The trick is not to put all your eggs in one basket

AS the pre-election mass hysteria sweeps the nation, there are still some people with their feet firmly on the ground, who are refusing to be caught up in this dizzying atmosphere, where some people are getting extremely excited as if they have just seen a rock star, a crush, a celebrity that makes them speechless or incompetent of acting normal.

By CONWAY TUTANI

First among those Zimbabweans calling for sobriety against exaggerations and distortions is chartered accountant Daniel Ngwira. Indeed, diamonds were looted and the buck stops with the Zanu PF government and this is legitimate ammunition for the opposition in their political campaigns, but this does not justify lying about the
amount.

Said Ngwira: “Contextually, what is $15 billion worth? It is three times the size of the country’s bank deposits. In the diamond sector, it means the entire global output. This amount is worth roughly the world diamond output of around 130 million carats.” (Zimbabwe Independent, April 13 to 19, 2018).

And we have seen that some of those in the opposition who shout the loudest about democratic rights themselves disregard the basic principles of democracy — the right to criticise, the right to hold unpopular beliefs, the right to independent thought.

When it is pointed out to them that this is the best time for opposition parties to walk the talk by voluntarily publicising their audited financial statements, salary schedules and tax returns — as has become customary in the United States before elections — to show they are not corrupt themselves and so have nothing to hide, they shout back that Zimbabwe is not America.

Fine, Zanu PF can shoot back that there is no need for electoral reforms because Zimbabwe is not America, pulling the rug from under the feet of the opposition.

In the same vein, we have those describing President Emmerson Mnangagwa as a “Gukaruhundist”. Fine again, but by the same token, MDC Alliance principal Agrippa Mutambara is no less a Gukurahundist because he was not only a serving military officer at the time of the Gukurahundi massacres in Matabeleland and Midlands between 1982 and 1987, but also allegedly raped human rights activist Judith Todd, who was most vocal in exposing the mass killings.

If you take into consideration whose political stock or fortunes could be affected by the “untimely” truth, then you would have compromised your role as a journalist. If you have to apportion blame, the least you can do is do that fairly.

Then we have Mike Hitschmann, a white Zimbabwean who was persecuted and imprisoned by the Mugabe regime in 2006, posting this on Facebook this week: “May I ask where all these people with ‘grievances’ are expecting the money to come from? I find it interesting that we languished under 37 years of Mugabe’s tyranny while he totally (destroyed) the country, then when finally he is removed, we expect the money to come. From where? Some people have told me ‘But ED (Mnangagwa) promised this and promised that in 100 days — so, of course, I must now have what is my due . . .’ My answer is: No matter who the President or the ruling party that is going to run this country, Zimbabweans must be aware that there are going to be a lot of problems and hardships ahead before anything improves — you cannot just flick a switch and things will get back to normal. We may eventually succeed in attracting more foreign investment (I am not including the so-called deals with the Chinese) and generate more economic growth and employment, but at the same time, we are going to be retrenching a lot of people from the civil service and obviously they, too, will need jobs — I think that these strikes, particularly in key sectors such as health, should not be permitted.”

This will surely anger many people with dug-in positions, but, at least, it will also jolt them out of their comfort zones. If you can’t stomach what Hitschmann has said, just view him as playing the devil’s advocate — a person who expresses a contentious opinion in order to provoke debate or test the strength of the opposing arguments. And you don’t have to agree with Hitschmann 100% or even 10%, but there are gems of truth in what he has raised.

Then we have departing Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni, from the main opposition MDC-T, who has challenged residents to use the upcoming elections to vote for educated councillors with the ability to comprehend various issues affecting the capital city, saying the calibre of current city fathers is below par.

“Those seeking mandates from residents must demonstrate their understanding or capacity to understand key issues in council. I had the privilege of sharing insights with prospective councillors across the political divide (last week). I was not encouraged,” Manyenyeni, one of the brightest and sanest minds in Zimbabwe, said.

“They must convince us that they have what it takes to take Harare out of its mess. It is not about just the capacity to secure electoral votes. Being elected does not in itself give one the competence to function effectively as a councillor. Competence comes from a combination of education, training, experience and exposure.”

Of course, the assumption being that most people are rational and don’t fall into the category of a person who goes by the pseudonym “G40”, who reacted to Manyeneyeni’s strong advice thus: “Ini kudzidza (Whether I am educated) or not, as long pakanzi MDC Neroooooo, ini vote yangu pfeeee (as Chamisa’s MDC is on the ballot, I will put my ‘X’ there). Ibasa reMDC (It’s the MDC’s job) to vet academic qualifications.”

It is a fact that Harare councillors, the majority of them MDC-T, have been an unmitigated disaster. As a result, many people could now be confused over how to make their choices. But A C Gula-Ndebele — another Zimbabwean with his feet firmly on the ground — shows there is a way out of that dilemma.

Wrote Gula-Ndebele: “One candidate or party may have two things you like and others you don’t. At times, a party may have a good candidate at presidential level only and bad ones everywhere else. This means you may be torn between choices or make blended choices. For example, in harmonised elections, you can choose a councillor from one party, an MP from another and the President from none of the first two choices if you work based on ideas, competence, track record, character etc . . . The right candidate may just need your help to be the popular candidate.” (The Standard, April 1 to 7 2018)

There you are, Zimbabweans: The trick is not to put all your eggs in one basket; it’s about spreading the risk. You cannot afford to give anyone too much power after the disasters at central government and local government levels. Ignoring the facts does not change the facts.

lConway Nkumbuzo Tutani is a Harare-based columnist. Email: nkumbuzo@gmail.com

28 Comments

  1. It’s a lie, when Mdc joined the unity government back in 2008 things actually DID improve literally at the flick of a switch & we are all witnesses to that

  2. Conrad you sound a bitter man in this article! What’s troubling you these days man?You used to be sober in your presentation and articulate

    1. Conrad is now on Zanu PF pay-roll. The geriatric has probably hit financial drought just like over 90% of Zimbabweans. He can justify a coup ‘tat against Mugabe, but condemns those who are pushing ED to implement electoral reforms before the general elections. Even if people are exaggerating the amount of the missing diamonds (US$15 Billion), this was President Mugabe’s figure and not Chamisa’s origination. What evidence do you have that Agrippa Mutambara was a member of Fifth Brigade which carried out Gukurahundi in the Matebeland and part of Midlands Provinces? AS for Ms J.Todd’s allegations, it’s a case of she said and he said, because there was no court ruling on it.

    2. So are you saying your own MDC-T mayor Ben Manyenyeni is bitter? It’s you who can’t stomach the bitter truth, Tazvinzwa Izvozvo.

    3. KKKKKKK! Chokwadi chinorwadza! The truth hurts!

  3. “TRUTHFULLY” UNOREVEREYI NHEMA, KANA USINGAZIVI NYARARA, ALL CIVIL SERVANTS TAITAMBIRA $100-00 REGARDLESS OF POSITION UNTIL 2012, SAKA KWAURI NDIYO IMPROVEMENT AT THE FLICK OF A SWITCH? ITS NOT A CRIME TO SUPPORT ANY POLITICAL ORGANISATION OF YOUR CHOICE, BUT GIVE CREDIT WHERE IT IS DUE, NOT TO TELL VASINGAZIVI NHEMA. CHETE PAMWE NDIWE USINGAZIVI HISTORY YE NYIKA YAKO ASI UCHIFARIRA KUNYORA MUPEPA, REGA VANOZIVA VANYORE VANODA RUZIVO VAWANE CORRECT INFORMATION.

  4. Comment…when mdc join gnu in 2009 there were no money in banks no goods in shops no sugar no cooking oil .there were nothing but within a week everything goes back to normal us dollars flooded the market .when ed come to power I celebrated thinking the cash crisis will be over so my business will improve but no change.ppl need money for trade not cyber money no investors want cyber money.no cash no business investors.no investors can put their hard cash in a economy without cash. Problem started in 2013 when we voted zanu PF into power all hell break loose ,zanu PF survived on propaganda and blaming game ,we give zanu PF chance for 38 yrs they do nothing except for looting and corruption .power to the people’ not to soldiers wake up guys

  5. Comment…shiri you are brain washed before that 100 dollars waitambira marii. waitambira 2 trillion yaitenga mudzanga wefodya chete tendawo pakagonekwa nevamwe.i was a policemen by then we rejoiced patakapiwa ma 10dollars vouchers

  6. Luke Munya Bikaldo

    You are entitled to your own opinions Tutani but they cannot go unchallenged.Some things could have got better in a flash.Being the man at the helm Garwe does not not need even a day to reign in on Chiefs who are intimidating voters,he does not need a day to fight corruption by letting those that have been fingered in various corrupt activities clear their names in a court of law.These include the likes of Obert “obedient son” Mpofu and Chinamasa.These guys could still be operating their corrupt deals whilst Ngwena is always barking useless rhetorics.Corruption has been the main cancer that has eaten away a big chunk of our economy.Does Ngwena need a week to apologise for the attrocites commited in Matabeleland?Whether he was involved in the butchering of innocent people or not but it is the same govt that he leads which committed those heinous crimes against humanity so a repented person would have have got down from his high horse and apologise to the nation.Mr Tutani,there are things that may take a while to bear fruits but they are also those that may bear fruits at the click of a button. And besides even if you take the best president you can ever think of to run the govt under Zanu pf the results will always be failure.

    1. You are right Luke. ED was supposed to make immediate impacts on simple issues. He did not. For example on currency, why didn’t he replace bond with rand and see the results?. On electoral reforms, what has he done? Registrar General Mudede, the man Mugabe and ZANU PF used to rig elections for decades is still in govt at nearly 70 years, why? Most corrupt pple in govt are still around. In Kwekwe here, mobs of makorokoza commandeered by ED’s friends i.e Vongai Mupereri and Cornellius Mupereri invaded a private mine at Gaika where makorokoza are killing each other with machetes. So far nearly 20 have been butchered since the invasion 2 months ago. There are unverified claims that the ore is being taken to ED’s farm in Sherwood for milling. Why is the president silent about this. I invite you, Tutani to come to Kwekwe and see for yourself and i wonder if you will return alive to Harare after visiting the mine!

  7. Thank you mkhaya. We need the bitter pill once in a while

  8. Hahahaha! Keep on making them boil in anger, Tutani!

  9. Matebele Warrior- Chamisa is our leader

    spot on @ Luke , i have nothing to add

  10. Lizwi Alpha Ntuli

    You overlooked one thing though: MDC in towns struggled because central government was pulling in different directions. Remember Chombo firing all councillors and replacing them with a commission?

    1. LIZWE ALPHA NTULI, over and above that, MDC-T has had sub-standard councillors, which has nothing to do with Chombo.Ask residents and Manyenyenyi and his predecessor Muchadeyi Masunda for confirmation.

  11. My disagreement with this article is onthe nurses issue. The nurses in this country, apart from being over worked work without basic necessities such as gloves!! The problem with health in Zimbabwe is much deeper than most people imagine. The government of Zimbabwe has totally failed the nation in this respect. Most of the cost of health services is donor-funded yet the head office continue to buy luxury vehicles for directors and fly to far-off countries for never-ending meetings. We need a total paradigm shift in the way we look at health.The Mugabe mentality must go the same way its instigator went. You can muck around with other things but never with people’s health and lives. The moribund, overpaid and meddling Health Service board must be disbanded, ask any health worker and they will tell you this a totally useless group of people who have no space in the new scheme of things.And last but not least, David Parirenyatwa has long passed his sell-by date.
    One fine day those donors are going to withdraw their tax-payer dollars and all hell will break loose!! Mark my words.

  12. Spot on Luke. Can only add that it also doesn’t take a day for ED to re-constitute the ZBC board and free the airwaves. Also just takes a simple statement to free the state media. MUNOTYEYI ???????

  13. I rarely miss Tutani’s articles and must say i follow his drift. On the Mike Hitschamnn article, i would like to state categorically that the government does have the ‘monies; otherwise it wouldnt have bought Chiefs state-of-the=art vehicles, it wouldnt have send ED to China with a bloated delegation including 10 ministers. To digres a bit SA sent a 4-member delegation to the UK on a similar mission – the lads reported back 3trillion worthy of deals signed. Back to government has the money argument – through ministry of social welfare at Caledonia government blew $66th on celebrations (disability) and donated $3k worthy of wheelchairs etc. My point is Government has the money it is its priorities that are skewed.
    Here is a list of a few ‘switches’ that ED can flick and things change; economic reform button – taxes/levies/vat reduction – private propety rights (FDI).
    Political/human rights reforms – lift POSA AIPPA today say some on Gukurahundi update on Dzamara (and others) European business man will fiilup the next flight to Victoria Falls.
    Reduce expenditure by limiting foreing travel, doing away with the 2 VPs system, ministers/permsec duplication of duties,PA and resident minister duplication of duty.

    To mention only a few

  14. Mudhara Conway you sound much better this week,but why are you being apologetic? Mary Chiwenga invades an Arda farm and you say changes can not happen like a switch?

    1. MUDHARA KUFANDADA iwe uri mudhara saTutani, tibvire apo. Tutani aka kufumura that you lie about your age 3 weeks ago, saka naTutani muri madhara mese. And don’t misquote Tutani. It’s not him who said changes cannot happen in a switch, it is Mike Hitschmann quoted saying that in the article. Nhai kuchembera here, Mudhara Kufandada?

  15. Mafirakureva weDiaspora

    I think some people commenting here are not seeing what Tutani is trying to say. I think the man is saying its time now that we as a nation look beyond Part politics and vote as a nation in that we vote for persons at different levels with the ability to deliver our expectations, no matter which part the person is coming from. We know these people that’s why we are clustered in constituencies where we leave and know each other so well.

    1. Tell these dunderheads, Mafirakureva weDiaspora!

  16. SINYO, we need people like Mike HITSCHMANN to stir things up.Hitschmann is not totally wrong.

  17. There are two scenarios;chances are the MDC supporters(high profit making local business people including some key banks& manufacturers intent on taking full control of the suffering masses) who are responsible for causing havoc in our economy cooperated & helped returning the economy to normalcy during the GNU mdc stay & reacted again when ZANU PF took the reins again in 2013.The same we know are a large part of the local based foreign lobby for the so called economic sanctions in Zimbabwe.The second scenario is the advent of mult-currency not introduced by MDC, suddenly made operations easier for business community

  18. The print media, like most news media, should educate, inform and influence people to form certain opinions. In that vein, they have a lot of influence on the thinking of the general populace. Mr Tutani has the privilege of having access to this print media and would definitely influence the thinking of his article readers. How good would it be if Mr Tutani would try tell the truth of what happened in Zimbabwe under the 38 years of ZANU PF rule, without being a ZANU PF apologist? Would a reasonable man like him really be proud of what this evil party did to Zimbabwe? Why even sound as if that party can still have anything to offer Zimbabwe? Does Tutani have a heart for all the people who have perished needlessly at the hands of ZANU PF? From the picture that is flighted with his articles, Mr Tutani looks old enough to have witnessed the war of liberation in Zimbabwe, the Gukurahundi atrocities of the 1980’s, Murambatsvina of 2005, the cholera ravage of 2008, the subversion of the people’s will by ED and CGNDC of the March 2008 elections, the killings and maiming of opposition supporters in the run-up to the run-off of June 2008, the plunder of the Chiadzwa diamond wealth of 2006 to 2013, the so-open rigging of the 2013 elections, the reduction of our money held in the banks to cyber balances and no cash, all being stolen, all by one single party called ZANU PF, and Tutani gets a chance to help people form some opinion on some up-coming crucial elections, yet he chooses to turn a blind eye to such evil perpetrated by one party by suggesting it may still get councillors or MPs or even a prez??? Why Tutani, why? It is you who actually said, “there are none so blind as those who refuse to see”, in one of your articles. And you choose not to see and suggest ZANU PF can be part of the future Zim after all the evil I have outlined? Do you have a conscience, Mr Tutani? Please use the acres of space you have in this newspaper and tell the people the truth about ZANU PF. Tell people to rule ZANU PF out of any future dispensation in Zim because of their track record of failure and perpetration of evil. Tell them, Tutani, tell them! At least you have that privilege.

    1. ANONYMOUS, why don’t you just stop reading Tutani’s articles? You are not forced to read them by the way. Are you running scared that more and more people are beginning to appreciate Tutani’s balanced point of view? Did Tutani put words in Harare MDC-T mayor Ben Manyenyeni’s mouth? Gear up your reasoning from kindegarten level.

    2. ANONYMOUS, does exposing MDC-T weaknesses and excesses in time translate into support for Zanu PF? Revise your thought process.

  19. as long as Zanu pf iri panyanga, never expect our towns and cities to have a good service delivery. we really need to change the system kuti zvaukuda kuti zviitike zviitike. as a councellor, educated or not, I can not pump money from my pocket to clean city. government should fund all town councils for them to deliver a good service… pasina izvozvo, hakuna ndaba…

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