IT is definitely turning out not to be a soft-landing for Kindness Paradza in the political world as defined by Zanu PF, particularly its rabid information unit.
If for one moment Paradza felt that this would be a good cover for him then he got his sums wrong.
For him to be associated with the Daily News, Strive Masiwa and Samuel Sipepa Nkomo was to get on the Zanu PF hate list from which there is no redemption or forgiveness.
For many scribes who worked with the likeable Sekuru KP, as we fondly called him in the early 1990s, it would have been unthinkable that he would trudge down the perilous route of Zimbabwean national politics in 2004.
True, he liked the trappings of power as was apparent during his tenure as secretary general of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists. But this has turned out to be poor preparation for dealing with the carnivorous nature of Zanu PF politics.
I last met KP when he was the chief operating officer for the Media Africa Group and needed something to do while considering my options going forward.
He took me in as a business reporter for the Business Tribune (a role I carried out without that piece of paper from MIC chairman Tafataona Mahoso and his lot) after I had briefed him about how I had been harangued out of my job because of perceived sympathies to the Movement for Democratic Change.
I did not detect any political inclinations or innuendos in our discussion during our half-an-hour session of a frank political discussion of the basket case that has become Zimbabwe.
I knew that he had made an attempt for political office in the recent past and that his body had been fed to the piranhas before he could even say the word mother. He did successfully make another bid.
What he probably did not reckon with was that many of the figures in Zanu PF who remain in position or protected from attacks, arrests and harassment seem to be the ones who know where the bodies are buried, literally and metaphorically. Those who do not obviously do not have that luck. Ask James Makamba and Chris Kuruneri.
KP does not know where the bodies are buried and the only items on his charge sheet, if any, is that he was once employed by the Financial Gazette and that he wants to run a business company with special focus in the media and to do that successfully he may need partners who have money and happen to be British. Period.
These crimes are, in Zanu PF information machinery’s parlance, worse than those of an individual who carried out a consistent, sustained, well-calculated, informed and intelligent attack on it and its presidency for over five years only to turn around and become its (the party) and government’s spin doctor.
It’s obviously a greater crime than to be an active member of the Open Forum, the Zimbabwe Unity Movement and only to turn around and become a member of its provincial executive in Masvingo as has done Walter Mzembe.
Though Sekuru KP has tasted the wrath of this government’s machinery and attitude towards media practitioners and their owners over a story concerning the then Minister of Finance Tichaendepi Masaya, this was nothing compared to what he is experiencing now.
But then Paradza has always had his own leanings towards dictatorship and intolerance to differing opinions.
At one stage he threatened to stop the Bulawayo media fraternity from setting up its own press club which had no affiliations to the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists. When a group of us challenged this thinking and went ahead and formed the club, Paradza went ballistics but we opened the club anyhow. Now sadly, Zanu PF is paying him back with the same coins.
Paradza obviously had not figured out the machinations of Zanu PF towards an election year. At a time when Zanu PF is convinced that its Ariel Sharon tactics of dealing with the MDC are working, the last thing they want is a possible avenue of airing a different perception about Zimbabwe.
Whatever happens now, Paradza’s days in parliament are numbered. To Zanu PF he has crossed the line and it’s time to name and shame him. It would be futile for him to try and reason with Zanu PF at this point. The party does not do reasoning.