IT was self-delusion week this week in Harare, obviously in honour of birthday boy, the late former president Robert Mugabe, who lied to himself for a living for half a century.
Firstly, the European Union released a statement telling us that it had not changed its position on Zimbabwe.If anything, they said, the democratic space under the “New Dispensation” was getting smaller; people were looting even more, and the people who shot civilians in the back still have not paid for their crimes.
Still, Zanu PF found a way to turn that into good news.
“We have taken note of the European Union position with regard to its long-standing sanctions regime against Zimbabwe and welcomed its decision to further ease, although slightly, those measures,” Foreign minister Sibusiso Moyo said in a two-page statement.
The Chronicle dutifully told us “EU eases sanctions on Zim, while The Herald crowed: “More officials removed from the EU sanctions list”.
What The Herald did not tell its readers is that the “more officials” have had sanctions on them suspended for six years now.
The Herald also forgot to say the “officials” had not actually been removed from sanctions.
But this is Zimbabwe. If we cannot have any good news, we will make up our own.
There was more self-delusion, this time over there at that building on Samora Machel, whose phallic shape is an apt description of its treatment of the masses.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya was, as usual, selling bottled smoke. He believes he and Finance minister Mthuli Ncube have successfully convinced the masses to start loving their own currency, and to ditch the United States dollar.
“The measurements of the proportion of the use of the local currency in the economy show that the country is on the right trajectory to de-dollarisation,” Mangudya said.
Clearly, news of this successful victory of the Zimbabwean dollar over the imperialist currency is yet to reach the proverbial man on the street, especially the government workers who still want to be paid in “real money”.
Mangudya has always told himself lies and believed them. One time he even decided he had created a currency that was, for no reason, at par with the US dollar.
Then he promised to resign if that currency failed. The nation awaits.
Speaking of the RBZ, a former employee of the great bank is showing just why the bank is a great training ground for all sorts of trickery.
Munyaradzi Kereke, once the second most powerful clown at the RBZ, after Gideon Gono who was the most powerful one, is currently serving time for rape. At least that is what we all thought.
It turns out that he has, in fact, spent much of his time running a profitable chicken racket for prison bosses. In turn, it was said in court, “prison officials would allow Kereke home visits to one of his wives during weekends and even impregnated another and would not perform manual labour.”
We wonder why other criminals do not have the same deals. Surely Robert Gumbura would have wanted to have time with his nine wives too, although mathematically it would have meant spending far more time outside jail.
Of course, controlling security authorities comes naturally to Kereke. At one time, Kereke had a big fight with Gono, accusing his boss of corruption. After sacking Kereke, Gono was surprised to see cops, some carrying AK47s, showing up at the RBZ to help pack Kereke’s personal belongings.
“I know that this contingent were not sent by the Commissioner-General,” Gono mourned then.You have to hand it to Kereke. Having honed his skills at the RBZ, a long proven academy for those bent on carving out a career in deception and rule-bending, we should not be surprised.
The good news this week was that none of us will die of hunger. We will all soon have maize-meal coupons, courtesy of the latest stroke of economic genius from the Man from Oxford.
“The coupon system for roller meal is expected to ensure that the vulnerable people whom subsidies were supposed to benefit will access the subsidised meal without problems,” The Herald announced, eliciting wild celebrations all across the country.
We were told the man would bring something new to economic management. However, we have been promised “people’s shops”, which we are still waiting for, and now coupons for basic foodstuffs.
We even have selected businesses being allowed to sell in foreign currency, while the rest of us are told to be patriotic and eat dirt.
We have seen all this before. The only difference is that now we do not have all those mind-numbing acronyms that we used to give to everything.
Who could forget the Foreign Exchange Licensed Warehouses and Retail Shops (Foliwars), Foreign Exchange Licensed Oil Companies (Felocs) and Foreign Exchange Licenced Outlets for Petrol and Diesel (Felopads)? We are back to the Bacossi days. We might as well call back Gono and let him finish what he started.
We all know how all this will end.
Muckraker, together with people of like-minded nefariousness, will soon be found at street corners selling more than his fair share of maize-meal coupons. Nothing is wrong with a little bit of corruption here and there. It is our turn to eat.
Graft is righteous
Still on corruption, the nation was relieved this week to learn that the Zanu PF youths who accused their party of corruption have now come to their senses.
Not long ago, Lewis Matutu and Godfrey Tsenengamu decided to hold a press conference, where they called out three businessmen that they said were responsible for capturing their party and government through corrupt deals.
Naturally, they were suspended from Zanu PF. It was only predictable; speaking out against corruption is going against party policy. They were ordered to go to the Chitepo School of Ideology for what Obert Mpofu said would be “rigorous ideological training”.
We all know that unmitigated greed is part of Zanu PF ideology, which may explain why veterans of that business like Mpofu are considered respected custodians of party ideology.
In no time, the youths came out apologising, saying they had been “talked to” and now realised the errors of their ways. The party’s commissar, Victor Matemadanda, was sent to reorient these lost young ones.
They were obviously told: “Corruption is part of Zanu PF culture and ideology. Clearly, talking about corruption is a violation of party rules.”
At least everybody is now on the same page.