THE good news this week was delivered by Augustine Chihuri, the country’s former chief of roadblocks.The man is being accused by the government of illegally amassing too much wealth, from big houses to cars and all that.
The government wants to freeze the assets until he comes up with a logical explanation as to how a humble policeman ended up owning all these assets. His reply is an inspiration to all.
It was all due to “hard work and diligence”, the fallen cop said in his court papers.Who can doubt this? Who would ignore the fact that the man worked so hard that he once fainted during a parade? He had a good explanation: “There was a mix-up of my shoes. The right shoe was mixed up with the left one.”
One wonders where his “diligence” had escaped to when that happened.
Anyway, this is good news for all the hardworking men and women across the country, including some of Chihuri’s former colleagues in the Zanu Repression Police. The reason they are poor is not due to the economy, corruption or sanctions. It is because, unlike Chihuri, they are not working hard enough. They need to work harder — and wear the correct shoes.
Corruption not a crime
As for why he was corrupt, Chihuri had two perfectly reasonable explanations. Firstly, everyone was doing it.“I saw nothing wrong in her (my wife) supplying, as most of the service chiefs’ spouses supplied things,” Chihuri said.
Of course, one expects any judge worth his salt to understand this and let the man go free.Muckraker is reminded of the book The System Made Me Do It: Corruption in Post-Communist Societies by Rasma Karklins.
According to her, in Eastern European countries, many felt that since everyone was participating in corruption, “they would be foolish not to”. Who wants to be a fool?
Chihuri’s second reason for being corrupt was even more convincing.
Asked why he stole, he said President Emmerson Mnangagwa “snatched” his wife from him in the 1970s. Judges should understand the man. He was forced into a life of theft in order to deal with personal trauma.
Chihuri is not the only one needing therapy. Zanu PF’s youths decided that the best way to respond to Chihuri’s madness was to display some madness of their own. One cannot let foolishness go unchallenged.
Addressing a press conference, Zanu PF acting youth secretary Tendai Chirau challenged Chihuri to “come clean” on the allegations.
This must have shaken a few comrades at Zanu PF headquarters. Since when do comrades ask one another to come clean? Who would be left?
Chirau went on to attack Jimu Kunaka, once their partner in all forms of thuggery. They even attacked journalist Hopewell Chin’ono. His crime? Exposing corruption, which is the most valued Zanu PF principle. Attacking corruption means you are attacking the party’s very foundations.
“The Zanu PF youth league notes with abstinent consternation mischievous discourse being peddled on the social media by misguided elements in their quest to incite innocent peace-loving nationals to cause anarchy within our motherland,” Chirau thundered.
At least he knows the words “abstinent consternation”. We are pleasantly surprised to learn he can read. We therefore suggest that, instead of picking out random words from the Oxford dictionary, he must read the Constitution.
Speaking of useless big words, we had George Charamba blessing the pages of The Herald with more hot air than usual.Last week, government announced that it was suspending mobile money and the stock exchange. It blames these platforms for the failure of the Zimbabwean dollar.
Naturally, they had to wheel out the verbose Joji to try and apply a veneer of reason on the unmitigated nonsense. It failed dismally.
“There is a very strange coincidence that we have noticed over quite some months between the implosive politics within the opposition, self-implosive politics, and heightened illicit activity in the economy,” Charamba said.
“You have that mayhem in the MDC whose sum effect is that of weakening the opposition in the country on the one and then you have increased below-the-law and out-of-the-law activities in the economy.”
He went on, even telling us that the divisions in the MDC were also behind “heightened smuggling of gold”.
Yes, George. Because the MDC is divided, Zanu PF-associated thugs are stealing gold. Very obvious link. All this, he ranted, was meant to create “disenchantment” with the government.
The New Dispensation will be surprised to hear that the MDC is helping it cause “disenchantment”.
Up to now, everyone was sure the ruling party was achieving that all on its own. Speaking of gold smuggling, can Joji tell us the kingpin of bullion looters in this country? He need not search very far.
Defence minister Oppah Muchingiri-Kashiri suffered a rare bout of honesty this week. It is an affliction Zanu PF people are genetically immune to.
Appearing before a Parliamentary portfolio committee, Muchinguri was asked why our borders were so porous yet it was the military’s job to keep them secure.
Some of the men and women in uniform, it was said, were now taking bribes from border jumpers.
“As I have indicated that at our borders, we have a stretch of 3 000 kilometres and, really, when you are not well-resourced in terms of transport and also food, this challenge that you mention of the allegations that you level, temptation comes in some situations,” Muchinguri said.
She added: “As I have already alluded to, that because we are not adequately resourced, our soldiers do not have the rations that must accrue to them, hence the temptation where they require food. We have heard about it, we are investigating to establish where this is happening.”
We salute these gallant soldiers for staying calm, even as they go hungry while those they put in power eat on their behalf.