By Ken Mufuka
I have been battling with the question of the power of the press. To tell you the truth, I have not made up my mind where the line should be drawn. The allegations against Vice President Kembo Mohadi show the power of the press to build and to destroy a character and a career.
Let us begin with former US president Bill Clinton in December 1998. Monica Lewinsky had confided in Linda Tripp, (a scandal monger) of her sexual liaison with Clinton in the White House library.
In the transcript before me, dated 19 December, 1998, Clinton, who had hitherto denied any sexual relationship , now changed course. “I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate,” he said. “I MISLED PEOPLE, INCLUDING MY WIFE. I DEEPLY REGRET IT.”
Before you read the next juicy bits, please find a safe seat. Linda had betrayed Monica to Judge Kenneth Starr. Starr then set a perjury trap, wanting Clinton to lie about the relationship in camera. It so happened that Clinton had asked Monica to commit an unnatural Philistine sexual act which we cannot reveal in this family newspaper. There is no law against adults committing such acts in the privacy of their homes.
Now you will say; “Ken, please be regular. If not about a Philistine sexual act, what was Clinton being impeached for?”
Starr, a Republican, accused Clinton of lying about his affair with Monica. Please men of Harare, Masvingo and Bulawayo; is there any one among you who would volunteer to release information about their private affairs knowing fully that the wife and daughters are listening?
Clinton does refer to this matter. “Why is Judge Starr prying into the private lives of citizens?”
Democrats took this line of argument and refused to condemn Clinton, thus setting him free to finish his term of office.
This is the situation in which Brother Mohadi finds himself. The question for me and the press is whether to publish such information about Mohadi knowing that it was stolen.
The answer is that if I don’t publish it METRO and ZIM-LIVE will publish it and my newspaper will go out of business.
In Mohadi’s case, here is my suspicion. Four incidents are alleged. One claim is that Brother Mohadi uses letters of the alphabet in a manner unworthy of a man of such high office, even making the capital letter F- a bad word.
The information about the Bulawayo female student apparently came from third parties, and so did the information about the proposed office shindig. Two women are said to be employees under Brother Mohadi’s supervision.
One Jacob Mupande is said to have become physical with Mohadi whom he suspects of having an affair with his wife Abigail. To the best of my knowledge, Mupande has not filed charges against Mohadi, nor has any of the women done so.
The issue of the tape record is puzzling. Surely the women would not have tapped themselves because it would compromise their relationship with their husbands. I suspect the secret service had the access and means to do this.
But why is the secret service prying into his private lives?
As in the case of Clinton, their Federal Bureau of Investigations keep secrets on a regular basis in order to blackmail their customers, politically or monetarily.
When Democrats were in opposition, they gathered a list of 22 women whom they said had been abused by former president Donald Trump. With the help of the FBI and other secret organizations as well as the press, they now claimed, what they did not claim for Clinton that a person guilty of Philistine behavior was not fit for office.
Brother Mohadi has had difficulties with his marriage before. In March 1999, Strover Mutonhori, a development officer with the World Lutheran Federation went missing. Working closely with Senator Tambudzani (Mohadi’s wife) on development issues, he was also suspected of being too close to the senator. His decomposing body was found on the 17th of August. When Mohadi was promoted to Minister of Home Affairs, the police investigation into the matter died a natural death.
When I was researching in Bulawayo, I was disgusted to find that a 24 year old girl, Nokuthula was associated with Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the MDC. Steeped in Americanism I gave unsolicited advice to some MDC officials that a leader of his stature should not be left in solitude with any woman not his wife.
“Iwe Kenny, your head is full of water, do you hear me. Morgan is a grown up man. Do you want me to tell him whom he can see and whom he cannot?” Tsvangirai’s door keeper gave me a nice scolding. (Zimbabwean English).
Nevertheless, I was correct.
No political leader should be left alone in the presence of a pretty woman.
The assumption, which all political oppositions make, when they are out of power, is that leaders should behave with a certain rectitude. History does not support this idea.
King David caused the death of Uriah the Hittite in order to allow himself time with his wife Bathsheba. In recent times every American presidents from George Washington to the present have had problems with women. Only Barack Obama and Abraham Lincoln were free from scandal.
This does not mean that lechery (extreme promiscuity) should be tolerated. In Africa, even before social media, there are secrets where everybody knows what is going on, but nobody knows anything. (Ashanti idiom).
Such behavior leads to loss of charisma (the right to lead).
NO WIN SITUATION
I have seen so much abuse of press freedom here that I am almost certain that Mohadi will be skinned alive.
Mohadi cannot blame us, the fraternal brothers of the press. The press is used by political opponents to “finish him off” and that is why there is so much emphasis on Philistine behavior, that tribe of humans who had no rules whatever, daughter slept with father and mother likewise slept with son.
Unless the women or the husbands of the aggrieved press charges, Mohadi has nothing to answer. If they do, the press will hold them as “very brave and fearless” and demand that the brother be hanged.
If the courts throw out the charges, which are brought several weeks or months after the offense, the press will say Judge Luke Malaba’s court is cooked.
It is judgment before trial. Having been tarred and feathered as a Philistine, any answer by Mohadi to such allegations only serves to adumbrate the issues. The accusers are the jury and the judges. It is a no-win situation.
If Mohadi keeps his position, his only possible satisfaction can come from finding out the hacker of his phone. Please don’t look at me. The hacker, I will swear, is one of the Philistines, for among them loyalty is recognized by its absence, and treachery is a daily affair.
I grand son of the people of the Rain bird, am at a loss, whether to laugh or to cry.
I have no words of comfort for Brother Mohadi.
Ken Mufuka is a Zimbabwean patriot. He can be reached at email@example.com. His books are available from Innov Bookshops in Zimbabwe.