Don’t dig, Comrade, you are in a hole!

Source: Don’t dig, Comrade, you are in a hole! | The Herald October 15, 2016


Let’s not be too circumspect about it: someone is in trouble. That person is Professor Jonathan Moyo, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development .He is in trouble along, principally, with his deputy Dr Godfrey Gandawa over funds they may have misappropriated, which evidence seems to strongly suggest.

A few other individuals may be caught in the crossfire as they may have been involved in acts of commission and omission.The coming days will be interesting. That is to concede that for the past week or so we have been treated to some riveting drama, mainly playing out in the media.Prof Moyo is being accused of inappropriately using the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) to cover personal concerns or what is seen as investing in social relations in his parliamentary constituency by buying bicycles and tricycles for village heads and chiefs.

He has been allegedly using the agency of his lieutenant to do the dirty work of handling, stashing and dispensing the dirty cash.And, oh, we hear that the same lieutenant has been using a third person who has now turned whistleblower because of grief arising from sharing of the loot and, much sinister, something associated with carnal passions.

That is still to be revealed to us the ordinary people, but when it does, maybe in a court of law, it can be as sensational and headline-grabbing as anything we have ever read.

Let’s wait and see.

Robin Hood returns

But Prof Moyo has not disappointed us.

He has defended himself so lively and with the diligent spirit that we associate with him. He is someone who cannot take anything lying down and his chosen medium of communicating his defence has been his favoured Twitter micro-blogging account, which is very rich in entertainment value and as a source of news — and the new generation of journalist is all too happy to sit behind the computer just watching the good Prof tweeting the day away in news.

Technology, you beauty!

And Prof Moyo is so inimitable.

As he defended himself, as we believe he is doing right this moment as you read, he likened himself to Robin Hood.

According to one account — and this is for the benefit of our young readers not schooled in British traditions — Robin Hood is a legendary outlaw hero of a series of English ballads, some of which date from at least as early as the 14th century.

Explain authorities: “Robin Hood was a rebel and many of the most striking episodes in the tales about him show him and his companions robbing and killing representatives of authority and giving the gains to the poor.

“Their most frequent enemy was the Sheriff of Nottingham, a local agent of the central government (though internal evidence from the early ballads makes it clear that the action took place chiefly in south Yorkshire, not in Nottinghamshire). Other enemies included wealthy ecclesiastical landowners.”

So our Professor stated that it was better to be such a Robin Hood than be a tribalist and genocidaire, thus bringing to focus political, that is factional, politics characterizing the ruling party Zanu-PF.

So he said on Twitter “You can say what you want but I would rather be a Robin Hood than a cruel tribalist, murderer and UN identified cross-border diamond thief.”

That immediately drew derision and disgust than deference and deigning.

One student leader said: “We are saying, if there is anyone who is the poorest member of society, it is the student because most of us cannot raise money needed by colleges and universities. Unlike Robin Hood, Prof Moyo is doing the opposite, stealing from the poor who are students and covering areas where he has vested interests.”

Another said: “By likening himself to Robin Hood, Prof Moyo is giving the impression that Government, where the funds are coming from, is rich. He is trying to portray Government as a fat cat where he is taking public funds to please people in his constituency yet it is common knowledge that Government has been struggling to raise salaries for civil servants. Prof Moyo needs orientation on that one because, as we speak, there are students whose fees are paid by Zimdef but they can’t access their results for last semester because nothing has been paid out. Then, across town, someone is diverting their funds donating freebies in his constituency. We can’t continue having this.”

And these were very civil comments.

There were cruder and unprintable retorts.

And they were justified.

The ever-thoughtful Innocent Mpofu, our cartoonist and by miles the best in the business and favourite of this column made as a beauty of a caricature of “Robbing Hood” reminding us that the said Robbing Hood was referred also as “The prince of thieves”, an apparent reference to a 1991 film depicting the folklore hero.

———Everything I do, I do it for me!———–

The above sentiments are clear that nobody believes that Prof Moyo is a Robin Hood of any kind.

He is just a self centred guy who diverted funds to use for personal gain and that of his subordinates and for political investment in his constituency.

There can be no amount sophistic, self-serving argument to mask that.

Which contrasts with the very theme song of the film, “Robin Hood: The Prince of Thieves”.

In this song by Brian Adams, a persona expresses unselfish love to a lover saying:

“Everything I do, I do it for you…I would give it all, I would sacrifice. Don’t tell me it’s not worth fightin’ for/ I can’t help it, there’s nothin’ I want more/You know it’s true: Everything I do, I do it for you…”

Prof Moyo like all politicians, yes, is a self centred animal.

He can’t pretend he is a Robin Hood and he is altruistic when he is donating to his constituency and when there is evidence that he may have benefitted personally and materially from diverted funds which were being siphoned from a public fund, using proxies some of whom have become whistleblowers because the Robbing Hood loot has not been shared equally.

Who asks for honour among thieves?

And the more the good Prof tries to justify himself, using the beautifully ugly Twitter and some such self-serving platforms, the more he exposes himself.

Now at Madziva Teachers’ College he was trying to tell us about corporate social responsibility by a fund that is and of itself a corporate social responsibility initiative!

It gets so tangled.

It is always wise to stop digging when you are already in a hole.

That’s our word.