LAST Friday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa discovered to his shock and horror that the country actually had hospitals.
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His minions dragged him out to Parirenyatwa Hospital to take part in the latest episode of National Clean-up Day.
To those who do not watch the news, National Clean-up Day is an unoriginal comedy play first staged somewhere in East Africa, during which leaders descend from their ivory towers once a month to tell the povo how dirty they are.
And so it was that officials decided that our leader should do his clean-up at Parirenyatwa, which is supposed to be the crown jewel in the national healthcare crown.
Arriving at Parirenyatwa, Mnangagwa was confronted with a sight that he had never seen before; a local hospital. It must have been a shock to him to discover that we have hospitals here too.
After all, these are chaps that fly off to a clinic in Cape Town when they stub their toes against the corner of their queen-sized beds. Our leader’s predecessor
Robert Mugabe used to fly all the way to Singapore to see a specialist eye doctor anytime a bug flew into his eye.
Muckraker was delighted to listen to Mnangagwa on the radio news; he was shocked that patients had no blankets and some wards had broken windows.
“The places I walked through were so dirty, and to think these areas would have been cleaned in preparation for my arrival. What of those areas of the hospital I didn’t go to?” he said, to nobody in particular.
So, up to last week, our leader had no idea that things were bad at public hospitals.
The crowds that gathered were however surprised to see the President donating a crisp US$100 note to a patient. He obviously has many of those in his collection. He obviously realised that giving any patient some bond notes would only cause them more pain.
One must commend the crowd for showing restraint. Had this been at Ngomahuru Hospital, someone would have stood up and showed Mnangagwa one of his campaign posters promising “affordable healthcare for all”.
Speaking of hospitals, the nation heaved a collective sigh of relief this week when Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, aka General November, our liberator, appeared in public after a flurry of unpatriotic fake news on his health.
Some peddlers of bogus news had told the world that our Vice-President had been taken ill and flown to South Africa for emergency treatment.
Our counter-revolutionary newspapers do not even say he flew there; no, they say “airlifted” just to be overdramatic for nothing.
Images were conjured up of a gallant fighter of such high calibre cowering inside a foreign hospital, besieged by a few lumpen Diaspora elements. Only for the VP to appear on our screens on ZBC TV news, in rude health, shaming the detractors.
We are, however, worried by obviously planted agents at ZBC, who seemed to bring the camera too close to our deputy owner, and did not use enough lighting, in a clear attempt to cause alarm and despondency and dampen the celebratory mood that spontaneously erupted across the country at news of our VP’s clean bill of health.
One must recall that, during the election campaign, Zanu PF promised to build 78 hospitals. However, while we all patiently wait for work to begin, our leaders are making occasional working visits to foreign hospitals for tips on what modern healthcare looks like.
Muckraker is actually shocked that there are people who believed that our VP was being treated at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town.
It is a government hospital. We don’t touch government hospitals, at home or away.
There was some good news this week, as usual. It was announced that the President was calling all opposition parties to dialogue at State House. This is just what the country needs.
In a brilliant strategy to get the opposition to talk to him, the President arrested many of the MDC’s MPs, non-governmental organisation leaders and ordinary citizens. What better way to get people to talk to you than to make them literally a captive audience?
Obviously the MDC is complaining that we cannot talk to anyone whose security forces are harassing our members, arresting our officials, shooting civilians and beating up people. But the MDC has always whined about one thing or the other. Did they not write many letters to Mnangagwa begging to meet him? Why are they playing clever now?
Well, if Nelson Chamisa and his party decide not to participate in the dialogue, then it is their own funeral, literally.
Besides, it is not like the country has run out of politicians to talk with. We may have shortages in the country, but we have never run out of political parties and party presidents. We had close to two dozen presidential candidates.
This includes the likes of Bryn Mteki, who is not only a presidential candidate, but would be on hand to provide the entertainment at the talks, cutting costs for the government.
In addition, Mteki is also in the beverage business. His cane spirits, vodka and whiskey brands have alcohol content of up to 40%, allowing for just the right level of drunkenness required for political negotiation in this country.
It is not only Mteki who seems to be supplying dangerous alcohol. There was definitely something in those water bottles at the Zanu PF youth league press conference this week.
“We support the President’s efforts in turning the economy around,” the youths said in a statement.
The news that the President is making any effort to turn the economy around will come as a major surprise to people buying bread at up to $4, to teachers who can no longer afford to report for work, to nurses and doctors in bare hospitals and to civil servants who were supposed to celebrate $40 as a “cushioning allowance” this week.
But the youths, after more drinks from those obviously contaminated water bottles, were not finished.
“We also want to warn small political parties such as the MDC Alliance to desist from using youths as political weapons of mass destruction,” they declared, while being used as political weapons of mass destruction.
However, Muckraker is proud to agree with the Zanu PF youth league on one thing in their statement.
The President, said the youths, “has not been resting since he was elected”. This is true, and can be confirmed at various airports around the world.