THE Zimbabwean government has finally come up with the ultimate solution on how to end corruption in the country: arrest anyone talking about corruption.The arrest of Jacob Ngarivhume of Transform Zimbabwe and journalist Hopewell Chin’ono this week, we were told, was because of their “incitement to participate in public violence”. Of course, we all know the truth. Inciting violence has never been illegal. If it was, every Zanu PF leader would be in jail.
The arrests were because one of them, Ngarivhume, has been campaigning for protests against corruption on July 31. The other, a journalist, has tweeted relentlessly on high-level corruption. This, of course, raised the interest of our leaders.
We know that our owner recently launched an anti-corruption strategy, which he waved about in a video broadcast from somewhere in the State House back garden. Clearly, this strategy is now fully in force.
It was Frederic Bastiat who once said: “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorises it and a moral code that glorifies it.”
In our case, in order to stop corruption, the best way is to stop anyone talking about it. Obviously, by arresting people who talk about corruption, it naturally disappears. Genius plan!
Muckraker is disappointed not to appear anywhere on the farm mechanisation list. If you are not on a thieving list, it is confirmation that you are a nobody in this country. One must always up their thieving to get noticed in this country.
What will we tell our children, years from now, when they ask us where we were when other parents were helping themselves to free money?
In his blog last weekend, lawyer Alex Magaisa reported on how dozens of chefs had helped themselves to taxpayers’ money, all in the name of the “farm mechanisation scheme”. It was a bonanza for the well-connected, from ministers, judges, pastors and other professional grifters like Temba Mliswa.
We do like the defence that the looters put up. Nobody denies taking the money. All they say is “we all did it” or that “we were told we didn’t have to pay back the money”. That is always a fool-proof way of defending theft in this country. Once you establish that you are not the only thief, you are safe.
The masses, meanwhile, are left to wonder how these thugs managed to steal money for equipment, but still grew nothing. Look, if you are going to steal money, at least be a wise thief and do something worthwhile with your loot.
Sadly, our type of thieves are like the petty pickpockets Muckraker used to see at Ngungumbane Beerhall in Mberengwa. They would steal wallets at the bus rank at 10am, and be stone drunk by lunchtime, surrounded by the local professional girls.
Meanwhile, the secretary for Information — and the man is hopelessly out of his depth — Nick Mangwana, had this to say about Chin’ono’s arrest: “There is no profession which is above the law.”
This will come as a surprise to everyone. It is true that most professions are not above the law. However, it is not true that professional thieves are above the law. This is why some of them rise to positions of authority, including in law enforcement and government.
Were it true that the law is applied equally, the Zanu PF headquarters would be deserted, with all its occupants ushered politely to Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison. Instead, it is criminals who are arresting those who are complaining against crime. To a Zanu PF official, complaining about crime is more criminal than crime.
Speaking of animals being more equal than others, the nation was delighted to see our Deputy Owner back from his latest short dash to his local Chinese hospital.
There he was, standing next to President Emmerson Mnangagwa as the two grovelled in gratitude to the Chinese for a consignment of donations.
“To my brother, VP (Constantino) Chiwenga, who has just arrived from China two days ago. Despite his condition, he remembered that there are problems at home and used whatever resources he had at his disposal to buy Covid-19 equipment, which he is now donating to the government,” Mnangagwa said.
We could swear we were once told that the 21-day quarantine was mandatory for anyone arriving from abroad. We also heard that Obert Mpofu was in quarantine.
“He confirmed that he was under self-quarantine at his home in Nyamandlovu,” the Chronicle dutifully reported. Of course, he would not be seen anywhere near one of those godforsaken government facilities. There is no food there. Obert would not survive a day.
Speaking of Covid-19, the nation was shocked to hear that their freedoms had been suspended this week. A 6pm-to-6am curfew was declared, ostensibly to stop people from moving around a lot.
“These urgent and necessary measures will entail curtailing the freedoms we have always enjoyed, and have grown accustomed to. From now on, these freedoms stand suspended and deferred, in the interest of all of us,” Mnangagwa said.
The shocking news here was not the idea that a curfew will stop a virus. The surprise for many was the announcement that freedoms had been suspended.
Many Zimbabweans had no idea that they ever had freedoms to start with.