MUCKRAKER: Crooks are having a field day while Chris keeps blabbering

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THE nation was this week gripped by news that a tendepreneur, operating from a dust-quoted office in the worst parts of the city, had won a tender to supply parliament with laptops at almost US$10 000 each.

“These US dollar prices have been exorbitantly inflated way beyond those that are prevailing in the market and hence, are not acceptable,” according to a letter from George Guvamatanga, the secretary in the Ministry of Finance.

“Treasury directs that this tender be cancelled and the concerned suppliers be blacklisted from any future government procurement process.”

On Monday, the man from Oxford, Mthuli Ncube, expressed outrage that someone had tried to sell the government a two-kilogramme chicken at US$30.

There are many people still shocked at news that someone tried to sell goods to the government at inflated prices. However, for the rest of us, what is more shocking to patriots is that the Ministry of Finance actually decided to stop these payments. Since when is overcharging each other a crime?

Surely, if we can authorise US$88 million to big tenderpreneurs for a glorified roundabout, we can allow small tenderpreneurs to supply us chickens for US$30. How else are they expected to grow into national crooks like others? They must start somewhere.

Mayor going nowhere

Still on patriotic corruption, and still at parliament, one Mayor Wadyajena reminded everyone that theft is yet to be outlawed in the country.

Since he is accused of stealing from a state-owned cotton company, some people expected him to step down from his post as chairperson of the parliamentary committee overseeing agriculture.

He told them: “I am sure most of you are surprised to see me here (parliament). You have heard a lot and have seen a lot, but l am still here. No one is going to remove me from this seat; so welcome to this committee. I am the chairperson of this committee and I am going to be the chairperson till 2030.”

Expecting someone accused of stealing from farmers to step down from heading the committee that is supposed to make sure that nobody steals from farmers? What a foolish expectation. Surely, we need people with practical experience in these public posts.

The new globe-trotter

Far away from the crowds, the country’s owner jetted off to New York for the United Nations General Assembly.

This is an annual ritual in which leaders from all around the world travel to America to address mostly empty seats, go shopping and, if the rumours we hear are true, to partake in traditional debauchery with local service providers.

Of course, President Emmerson Mnangagwa joined other fellow well-loved democratic leaders of the world at the UN. In the last four weeks, our owner has travelled to Rwanda, Kenya, Angola and New York. He now heads to Cuba.

Are we not blessed to have a leader who is such heavy demand all around the world? We should all sacrifice and donate him to any of these countries that love him so much.

Cuban lesson

Ahead of his visit to Cuba, that country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement in anticipation. Zimbabwe and Cuba are old friends, we were told, and the two countries have co-operated in many spheres.

“As a result of collaboration, nearly 2 000 Zimbabwean students have graduated from a number of majors at Cuban universities, and hundreds of Cuban professionals have offered their knowledge and expertise to that African nation,” Cuba said.

Of course, nobody is going to tell them how Zimbabwe is being deserted by teachers, being they are anti-Socialist and refuse to work for free.

The Cubans also reminded us that both nations are under sanctions, saying Zimbabwe “has maintained an unwavering stance against the US economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba”.

We could wish the Cubans teach our owner that, even with sanctions, one can still build working hospitals and schools, and that sanctions do not cause leaders to steal from their people.

But then they would only be wasting his time, which would be better spent sampling famous Cuban beverages.

Blabbering Chris

Just like everyone around the world, we tuned in to the regular Zanu PF press conference this week for latest updates on the activities that Nelson Chamisa is doing all around the country. These press conferences provide more detailed updates on Chamisa and his policies than Chamisa’s party itself.

Zanu PF loudspeaker Chris Mutsvangwa did not disappoint, telling us how Chamisa has been going around the country telling people that they need a new government. As usual, Mutsvangwa spent little time talking about Zanu PF developmental activities, which is understandable since there aren’t any.

According to Mutsvangwa: “Now here is a man (Chamisa) who is a blabbermouth, anything that crosses his mind, he utters it out even if it has no basis in fiction or fact.”

It is obvious why Mutsvangwa spoke like this. He is a market leader in the business of “blabbering without facts” and people like that tend not to like competition.

Licking the boot

It is a week since the country’s celebrated the day the world welcomed our dear leader, and the birthday messages continue to flow.

Nick Mangwana, the world’s most reluctant spokesperson, praised his leader on turning twice as old as the country: “He doesn’t look it, he works like he is 25. I know someone five decades younger who works in his entourage who had to be admitted in hospital for exhaustion, but him, the guerrilla in him makes him way, way too resilient.”

Seeing as most 25-year-olds in the country are doing nothing, we cannot disagree with Mangwana.

But the winning entry came from a post said to be from Gabriel Chaibva, the former opposition MP who saw the light, joined Zanu PF and was handsomely rewarded. It said: “At 80 he remains one of the most handsome men in the world. Once again happy birthday to you my President.”

What more does a man need to prove that he qualifies for even more high level posts in the New Dispensation?

Standard Harare driving

Muckraker read a most amusing article, published by the Foreign Policy magazine. It recounts an incident in which American diplomats were allegedly tailed by some strange cars after they left a meeting with local activists at a Harare restaurant.

“They were driving away when several cars slotted into the road in front of them, to the side, and behind them. Suddenly, their car was boxed in,” the article said. “After a tense standoff, as the phalanx of cars crawled along the road, the driver of the US Embassy car saw an opening and swerved onto a side road to escape the tail.”

Of course, the diplomats think they were being tailed by our local secret service, who are comically barely ever secret because they walk around in cheap shiny suits. But Muckraker assures our visiting diplomats that they were never under attack. Cars “slotting in in front, to the side, and behind” you without indicating is just standard Harare driving.

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