Bananas are plentiful in KwaZulu Natal. So apparently are doctorates, judging by the PhD awarded to General Constantine Chiwenga by the university there. He got his doctorate not for some learned thesis on how to peel a banana but for something of even greater moment: Why the world is so unkind to Zimbabwe.
The armed forces commander has taken time out from his diamond looting, vote rigging, and widespread farming and business interests, apart from his day to day military chores, to gain a Doctor of Philosophy degree in – appropriately enough – Ethics.
Presumably the learned thug would first have acquired a Bachelor’s Degree in which he would have been introduced to Plato and Aristotle, Aquinas, Pascal and Paine etc and then completed a Master’s Degree perhaps looking in depth at Kierkegaard, Wittgenstein and the logical positivists or maybe the existentialists such as Sartre and Camus. They had a lot to say about ethics. Or perhaps he preferred Karl Barth, Dietrich Bonhoeffer or maybe Tolstoy and Gandhi. He must be familiar with them all to get a doctorate in Ethics (apart from a close study of Machievelli’s The Prince).
If he was, his former farm looter wife Jocelyn seems to have been unaware of it. Her main concern was the coffin he kept in their bedroom in Borrowdale stuffed with muti. The muti seems to have worked because, miraculously, the general has convinced the Banana University (patron: former Zimbabwe President Sodomite Banana?) that there has been ‘a precipitous decline of UN moral stature, particularly in the eyes of the developing world’ (see: http://www.news24.com/Africa/Zimbabwe/Zim-army-commander-gets-PhD-from-UKZN-20150510).
His thesis apparently scrutinised double standards in the UN humanitarian missions ordered by the Security Council and he says he interviewed Mugabe for his research. Who better to consult, especially since it was recently disclosed that Chiwenga is Zanu PF’s real political commissar – even though our wonderful new constitution requires our military to be politically neutral. Ethics? (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2015/03/09/chiwenga-our-commissar-zanu-pf/).
The Vigil thanks Chiwenga’s diamond firm Anjin Investments for breaking the news of Dr General’s academic triumph and is delighted to learn that ‘through your enlightened leadership the Zimbabwe defence forces have been transformed into a hub of academic excellence’. Jonathan Moyo, who apparently wrote the thesis, must be delighted at this jewel of ZimAsset.
· Talking of ZimAsset, the question of integrity was raised by Senator Carter in a recent speech, a copy of which he has kindly sent to the Vigil. We agree with his view: ‘For local businesses to flourish we need to provide equality before the law and secure property rights’. See: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/689-senator-michael-carters-speech-to-the-senate on our campaigns page for the speech.
· There has been some consternation about Afrobarometer’s survey showing support for Mugabe. It shouldn’t surprise anyone who remembers the organisation’s past surveys. We have more confidence in the opinion of Charles Mangongera, a former Chief Research Fellow at the organisation which conducted the survey. He notes these surveys are ‘a reflection of a deeply fractured society in which citizens fear authority and are manipulated by propaganda’. He adds that the founder of the organisation used to jokingly say that the surveys had a ‘margin of terror’ and not a margin of error (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_findings-influenced-by-margin-of-terror-the-zimbabwe-independent/).
· The former Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo knows all about propaganda. Now ousted from the party, he has suddenly seen the light and observes: ‘the country is currently in a state of siege’. He talks of ‘illegal bugging, torture, intimidation and abductions’. We don’t know where he has been for the last decade or so but he suddenly says: ‘the entire society is gripped with fear’ (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_pressure-mounts-on-mujuru-the-zimbabwe-independent/).
· Another of the walking dead, former presidential affairs minister Didymus Mutasa, speaks of ‘complete lawlessness in Zimbabwe’. Now that his own illegally gained estates are being repossessed by the people, he observes ‘there is no security of tenure. People just wake up and grab farms, which is a terrible indictment of the party’ (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_isolated-mugabe-deserves-our-pity-dailynews-live/). Perhaps he should take his case to the UN.
· We were sorry we couldn’t all attend the Memorial Service today of Catherine Muchabayiwa, our friend from ROHR Birmingham Branch, who died recently. We prayed for her and made a collection for her family.
· Thanks to Eunice Mucherechedzo, Paul Fusire, Patricia Chingozha and Fungayi Mabhunu for being there at the start of the Vigil to help set up. Thanks to Eunice for looking after the front table throughout the Vigil.
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.
FOR THE RECORD: 27 signed the register.