THIS week, the country’s current owner was in Dodoma, Tanzania, to mourn that country’s late leader John Magufuli. Arriving in Dodoma, President Emmerson Mnangagwa must have had a few shocks. He would have seen the new airport construction site.
Then there is the new ring road around Dodoma, being built by the Chinese company CCECC, using US$180 million from the African Development Bank. Then they would have told our owner about the urban transport system in Dar es Salaam, the massive new Uhuru hospital in Dodoma, power and water projects. You would think it would make him sit up and say: “We too can do this. We too can develop at this pace?”
You would think that our owners would be looking at all Magufuli’s tangible successes and wondering: “What big legacy projects can we also build, so people can point at and say this is what he did?”
Yet, we know they would have been whispering to their hosts:
“So, on average, how big are the kickbacks and bribes in this country for such projects?”
In his speech, Mnangagwa hailed — as ZBC would put it — Magufuli for being “passionate about the development of his people”.
The late leader, according to Mnangagwa, “gave his life for the service of his people and Africa in general”. He was “unwavering on matters of principle”.
Of course, that makes him a rarity in these streets.
Not long after this lecture on principle was delivered, in nearby Lubumbashi, DRC, an alleged arms trader who has been seen in the company of the country’s owners was being grabbed by police from a plane as he prepared to fly to Zimbabwe. Talk about principles.
Meanwhile, the nation remains in celebratory mood. This is due to news that more and more MDC Alliance people are soon to join Zanu PF.
“At the moment we are receiving applications from MDC-Alliance officials to join our party and we are overwhelmed,” according to Zanu PF old timer Patrick Chinamasa.
He was speaking in Nyazura on the occasion of yet another massive achievement; the donation of 44 bicycles to the Nyazura Police Station by Makoni South MP Misheck Mataranyika. What more can the nation want? Police stations now have bicycles. The people continue to be united under one party. And people say ZanuPF is not delivering? And people say the party is not a unifier?
Speaking on unity, there was more news to celebrate this week, as Obert Gutu revealed his reasons for ditching the opposition to join Zanu PF.
In the Sunday Mail, Gutu gave his reasons.
He wrote: “The leadership in the factions are deeply divided and polarised. The level of intra-party hatred is unprecedented. There’s an entrenched lack of party cohesion and there is too much negative energy. Alternative views and opinions are routinely shot down. Hero-worshipping is now in vogue.”
Strangely, it sounded like he was describing the very party he was joining.
He went on, saying he was not “impressed by this thuggish and uncouth brand of politics” and that he “was not going to be part and parcel of a violent mob that was only interested in grabbing power at whatever cost”.
He ran away from violence, factionalism and power grabs. In other words, Gutu saw that MDC was becoming another ZanuPF. So he decided to just go ahead and join the original. Excellent work, Obert!
Still on the mass defections to Zanu PF, the Zanu PF youth league held a meeting at its party offices this past weekend to welcome what we were told were 450 young new members.
The party’s Harare province youth chairperson, Emmanuel Mahachi, was quoted as saying that the event was held to help the new members get acquainted with party structures and policies.
One can be sure that lessons on the day included all the things that one needs in order to become a genuine member of the ruling party. We are talking things like how to wield an axe, how to lie, and how to steal. Only then can one be considered to be a bona fide and true cadre of the revolutionary party.
Speaking of parties, Muckraker has been amused at how the MDC-Alliance has responded to this whole coronavirus vaccine issue from the start.
First, they said Zimbabwe should go for the AstraZeneca vaccine, and not the Chinese ones, because the UK jab “is suitable for us”.
We all know how that turned out. Next, this week, they tweeted that they do not trust that the Chinese vaccines are safe. Then, in no time, Dr Henry Madzorera, the party’s health secretary, came out in support of Sinopharm.
It is a hilarious case of the party knowing that it must oppose everything about the Chinese vaccines, but not being really sure how to go about it.
This week, Members of Parliament got a lecture on ethics from an unlikely source: Zesa executive chairperson Sydney Gata. Appearing before a parliament committee,
Gata spoke out against government interference in Zesa affairs. “Our nation will need to revisit the subject of ministerial directives to public enterprises,” the man said.
When it comes to interference and abuse, Gata is an expert. In 2005, Muckraker remembers when Zesa Enterprise workers wrote a letter to Mike Nyambuya, then energy minister, reporting that Gata had sent company workers and equipment to install an irrigation project at his farms in Chipinge. Of course, Gata denied everything, as one does. Ministers must not destroy Zesa. Gata can do that on his own.