Muckraker

Scene from the House of Hunger


THERE was a ludicrous article in the Sunday Mail by Clever Chirume about

Zimbabwean media failing to transform “in line with democratisation processes”. The article seems to mirror the writer’s confusion. In the article, Chirume talks about democracy but is contemptuous of “the rule of law” which he dismisses as an abstract value.


He blames the Daily News for publishing the MDC’s position paper on the talks but says nothing about Zanu PF which is refusing to move with speed to deal with the nation’s snowballing problems.


The media can play a constructive role provided political leaders are serious about their business.


“The talks should be about the immediate strategies of solving our problems as well as the long-term strategy of bringing food on the table through addressing the national question,” says Chirume. Then he proceeds to attack what he calls the MDC’s wish list.


Surely Zanu PF simply has no solutions to the country’s problems that it created while the likes of Chirume and other praise-singers cheered on. We are in this situation because since 1980 we have had too many Chirumes — a gullible mass of people who simply followed Zanu PF slavishly down the road to ruin.


The arrogant declaration by Zanu PF leaders, including national chairman John Nkomo, that no-one can tell their party how it should do “its business” reveals hubris that has been the ruin of many despots.


“The media has completely ignored to enlighten the people about the unsustainability and the destructive consequences of the stalemate between Zanu PF and the MDC,” says Chirume.


“The political impasse between the two parties has no doubt blocked options to the resolution of the country’s problems.”


What planet has Chirume been living in? Which media is he referring to? Who has been stonewalling on the talks? Why duck and dive Chirume?


The MDC might only have a “wish list” as Chirume calls it, but at least it has a position paper on the way forward.  What is Zanu PF’s position? Chirume and other Zanu PF columnists must tell us.


The Sunday Mail also carried a piece by Professor Kangaroo Manheru’s embed reporter, Munyaradzi Huni. Huni reproduced a New African magazine article on how Britain and America allegedly helped Idi Amin stage a coup in Uganda in January 1971. Only at the end of the article were we told why this propaganda piece was relevant to Zimbabwe:


“Now, is there any similarity between the dirty games that the British government employed to smuggle Amin into power and the way they wanted to push the MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai into power through the back door?” asks Huni. Of course, there is no similarity.  Why ask such a preposterous question? But you can’t put anything beyond Huni (deadwood).


“Just like Amin,” explained Huni, “Tsvangirai has sell-out tendencies as was shown by his actions when he abconded from the liberatin struggle after a few days.” Has Huni ever heard of Mgagao before? Why is he being so unkind to his master?


Everybody knows Tsvangirai got nearly as many votes as Robert Mugabe in the presidential election. The outcome of that election is still being challenged in court and might yet prove that there were lots of irregularities in the way Mugabe emerged the winner. The MDC won 57 seats in the parliamentary election in 2000 while Zanu PF got only 62.


We are not aware of British citizens who voted for the MDC as part of a plan to push Tsvangirai “into power though the back door”.


Only a few weeks ago Huni was urging the media to get sober when reporting national issues. It seems he is getting more drunk with propaganda.


The psychopath calling himself Under the Surface — whatever that means — appears to be getting increasingly deranged. This week he took an unprovoked lunge at the new American head of the political section at the US embassy in Harare, Win Dayton, warning him of unspecified dire consequences if he tried “to play any silly games”.


“Ask the British high commissioner to Zimbabwe Brian Donnelly what will happen if you try to do so,” Under the Surface threatened. 


We don’t know what happened to Sir Brian. Muckraker is curious to know. And why does Under the Surface sound afraid?  Surely Dayton is not President Bush!


ZBC’s Tazzen Mandizvidza strug-gled through his soporific weekly programme, Media Watch trying to explain what a supplementary budget means. At the end of the programme we were no wiser than the buffoon he interviewed who didn’t seem to know there had been such a thing.


The media, Mandizvidza claimed, was failing to educate the public about budgets. But the ZBC has so much time wasted on propaganda music that no-one wants to listen to. The public media which Moyo seems to think belongs to him should give informed people time to explain budget issues.


But unfortunately that would expose a government committed to spending taxpayers’ money on useless undertakings like Rambai Makashinga or training thugs at the Border Gezi Institute instead of funding capital projects.


Genuine analysts would lay open government’s reckless spending pattern and financial abuses over the past 23 years.  Mandizvidza is not the type to undertake such a risky enterprise. We all know the reason. He would be in the streets the following day looking for a job.


A great quote from the Herald’s psychotic columnist, Nathaniel Manheru: “Things have gone out of hand and too far and the time has come to tell Howard that he is one huge disgrace and that, because he has done an unbelievable disservice to the Commonwealth, he will not be allowed to cause more damage.”


Zimbabweans would be forgiven for a sense of déjà vu.  Remove Howard and put Mugabe and substitute Zimbabwe for Commonwealth and the scene from the House of Hunger is complete.


Australian prime minister John Howard was being lambasted for calling President Mugabe an “unelected despot”.


Manheru seems to be living in a fool’s paradise. Just listen to this:


“Fortunately for Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans, the gulf between Howard’s mythical Zimbabwe and the real Zimbabwe is widening by the day with the effect of exposing the lies and deceptions that have come to typify the approaches of the white world …” Manheru claimed.


Isn’t it true that the widening gulf is between suffering Zimbabweans and its rulers living in a mythical Zimbabwe of milk and honey?


After destroying agriculture and causing massive shortages in Zimbabwe Manheru and his ilk go down south to shop for scarce foodstuffs in Johannesburg. Not so the poor who must literally fight everyday to get a meal. Let’s hope the Sunday Times will continue to do its job of exposing hypocrites who create hunger in their own countries and rush to foreign lands to buy food using taxpayers’ money.


Muckraker does not normally comment on football matters because soccer journalists are less sycophantic compared to their counterparts who cover politics. But the Herald’s overzealous coverage of Dynamos’ impressive 3-0 victory over Highlanders was slightly over the top. They splashed three rambling stories on the same issue.


ZBC’s SportFM immediately after the game on Sunday indulged in a similar orgy. The disc jockey on air, whatever his name, played Dynamos’ praise song by Zex Manatsa twice inside 10 minutes. Come on guys, be professional and stop being DeMbare mambaras. We know you support the team.


Still on soccer, we were amused to see Zifa guys writing a letter to their patron Simon Muzenda complaining about junior minister Jonathan Moyo’s interference in their affairs. Education minister Aeneas Chigwedere complained about Moyo’s interference and attempts to make a name for himself in football.


The Daily News captured the humour on Monday when it carried a cartoon of a tall, lanky and bespectacled fellow with receding hair and a potbelly standing under a washing line with T-shirts written “Moyo the farmer”, “Moyo the media analyst”, “Moyo the politician”, “Moyo the musician”, and “Moyo the soccer fan”.   What is his portfolio? we really wonder!


Where is the instant multimillionaire in impoverished Zim-babwe who is not claiming his Lotto prize?


We are told one of the three winners from the August 9 draw has not claimed his $63,3 million.


It is clear the winner-at-large is unaware of his new status given the hyperinflationary environment we live in.


It’s also likely the winner is not a committed gambler and therefore did not bother checking the winning numbers or the winning ticket was misplaced long before the results were out.


If the winner does not come up soon, there is every chance that somebody from the thriving crime sector will try a few tricks and produce a fake ticket.


If they can do it with hard cash, musical concert tickets and cheques, why not with a lotto ticket?


If the winner is still in the country and has not bothered to check his ticket then he is the unluckiest person because there is not much chance that he will land the big one again.

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