenge may now be wearing a red-and-white jersey for?
Not to worry. The big billboards all over the country tell us that Mnangagwa is a “man of action”. Who are we to doubt that? Wait and see all these people following Cde Undenge to Chikurubi.
At the rate at which Mnangagwa is carrying out these ground-breaking events, a pick here today and a shovel there tomorrow, people will soon start thinking that the man is auditioning for a job at city council.
It reminds one of his predecessor, Robert Mugabe, who opened every single small clinic and library when he assumed power in the 1980s, just to be seen to be busy.
Which is why it was ironic that Mnangagwa, at another ground-breaking ceremony in Mhondoro-Ngezi, told guests that investment into Zimbabwe had been slowed down by Mugabe’s lack of vision.
This must come as a shock to all those who thought Mnangagwa was Mugabe’s right-hand for over 45 years. At which point did he realise that his master had poor vision?
When he was his head of intelligence in the 1980s? When he was his Justice minister? When he was Speaker of Parliament? When he was Mugabe’s election agent? When he participated in the violent charade in the 2008 elections?
Unless, of course, Mnangagwa was merely talking about Mugabe’s notoriously bad eyesight.
Debt-ridden, delinquent minister at it again
The foul-mouthed, debt-ridden deputy Finance minister Terence Mukupe is once again under the spotlight and, as usual, for all the wrong reasons.
Mukupe was this week slapped with a US$30 000 default judgment after a Harare private school petitioned the High Court to recover fees owed by the Zanu PF legislator’s children. In its declaration, the school had said that despite the demand for the outstanding amount, Mukupe “has failed, neglected, denied and or delayed to pay the capital debt in question.”
Mukupe was taken to court over another US$32 593 debt to Trust Bank and was also in the dock for US$28 000 in a matter involving a Chinese company, China Industrial International Group (Pvt) Ltd, contracted to build his property in Harare. It boggles the mind that such irresponsible individuals are actually in charge of the national purse. No wonder the country remains an economic backwater.