“In the case of the ZITF, the president was hosting Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and it was appropriate that the UAE plane is borrowed to give the visiting president a comfortable flight to Bulawayo.”
VICE-PRESIDENT Constantino Chiwenga was shocked last week to discover that the economy, unlike soldiers, does not take orders.
Speaking at the 60th Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo last week, the VP ordered the businesspeople unfortunate enough to be listening to him that they are practising a form of “financial terrorism” by raising prices.
“I want to give a stern warning to those practising financial terrorism in the country. We will react accordingly as government and nobody should claim that they were not warned. We will take very strict measures,” the VP proclaimed.
Shockingly, no sooner had he made this patriotic call against this new form of terrorism, did we hear that parastatals such as NetOne were increasing prices and service charges, citing the cost of doing business and all some such unpatriotic excuses that terrorists of this nature give.
One day, you are ordering army tanks onto the streets to do as you tell them, and they do just that. The next day you are ordering people to make losses in their businesses, and they refuse. And they won’t be fazed by military-like threats.
For a soldier, this must have been very discombobulating, as a rural English teacher would say.
“We will make sure this will work, will not work. No it will work, you will not work. Simple,” declared Chiwenga in an Idi Amin-like rant, to which many in the audiences exchanged confused looks, convinced that this was some sort of mysterious military code. Is this Zimbabwe’s version of the known knowns, or known unknowns, or unknown unknowns?
We all know that President Emmerson Mnangagwa is never one to be outdone by his deputy. Ditching that “pro-business” cloak he has pretended to wear for over a year, Mnangagwa also came out ahead of Workers’ Day to wag his finger at businesses raising prices.
“The wanton, unjustified increases in prices are unpalatable and may point to some other sinister motives. This conduct must stop forthwith,” he said in his May Day message.
According to Comrade ED, employers needed to use May Day “as an opportunity to reflect and evaluate the welfare, remuneration, conditions of service, safety and state of workers”. We wait for the government to set an example for these greedy businesses and raise salaries for its own workers.
He then added: “My government will not stand by and leave workers and the generality of our people at the mercy of a small group with rent-seeking and profiteering tendencies.”
It will come as a surprise to workers that the government will not “stand by” and do nothing. Is it not what it has been doing all along?
We were also surprised to hear the president, in his May Day message, telling us that he is “fully aware of the challenges” in the economy.
This was shocking, seeing as he behaves as if he is not aware of the state of the economy and goes about like he is the leader of the world’s wealthiest economy. Usually, leaders of countries that have challenging economies do not summon luxury planes from thousands of kilometres away, just so they can be flown a few hundred kilometres away.
A leader of a country that has no working radiotherapy machines because they cannot raise US$53 000 for repairs would be expected to cut expenditure. But not our owners. They would rather act like the parent that summons their teenage child from outside the house to hand them a TV remote that is two metres away.
And, of course, trust Energy Mutodi to produce the best possible explanation for the plane.
“In the case of the ZITF, the president was hosting Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and it was appropriate that the UAE plane is borrowed to give the visiting president a comfortable flight to Bulawayo,” the rhumba maestro crooned.
Then the clincher: Air Zimbabwe is not safe enough for our VIPs.
“Most Air Zimbabwe planes are grounded, and the remaining ones are unsafe for the presidium.”
We are glad to know that the rest of us are using the national airline only to test its safety for our rulers. Such patriotic sacrifice.
Speaking of Museveni, the invitation of the Ugandan dictator — who has honed the oppression of dissenting voices into a fine art and has changed the constitution to remove age limits which would allow him to run in future elections — to open last week’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair illustrates the Mnangagwa government’s penchant to shoot itself in the foot.
At a time Mnangagwa is preaching ad nauseam that his government is part of the Second Republic, the invitation of Museveni — who has hung tenaciously to power combined with the killing of protestors, arrests of opposition party members and civil rights activists as well as threats against business — portrays the Zimbabwean government as more of a banana republic than the so touted Second Republic. Indeed, the invitation of Museveni has rubbished the notion that Mnangagwa is leading a new dispensation. Instead it has shown that birds of a feather flock together.
Paranoic Zanu PF
We want to express our gratitude to Cain Mathema, the Home Affairs Minister. We were all missing the paranoia of Zanu PF, which had been kept under wraps while we tried to convince the world that we were a New Dispensation. Now that nobody is still pretending, Cde Mathema pulled out a vintage Mugabe-era press conference.
“It is disturbing to note that ZRP and other security services have gathered intelligence to the effect that a group of foreign nationals wants to facilitate a three-day civic organisation workshop in Bulawayo in May 2019,” he said.
“The main agenda of the workshop is to mobilise and capacitate civic organisations and individuals to stage purported effective demonstrations and disturbances to overthrow the Zanu PF Government.”
This is good news. Even Zanu PF supporters were beginning to wonder whether they were still following the real Zanu PF, with all that unpatriotic and unfamiliar talk of allowing people to gather and re-engagement and so forth. This is more like it. This is the Zanu PF they signed up for. One that cannot live without conspiracies. Is it even a real Zanu PF if it doesn’t see a terrorist behind every bush?
Once again, we continue to clap hands for Nelson Chamisa, in his unstoppable march towards being a typical African leader.
After winning nominations, and personally inspecting voting, Chamisa will now discard nominations for some posts and simply make appointments himself.
Obviously, the people cannot be trusted to make better decisions than the wise Joshua. Who is anyone to question the actions of the chosen one of the Lord, anointed by the prophets to lead us to Canaan?
According to MDC spokesman Jacob Mafume, who himself would be appointed under the proposals, “we were taking nominations on the basis that the national council will condone that departure from the constitution”. In other words, “we will break our own laws and tell the masses to say it’s OK”.
These are the required hallmarks of how to win and retain power in Africa. MDC is on the right track.
Also amusing was that the party has appointed Zanu PF G40 thugs Shadreck Mashayamombe and Jeppy Jaboon to key posts in the party. Appointing a blunt instrument like Jaboon to “intelligence” must be the greatest oxymoron ever.
Poor Mafume was once again sent out to defend the indefensible. He said “remember they were candidates for MDC in last year’s harmonised election and if they were good enough to sit in parliament representing MDC they are also good enough to be in structures”.
He is certainly on the path to reach the levels of Iraq’s Comical Ali. Worry not, Jacob. This is Zimbabwe. Here, blind loyalty never goes unrewarded.
Chiwenga’s new pop star hair-do
Whoever is doing our VP’s hair can please go easy on the grease and dye? You have our liberator looking like he is using that missing Chivhu tar on his hair. Leave that to Callisto “The Bullet” Nyamhute. Even Chamisa left that stuff in the GNU days. It’s so passé. The picture on the right shows a TV screen grab of our VP’s new-look hair-do.
It seems the VP likes artificial looks.