Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Who does this family think we are?

By Tinomudaishe Chinyoka

That great poet, Leonard Zhakata (for what is a musician if not a poet?) had it right when he said ‘kana ndichishaura batai mazwi, kuitira mangwana. Vamwe vanozodudzira nepasipo, vamwe ndevanofamba vachiti hazvisi zvake.

Unflattering pictures of President Robert Mugabe and his family enjoying themselves to no end while holidaying in the Far East emerged at the weekend
Unflattering pictures of President Robert Mugabe and his family enjoying themselves to no end while holidaying in the Far East emerged last month

It is forever important that people read what is being said, not make assumptions.

I speak from the position of a Zanu PF member, endowed by the party constitution with rights (and duties, apparently), to freely participate in party issues and enjoined to respect my leaders and the party constitution.

That, one has to do, or walk. Especially, as it happens, one belongs to a party of people that died for the country.

There is a temptation, especially among people that are not in it, to equate Zanu PF with President Robert Mugabe. It is not. In the party, he and every other member hold the same number of votes, even though he might be in leadership, for now.

The President would be the first one to admit this, his fealty to rules and constitutional form is legendary. Should be, but might not, as it appears that people are conspiring to abuse the President’s name and person.

We witnessed the abuse at the last Congress, when our President was ordered to sit down by his wife, and he stated that this was how he is treated even at home. By the way, this got me thinking: where is Msasa Project when you need them?

A 90 year old man tells you that he is being abused at home by his much younger wife, the same old man tells Dali Tambo that he is not allowed to eat meat but just vegetables, and his sister tells the nation that at 90, he is being made to do exercises in the morning, and no-one thinks this might be a pattern? Domestic violence comes in many forms.

Of late, there has been a tendency on the part of some people around him to try and elevate themselves above the rest of us.

That they are more Zanu PF than even those such as Teurai Ropa Nhongo, Rugare Gumbo, Augustine Chihuri, Retired Brigadier General Callisto Gwanetsa, people that put their lives on the line for party and country and are now being regarded like they are not deserving even the most minimal of respect.

Their crime, we were told, is that they did not show respect to the First Lady when she went around the country thanking women for nominating her to lead the Women’s League.

Newsflash: at the time that the First Lady went around the country, she was just a mere member of Zanu PF, with great expectations no doubt, but still a mere member. Suddenly, by not ululating loud enough, they had planned to commit treason, and had to be removed.

Their real crime, I submit, is that they did not die for this country enough. Let me explain.

There is a Shona name which, like most things Shona, cannot be translated easily without losing the richness of meaning. Tafirenyika. Literally, it means we have died for the country. But it does not mean dead dead.

So that when someone says ‘I died for this country’, he is in fact stating a perfectly reasonable and straightforward fact, and one that does not need Chinotimba jokes to illustrate it. You can die for this country and still be alive to talk about it.

But what we are witnessing now is that there are degrees to dying for this country.

Because you see, these people appear to think that if their relative died for this country, he must have died for their share too, because suddenly, they are busy on the feeding trough, and not content with gouging themselves silly and getting on with it, they want to rub it in our faces and then start pointing at others and accusing them of not dying for this country enough.

You see silly pictures of the first family sitting around a table in a $180.00 per appetiser restaurant, everyone smiling except the President, and you know what he must be thinking. This is not why he died for this country, surely?

It is emperor’s clothes time in Zimbabwe: the first family is on the loose expropriating anything and everything, and not a single person is willing to say ‘excuse me, but do you think we are stupid?’ How many people seriously think that Mai Mujuru wants to kill the President?

Can you picture vaMutasa saying he will shoot the President? Goche went to Israel to look for a hitman! Kaukonde stole someone’s O’level certificate, that is why he is such a successful businessman.

And oh, by the way, someone needs to evict people from Manzou Farm so that she keeps wild animals to make enough money to feed some 70 orphans she is looking after in another farm. Lucky orphans.

Come on people, we might be letting you get away with a lot, but when is someone going to say: are you having a laugh?

And you can tell that even they do not believe their own rubbish. It serves a purpose, to legitimate their power grab, while Zanu PF members are threatened with the sanction of expulsion from the party and therefore keep quiet.

The party gets robbed of ideas and initiative, and is on the road to becoming a nonevent and no-one bothers to say ‘hey people, our sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and parents actually died for this country and in the name of the party. Like dead dead.’

They run around accusing this person and that of treason, all hogwash. You cannot breathe without committing treason in Zimbabwe, it seems.

We know treason. Treason, by its nature, is a very serious crime. It is a crime against the country, one that threatens the very fabric of a nation, and it is not by coincidence that its definition refers to undermining the governments or the constitutional order.

It is the crime for which the present First Vice President was sentenced to death, spared the gallows only by virtue of his young age at the time. It is one of the the crimes that sent Mandela to prison for 26 years.

It is of course the crime that was ostensibly committed by Morgan Tsvangirai when, way back then, he agreed to go to London and meet some charlatan called Ari Ben Menashe, with the aim of hiring said charlatan to carry out some information and publicity work in the USA for the MDC.

(To be fair, Mr Tsvangirai probably did not know he was a charlatan, but since I do not like Tsvangirai, I let that slip in just then.) Unbeknown to Mr Tsvangirai, Mr Menashe was recording the whole thing, and promptly surrendered the tape to the authorities.

The High Court, Garwe JP (as he then was) presiding, that same court that the MDC routinely accuses of bias, looked at the evidence and found that no crime had been committed.

So, when my party brazenly claims that treason was committed by the last Vice President when she ostensibly imported some chickens from Brazil thus undermining Gono’s market share, by the last Secretary for Administration when he supposedly told a girlfriend (are they still together by the way) that the President would be shot, yet does nothing about it, you have to ask: are we trivialising treason?

If Teurai Ropa Nhongo committed treason, why is she not facing trial?

If Tsvangirai was prosecuted for a meeting in London with an Israeli man, why is Goche not facing trial for actually going to Israel to pick up a hitman or two? (Incidentally, what is it about Israel and our country: Ari Ben Menashe is from there, Goche’s hitmen are putatively from there, Nikuv is from there, Tsvangirai’s drip drip irrigation is from there, vaRemba are from there!)

They are picking people one by one, removing everyone that might stand in the way of their dynastic ambitions. Think of every scandal that has gripped Zimbabwe since independence: Willogate and the cars, the use of the Chikowore’s public construction ministry to build private houses for people, the paying of too high salaries to board members, and one common feature emerges: it is never the same people that are identified.

There is method to their methods, these people. And when they think that they need protection, they will suck in people so that they die for this country together with them, then when they need room to suck in more, they spit them out and bring in new cohorts to die for it with them.

Ask any Zanu PF member to tell you who they thought was most suitable to succeed the President and they will point at EDM, but these people had to make it look like he owes his position to them, that he is there by the grace of Grace.

What an insult, after so many years of personal sacrifice. The man bought his farm, at a time when others were invading and just taking. The man is clean, does not do patronage (a fact causing great consternation among his supporters following his elevation) and people suddenly want to make it look like he has them to thank for what he had coming. Please.

In 2004, when he could have become Vice President, it was convenient to invite Mai Mujuru to die for this country with them, despite the fact that the whole party was united in favour of Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Suddenly, we had this claim that women needed a voice in the Presidium, so Mai Mujuru was elevated from a junior position to high office.

However, she then became too popular, and it became obvious that if she was elevated higher, she was never going to think that she owed these people anything. So she had to be removed. Women, it seems, have over the last 10 years watched one of their own be vice president and decided that they do not want to see that again.

So they die for this country vachiita madiro aJojina.

Patrick Zhuwawo is busy dying for this country as the chairperson of a Zesa subsidiary, despite having no degree in electronics or other qualification besides the fact that his uncle died for this country.

Zesa of course was the fiefdom of a Mr Gata, qualification for the post: he married the President’s sister. That, it turns out, is enough for you to die for the country.

Walter Chidakwa, another family member, has been deployed as Minister of Mines, because the family owning Mbada Diamonds was not enough, they had to run the whole ministry, otherwise others might die for the country in there.

Case in point, while he ran the Ministry Obert Mpofu died for the country in his offensive from the south west, taking over all of Victoria Falls and most of Bulawayo, before he got bogged down in Kamativi, and they took the ministry from him so that he might better die for the country in his dying bank.

Innocent Matibiri, assistant commissioner of police and soon to die for the country as commissioner, because Augustine Chihuri did not die enough for the country when he failed to arrest Teurai Ropa Nhongo, wife of Rex, who did not die for the country, apparently. Must be all that time he spent with Rugare Gumbo no doubt.

Albert Mugabe chairman of Zinara, dying for the country under the weight of all that money pouring in from toll booths put over potholes: you pay for the privilege to have your car test the durability of your factory installed shock absorbers.

Priscah Mupfumira, Minister of Labour and Social Services, another relative, is dying for the country in a boring ministry until a more suitable one is found.

Did you ever wonder why we were fed that lie about Simba (the First Son-in-Law) being a pilot with Emirates? Might it have been a ruse to smooth his way into a ministry or other department?

After all, anyone who has been a pilot can conceivably be a Cabinet Minister: you do not fly a jumbo jet unless you know a thing or two. But, as they say, blood will tell. Boy showed up at his wedding dressed like Koffie Olomide and we all knew this was no pilot. And those pictures from Singapore do not improve his image one bit.

Speaking of Patrick Zhuwawo, he recently went on social media and accused an ordinary Zimbabwean (by name) of treason. Her crime? She had merely dared comment, on his photo on Facebook about himself taking his wife to Dubai for her birthday, that if his uncle had not ruined the economy Zimbabweans might be enjoying such things at home.

With bombastic words and half understood theories, he launched a vitriolic attack on the poor lady, telling her that if Zimbabweans wanted to go on holiday in Zimbabwe they should go to the game reserves and look at some lions.

The gall of this family astounds. $180.00 dollar a plate for appetisers in Singapore, birthday trips to Dubai and they think they own us.

Now we hear that Paradzai Zimondi is being persecuted for saying First Lady imbwa. I mean, honestly? How many times have people called each other imbwa or dhongi or some other choice names?

There is even an audio tape doing the rounds of a funeral song where the widow calls her dearly departed something that I cannot even bring myself to spell, but safe to say that someone once got fired from Air Zimbabwe for spelling it instead of dove on the President’s menu: (some of the things you suffer for putting as ’t’ instead of a ‘v’!).

This kind of thing makes you laugh, not reach for the black book. Saka mwana wangu akati kuna Bellamino (or whatever his name is) ‘z**u ramai vako tinotoinda kuChikurubhi ka apa?

One by one, they are picking off people that do not support their dynastic intentions. Then they pick off those that are viable in their own right. One gets the feeling that the only reason why heroes such as Dominic Ghuveya Chinenge remain safe is because they do not know who they are.

Let us hope it stays that way, because by the time this family is done with us, we will wake up to find that there is no Zanu PF, that the country has been robbed blind, and that the son in law has flown all of them to Singapore for dinner. Once he sorts out the bit about getting a pilot licence of course.

Sometimes, one is tempted to think that perhaps those who died for this country should have remained dead, because it looks like where they died for it and came back then their relatives and their dogs also died for it. Or is that a treasonous wish? I do not know, but we will find out soon.

Over to you Ken Yamamoto.

Tinomudaishe Chinyoka

Member, Zanu PF (UK) – (until they pass a vote of no confidence or fire me, whichever occurs first)