HomeColumnistsZambia and the tale of twin sisters once joined at the hip

Zambia and the tale of twin sisters once joined at the hip

BY MUCKRAKER

ONCE upon a time, two sisters were joined at the hip. The older sister became free from her abuser early, and she went through a period of prosperity. Then she got bored at being good and started destroying her house.

Next door, the other twin also became free. As that second twin got into her own age of early prosperity, the older sibling was up to her eyeballs in mud. Her children looked at the younger aunt with a lot of envy. They would wade across the stream to buy bread and see civilisation.

Now, decades later, things have changed. The younger sibling squandered all her wealth on weed and cheap brew. The older one sorted herself out, while the younger one has been on mutoriro (crystal methamphetamine) drugs for years now. And now it is the children of the younger one spending all their days being envious of the older aunt. It is hard having a junkie for a parent.

Panic in Zim

Muckraker was entertained this week as both sides in Zimbabwe’s political divide shifted their fights into Zambia.

Of course, the country’s owners worked hard to show us that they were neither shaken nor stirred by the idea of an opposition winning power right next door. In order to show that they were not in a state of panic, they made a series of panicky statements.

Government spokesperson Nick Mangwana called the opposition in the region “bridesmaids”. George Charamba, the President’s mouthpiece, declared Zambia’s incoming president a “sell-out”. He then declared that the fossils in charge of Zimbabwe did not go to war just to allow Nelson Chamisa to rule.

We all know that one sure way of showing people that you do not care much about an event, is to shout about it endlessly in the middle of the street.

Let the people know, this is exactly the “one man one vote” some of us went to war for. Imagine, someone coming to power simply because people decided to vote for them? God forbid. What is this world coming to?

‘Sister party’

Meanwhile, leaders of the MDC Alliance and their supporters were in celebratory mood this week. One must understand the joy — victories are few and far between at home.

The party’s secretary-general boasted of “the sister party” winning in Zambia, while other officials posted streams of pictures they once took with Hakainde Hichilema and members of his victorious team. They all preached about the lessons that must be learned.

Of course, none of these lessons include the fact that, to make any mark in any election, one must at least have a coherent strategy. Nobody throws money into a party whose officials quickly start squealing and biting each other like zoo monkeys each time a kid throws them a banana.

Zimbabweans talked so much about the Zambia election, that Tanzania’s leading newspaper, The Citizen, got confused. This week, it published a front page story on the election saying: “Whoever gets the presidency will face two challenges: redeeming Harare’s democratic credentials and reviving the dead economy.”

Of course, it is hard to tell twins apart, even if one of them is a known drunk and dresses in fashion from the 1970s. But, at least, the paper got one thing right about the dead economy.

Enterprising twin

Speaking about twins, Muckraker joins the nation in celebrating the success of the President’s twin sons.

Pictures emerged this week of one of the twins sitting comfortably in a brand new Rolls-Royce, in what looked like a warehouse somewhere in Africa’s cleanest city, Harare.

Naturally, people became jealous when the pictures started circulating. We heard people asking how people can afford cars that cost US$500 000.

That has always been the problem with lazy people. What is a mere half a million dollars to some of us hard workers? Instead of congratulating our leader for raising enterprising young businessmen, they start spreading rumours. That some of us can afford to ride in expensive cars while not running any known business is the sort of innovative entrepreneurship that, surely, must be taught all over the country in our schools.

Impunity

Meanwhile, over at Zanu PF, the party continues to work hard doing what it does best: breaking the law with impunity.

Patrick Chinamasa, the designated party lout, announced that the party will be holding some internal elections this month. There will be elections from village level. This will see people scrambling for such posts.

Remember, these are much-desired positions in some parts of the country. Those who hold posts such as the village Zanu PF chairperson get to be the first in line to execute crucial community activities, such as looting bags of government maize seed and clubbing people in the head for merely breathing.

These elections will mean gatherings at party offices all over the country. That current regulations bar people from gathering is neither here nor there. Besides, is not our medal-winning First Lady still roaming the country teaching people about baking the best buns and pleasing husbands?

How can we allow a small thing like the rule of law to stand in the way of events of such national importance?

Rapist friends

Speaking about the rule of law, we learned from Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi this week that arresting your friends is not that easy.

Asked by MP Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga why no arrest has been made in the recent death of a 14-year-old girl, Memory Machaya, Ziyambi said arresting people is not easy.

“It’s not as straightforward as what the Honourable Member might think,” Ziyambi said. “Police need to get to the bottom of the matter, but they are facing a lot of resistance from the whole of that community.”

Clearly, arresting a rapist responsible for the death of a girl is hard, especially if that rapist is a political ally. If only police also found it this hard to arrest people who are hunted down and jailed for merely laughing at the President’s scarf.

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