“It is truly a ‘New Dispensation’. Back in the day, ministers used to strenuously deny such brazen corruption. Now, we are in this Second Republic, where President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared an era of openness, ministers can now freely admit to paying themselves from the public purse with no fear of punishment.”
ENERGY Minister Joram Gumbo reassured the nation this week that he is not corrupt. He only benefitted from a contract, took allowances from a broke parastatal that he used to oversee, and had it pay for his junket to Asia to check on his fly-by-night airline, known officially as Zimbabwe Airways.
According to The Herald, Cde Joram dismissed any suggestions that a company he owns won government contracts just because he happens to be a minister. Obviously, it won tenders because it is clearly the best in that line of business and all those departments could not have resisted its offerings. “I have a company called JMCD. It is our company and the directors are myself and my wife. It is a sewing company. It is supplying the army, Zanu PF, the Ministry of Health (and Child Care) and many other companies. It won these tenders.”
Cde Joram then informed the povo that a company in which he and his wife are directors “has got nothing to do with me as an individual”. He has nothing to do with his own company, the one he and his wife own. The thing has a mind of its own.
He also added: “I cannot go and stop a company and say you can’t tender”. This is correct. Do all these haters and malcontents raising this issue now expect Cde Joram to go to either himself or his wife and say, “please, let’s not tender for this government contract. I am a government minister and getting a government contract will obviously be seen as a conflict of interest. Please let’s be ethical.”
Which self-respecting businessman would do that? Did we go to the war only to come back and eat corporate governance, ethics and basic decency?
We wish to thank the President. It is truly a “New Dispensation”. Back in the day, ministers used to strenuously deny such brazen corruption. Now, we are in this Second Republic, where President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared an era of openness, ministers can now freely admit to paying themselves from the public purse with no fear of punishment.
Jerry can circus
Cde Joram this week took time from his busy schedule of winning government contracts and milking parastatals to inform the nation that, after widespread scientific research and market consultations, he had found the cause of the fuel crisis: jerry cans.
“Those using tanks, drums and jerry cans, all those forms of containers, should stop and we are sending out inspectors and the Zimbabwe Republic Police and if anybody is going to be found maybe overcharging or using drums they might have their licences withdrawn. We are not going to allow that,” the minister was quoted as saying. Now that jerry cans are banned from service stations, there will be enough supplies of fuel for everyone. Of course, the counter revolutionaries among us will ask silly questions, such as what happened to Gumbo’s declaration, two weeks ago, that the country had enough stocks of fuel. Surely, they would ask, a million jerry cans wouldn’t hurt the economy if we had all the fuel we were told we had just two weeks ago.
But these are not questions to be asked in the “New Dispensation”. These days, we are all expected to pull together towards Vision 2030. How can we ever become a middle income country when we have things like jerry cans at our service stations? What would all these many investors arriving in our country think? So, in support of this genius plan of solving the crisis by banning jerry cans, we should all bring our lawn mowers, grinding mills and generators to the service station like the true patriots we are expected to be. But alas the decision, that has come from wide-ranging research and consultation, has since been reversed.
Speaking of patriotism, it is clearly lacking at the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions. This week, it had to take the more patriotic Zimbabwe Republic Police to teach those unionists this lesson.
For some reason, the ZCTU says its members are unhappy about the new 2% tax introduced by the government. So they decided to go onto the streets, which we have recently cleaned of those dirty vendors, to complain about something as mundane as a tax.
Firstly, we all know that the ZCTU no longer has any members of significance. Due to a calculated strategy by Zanu PF, executed over 38 years, the party made sure ZCTU would no longer have any membership. This was achieved through a deliberate strategy of mismanaging the economy, thereby making sure companies close, ensuring the ZCTU was left with nobody to represent.
Secondly, we are shocked as to why this bunch of labourers thinks it knows more about economics than a whole professor from Oxford. Do they not know that taxes are good for them? How else can the government get money to pay for airline tickets to fly around the world looking for the investors we need to take care of all the jobless people in the country?
Apologies to all who thought police would no longer beat up protesters in the “New Dispensation”. Once in a while, Zanu PF must remind the masses that it is still in charge and that any unruly elements asking for a better life must be taught a lesson or two.
If Zanu PF stopped sending police to beat up people, surely its supporters would no longer recognise it.
Speaking of Zanu PF’s eagerness to keep reminding the nation that it has not changed, journalists trying to cover the first day of the Motlanthe inquiry into the August 1 army killings were in the front seat as the Zanu PF government went about doing the usual Zanu PF things.
This inquiry was called ostensibly to make sure everything that happened that day is debated in the open and addressed. It is something being watched closely by international haters from Europe and America, who see it as one condition for the “re-engagement” we keep being told about. But when has Zanu PF ever passed up a chance to shoot itself in the foot?
First, journalists were barred from the hearing, and it took some loud complaints for them to be allowed into the room. Then the room was too small and people could hardly fit in. Then some witnesses, it was announced, had left the hearing before giving testimony. Then some witnesses, many of them Zanu PF officials, dominated the first day of proceedings.
Many people had called the hearing a farce. Zanu PF, as it always does, was working overtime to prove its critics right.
Sigh of relief
The outlawing of demonstration bans by the Constitutional Court, though way overdue, is a welcome development. The judgement was handed down by Justice Rita Makarau in concurrence with the full ConCourt bench as the eminent judges were of the view that the bans were open to abuse by state machinery.
The banning of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions demonstration last week on the basis of a cholera outbreak, while allowing Zanu PF meetings, is an example of such abuse. It was as if Zanu PF members are immune to the epidemic! It will surely be a most unwelcome development to Zanu PF relics who have used the legislation to stifle dissenting voices and ride roughshod on civil liberties.
Mutodi’s pipedream of miraculous ZBC transformation
Muckraker was delighted to hear that while President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been in office for over a year, but is still trying to turn things around, deputy Information minister Energy Mutodi has already produced instant results at ZBC.
“Over the past 30 days after our appointment as new ministers, Monica (Mutsvangwa) and I have managed to transform ZBC. Now it’s a pleasure to watch ZBC NEWS,” tweeted Mutodi, who has somehow found himself as a deputy minister after failed attempts, over several years, of making rhumba music.
Encouraged by this tweet, Muckraker, like all other patriots, immediately tuned in to ZBC to also share in this said pleasure. The sum total of the results is a virtual news set behind a presenter reading news from a tablet, probably borrowed from Mutodi’s vast collection of trinkets.
As for the content of the news, the masses have a broad spectrum of exciting news to go through. There were exclusive images of First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa on her knees cleaning a house in Glen View. A day later, there was even more stunning coverage, this time of the First Lady clearing out a rubbish dump somewhere else.
This is riveting viewing and the nation can barely wait for the next instalment of the Auxillia Reality Show, disguised as the main news bulletin.