CONGRATULATIONS to Tony Hawkins for calling it like it is.
The Indigenisation regulatons are most certainly “racist and backward” and deserve to be likened to apartheid laws in South Africa.
Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere walked out of a conference at the Rainbow Towers because of sentiments expressed that he took exception to, we are told by the Sunday Mail.
Why is it okay for Kasukuwere to call opponents of his scheme “racist” but then demonstrates pique when the same is said of him?
If he can’t stand the heat he should stay out of the kitchen. Did he not read what Zanu PF loyalist Gideon Gono said about his warped proposals? That they were racist and harmful to the economy? We never thought we would concur so heartily with the Reserve Bank governor but he was 100% right on this one.
South Africa has black empowerment enabling laws in place. But their measures are largely the product of national consensus. They are only too aware that investors have a choice where to go. Zanu PF is oblivious to that reality. Kasukuwere said it was “shocking” that there were still “some elements in society who were blatantly racist” –– just because they believe his regulations are damaging to the economy and detrimental to investment. Isn’t that just about what everybody thinks?
Zanu PF’s habit of calling anybody who opposes them “racist” needs to be challenged. Hawkins is one of the country’s leading economists and knows what he is talking about. Kasukuwere evidently doesn’t.
What was not reported in the Sunday Mail was Kasukuwere arriving two hours late for the conference and then taking a seat at the back of the room so he could undertake his obviously stage-managed walk-out. Businessmen who had been waiting to hear his address were evicted to make room for the minister and his delegation.
It had all the hallmarks of an orchestrated event.
The game was given away by AAG secretary-general Tafadzwa Musarara who said his members walked out “in solidarity with the minister”. Musarara left before presenting his paper we are told.
That’s a pity because his paper was very amusing. It was headed “Empowerment, my divine rights restored”.
Evidently we have another Louis XIV in our midst! It would be unfair to draw attention to his spelling of indigenous. But we must challenge his claim that “sadza is indigenous and hence it has no name”. Has he not heard of maize that has its origins in Central America?
“We have mangos, cats, peaches and others that have remained classified exotic,” he claimed.
We also have dimwits who remain classified as daft. We note that Musarara’s claim that “blacks are the indigenous people of Africa” neatly airbrushed the San and Khoi from the picture.
What is not spelt out in this debate is the self-appointed role of Sadc in preventing Zanu PF from destroying the economy. That’s why they instigated the inter-party talks in the first place.
Now we have a minister who is determined to behave like a school-yard bully brandishing policies that are bound to jeopardise investment and reconstruction.
Just watch this tragedy unfold. It’s another Zanu PF own goal just as the green shoots of recovery were visible.
We wish to congratulate the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists for successfully hosting the second congress of the Federation of African Journalists. At least they put their differences aside and hosted journalists from across the continent.
What caught our attention were Webster Shamu’s attempts to mislead the visiting journalists.
He told them during a reception hosted by his ministry that journalists should not be arrested for telling the truth.
“No journalist should be arrested for telling the truth,” Shamu said on Sunday.
He forgot to explain to the visitors that it is Zanu PF ministers who decide whether a newspaper is telling the truth. Under the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act a journalist can be arrested for criticising the president. Ordinary citizens can be prosecuted under the same law for making remarks about the president in the back of a kombi!
Zimbabwe is ranked among the worst violators of press freedom on the continent.
Perhaps this could have been the perfect platform for Shamu to give an update on progress regarding the abolition of Aippa and licensing of newspapers and radio stations.
We also congratulate the Sunday Mail for telling the truth about the state of the education sector in the country. The paper ran a feature highlighting the plight of pupils and teachers at Marongwe Primary School in Mt Darwin.
The “school” is made up of nine blocks of wooden poles which are thatched with grass, the paper reported.
Under the headline “School or refugee camp?” pupils at the school and teachers are quoted expressing their anger at the failure by authorities to build a proper school for them.
“It seems as if we are trapped,” said Takesure Gatsi, a Grade six pupil. “We cannot learn well but we cannot leave the school because it is the nearest we have. Other schools are so far away that going there is simply a waste of time.”
Edgar Gumbo, the deputy headmaster, weighed in: “We have to keep an eye each time on the kids to ensure that the mischievous ones do not light up the school. But our major problems come during the rainy season. We literally have to close the school because the thatching grass will be leaking water into the ‘classroom’.”
The paper also quoted Dickson Mafios, MP for Mt Darwin, lamenting the conditions at the “school” and calling on the donor community to assist.
“It pains me that children are learning in these structures,” Mafios said.
Are we not constantly told that one of President Mugabe’s major achievements since Independence in 1980 is the education sector?
And as for MP Mafios’ appeal to donors to assist building proper structures at the “school”, should donors come in to help at the convenience of Zanu PF and President Mugabe?
Can someone tell him that the thousands spent during the 21st February Movement celebrations at the Trade Fair in Bulawayo could have gone a long way in helping solve the problems at Marongwe?
We also hope the same “donors” who splashed the nation’s cash paying Sizzla to come to Zimbabwe to fire up the celebrations, will rise to the occasion and save the children of Mt Darwin the trouble they are going through. Where is Saviour Kasukuwere in all this?
Our attention was captured by King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo of the Abathembu in South Africa who says he wants to rule like President Mugabe, whom he considers a “role model” for Africa’s political leaders.
The Herald dutifully carried the story in its Monday edition telling us: “I don’t mind to rule like (President) Mugabe and tell (President) Zuma to keep his South Africa and let me keep my Thembuland. No man will be allowed to sleep with another man in my state.”
The traditional leader told a symposium at Walter Sisulu University that in his “ideal state”, homosexuality would be outlawed and the example of President Mugabe followed.
We know that King Dalindyebo does not only agree with President Mugabe on his resolve to outlaw gay rights but the king also wants to rule until kingdom come.
Still on the subject of gays, a journalist from Uganda, Stephen Ouma Bwire, gave us an interesting insight on the situation in his country regarding gay rights and the media which dovetails well with events at Herald House.
“The Ugandan media has decided to impose self-censorship in a bid to evade dangers of falling into trouble with the authorities over reportage that can be construed to mean promoting the condemned practice in the country,” he said during the Federation of African Journalists congress held in Harare last weekend.
“The media is only interested in reporting on negativities on homosexuality in a bid to satisfy authorities and society in which they live.”
He did not end there.
“What is clear today in Uganda is that attempts by any journalist to exhibit objectivity on matters pertaining to homosexuality will brand him or her a practitioner of the condemned practice.
“Ethical journalism will remain a far-fetched practice while reporting on controversial issues like homosexuality unless the journalists themselves desist from taking sides.”
African National Congress Youth League chairman Julius Malema will be in Zimbabwe from Friday to “show solidarity with the people and their fight for full economic independence”.
The ANC youth leader is expected to address a number of rallies and meetings during his four-day visit, the Herald said on Monday.
Indigenisation minister Kasukuwere described Malema as a “vibrant young political leader with a passion for genuine development”.
“Cde Malema is clear on the new phase of economic revolution underway that is targeting the participation of young people in national development,” he said.
“Cde Malema is a strong advocate of indigenisation and this ties in well with Zimbabwe’s efforts to empower its indigenous people.”
Fair and fine Kasukuwere. But you forgot to tell us that Malema is frantically fending off allegations that he manipulated tender procedures in Limpopo Province for his own benefit. That he became rich overnight.
Attempts by Malema to defend himself drew more curiosity when he made the absurd claim that he “lived on hand-outs” from friends.
In an interview with the Mail & Guardian at his Sandton, Johannesburg home, Malema said: “I am not rich. I do not have millions as reported.
“All my houses have got bonds. They are financed by banks. I’ve never got any lucrative tender from anybody, including the company called SGL.
“I live on handouts most of the time. If I don’t have food to eat, I can call Cassel Mathale (premier of Limpopo) and say: ‘Chief, can you help me? I’ve got nothing here’.
“I can call Thaba Mufamadi (Limpopo MEC), I can call Pule Mabe (ANCYL treasurer general) or Mbalula (Fikile Mbalula, deputy minister of police). They all do the same with me. That’s how we have come to relate to each other.
“That’s why at times you can’t even see our poverty because we cover each other’s back. As comrades we have always supported each other like that.”
Malema added that if anyone had concrete evidence that he manipulated tender processes in Limpopo they should report him to the police.
If the state found millions in his account, they should take them and give them to institutions that help poor children, he said.
Let’s see what Kasukuwere learns from Malema. One thing’s for sure. President Zuma won’t exactly be comfortable with this ill-considered visit just as he is trying to promote harmony between the two sides in Zimbabwe.
And Malema can be relied on to say something stupid.
Meanwhile, what will he be teaching Kasukuwere? How to live on handouts after indigenistion fails? Or how to get rich quick? Or has he already done that?
Finally, we were amused by Ignatious Chombo’s remarks in Shamva at a very late celebration of the president’s birthday.
“You must ask yourselves what it is that makes the nation celebrate Cde Mugabe’s birthday?” he asked.
That’s easy. It’s Zanu PF that makes the nation celebrate Cde Mugabe’s birthday!