“My comments on the completely stupid idea being floated in Zimbabwe to raise the age at which one can become president to 55. Old men with old ideas ruined that country and still do not understand how they ruined it so well.”
This week, the entire nation was enveloped in a thick cloud of foreboding after news that the life of Vice-President Kembo Mohadi was in grave danger. Someone is out to get Mohadi? We wonder where the security forces are when all this is happening.
“I have approached this honourable court seeking an order for protection order against the respondent in terms of the Domestic Violence Act, more particularly, in that the respondent is a very abusive person and/or a person of a violent disposition such that I am now living in fear for my life,” Mohadi said in a court application against his estranged wife, Tambudzani.
While newspapers here focussed on “useless” things, such as the economy, the world press, to its credit, was swiftly onto the case of the clear and present danger around Mohadi.
Muckraker was elated and distraught in equal measure to read a headline on the BBC’s Pidgin service. Help O! my wife dey threaten my life — Zimbabwe vice-president.
Just how dangerous is Tambudzani? Well, in the Zanu PF primaries, she somehow made her way onto the list of candidates. Mohadi must have taken one look at that list and, in horror, ordered Engelbert Rugeje to get his box cut down to Beitbridge to make sure Tambudzani never makes it to parliament. That’s far too close for comfort. Rugeje obliged and soon Tambudzani was replaced by Rabelani Choene.
At the swearing in ceremony, Kembo had to walk around in what haters swear was a bulletproof vest. It is that bad.
What is this country coming to? Can our security forces please be alert? Our gallant liberation war heroes, who never tire of telling us of their fearless Chuck Norris-like exploits in the war against well-armed Rhodies, need protection from their wives.
Zimbabweans were delighted this week to hear that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had declared that the performance of Zimbabwe’s health system is “at par with that of an upper middle-income country”. The news was received with jubilation across the nation, seeing as it came as a massive surprise to everyone. What a propaganda coup!
How Zimbabwe’s health sector had become world-class overnight was just the sort of miracle millions of prayerful Zimbabweans had fasted for over the years. Clearly, overnight, a Zimbabwean could now walk into Harare Hospital and get all the drugs they need. All the pharmacists who told us, in the same week, that there is a massive drug shortage must shut their mouths and bask in the glow of the sudden recovery of our health system.
No wonder the WHO once recognised our former president Robert Mugabe as its goodwill ambassador. Those of us who whined and complained about that mockery clearly had no idea that the man had, secretly, turned around the health delivery system, even though nobody noticed or felt it.
Buy, hey, let us look at the bright side. Now that our health delivery system is world-class, our leaders will get their painful sides checked at Mpilo Central Hospital and have their eyes treated at Chegutu General Hospital.
Revolutionaries would have been delighted to see that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government, despite all the talk of a change of direction, has not totally forgotten the reason why we went to war in the first place: 4X4 vehicles.
Comrades went to the trenches, got shot at and suffered greatly for the privilege of lining up, regularly, outside Zanu PF headquarters to be allocated one batch of vehicles or the other. Chiefs today, war veterans’ leaders the other day, and Zanu PF candidates and others another day. The “Allocate Cars To Comrades” department — there surely must be one — is certainly the busiest unit of the entire government.
In an unrelated matter, Muckraker was reading the story on the disaster at Lions Den, where an explosion killed four people at the Grain Marketing Board silos.
According to the Herald, the efforts of rescuers at the site “were boosted by the arrival of a fire tender from Chegutu Municipality about 120 kilometres away and another one from Zimplats in Ngezi, as those from nearby Chinhoyi Municipality were said to be down”.
So, as it turns out, the entire town of Chinhoyi has no working fire tender. The ambulance that came for duty, from what we saw on TV, looked like it had once been part of the Pioneer Column.
Clearly, whoever is running these councils is just lazy. Can they not masquerade as a chief or a war vets’ leader or a Zanu PF MP or other such important people and get themselves some new vehicles? We cannot have such slow people in public service. Do they not know where cars are allocated in this country?
When political leaders tell you not to panic, it is always a good sign to start panicking. We all know that politicians never tell you not to panic unless there is a reason to actually do so. It is a bit like the captain of the Titanic announcing to stricken passengers: “Please remain calm”. So, when politicians this week started telling the nation not to panic about rumours of shortages, the nation began to panic.
The Sunday Mail tried to put a clever spin on cement shortages, declaring that Cement shortages signal building boom. Fair enough. What they did not tell us, of course, is that the boom was fuelled partly by people panicking and buying every brick and bag of cement in sight just to build something, lest money loses value.
It appears rather foolish to keep your money in the bank instead of getting yourself a small house. Well, a real small house, not the kind that actually does clean out your money.
We wonder how the looming bread shortage will be explained. People baking cake to celebrate the election?
Who would have imagined that the economic crisis of the past year would continue into the Second Republic? Was the nation not led to believe that we would hit the ground running, of course once we were done with the elections, and done with the court challenge, and done with the inauguration, and done with donating cars, and returned from China, and appointed a cabinet? Gosh, so many things to do, but so little time in which to do them.
Speaking of cabinet, Muckraker is delighted to note that the entire nation is currently holding its breath, waiting to be disappointed. Zimbabweans are to be commended for coming of age and finally lowering their expectations, if they actually still had any.
While good sense tells you that President Emmerson Mnangagwa should appoint a better cabinet than the one he appointed last time, it has long since been established that there is no department of common sense in any Zanu PF administration, including this one.
Even Zanu PF youths are begging for younger ministers. But they all know nothing of the sort will happen. Even Simon Khaya Moyo has told the nation that he will not turn down an offer to remain minister, news that will no doubt fill the entire country with great joy. Turn down for what?
The only change that the nation can expect is that Mnangagwa will shift around his old men, just so he can give each minister a chance to go and run down a different ministry.
Old men ruling: Zim stuck in time warp
At a time the world is celebrating the rise of younger leaders, Zanu PF has once again shown that it is stuck in a time warp. Zanu PF politiburo member Lovemore Matuke told state media that they could raise the age limit for those contesting for president to 55 years from the current 40 using their two-thirds majority.
It is frightening, though not unexpected, that in a country riddled with a hydra of problems ranging from soaring prices of basic commodities to severe cash shortages, this is the first port of call for the moribund party.
As Stephen Chan, who has close links to the British establishment, noted on microblogging site Twitter: “My comments on the completely stupid idea being floated in Zimbabwe to raise the age at which one can become president to 55. Old men with old ideas ruined that country and still do not understand how they ruined it so well.”
Muckracker could not agree more.