“The miracle economic turnaround we were promised would come with the ouster of Mugabe never came, and we are ending the year in even deeper economic muck than we were at the time of the coup. The elections that were supposed to ‘cure the coup’, ended with people being shot dead on the streets by their liberators.”
THE nation is in festive period after one of the best years we have ever had, at least if you believe anything that President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his regime says, or in the state media.
The basic thing we expected was a holiday to take a rest and relax. Why not? We have had too much to do this year.
While we were still trying to get former president Robert Mugabe and his family out of our hair, we lost former MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai. He was replaced by Nelson Chamisa, who set about trying to revive the opposition; with equal measures of success and blunders.
The miracle economic turnaround we were promised would come with the ouster of Mugabe never came, and we are ending the year in even deeper economic muck than we were at the time of the coup. The elections that were supposed to “cure the coup”, ended with people being shot dead by their liberators on the streets in broad daylight.
Still, we have not seen Christmas decorations in the shops and promotions begging us to spend money that we don’t have. Even those who do have some extra cash cannot find any beer or coke to spend it on. The ones who are celebrating Christmas are those eating enough of the country’s Independence and can afford holiday trips to Dubai, Singapore or Cape Town. At least we should be happy that, after such a dramatic year, there are people celebrating Christmas on behalf of the people. Yes the rich, the corrupt and thieves are busy enjoying their ill-gotten spoils.
Kill and rise
Another person ended the year in festive mood is one of the army’s most gallant soldiers, who has been rewarded for a job well done.
The comrade who commanded the army unit that shot and killed several people in August, Anselem Sanyatwe, was this week promoted, and was told to “redouble your efforts” by his commander.
“Continue doing your best. We are going to be asking a lot more from you so redouble your efforts,” he was told. “You have excelled in your duties and serving the country. You deserved this recognition. With cadres of your calibre our defence force will continue to grow from strength to strength to be among the best in the region.”
Who are we not to celebrate when “cadres of such calibre” are rising through the ranks of the military on dead bodies? Who knew that the shooting of defenceless civilians in the back was synonymous with bravery? Who could have ever guessed that this is what passes for “excelling in your duties” in the military these days?
The Motlanthe Commission report has come out and says the six killed died due to police and military action. It says Mnangagwa deployed the soldiers. The commission recommends an internal investigation to identify the culprits. It will be fun to watch the newly-promoted man responsible for the deployed unit interrogating himself, finding himself and his superiors guilty, before punishing himself appropriately.
At least we know one thing about our distinguished defence forces: to make it to the higher echelons, one doesn’t even need to know what a 45-degree angle looks like — just kill and rise.
Speaking of promotions, Muckraker wishes to extend hearty congratulations to our media cadre Cde Caesar Zvayi for his recent “promotion” to editor-at-large of the country’s finest institution of journalism — Zimpapers.
Just like the army man, Zvayi —who is strangely refusing to vacate The Herald editor’s office despite his promotion to move up stairs or wherever he will now be operating from — is being rewarded for a year of stellar service and bizarre stories. Who can deny that he deserves reward for all those headlines heralding in The Herald billions in imaginary investments? One could never doubt the man’s fertile imagination. He even once published a tale that Chinese billionaires were soon to arrive in Zimbabwe bearing US$7 billion in tourism investment.
That the company mentioned denied all of it, and that The Herald had to issue a retraction, should surely not deny one his deserved promotion for displaying such gallant dedication to lying. Writing lies on behalf of government is a tough job that few can do with a straight face, and he managed it admirably. And for that he was promoted to become editor-at-large; a fancy title like Minister Without Portfolio.
Why would we not reward him after he dedicated all those acres of newspaper space to supporting the coup and bashing MDC leader Nelson Chamisa? That’s the sort of journalism that they admire over there at Shake Shake Building. And that’s why an entire ZBC news bulletin can look like a low-budget TV campaign advert for Zanu PF. Which is why it is such a surprise that, at the Zanu PF conference, one of the resolutions was that the party should have its own TV station. What for? They already have ZBC and Zimpapers.
Still at the Zanu PF conference, there was visible shock on the faces of party delegates after their leader appeared to suggest that corruption was actually a crime.
There would be “zero-tolerance to corruption”, Mnangagwa thundered, much to everyone’s surprise. He did not explain when this law making corruption, mismanagement and general theft would be enacted.
The general consensus is that being corrupt is not a crime, but a qualification for higher office in the party. Why else would it be that the most corrupt are the ones that occupy the biggest offices in the highest echelons of party and government? And, if corruption was illegal, how else is it that there has been not a single senior official jailed over the past year for corruption? At least, under their previous leader, it was acknowledged that corruption was actively encouraged. Now this new leader, who likes pretending about many things, is suddenly telling them that they cannot steal at will? From there he goes to drink and eat with corrupt guys who surround him. So who will take him seriously on that?
That was not the only confusing thing that Mnangagwa said. Much to everyone’s surprise, he also said he had no idea how the courts actually work.
Making a passing remark about Wicknell Chivayo, Mnangagwa wondered how it was that a court had ruled that Chivayo should be paid US$25 million by the Zimbabwe Power Company for a job he had not done. “I don’t understand how our courts work,” said the President, in a statement that was hardly reassuring coming from a trained lawyer.
But the lack of corruption convictions should not shock Mnangagwa. What serious commercial crime investigation does one really expect from Goodson Nguni?
As long as he keeps clowns in charge at the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, the Prosecutor-General’s office and his illegal prosecuting unit in his office, then they will keep giving him what clowns give: a full-ring circus. Chivayo is the hero of many corrupt Zanu PF youths, and they look up to him for inspiration. This is generally true of our society today: corrupt elements are now seen as role models.
Curious protest that begs questions
It was amusing to see a group of purported war veterans outside Munhumutapa Building, the President’s office, demonstrating against their leader.
That protesters are now allowed to march to the doorstep of the President is commendable, especially when they are well-dressed for the occasion and come with such neatly designed and printed placards. This is an example that all other future protesters must emulate. We want all protesters to be this organised and neat in their outrage.
Not those ruffian teachers with home-made posters and walking from Mutare to Harare to protest over a minor issue like decent wages, or those unpatriotic doctors marching at hospitals whining about petty issues like medicines and gloves.
The alleged war veterans demanded more money, wondering if they were all going to die without ever getting anything from their government.
Muckraker’s memory could be failing, but one does seem to recall a certain payment in 1997 that triggered a tremor on the economy. Of course, the destruction of a whole country’s currency was a small sacrifice for all of us to pay to make our liberators more comfortable in the country they alone own and run like their backyard.