By Tinomudaishe Chinyoka
I would like to propose a thesis that others will attack me for, which is that we have a very good President but some very dubious people around him who are failing the nation, and will derail the President’s agenda and keep us longer in the mire left by the previous dispensation than should be the case. I am not sure, but we might need to think about what we must do with them.
Many will say that it is wrong to criticize people around a leader you admire, but l think not. As Niccolo Machiavelli said: “I know not whether the view I am about to adopt will prove so hard to uphold and so full of difficulties that I shall have either shamefully to abandon it or laboriously to maintain it; for I propose to defend a position which all writers attack, as I have said. But, however, that may be, I think, and always shall think, there can be no harm in defending an opinion by arguments so long as one has no intention of appealing either to authority or force”.
Things were going swimmingly well, as the saying goes. The President had had very successful engagements recently. A good outcome from the SADC event in Mozambique, where some US official shamed himself by trying to justify sanctions, only ending up confirming that they are not really targeted but very harmful.
Then there was the meeting with Ramaphosa, which looked cordial and promising, we need these regional alliances when people like Trump aren’t just keeping that US$15billion they promised but threatening to deport black members of Congress to these parts. Hell, even the #ZimGems were getting ready to teach Sri Lanka and Northern Ireland a lesson, but we didn’t know that at the time.
Further afield, that very able former soldier, SB Moyo, had been contemplating a well laid out strategy of engagements in London, selling the message that Zimbabwe had changed from the one that the previous dispensation wrought. High level diplomatic engagements were planned. A speech at Chatham House was lined up – of course, no one at the embassy thought to invite ordinary Zimbabweans in the UK, as usual, but that’s another story.
Back home, the main opposition was getting ready to unleash the private-school-but-government-sponsored daughter of a civil servant on its non-rural supporters, to launch its policy platform that its leader would sum up quite nicely in one line with the words “ZIDERA is the aspiration of all Zimbabwe”.
To those of us “rurals”, who needed to check to confirm: ZIDERA is the US statute that imposed sanctions on our country. Apparently, according to he that was promised the US$15billion by vaTrump, we aspire to sanctions. Confused? Well, if you are, I know an Advocate who thinks “rurals” like you shouldn’t be running the government. She m-ceed the RELOAD launch.
So, all in all, like l said, things were going swimmingly well for the government. Something needed to be done kuzvidira jecha. And chime in our incompetent people.
When hurricanes start in the Atlantic, those in the field can identify the signs from very small pockets or air as they start out at sea. It’s really exactly what our forebears meant by ‘kamoto kamberevere kakapisa matanda mberi”, only with wind and rain.
This little fire started in Bikita, the very place that the private school advocate says no one who comes from there should be running our country. But, apparently, speeches made there can impact the country all the same.
And it came from the most obvious of suspects, Job Sikhala, who got famous at UZ for inventing words and phrases like “this is very requiqui”. This is the guy who once disputed rape allegations against Chamisa made by a troubled soul with the seminal broadside: “she is too ugly to rape, even l wouldn’t have raped her”.
That, is who made the speech about overthrowing the government. In Bikita.
The correct reaction, one would have thought, was to laugh at his stupidity. Like, how is he going to overthrow any government? By selectively raping only beautiful women and leaving out the ugly ones perhaps? The man has not raised a fist in anger since, like forever.
And, more glaringly, you need a minimum two live witnesses, not a video whose provenance will be dicey to establish, to convict someone charged with treason. It was an MDC rally, for crying out loud! Where are you going to find two independent witnesses to testify that yes, they heard their Deputy National Chairman commit treason?
Wise heads counseled against arresting this man. His own party had thrown him under the bus, distancing itself from his views and categorically and whimpishly declaring, like Anna from the sci-fi series V: we are of peace! Even Ms Advocate I-Ain’t-No-Rural-But-I-Will-Fix-The-Education-System-My-Father-The-Education-Perm-Sec-Destroyed (give it to him, my brother Nelson can be funny, the irony and insult to Coltart behind that appointment is just, well, requiqui), tried to argue that “overthrow” in private schools just means “impeach”. Who knew?!
In other words, there was no treason.
But, we have some people desperate for a high profile conviction, desperate for any meaningful conviction, and they will arrest at the drop of a hat. So, they went ahead. It was just what the jecha brigade was hoping for.
With a certain war criminal former Selous Scout and his son driving the narrative, Sikhala was “abducted”. Apparently, to people that threw guerrilla into disused mineshafts during the war, being put in a police car from Harare to the scene of your verbal diarrhea is abduction. Ms Private-School-By-Corruption retweeted that, she too believes it!
The “abduction” inspired posters and demonstrations. In Harare and London though, oddity, not in Bikita!
The international media was sensitized, and failed asylum seekers struggling for papers in the UK lay in wait for SB Moyo at Chatham House. Ready to pounce! And they did.
Suddenly, all the good work of the past few weeks is undone. We are enemies of free speech, we heard. Even the MDC woke up from being of peace to decry the abduction of one of its own, despite have had knowledge that the man was being sent to Masvingo Province where the crime occurred.
The bad news spread, apparently abduct members of parliament then ask for bail conditions that even Mugabe never tried: and we removed Mugabe, remember? And we have form: we arrest on un-winning cases.
Suddenly, in one year alone, we have made nonentity MPs like Joana Effing Mamombe famous. Suddenly, the arrest of a man who was know for suggesting that rapist should be discriminatory against ugly women became a cause célèbre. Suddenly, what should have been laughed off as the proverbial owl crowing about his horns is the cause for great national embarrassment.
And the irony is, we should know better. We should not be charging people with treason for saying stupid things. We should leave them to people like Comic Pastor, to make skits and give us a few laughs. Especially when you have a better chance of convicting Chipezeze with treason than a Joana Mamombe for being a young woman showing off to her friends on Facebook or a Job Sikhala setting you up in Bikita about an impeachment that he calls an overthrow. Well, according to Ms Advocate, thats what he meant, isn’t it?
You certainly don’t arrest someone for calling for an impeachment. That’s what the Selous Scout is telling the world Mr-Rapists-Are-Discriminating did. And, as we well know from the ZIDERA that we all aspire to, apparently, the international media listens more to them than to us. Who do the people around our President think the world is going to believe, us or the Arundel-And-Cambridge-On-A-Selous-Scout’s-Recommendation Advocate?
Knowing that, we chose to make Job Sikhala famous? We should have just laughed at him. Since we will never convict him anyway. That would have served the nation better. And saved SB’s suit from that sprinkling. Which, as he rightly says: is legitimate protest! Too bad some overzealous and incompetent people don’t see this.
If we can’t throw eggs and water at our politicians to make them listen to you, what can we throw? Guerrillas downs mineshafts? No. Selous Scout war criminals have already cornered that field.