Of grumpy war vets and economic engineering

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Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association (ZNLWVA) secretary-general Victor Matemadanda

“As war veterans, we want our children to benefit also. They have been denied a lot of chances. So we demand that even if they do not have any qualifications they should be employed to any position. In fact, no one should ask for any certificates from them. They should just employ them.”

THIS week, the owners of the country — the war veterans — sent their latest invoice to the people of Zimbabwe for services rendered in the 1970s.

MUCKRAKER
Twitter: @MuckrakerZim

Readers will recall that, back then, millions of Zimbabweans, desperate to rid themselves of Ian Smith’s odious regime, hired a few thousand mercenaries to shoot Rhodesian forces and install a new black leader. The deal was, it appears, that once Smith, was gone, these mercenaries would be paid via a blank cheque: they would be free to make demands at any time.

One of the biggest cheques came in 1997, when they surrounded their leader, Robert Mugabe, jeering him at the Heroes’ Acre and knocking at his big gates on Chancellor Avenue. The man got scared and printed money to pay the mob. The currency fell through the floor and has never recovered.

Now, years later, we are still paying them. This week, a new demand arrived.

“As war veterans, we want our children to benefit also. They have been denied a lot of chances. So we demand that even if they do not have any qualifications they should be employed to any position. In fact, no one should ask for any certificates from them. They should just employ them,” said war vets leader Savious Baloyi.

Yes. Now you will no longer need to list your degrees and diplomas on a CV. Those don’t get you a job in this country anyway, no matter how many they are. Now you just need to write “Child of War Vet” and you get one of the two million jobs Zanu PF has promised.

War vets duped?

Still on our liberators and their children, Muckraker was amused to read in The Herald about how a company had duped the offspring of our war veterans.

Said the Pravda-sounding state mouthpiece: “EMMB Africa — touted as one of the best training institutes for earth-moving equipment operators — has been awarded a government contract to train hundreds of children of war veterans, charging $2 000 fees per head when it does not have a single fully-functional machine.”

This was all rather surprising. Surely, if the children of war vets can get any job without any qualifications, why are they wasting time trying to train for jobs? Someone is just trying to make our war veterans angry.

Just hand over those caterpillars, tippers and graders to these children. Let them drive in the best way they know how. They don’t need to train for anything. Being a child of a war vet means you don’t have to.

Mugabe recovering

The entire nation has been spending time listening to their leader President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Not that he has anything new or clever to say. He rarely does. The people are listening because he has, over the past week, been a source of news on what is happening in foreign hospitals.

First, we were told that our previous owner, Robert Mugabe, was allegedly recovering in a Singaporean hospital.
“Last week on 30th July, I sent on my own behalf a high-powered team of officials led by Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda to Singapore to check on the former President and to get an update on his progress from the medical team attending to him including any additional requirements towards his full care and speedy recovery,” ED said.

While we were still digesting the press release, we got another health update. Chinese doctors have finished tests on Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga and “actual treatment” will now begin. Further, we were told, “arrangements are underway already to ensure close family members are within call of the Vice-President”.

As always, it warms the heart to know that our leaders are getting the best treatment abroad. Who wants to be treated at Mpilo Hospital, where there is a risk of catching diseases when you already have diseases of your own?
Maybe, after 37 years in power, during which you ran down your own country’s health delivery system, one should be allowed to go abroad and see what your own hospitals would have been like had you not spent your entire time in office plotting ways of stealing from your people.

Not that Mugabe would regret it. Regret is only for normal humans.

We wait for more health updates from the President’s Office. Muckraker is reminded of a show on the old ZBC’s Radio 2, Nguva yevarwere, when relatives would send in letters letting people how sick their loved ones were.

Double talk

Back at home, the country’s security forces, apparently, have never shot anyone.

According to Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri, it’s all a lie that soldiers shot at civilians in August 2018.

“When demonstrations broke out in August there were enemies that had been planted to shoot at people and later we saw that the bullets that had been fired were not ours,” she was quoted as saying.

Apparently, the findings of the Motlanthe commission are all a lie.

She then added: “My ministry’s position is that we do not point our guns at the people, our soldiers know their worth and that their job is to protect the masses and not to shoot them.”

The claim that it is not a national policy to send soldiers to kill protesters must have come as a surprise to her deputy Victor Matemadanda who, just a few days earlier, had promised the nation that the army would not disappoint. They would do what they do, he said.

“Our constitution that we wrote together allows us to send soldiers and they don’t use minimum force, they don’t know it. They’re trained to kill. Forewarned is forearmed, stay at home lest you be caught in the crossfire,” Matemadanda said.

Muchinguri is obviously lying that there is no policy of shooting Zimbabweans. We recommend that she speak to Matemadanda for the official position on killing people.


MDC relevance

Meanwhile, over at the MDC, the battle to remain relevant continues.

The party of shiny lawyers with big English lost a series of by-elections to Zanu PF’s campaign of medieval bread. Now they are all wondering what to do.

David Coltart blames Gukurahundi for the loss, while Chalton Hwende, the party’s resident clown, blames Mthuli for not releasing MDC’s allocation of government money.

Tendai Biti, as usual, resorted to the thesaurus, saying “we lost to a selectorate, to coercion and capture”. Many agreed with him, even though they, and possibly even him, had no idea what he was on about.

As for Mnangagwa, word is he is trembling in his crocodile skins and clutching his $8 000 Louis Vuitton briefcase in utter fear. Why? Because Job Sikhala has given him two weeks to call Nelson Chamisa.

“I am giving Emmerson Mnangagwa two weeks from now for him to call president Nelson Chamisa and say come I want to talk to you,” Sikhala told a rally at the weekend.

While he waits for Mnangagwa’s inevitable surrender, Sikhala must use the days left to keep fasting. He looks like he needs it.

… and to the Oxford genius’ fabled policies

Over at the Ministry of Finance, the genius from Oxford and Cambridge (don’t forget London School of Economics) has come up with another stroke of economic engineering.

Since his appointment, Mthuli Ncube has made decisions that have made people’s lives so bad, while he told them that it was all for their own good.

Due to his policies, inflation has gone up exponentially. Other finance ministers would look at why this is happening, and enact policies to fix the problem. But then Mthuli is a genius. He doesn’t do things the easy way.

So he has decided he will no longer release annual inflation figures, just monthly ones.

“It’s not making sense theoretically and statistically. Let’s focus on month-on-month inflation because month-on-month inflation is correct. Keep going with that until February 2020. Then we will do things properly,” he said.

So, in other words, the best way to deal with inflation, is to ignore it entirely. That’s what makes sense “theoretically and practically”.

It reminds one of that evil witch in the Snow White fables who ended up destroying the mirror because it wasn’t telling her what she wanted to hear.

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