BY EVANS MATHANDA
VETERAN journalist Geoffrey Nyarota will this evening launch his latest book titled The Honourable Minister, An Anatomy of Endemic Corruption at Royal Harare Golf Club.
Nyarota’s book is presented in rising action style.
The use of words like Umtali (now Mutare) and Salisbury (now Harare) in the book depicts a Rhodesian setting.
Apart from the corruption melody, the book also presents the African culture of male-child syndrome and the agony of motherhood in the colonial era.
In chapter 1, Nyarota shows the love seen between Tryphine and her husband Trywell Sibanda even though the two had been battling to have a boy child.
The diction used conveys how the couple desired a boy child despite having three girls.
It appears the couple’s wishes were answered through Tryphine’s young sister Senzeni as she later gave birth to a lively baby boy at Sakubva Clinic.
The boy brought joy to the Sibandas, who stayed in New Dangare.
Whether it was out of love or they were desperate for a boy child, the couple decided to adopt Senzeni’s baby giving the mother the green light to start a new life.
The child was named Horace by Trywell who had studied Latin at school and had always liked the name of Horace the Poet.
“This is Jahalamajaha,” Sibanda said with a gurgle.
In suspense, from Mutare, Nyarota immediately takes the reader to Bulawayo in chapter 2 where he gives a bird’s eye view of the City of Kings and Queens.
In a third person narrative, Nyarota brings out how traditionally Bulawayo used to be Zimbabwe’s industrial hub, where back in the day “there were opportunities galore in terms of menial employment” in the big cities.
Nyarota’s use of visual imagery in chapter 6 depicts the Rhodesian bush war, the Second Chimurenga, also known as the Zimbabwe war of liberation, a civil conflict in the country of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
There was dead silence in the grass-thatched round kitchen hut where the Ngoma family sat around a fire as supper was being prepared.
Amid the silence, Jabulani Ngoma said: “I have taken a difficult decision. Acting in consultation with other sons and daughters of the soil, we are to leave Rhodesia.
“We have to join other courageous young men and women, who are fighting to liberate our country from the agonising colonial oppression of the racist Boers who rule our great nation of Zimbabwe while treating us as their slaves.”
In this chapter, the use of words like racist Boers conveys hate between the black during the liberation struggle.
The war escalates in chapter 7 when the author says; “war wreaks rural havoc” as the liberation struggle continues.
However, victory is realised in chapter 11 on the return of freedom fighters amid societal processes aiming at the economic, political and social integration of ex-combatants and their families into civil society.
The jovial mood is depicted when the late former President Robert Mugabe addresses an estimated 300 000 people at a rally before forming the Unity Accord between Zanu PF and PF Zapu.
Nyarota brings the relevance of the book in chapter 13, where Ngoma comes in as Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services minister. He is, however, portrayed as a patriot and someone who protects the image of the State.
Ngoma is presented as corrupt and full of entitlement much like other ex-freedom fighters since independence to date.
Corruption and misgovernance has been witnessed both in Mugabe’s government and President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Cabinet where the majority of ministers brag about being liberators.
There is little freedom for the members of the media, a situation that existed since 1980, with Ngoma also playing a major role to suffocate the media liberty.
- Follow Evans on Twitter @EvansMathanda19