Muckracker: Silliness thrown around, all over

Presidential hopeful Joseph Busha

After trying the scattergun approach to economics, where you shoot randomly and hope something hits the target, our owner has brought out time-honoured tactics to deal with prices. Speaking at a rally for alleged “first-time voters” in Masvingo, President Emmerson Mnangagwa did what any right-thinking leader would do when they run out of solutions — blame imaginary enemies and threaten everyone.

“We are aware of those bent on causing havoc in our country by attacking our currency, they will never succeed,” Mnangagwa said.

“This wanton increase of prices and manipulation of the foreign exchange rate must stop. We shall have their trading licences withdrawn because these people doing heinous acts to cause suffering to our people. I now warn them, warn them three times.”

Of course, we cannot have people doing “heinous acts and causing suffering to our people.” That is the party’s job. Now we wait for his threats to take effect. We all know that, in economics, shouting at inflation will make it go away.

Forked tongue

Speaking to his scarved minions at the Politburo this week, our owner was in fine form, dispensing wisdom as has done since he rode a tank into Munhumutapa Building.

At the meeting, he shocked officials by telling them something that they visibly did not expect. He told them to tell voters the truth. According to reports, Mnangagwa told Zanu PF leaders to “guard against falsehoods and to make sure that our communities have the correct information about the state” of the country and the ruining Zanu PF party. Of course, many were shocked to hear this.

Surely, they said to each other, telling voters the truth would lose them votes. Besides, since when did we stop using falsehoods to win votes?

Yet, the man went on. He told his men and women to remind voters that “Zanu PF is a party of results and hope”.

Again, many in the room looked at each other, bemused. The “results” of voting Zanu PF, as all voters know, include but are not limited to inflation and watching one’s country regress while neighbours progress.

Still, he wasn’t done.

He then told them that “we are delivering on our 2018 manifesto”. It must have been at that point that laughter echoed loudly up and down Rotten Row.

Do it yourself

The people of Bulawayo must be up in arms with their council after some officials said people cannot just wake up and start doing the council’s job on their own.

News that Mthuli Ncube has been drilling boreholes at every corner and threatening to build roads in Cowdray Park in the city has been met with resistance from obviously lazy, jealous councillors who have done nothing over the past five years.

One of them, Ward 9 Councillor Donaldson Mabuto, said: “A report came to us as a committee about somebody engaged in illegal activities in Cowdray Park that included drilling boreholes without permission of the local authority and doing our roads.”

Of course, Nick Mangwana was not letting this jealousy go.

“So, an aspiring candidate rehabilitated roads in a constituency and the local council has its knickers in a twist saying the candidate should have obtained permission from them. Really?” said Mangwana, as he wondered out loud why anyone cannot just wake up and build a road if they want.

That, as fate would have it, one of the graders hired by Mthuli ended up damaging a water pipe, depriving residents of water, is neither here nor there. Let us all emulate this fine example and build our own roads wherever we want.

Cutting self out

We have entered the silly season, so we must fully expect silly things, and silly people, over the coming couple of months. An early contender is one Joseph Busha, who is back again to remind us that we are a flourishing democracy that allows all sorts of characters to try their luck at ruling us.

Asked what he thinks of the nomination fees, which are US$20 000 for presidential elections, the man, who claims to lead a party called Free Zimbabwe, said the money is too little.

“We don’t want people who want to play with Zimbabweans. Leaders pay all the time for the presidential candidate. I think we should pay more because we do not want a bloated ballot,” he told obviously bored journalists this week.

“The US$20 000 is little and we need something like US$50 000 so that serious people contest the presidential elections.”

We all remember that this man managed to convince a mammoth 17 000 serious people to vote for him by mistake in 2018, a serious 0.37% of the vote. The whole country must be shaking with anticipation at the prospect of his return to the ring.

Succession debate relived

There was more silliness this week from one Godfrey Tsenengamu, who claims to have retired from his career of bashing people on the heads, and now living a born-again life as a democrat of note.

This week, speaking on the In Conversation with Trevor show, Tsenengamu spoke of his regret for having once supported our current owner. However, that was not the most entertaining part.

The fun part was when he told us who he thought would have been the next best people to take over power.

“In my mind, I would say that if Mugabe steps down, Mnangagwa would come in, and after him, I had two options between Saviour Kasukuwere and Walter Mzembi.”

It is clear to everyone that, after all this time in political Siberia, poor Tsenengamu still insists on taking himself seriously.

Silly Biti

Meanwhile, the silliness spread to suburbia, in Harare East. These so-called “leafy suburbs” are supposed to be the cradle of enlightened voters, far away from the unwashed elements who imbibe illicit brew in Glen Norah and so forth. But then you can always trust Tendai Biti to bust any idea of decorum and so forth.

He told a group of supporters under a tree: “There are some going around with “vasina mabvi”. We do not want snakes, we do not want black mambas. We must crush the head of the snake.”

For the uninitiated, by “vasina mabvi”, Biti was referring to white people, and, reportedly, rival Rusty Markham in particular. Of course, all this stuff excited Zanu PF people. They spent hours replaying the video clip to show us what a bad man this Biti guy really is.

This was all rather surprising to see. Anyone using stale racial slurs, calling his rivals “snakes”, must  surely attract praise from Zanu PF. Instead of criticising the man, they should be praising him for emulating their tactics so faithfully.

Short legged lies

Over two decades after the death of Ndabaningi Sithole, our current owners have finally got tired of lying about him. Up to now, our generation had been told that the man was some random guy from Chipinge who sold out his people and then tried to kill our former owner out of sheer jealousy.

We were therefore shocked to hear that the man is suddenly a national hero, and that he is now to be described as “a revolutionary luminary” and a “son of the soil.”

According to Mnangagwa, “Under my leadership, the New Dispensation is on a mission and path towards restoring our country’s historical legacy.”

In 1995, Sithole ran and won elections in Chipinge. He clobbered the Zanu PF candidate by 15 490 votes to 4 722. Of course, that made some people sore. Sithole never took up his seat. Instead, he was arrested for trying to blow up our previous owner. We were told that he planned to do this by having some assassins hide in a Harare tree to waylay Mugabe’s motorcade. We were told the man was sending in a rebel army, Chimwenje, to kill us all and take over the country, much like some people did years later anyway.

First, it was Joice Mujuru and her phantom helicopters falling from the skies. Now “sellout” Sithole was, after all, a “son of the soil”. What other lies should we stop believing?

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