Abductions, denials and thin line between state and mafia

Following the abduction and torture of three opposition activists, Joana Mamombe, Netsai Marova and Cecilia Chimbiri, the Zimbabwe government did what any government does when the safety of its citizens is threatened — deny everything.

MUCKRAKER
Twitter: @MuckrakerZim

Nobody knows anything about any abduction. According to suggestions by Nick Mangwana, the chief government mouthpiece, all this was an elaborate play by the MDC. Who does not know that Nelson Chamisa and his crew are desperate to deflect attention from the mess going on at their party headquarters?
Of course, someone forgot to tell Paul Nyathi. The poor police spokesperson did not get the memo, and gave the game away when he confirmed to the media that the three had indeed been arrested and taken into custody. When the memo finally reached him, late, he changed his story and said he had been misquoted, including by The Herald.

But we all know The Herald never lies. It is the fount of all truth, the paper of record.Then in came Kazembe Kazembe, the Home Affairs minister, who dusted up the old press statement that they use when the police are accused of violating rights.

“I want to assure Zimbabweans that no stone will be left unturned with a view of finding out exactly what happened after the flash demonstration in Warren Park by MDC Alliance,” he said.

The nation awaits to see the outcomes of other turned stones, from the killings on August 1 in 2018, the ones in January 2019, and all the others in between. We all know what happens when people investigate themselves. They tend to find no evidence of any wrongdoing.

Reactions

The abductions of course drew strong reactions not only from Zimbabwean citizens, but from diplomats and various people around the world. However, most amusing were those from President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s advisors.

“In some way, I was not shocked because we have evil men presiding over an evil system and whose main purpose is to maim, to brutalise, to corrupt for their own selfish gains and to hold on to resources and to power so that they only benefit with their kith and kin,” Shingi Munyeza said.

We wonder whether all this is a case of the scales falling off Saul’s eyes on his way to Damascus, or whether the pastor-cum-barman is as bored as all of us in this lockdown and finally decided to search his conscience.

Of course, it is funny that the man thinks he is saying something new. It is what everyone has been telling him and his coterie for two years.
But, the Good Book is our guide. As Jesus said in the Parable of the Lost Sheep: “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”

Oldest young man

The country this week mourned the passing of Absolom Sikhosana, once the country’s most famous Shona-to-Ndebele rally translator and the continent’s oldest young men.

The former Zanu PF youth leader served as youth secretary for a decade, and never let simple things such as age stand in the way of being a youth leader. He was a permanent fixture at Robert Mugabe’s rallies. He translated all the bile the fake pan-Africanist spewed, just so that the whole country can equally share in the nonsense.

By all accounts, he was a decent man, besides all the politics. Which is why it was sad to read that he had died with nothing, after all his service to the mafia.

“He died drained and a pauper,” NewsDay quoted a family member as saying. He had no medical aid or a funeral policy.”Yet, there was VP Kembo Mohadi, telling mourners: “We don’t know where we will get another Sikhosana”.

Do not worry, Cde VP, Zimbabwe may have a lot of shortages, but we can never run out of people willing to sell their souls for nothing.

Mafia

Speaking of the mafia, news this week said the government plans to get rid of kombis. “Local Government and Public Works minister Dr July Moyo told this publication that there is no guarantee that kombis will be allowed back on the roads after the lockdown,” The Sunday Mail reported.

Only Zupco and kombis registered with it will in future be allowed to operate. This is good news, especially for those who now control the bus company on behalf of us the masses.

Of course, Nick Mangwana dutifully denied reports, carried by the Independent weeks ago, that a company linked to Kuda Tagwireyi bought the Zupco buses. A good civil servant must always know not to offend the real owner of the government and the country.

In the words of Andrzej Majewski: “Well organised criminal group we call mafia, the best organised mafia we call the state.”

Fired

Mnangagwa made a surprise move this week; he fired a minister for being bad at his job.After a failed career as a rather overweight rhumba artiste, Energy Mutodi surprised even himself by being appointed a whole deputy minister.

He had no qualities that would land anyone such a top job in a normal country. However, this is a Zanu PF government. Which is why party bigwigs must be wondering; since when do we fire people for being stupid?

This could be why The Herald, in its report on Mutodi’s sacking, was puzzled as to why the man had been given the boot. “Reasons for the termination of the contract have not been established,” the country’s favourite newspaper reported.

Of course, Mutodi could not have been fired for his foolish tweet claiming that the three abducted MDC activists had only gone out “for a romantic night to Bindura with their lovers who are artisanal miners”. It is the sort of tweet that wins you a promotion in Zanu PF, not the sack.

He was being foolish, but foolishness is not a handicap in Zanu PF. It is a requirement for membership.So, obviously, the party is preparing a suitable replacement. This is a party that never runs out of clowns.

Thin line

Speaking of the thin line between mafia and state, news this week was that Tarirai Mnangagwa, son of the current supposed owner of the land, decided to bring out his gun when he saw two Zesa employees at his farm.

According to the account, Tarirai chased away the two, “shouting, saying we were not supposed to enter the premises since it was a State House and protected place”.

People may be angry at this, but it is an understandable mistake. The real State House is now often a house of prayer and a venue for personal meetings.
It is hard to tell the difference between a random private residence and an official government facility. Besides, the man’s father and his cronies own the country now.