HomeAnalysisDon’t mistake dishing out freebies for hitting ground

Don’t mistake dishing out freebies for hitting ground

The nation was happy to be told by The Herald that the “President has hit the ground running”. Yet again.

Twitter: @MuckrakerZim

“Barely three days after his inauguration,” The Herald dutifully reported this week, “President Mnangagwa has hit the ground running, announcing that his Government will create a conducive environment in which all investments will be secure and welcome in line with his ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ mantra.”

Familiar. This is not the first time the paper has run this headline. They ran a similar headline the day after President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s first inauguration, back in November.

Then, The Herald told us that our new dear leader was “to hit the ground running” and would “with immediate effect, implement sweeping measures across sectors to stimulate economic growth and create employment”.

It should fill the entire population with such joy to know that they have a leader whose hobby is hitting the ground running. This is despite the fact that, judging by evidence, the man did hit the ground, but hasn’t done any much running in his last nine months in office.

However, the nation commends Mnangagwa for the speed with which he hit the ground running — to reward our beloved traditional chiefs with 90 new cars. He spent no time showing the country where the priorities of the so-called Second Republic will lie.

Some unpatriotic people were expecting Mnangagwa to hit the ground running to secure drugs for hospitals, get funding for schools and find solutions to cash shortages and some such non-issues. Please, these are minor irritations that only people in the counter-revolutionary urban areas complain about.

Surely, how do people expect chiefs to move around in their large rural fiefdoms without cars? You want a whole chief to be seen on a bicycle? In this liberated country? Which self-respecting chief can be seen in a scotch cart? You want them to ride those to try the important cases of crime out there?

Which respectable chief rides a scotch cart to go preside over critical trials, such as slapping hefty fine of eight goats to men and women engaged in errant village romance? One needs an Isuzu for that.


It must have been a surprise to many to see former president Robert Mugabe sending his daughter Bona and his son-in-law Simba Chikore to the Mnangagw’s inauguration last Sunday, carrying a magnanimous letter congratulating his successor.

Understandable surprise, given that just a month ago Mugabe gathered the media to tell them how angry he still was with Mnangagwa for booting him out of office.

But the man did say his main worry was that his roof was leaking.

It is months before the rainy season and Mnangagwa, the ingrate, still hasn’t sent anyone to Borrowdale to fix that roof, or at least buy a new house, or two. What’s a reasonable man to do in such dire circumstances than to reach out to his nemesis and make peace?

You want him to lose his pension over a petty issue like being thrown out of office? You want a man to lose his 12 farms just for refusing to congratulate his successor? There’s no need for such beef.

We can’t have our former dear leader and his delicate wife being forced to patronise local hospitals when their eyes get a little itchy, just because he refused to simply pinch his nose and write a congratulatory letter. Who knows what diseases one might catch in those filthy hospitals they have here.

And with war vets threatening to pull down one’s name from the airport, who needs such humiliation?

They even want his record in the liberation struggle revised. Apparently, suddenly, he is not the super-hero Rambo character who liberated the country all on his own like, we were always told. At this rate, the war vets will start calling for Mugabe himself to be renamed.


Speaking of endorsements, the nation is puzzled to see how much Mnangagwa’s propaganda machinery, especially The Herald variety, is sounding ever so desperate for endorsement. Were we not told that the man won “resoundingly”? Did we not hear ZBC tell us he won by a landslide?

So it is puzzling when the state media has to daily scrape the bottom of the barrel for endorsements. From former vice-president Joice Mujuru to MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe and NCA leader Lovemore Madhuku, and to the Saharawi Republic and elsewhere, endorsements are being given surprising prominence.

The ZBC commentary tried hard to convince us that the entire world has stood still on inauguration day, eyes fixed upon Zimbabwe as we inaugurated the leader of the Second Republic.

We could swear we were told that every African leader was at the “giant National Sports Stadium”?

An endorsement had to be squeezed out of the British Prime minister Theresa May’s typically vague interview with eNCA.

Now Mnangagwa has lined-up a few “thank you” rallies. He might, as well have another election, seeing as he seems not to be sure that he actually won.

Grief fatigue

After the election and the court ruling, a lot of people are in various stages of the five stages of grief.

Mdc Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa and many of his supporters are still stuck in the first stage: denial. Many others have fallen into the second stage: anger.

These are the more entertaining ones. The variety of insults in their arsenal is simply breath-taking. Even among our large supply of “political analysts”, folks have shed off the veneer of civility. Many now randomly roam the social media streets, virtual machetes in their hands, with mouths as dirty as that of your drunk former headmaster at a rundown Muzokomba bottle store.

As for the MDC Alliance, it is getting harder and harder to figure out what it wants. After the court ruling, the opposition coalition told us it was accepting the ruling. A few hours later, a new statement came, telling us the party did not actually accept the ruling.

At a press conference a day later, Chamisa helpfully put all that confusion to rest. He told reporters that the position was that he would never accept a ruling from “captured” judges.

Who can blame him? Didn’t Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, bringer of the “New Dispensation and Restorer of Legacy”, declare before the hearing that nothing would change?

But with all the drama in the MDC communications department, there are so many hurt egos out there. No wonder MDC Allaince director of communications Luke Tamborinyoka, who is supposed to be the fellow running the department, went online sounding all cryptic.

“It was Lenin who believed that it may be necessary sometimes to embrace enemies and throw friends under the bus”.

Understandable rage. The statement Tamborinyoka had carefully written was overruled by his boss, in favour of another one that read, curiously, like it had been sent from a Nairobi hideout, after being written during a particularly generous happy hour at the local bar.

Scramble for the honourable tag

There has been a flurry of petitions to the electoral courts as losing contestants in last month’s harmonised elections claim irregularities in the way they were denied the ticket to be have “honourable” appended to their name for the next five years.

However, among the petitions none is more bizarre than that of former ICT deputy minister Win Mlambo. In Chipinge East, Mlambo is suing the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission for refusing to print his nickname on the ballot paper, claiming that it cost him votes in his defeat by MDC Alliance candidate Mathias Mlambo. One couldn’t make this up!

Muckracker thinks that the defeated Mlambo’s first name could have given him an advantage surely. Someone should tell him that voters look at his track record rather than his nickname. The mind boggles.

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