Of fake researches and hungry Parliamentarians
By Mumera Wisdom
Earlier this week the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) held a workshop at a plush hotel in Harare. It was supported by the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) which provided the bulk of the funding.
The theme of the event was Capacitating the Public Accounts Committee to make Government more accountable to the Auditor General’s report.
It was a theme crafted from a high pedestal of judgment that feels the AG has not been given his due respect by the government which now needs a reproach.
Invited where the Public Accounts Committee which is chaired by Paurina Mpariwa and includes others such as Eddie Cross, David Chapfika, Mayor Wadyejena and Beater Nyampinga.
ZELA is one of many NGO’s that are now searching for relevance as the country is going around the bend of binary political camps what with the expiring of Western sponsored agendas for government change.
They have environment in their name as an anchor pinning and locating them in the administrative cupboard of the country but are prone to stage forums and workshops dealing with anything that lowers government breeches.
Since fanatical standpoints almost always expire at a certain point they have decided to be moderate about it.
This they do by holding workshops dealing with supposed academic and mundane topics but cored with something else.
The Monday event was choreographed to unveil supposed researched points that reveal government’s failure to follow its own laid down statutes and the brewing fiasco in merging mining companies in Marange.
The research went back from 2009 up to 2014. Amongst some of the verdicts resulting from findings was the point that parastatals are perennial failures that have to be done away with.
It’s a point straight out of a capitalism textbook that ignores plenty other contextual particularities pertaining to Zimbabwe.
Another was that the proposed merging of mines in Manicaland and placement under Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) is a doomed project.
The whole parade of findings was actually a repetition of most common opposition politics arguments.
Compounding the matter was that the PAC members were themselves not in it.
One of the PAC members Godfrey Sithole an MP from Chitungwiza spent the whole event scrolling on his Note 4 Samsung, and wondering how come former Mr Ugly, William Masvinu was complaining when he had lost to an uglier competitor.
“He deserved to lose this guys is really ugly. Don’t you think so?’, he asked me showing the scary photo of the grinning or grimacing winner.
Two other PAC members arrived at tea time’ signed the attendance papers and vanished.
They came back at lunch time and raised hell with the ZELA guys as they now wanted their allowances which others has been given in their absence.
“Is going to toilet a problem. Gives us our money we came here very early and had breakfast here, how come you now treat us this way?’ queried one of them.
Mayor Wadyejena who arrived late and was absent minded the whole day, was asked by the moderator to clarify the 49-51% indigenisation issue and stumbled around before unloading the issue on Chapfika to the hilarious enjoyment of the NGO guys.
“This is the problem with this government. They don’t even know what it is they are actually doing and no two of them can give you a coherent and similar answer pertaining to these issues”, one of them smiled in his eureka moment
“Currently we are a hybrid nation of both socialism and capitalism and that has brought about a paralysis in operation as sometimes we don’t know which way to take”, he said feeling justified by the blundering inability of the MP.
Beater Nyampinga never contributed anything until the closing remarks when she asked why ZELA had no women.
When she was told that they were indeed women but they were outside waiting to give the MP’s their attendance allowances the whole room blew up in exaggerated joy about equal representation.
James Maridadi’s notable contribution in the whole event was to accidentally step on a length of electricity cable connected to a power-pack that jolted everyone when it blew up whilst he hastily pleaded sorry.
After the first few minutes Eddie Cross went to sleep and later simply vanished but not before tickling the room earlier by greeting some attendants in the vernacular language.
How the PAC was really capacitated was only apparent to Mpariwa who nodded vigorously when the ZIMCODD representative said the event should be the beginning of a long cooperation.
The ZELA event is an example of many other such functions which artistic NGO’s are employing in doing two things at one moment.
One of them is the justification for their continued existence with sickly-fat and vague agendas that are actually veiled plots to plant seeds of anti-government sentiment in the public.
Transparency International (TI) also recently held its own type of research results delivery event at the Holiday Inn.
In attendance to give beef to its photo shoot it had in attendance prominent scholars Ibbo Mandaza, University of Zimbabwe Lecturer Rudo Gaidzanwa and politician Mr James Maridadi.
Farai Mtondoro from IT was the researcher who delivered the supposed truth.
Later Gaidzanwa lamented to a group of gathered journalists, expressing her disbelief at the fear of death by many in the country and the propensity to run off to other countries.
“We seem to have survived colonialism better that we survive independence and that is the biggest dilemma because we seem to have performed really well in dealing with colonialism than with independence”.
“What happened to our mobilization capacity? What did we normally do when they was an unjust chief or headman?’
The rhetorically quizzed just scribbled on their notepads.
The presence of politicians and other eminent figures is ultimately used as an endorsement of the NGO events. Thus they make sure the MP’s are given ‘thank you’ goodies.
However it’s frightening when the politicians allow themselves to be sucked into the farcial nature of the functions and leave the false researchers to deliver half-baked assumptions and shadily-propped opinions given out as historical facts without challenge.
The researcher from ZELA delivered his assumptions emphasizing how state parastatals have become a weak part of the country’s economy and only David Chapfika managed to attack the point.
‘The failure of parastatals is a human resource error that should be blamed upon the managers of the struggling organisations. The excitement after independence and the greed to be rich has led to this scenario and nothing about parastatals being inherently deficient”, he said.
The proposed government merging of mining companies in Manicaland failed to be dealt with expeditiously leaving the moderator to confidently close the event by saying the house was agreement that it’s a bad deal.
Whereas opposition politicians can be understood in their reluctance to question the factuality of the false verdicts, the connivance of ZANU PF members through non-participation and silent agreement smacks of dereliction of duty to defend and explain government policies.
The other more salient reason why politically inclined NGO’s are carrying out more of these events is the drive to find relevance in today’s Zimbabwe.
NGO’s were once a social arm of opposition politics providing a human arm extending from a political body that was a Western creation and influenced international and national sentiment under the guise of humanitarian work.
Now that the bigger body of the opposition has expired and is comatose in the arena with intermittent jerks of frothing goodbyes, the non-governmental institutions have realised the need to face-powder themselves in new mascaras.
It is in the bandwagon of doing that that some MP’s have been carried with attendance allowances being used to massage to sleep anything constructive they may think.
In the end the ZELA/ZIMCODD event capacitated nobody as it became a platform for the two NGO’s to preach their ideas into the congregation of seated Parliamentarians.