HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsI have a contemptometer, just like you

I have a contemptometer, just like you


Zanu PF backstage spokesperson Professor Jonathan Moyo portrays nothing, but habitually vitriolic contempt for South African President Jacob Zuma.

Zuma will shortly assume the chairmanship of the Sadc Organ on Defence, Politics and Security Cooperation, simultaneously acting as mediator/facilitator in the Zimbabwe crisis. His so-called “dual role” is the basis of Moyo’s vengeful contempt.

In the course of our lives, we all experience resentment for one being or another, as a democratic right. Like you, I carry around in the depth of my subconscious mind an emotional meter that ticks either way when confronted with a repugnant being or situation.

For now, I will christian it a “contemptometer”. I myself have nothing, but contempt for men who beat up their wives or rape women. Whenever I “channel hop” satellite television, my instinct is to vomit when I come across ZTV “analysts”. More often than not, The Herald’s reference to President Robert Mugabe’s European Union censure as “illegal” registers astronomical signals on my contemptometer.

It makes me really sick to hear Ambassador Charles Ray labelled “house nigger” or my revered non-governmental organisations (NGOs) termed “regime change agents”. My contemptometer goes ballistic when Zanu PF zealots call MDC leaders “puppets and sell outs”.

On a bad day, it quivers uncontrollably if I am falsely accused of being “jealous of successful land reform” or human rights defenders tainted “enemies of the revolution, proxies of imperialism”. There is nothing that pacifies my contemptometer when the NewsDay is labelled a “reactionary gutter tabloid” and my editor called a “high school dropout”.

My contemptometer nearly chokes when Zanu PF shock absorber Vice-President John Nkomo waffles about how amaNdebele should “forget about Gukurahundi” and Jonathan Moyo boasts that “only Zanu PF can resolve Gukurahundi issues”!

I suppose this whole debate legitimises what one can call “positive contempt” — a scenario where one expresses hatred for those that subvert liberal democracy! The application of one’s contemptometer varies from situation to situation, while its relevance is subject to varying interpretations.

Anti-Zuma analysts will obviously concur with Moyo when he says: “The question is which hat he should wear because he cannot wear two as he does not have two heads.” Yet the lesson here is simple. If you reserve the right to apply your contemptometer on someone, allow them to exercise that right on you. Positive mutual contempt!

Okay, case in point: Zanu PF is irritated with Zuma’s “two political heads”. However, spare a thought for 3 million MDC contemptometers each time ZTV introduces Mugabe as the President; Head of State and Government; Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces; First Secretary of the Revolutionary Party Zanu PF!

The magnitude of their distress has far reaching vascular implications! Look, if President Mugabe can be all these things on one “head”, Jacob Zuma must really be “daft” not to be only two things — a chairman and facilitator, gees!

I just hope Sadc executive secretary Tomaz Salamao’s contemptometer will withstand the tirade now that Zanu PF has prophesied “he cannot speak on behalf of Sadc because he is just an employee of the regional body”.

Sadc’s NGO boss Abie Ditlhake’s contemptometer must be registering double digits after being evicted from Angola.

Some African leaders are such a disgrace! If a CEO can be persecuted for uttering an educated opinion on his or her organisation, they are entitled to a high-value reading on their contemptometer.

So next time you are accused of “reversing the gains of the liberation struggle” and your emotional resentment runs amok, your contemptometer is fully functional!

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