via State of the nation | The Zimbabwean by Jera
It has emerged that Zimbabwe has a uranium supply agreement with Iran. According to outgoing deputy minister of mines, Gift Chimanikire, a deal was struck between the two countries in 2012. Western big brother nations generally stay out of quarrels that take place on land that has no oil or gas reserves. Perhaps mention of the word ‘uranium’ will get people scurrying about in the oval office, carrying memos on which phrases like ‘vote rigging’ are highlighted in yellow.
In the run up to the polls, SADC recommended that the Zimbabwean security chiefs publicly declare their political neutrality. Augustine Chihuri’s reaction was like that of a teenager who when ordered to put out his cigarette, defiantly blows a cloud of smoke into his mother’s face. Even before ZEC had finished uttering the words, ‘Robert Mugabe is duly elected…’ Zimbabwe’s chief cop sat at his typewriter, pecking at the keys like a hen as he composed a message of congratulations, bordering on a salivary kiss of Mugabe’s presidential shoe. Chihuri heaped praise on Mugabe for his re-election ‘in the face of adversity and concerted effort by the West who are trying to undermine and rubbish the election in their quest to further their interests.’
Roy Bennett, well concealed behind the nine-foot wall of a house in South Africa, is still muttering words like ‘protests’ and ‘exiled government.’ Listen here. The last time somebody called for ‘the last push’, in the winter of 2003, urging us onto the streets of Harare, none of them were among the picketing crowd. The best leaders lead by example. While a lot of us remember him fondly, for his WWE smack-down move on Patrick Chinamasa in parliament, we say either hush up or come back home and lead these protests that you so loudly tweet about from the safety of an HP laptop.
Party at rotten row
Senior Zanu (PF) members received the welcome of returning war heroes at the party’s Politburo meeting, held at the Rotten Row headquarters. Believing themselves to be comrades entering a 1979 demobilisation centre, they strutted in, waving and pumping their fists. All that was missing from the occasion was the Sting pants with many pockets and messy Afros that were synonymous with the country’s bush war.
I shrunk beneath the coffee table, embarrassed on their behalf, for the indecorous celebrations, in which grown men slapped each other’s shoulders without restraint, grown women, for whom some poor men have paid lobola, gyrated their hips and shook their buttocks. Then the court jester, Chinoz, cheered by party lickspittles, enriched the fray by enacting a bhora mugedhe show, dribbling an imaginary soccer ball, complete with a comical football commentary, which only served to confirm his position as class clown. What the dancing clapping singing Zanu (PF) minions will have failed to register is the stark difference in affluence between they and the Politbutro chefs, whose oily skins and chubby cheeks glowed in the fluorescent light of the venue.
Robert Mugabe showed a sneak preview of what Zimbabweans can expect in his 5 year term. Through the half shut eyes of a man needing a long nap, he announced plans to open a parallel stock market, reserved only for black people, to assist them to raise money for acquiring equity in foreign owned companies. And to say ‘acquire’ is really a euphemism for taking. A lot of the foreign owned companies that are in the cross hairs of Mugabe’s indigenisation bazooka are South African.
The details of the proposal are still sketchy but no matter how it is worded, this smacks of economic apartheid, from a man who charmed the world with his 1980 speech about beating our weapons into plough shears. Oh Irony, you comedian you.
Considering that Jacob Zuma congratulated Mugabe on his stolen election, when most observers expected South Africa to use her influence in ensuring free and fair polls, if Zimbabwe does proceed with the company seizures, this would be a case of the chickens coming home to roost on the doorstep of JZ.
At the same time, the other stock market, the non racial one, tumbled 11%, in reaction to news of a Zanu (PF) election victory, indicating investor fears over Mugabe’s nationalisation plans. Business requires investor confidence. Threats of seizing shares in foreign owned enterprises do nothing but repel investors. Also, the idea of taking companies that are already in existence might be empowering but it does little to prove that black people can build their own enterprises. Black people should strive – hidden pun – to build their own corporations without looting.
Back to darkness
Revealing their true colours, those in power, who had spared us the torture of electricity cuts in the month leading up to the elections, this week plunged us into lengthy black outs. Rinonyenga rinohwavava. A suitor plays nice until the object of his desire is safely in his grasp. Once he has had his way with her – when she asks, ‘when will I see you again?’ – the boorish bachelor snaps back, ‘You’re not my wife, you’ll see me whenever’ Then he brushes his teeth in her kitchen sink and kicks her cat on his way out of the apartment.
Meanwhile Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T has lodged an application with the Constitutional Court – a cabal of judges who are handpicked by Robert Mugabe – challenging the result of the July 31st election. The MDC produced documentation which it believes is proof of foul play by the mysterious Israeli company, Nikuv.
The MDC claims Nikuv was paid $10,5 million to manipulate the voters’ roll. It is hard to believe that Zanu (PF) would be as daft as to use Nikuv despite the MDC having spotted the company’s link to Mugabe’s party even before voting began. However, it is important to remember that the people at the helm of Zanu (PF), in spite of stacks of varsity degrees, were once duped into believing diesel, in its pure form, oozes from a rock.
At the same time, what makes the MDC’s court application an exercise in futility is the fact that these are judges sworn in by Mugabe. Also, it has to be stated that there is a silliness about appealing after the fact when the MDC should have, instead, pulled out of the election the moment they spotted irregularities. The nation’s eyes are locked onto Mapondera Building, awaiting the court’s decision which, in terms of the new constitution, should be rendered within 14 days. If the verdict is anything other than ‘case dismissed’, this scribe pledges to boil a judge’s wig, season it with salt and eat it, live on national television.
Till next week. My pen is capped.Jerà. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org