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‘No animal shall eat meat at ground level…’ An Orwellian imagination of how Zimbabwe is sinking in post-Mugabe era

By Dr. Phillan Zamchiya

Mr. Jones [Robert Gabriel Mugabe] of Blue Roof mansion in the leafy Borrowdale suburbs of Harare in Zimbabwe finished his routine cabinet meeting around 1800hrs on Tuesday 14 November 2017.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa eating meat on a private jet
President Emmerson Mnangagwa eating meat on a private jet

From the Munhumutapa offices, he staggered to his S-Class Mercedes Benz with a personalised Zim-1 number plate. His motorcade, with sirens and blue lights as a show of power, and its addiction to high-speed made way to his residence.

He found that Mrs Jones was not yet back from their Mazowe farm. As soon as she came back after 1900 hrs, she informed Mr. Jones that the pigs had installed roadblocks all over the country.

Mr. Jones was distraught and cornered. However, he was too drunk with power to realise the reign was over and to fathom that the elite unit of pigs he had fed with apples and milk since 1980 would depose him through a rebellion. After a few phone calls to animals aligned to his faction (the G40), he went to bed.

The night before on 13 November 2017, the head of the pigs’ command unit, had called for a meeting at the big barn (The Josiah Magama Tongogara Barracks). It was at this meeting where he had told all the animals that their suffering was due to G40.

‘Now, comrades, what is the nature of this life of ours? Let us face it: our lives are miserable, laborious, and short. We fought for this country from the British but we are given just so much food as will keep the breath in our bodies, and we are forced to work to the last atom of our strength.

Now that our usefulness has ended, we are going to be slaughtered with hideous cruelty by G40 that is now going to succeed Mr. Jones. No animal in Zimbabwe knows the meaning of happiness or pleasure. No animal in Zimbabwe is free. The life of an animal is misery and slavery: that is the plain truth. Why then do we continue in this miserable condition?

‘Because nearly the whole of the produce of our labour is stolen from us by G40. There, comrades, is the answer to all our problems. It is summed up in a single word–G40. G40 is the only real enemy we have. Remove G40 from the scene, and the root cause of misery is abolished forever’.

The head of the pigs’ command unit cleared his throat and began to sing. The words ran:’ Haa woo ti. Tisvikewo pano. Ndini mwendamberi. Ndaakuchinja mutemo. Zariraiwo dura. Dzasvika rova ngoma. Nyangwe huku dzamawundura. Ndaakuchinja mutemo. Zariraiwo dura. Dzasvika rova ngoma. Nyangwe huku dzamawundura. Woye mambo. Hero rasvika. Gamba. Kutonga kwaro.Gamba. Ngoma kwainorira. Gamba. Ngoma yamakajaira. Gamba. Inofadza nenherera. Gamba.Gamba ramakajaira…’

The song threw the pigs into jubilations. Others displayed the ‘kongonya’ (gyrating) dance reminiscent of the liberation struggle. Even the less clever had picked the words in a few minutes. The most exciting part was the chorus, ‘kutonga kwaro gamba’. The song was later to become infectious to all the other animals in the Kingdom.

Now, as it turned out, the coup was achieved much more swiftly than many had expected. Following a series of events including the storming of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) in the early hours of Wednesday 15 November, the announcement that the pigs were targeting criminals around Mr. Jones, the 17th November ZANU PF central committee meeting, the 18th of November people’s march and the impeachment proceedings on 21 November Mr. Jones resigned.

In the past, Mr Jones had been a shrewd strategist, but of late, he had fallen ill, old and frail. His advisors were dishonest, his wife politically naïve, the economy was in doldrums, social services in a crisis and animals were hungry and suffered from malnutrition.

After the forced resignation, the pigs chased and banished Mr. Jones’ G40 out of the country. Mr. Jones later died a miserable man in a foreign land. The country was now theirs.

The pigs announced that they had succeeded in reducing the principles of the liberation to 10 Commandments. I only cite four, which ran thus:

1. No animal shall eat MEAT.
2. No animal shall FLY in a PRIVATE JET.
3. No animal shall kill any other animal.
4. All animals are equal.

Surprisingly, almost a year after the coup, the pigs dispatched the elite unit of the dogs section to maul other animals to death on the streets in August 2018 and January 2019. The animals had been protesting against worsening economic conditions and miserable lives.

Protesters complained that the situation was worse than during Mr. Jones’ time. When a commission of inquiry from a neighboring country went to check, they found that the commandment was ‘NO ANIMAL SHALL KILL OTHER ANIMALS WITHOUT CAUSE’.

Reader, it had been changed overnight. Those pigs who noticed were too scared to be executed and could not question.

Once caught eating meat in a private jet, the political head of the pigs had to explain at a rally: ‘Comrades!’ he shrilled. ‘You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are eating MEAT in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike private jets and MEAT. I dislike them myself.

‘Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. MEAT at a high altitude (Science, comrades has proved this) contain substances necessary to the well-being of a pig. Only at a HIGH ALTITUDE COMRADES. We pigs are brain-workers.

‘The whole management and organisation of this country depend on us. Day and night, we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we eat the MEAT at high altitude. Otherwise, at ground level, vegetables remain the best for your health because they have vitamins.

‘Science comrades. You cannot argue with science. Vegetables and potatoes comrades at ground level comrades. We agreed this from the start.’ He then asked one of the pigs at the high table to read again the principle on meat. It read ‘NO ANIMAL SHALL EAT MEAT AT GROUND LEVEL’.

Beyond, the pigs have lined all the commandments for changes. Those changed so far now read:

1. ‘No animal shall eat meat at ground level.’
2. ‘No animal outside presidium shall use private jet.’
3. ‘No animal shall kill any other animal without cause.’
4. ‘All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.’

In private party meetings, the head of the pigs scare fellow animals, ‘if we do not do this, Mr. Jones’ G40 will come back. Surely, comrades, you do not want Jones’ G40 to come back?’ Certainly, the other pigs do not want Jones’ G40 back.

You can reach Dr. Phillan Zamchiya on [email protected]