MUCKRAKER: It’s truth-telling season, Cdes!

President Emmerson Mnangagwa (in scarf) and his deputy Constantino Chiwenga (left) and Geo Pomona Waste Management chief executive at the commissioning of the plant in Harare this week.

THE nation congratulates our owner, who this week had the honour of commissioning a steaming pile of rubbish on the northern verges of Harare, the dirtiest capital city in Sadc.

Delish Nguwaya got himself a good deal, under which his company will make taxpayers pay him millions to use their rubbish for money. To celebrate this remarkable feat of entrepreneurship, Nguwaya led the country’s leader by the nose to his dump at Pomona. In tow were dozens of government officials, diplomats and even opposition officials.

According to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the pile of rubbish will generate power. Thankfully, he was quick to inform the gathered people, in case there were ignoramuses among them, that power from rubbish was no different from power from hydropower or coal.

Of course, he is right. We thank him for this rare insight into energy sources. We generate power from coal, solar and hydro-energy. Another form of energy can be harnessed from the biogas created from all the fumes of corruption in his government. That would be enough to power all the houses in the land.

‘Learn from us’

In his speech at the Pomona rubbish dump, in Harare, Mnangagwa once again took the opportunity to remind his people that the opposition-run alleged council is incompetent.

“This has seen potholes on our roads; erratic water supplies and poor street lighting, amongst other challenges. Collectively, we must address these matters. I take the opportunity of this event to call upon Harare City Council and all local authorities to scale up the mobilisation of financial resources to develop modern infrastructure befitting the prosperous and empowered upper middle-income status,” Mnangagwa said.

Of course, these incompetent people running the city need to be reminded to take a leaf from central government, which is the epitome of competence and progress. Surely, we can all see evidence of economic progress all around the country, one of which was the large number of brand new 4X4s that gathered at the Pomona rubbish dump for the event. Who can doubt that we are indeed a high-income country?

Fine job there

The Herald was in fine form in its reporting this week, continuing its long tradition of excellent journalism.

The paper wrote a whole story headlined CCC Harare Mayor acknowledges President.

According to the newspaper: “Departing from his party’s grandstanding, Harare Mayor Ian Makone yesterday acknowledged President Mnangagwa as the Head of State and Government demonstrating beyond doubt that the opposition party has finally accepted the voice of the people as expressed in the August harmonised elections.”

The Herald, in case we forgot, dutifully reminded us that the President had won an “emphatic victory” in the August election. If it was an attempt by the paper to portray our country’s owner as insecure and desperate for endorsements, even from lowly mayors,

The Herald did a fine job. We thank the paper and its gormless handlers at Munhumutapa for this priceless gem of political messaging. They are a gift that keeps on giving.

Truth telling

Once every year, our politicians are allowed to tell the truth. This is when they are invited to beg for money from the Finance minister as he gets ready to do the pointless ritual of the national budget.

Usually, a minister’s job is to lie and tell people that everything is hunky dory and we are steaming ahead towards prosperity in 2030. However, when they have to beg for a budget, they have to — at least for one day of the year — tell facts about the pile of steaming manure that they are presiding over in their departments.

Take, for instance, the Minister of Alleged Health, Douglas Mombeshora. For all this time, we have been told that all this talk of our hospitals being in crisis is Western-sponsored propaganda. We were assured that striking doctors had been paid to tell us that there were no medicines in our hospitals. Only for Mombeshora to tell us recently that, after all, our hospitals do not have enough drugs.

“We do not have enough drugs for even a month in our stores and allocations are not in line with the ministry requirements,” Mombeshora whined.

We can only pity the man. We imagine he immediately went to wash his mouth afterwards, since no Zanu PF mouth is used to such rare bouts of truth.

True heroes

Poor Mombeshora was not alone in suffering the unbearable burden of telling the truth while being Zanu PF. Home Affairs deputy minister Chido Sanyatwe was also complaining about the state of things in the police force.

“Most of the police stations are so dilapidated that they affect our seriousness to fight crime,” she moaned. They don’t even have enough guns. But there was an even bigger problem. Apparently, our police force is so poor that they don’t even have toilets.

“It has become a concern that most police establishments do not have ablution facilities, as a result there is need for adequate budgetary support to provide ablution facilities and key water sources,” she said.

Of course, Muckraker, like every other Zimbabwean, has always wondered where the traffic cops that spend all day on our roads go when they need the loo. It seems, from Sanyatwe’s pleas, our brave cops are not just fighting crime. They are also trained to hold it in for hours on end.

True heroes.

More of the unusual

There was more unusual truth-telling. Once again, our commiserations to Zanu PF officials, who have had to take on the difficult and unusual task of not lying to the public during this pre-budget period.

In his own presentation, Defence deputy minister Levi Mayihlome said things are so bad in our gallant defence forces that there is no money for training and equipment. The consequences are dire, he feared.

“If soldiers are not trained, it affects discipline and we end up having challenges of drug and substance abuse,” he said.

This, of course, invokes disturbing images of gun-toting soldiers, up to their eyeballs in mutoriro, shooting civilians on the streets at 45-degree angles. Perish the thought.

Mayihlome had more horror, telling us that we have done nothing for the army since we took over from the colonialists.

“We inherited in 1980 reserve stocks from the war, but with time, they were depleted and were not replaced for over 44 years and imagine the wars we have fought, and we have not been able to replenish stocks,” he said.

It’s a good thing nobody wants to fight a war with us. If those American-sponsored neighbours of ours invaded us, we would be defeated by lunch hour and suffer the shame.

Welcome threats

Speaking of America, Zanu PF this week welcomed threats by a US senator, Jim Risch. He is said to be the leader of the foreign affairs committee of the US Senate.

He released a furious statement, saying his owners should not bother talking to the government of Zimbabwe and its owner, President Emmerson Mnangagwa: “It is clear the Mnangagwa regime is entrenched. The United States must abandon any misguided belief that it can negotiate with Zimbabwe’s current leaders, who have a lengthy history of human rights abuses, corrupt practices and anti-democratic actions spanning over two decades. It’s past time the (Joe) Biden administration amplify its condemnation of this severe repression.”

His statement came at a time when some in the corridors of alleged power were beginning to wonder if America had now abandoned them. They rely on America for their propaganda. Each time the US makes noise, they gain a few more propaganda points. It had been a while since Americans made noise.

This is why Risch’s statement was met with wild celebrations at Jongwe Building, which echoed all across downtown Harare. Call him Cde Risch for this gift.

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