What good is Baba Jukwa’s identity to a starving Zimbabwe?
By James Maridadi
In the past month, Zimbabwe has been kept up to the minute with unfolding information on the Baba Jukwa saga.
First, the Zimpapers stable ran itself silly convincing the world that Mkhululi Chimoio and Mxolisi Ncube were the men behind the Facebook character.
As it turned out, Edmund Kudzayi, one of the editors responsible for the weekly dosage of the two men’s culpa, himself stands accused of being the very Facebook character he alleged others to be. He faces a litany of frightening criminal charges ranging from terrorism to attempting to overthrow a legitimate government.
Kudzayi, who has since been released on bail, denies all the charges describing them as laughable. He submits in sworn statements that his arrest was a pre-emptive strike by the guilty who want to look good to the Head of State President Robert Mugabe.
Those close to the goings-on say Kudzayi is just a pawn in the wider Zanu PF succession political drama as it furiously goes onto the home stretch.
So this is what Zimbabwe is all about now — the succession of Mugabe. It appears nothing can be done anymore without assuming the nauseating dimension of Zanu PF factional fights featuring two well-known protagonists.
The recent Chinese debacle where MPs failed to catch a flight back home is heavily steeped in party factionalism. Most of those who were left stranded are said to be Vice-President Joice Mujuru loyalists while those who made it back home as scheduled were chaperoned by trip organiser Mutasa South MP Mandi Chimene, an alleged Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa supporter.
Could the same politics of succession be the reason why the public toilet at Market Square bus terminus is closed? Quite honestly, is this how countries are run?
However, the end of all this nonsensical hocus pocus about Baba Jukwa is a foregone conclusion. Charges against Kudzayi will eventually fail to stick, but not before some jaw-dropping revelations are made. One such is that Environment, Water and Climate minister Savior Kasukuwere catalysed the hiring of Kudzayi by the Zimbabwe National Army to provide information and communications technology expertise.
He swears that the army paid him off handsomely for the services and yet, meanwhile, Parliament has had to adjourn business for lack of running water or worse still, the least paid civil servant received less than $30 in salary raise.
Juicy as it may sound, I am still unconvinced that the unmasking of Baba Jukwa is what matters to Zimbabweans at the moment. It is a diversionary tactic, badly packaged and poorly delivered by half idiotic messengers.
Why go to such ridiculous lengths trying to establish the identity of some cyber character when another, Amai Jukwa, created in direct response is still operating using Zimpapers as a platform for its unmitigated defamation and slander. Kudzayi himself confesses to be Amai Jukwa.
Now, here are the real issues. The Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset) is dead in the water and the country’s leadership has no clue how to extricate us from this trough. Seventy percent of Mabvuku has been without running water for close to 10 years. A broken down water valve on Donnybrooke Drive requires about $32 000 to repair.
It has been gashing treated water for as long as anyone can remember, starving residence of this precious commodity. Just last week, there was a cholera scare when more than 200 people were treated for diarrhea. Why should people living under a cholera threat barely 25km from the central business district of a country’s capital care about knowing the identity of a social media character who calls Mugabe a tyrant and some other unprintable words.
Instead, people in Harare demand to know when Kunzvi Dam will be completed and why there has not been a single arrest in the over publicised “Salarygate” scandal. Zimbabweans ask why the person who inflated a ZBC outside broadcasting van invoice from $100 000 to $1 million has not spent a single night in police cells. The youths are demanding to know when the two million jobs promised in the Zanu PF manifesto during the campaign will be delivered.
Parents want to know why Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora is busying himself contradicting everything that resembles common sense and order in the education sector.
People in Mabvuku continue to ask me why Mugabe goes to Malaysia to seek medical services and not Harare Central Hospital, Parirenyatwa or Mpilo which are owned and run by a government which he has been proud to run for the past 34 years. If Mpilo and Parirenyatwa are not good enough for the Head of State and his family as is apparent, it certainly should not be good enough for any Zimbabwean. What is good for the goose is surely good for the gander.
Ex-South Africa President Nelson Mandela was unwell for years and not once was he flown abroad. He was treated locally because those are the facilities he created. I am imagining a man who builds a house, but instead goes to sleep next door fearing that the roof may collapse over his head. Meanwhile, his family must make do with the sub-standard life threatening structure.
Instead of hiring a computer person to unmask some social media character, Kasukuwere should consider telling the nation what really happened with Community Share Ownership Trusts schemes whose symbolic cheques Mugabe received in highly publicised media ceremonies. In my humble view, misleading a whole Head of State is more treasonous than anonymously calling him a tyrant on some social media platform because every President, no matter how saintly they perform, will be called some unsavory name once in a while.
Instead of shoving down our throats the stringent conditions of Kudzayi’s bail, can real leaders stand up and please tell us why no smoke is coming out of chimneys in the industrial areas, why the National Railways of Zimbabwe has not paid its employees consistently in the past six years and why there is a vendor at every city street corner.
These are the everyday bread and butter issues that should consume every minute of a 21st century President’s time. Issues of Baba Jukwa or Zanu PF succession are both boring and down-right unhelpful for a country staring starvation in the face as a result poor economic policies anchored by an uninspired leadership and a warped political trajectory.
At the ripe old age of 90, Mugabe, like any earthly mortal, needs all the cushioning and advice he can muster to run a modern day State.
I have my doubts that those surrounding him understand this ,let alone have the mental stamina for such a calling. Needless to remind ourselves that they are the same men and women who, not so long ago, sat in a Cabinet caucus and agreed that diesel was coming out of a rock in Chinhoyi.
Diesel oozing out of a rock is akin to French fries and roasted chicken breasts falling down a Mopani tree in Gwanda and setting up a Cabinet Committee to investigate such a “bizarre phenomenon” is stretching the human imagination to unforgivably obscene limits.
Long live Zimbabwe!
For today, I rest my case right here.
James Maridadi is Member of Parliament (MDC-T) for Mabvuku-Tafara Constituency