“The police would not allow any march because, they said, too many people are suffering and they would be tempted to join in. So, in other words, the police will not allow people to protest against their impoverishment, because too many of them are suffering. This is, quite frankly, the best reason ever given for banning a demonstration anywhere in the world.”
THE New Dispensation was once again working overtime this week to prove to the world just how old it is.
After the opposition MDC called for mass protests last Friday and throughout this week against the government, President Emmerson Mnangagwa grabbed the opportunity to prove all those who foolishly believed the lie he was a “reformer” wrong.
First, the police banned the march. Then they sent out their strongest cops to gather all the rocks from all nearby construction sites, pack them in a supermarket bag, take photos and post them online as evidence of MDC plans to unleash violence.
Before we knew it, a small gathering, at one intersection in central Harare, was being pummelled by riot cops. The cops did not just disperse the crowds; they made sure they did so as brutally as possible, in full view of the international press.
The MDC did not even need to work too hard to prove the point that there is no real New Dispensation. They just needed to wait and let the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and their clueless handlers do it for them.
If it was Mnangagwa’s deliberate ploy to let the world know that he was no reformer, it worked really well.
Stunning raison d’être
Muckraker wishes to appeal to the leadership of the ZRP to promote whoever is in charge of crowd control in Bulawayo district.
While other police officers across the country were giving flimsy excuses for banning the marches, such as the threats of violence and the lack of adequate police details to monitor the demonstrators, the crew down in Bulawayo were more frank.
The police would not allow any march because, they said, too many people are suffering and they would be tempted to join in.
So, in other words, the police will not allow people to protest against their impoverishment, because too many of them are suffering. This is, quite frankly, the best reason ever given for banning a demonstration anywhere in the world.
Our police are much in demand on missions around the world. We hereby plead with the United Nations to take more of our cops on more missions to teach the world these basic lessons in policing.
Still on all things demo, you can always trust our professional state media to put things into their proper perspective.
“MDC Alliance Bulawayo demo flops,” The Herald reported.
“Calm prevails: Byo ignores MDC A call to illegal protest,” The Chronicle said.
This is the beauty of Zimpapers. You can make up anything and it becomes news. Never in the history of journalism has an event flopped, without it actually even happening.
This is why only the bluntest journalists there rise to the top nowadays. Muckraker laughed into his tea the other night when Peter Ndoro, the experienced SABC journalist, suppressed his urge to laugh as he interviewed the acting Herald editor Tichaona Zindoga (when will they ever give him the job?), who insisted no excessive force had been used on protesters.
We sympathise with Ndoro. He obviously felt some of his brain cells dying by subjecting his mind to such rank dullness. Everyone at Herald House knows one truth: you can have a room full of intelligent people, but when Zindoga walks in, the average IQ in that room automatically collapses. It’s just how averages work. Basic maths.
These are the tools Mnangagwa is using to sell his economic policies to Zimbabweans. May Heaven help him.
While the country has had many shortages over the years, it has never had a shortage of comical vice-presidents.
Since his appointment in 2014, Phelekezela Mphoko’s only contribution to the country was to make the nation laugh.
This week, almost a year after he left government, it was heart-warming to see him still diligently continuing his national duty of providing comic relief to a battered people.
It was reported that the man went on the run, inept members of the Zimbabwe Anti-corruption Commission (Zacc) in hot pursuit. The man fled upon realising he was about to be herded into a cell.
Not that police cells are unfamiliar to Mphoko.
When a couple of Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) chefs were caged at Avondale Police Station for corruption, he swooped solo on the hapless cops like action hero Sylvester Stallone in Rambo 3, and sprung his buddies from their cells.
According to Mphoko, his jailbreak theatrics had nothing to do with the fact that the Zinara fellows were big donors to Grace Mugabe’s campaign, or that they were rumoured to have some business deals with the First Family. No, he said this week. Letting suspects out of jail was just part of his job as VP.
“I am now being persecuted as if I did all these operations in my own individual capacity . . . when I acted as part of the Presidency,” Mphoko said in a press release this week.
As if that was his only jailbreak escapade. While the nation was still admiring his Avondale heroics, the man actually did another raid on a police station in Bulawayo, this time to free some rowdy Zanu PF youths.
Only in a banana republic does a whole adult proudly state that breaking criminals out of jail was part of his job description. If you ever got arrested on a Friday night for public drinking outside Mukandabhutsu Bottle Store, you know who to call.
Muckraker apologises to all who are begging the nation to feel some sort of pity for Mphoko. Apparently, according to some, we are supposed to believe that there is a dark plot against the poor chap.
Well, if there is, then good.
Let’s be fair. It is hard not to point and laugh at a man who tried to convince the world that the late founding leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai, personally tried to assassinate the late vice-president Joshua Nkomo, and said Gukurahundi is a Western conspiracy.
What of the time he begged then President Robert Mugabe to appoint the nonagenarian leader’s wife Grace as the vice-president to replace Mnangagwa who had been sacked, because he was too lonely: “I am now lonely, your Excellency, l felt it yesterday. Kindly appoint a counterpart for me. I am glad because people have identified the one they want. Do not be afraid or ashamed to appoint your own wife,” he whined.
Or the time the Mphokos refused to leave the Rainbow Towers Hotel for virtually a year, living it up on tax dollars, just because the government was too slow in finding a mansion suitable enough for their lofty tastes.
We are sure Mphoko will be dragged kicking and screaming unless, of course, they find a cell as luxurious as the Rainbow Towers penthouse suite.
Mnangagwa ideal for paranoia olympics
When failure stalks like a bad smell in a crowded lift, paranoia is bound to set in. Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF are ample evidence of this.
Pummelled by crisis after crisis, be it foreign currency shortages, power outages lasting 18 hours, runaway inflation, so embarrassing government has suspended the publishing of the figure that is now in three digits or global condemnation for a brutal clampdown on protesters, they have been seeing shadows everywhere even in their own party.
Zanu PF MP Killer Zivhu is the victim of this after he was suspended for merely suggesting that the wives of Mnangagwa and MDC leader Nelson Chamisa encourage their husbands to the table of national dialogue.
A whole disciplinary committee has been set up by the moribund party to charge Zivhu for “disloyalty and treachery” for making the call for dialogue of the two political leaders.
A baffled Zivhu has called the charges “ludicrous”.
Paranoia is looming large where even satire is seen as a threat to the establishment as evidenced by the callous and disgraceful abduction and torture of comedian Samantha Kureya, better known as Gonyeti, in addition to opposition party and civil society members countrywide.
Nobody believed that anyone could be worse than the doddering Mugabe’s 37 years of catastrophic rule, but Mnangagwa is surely making a good fist of it with the stench of abject failure that has characterised his presidency since he was catapulted into power in 2017.
No doubt, he is a top contender for “paranoia olympics” gold medal.