HomeEditorial CommentMuckraker: Captive crowd has Mugabe reminiscing

Muckraker: Captive crowd has Mugabe reminiscing

The Herald on Monday carried an editorial which challenged the two MDC formations “to respect the letter and spirit of the GPA in toto by stopping their dalliance with the pirate radio stations that beam divisive messages into the country on a daily basis”.

“We are aware that there are many, particularly in the West, who are not amused by the prevailing peace and badly need violence and division to justify claims that the inclusive government will abort.”

Can you believe that in a week when ZBC has persisted in playing its puerile and divisive “jingles”, in defiance of a cabinet ruling, another state organ can in all seriousness call on the MDC to stop its “dalliance” with the “pirate” radio stations?

The “pirate” radio stations, as we said last week, command such a large following precisely because the listening public are sick of ZBC’s moronic songs and dishonest claims. Here we have a “public” broadcaster which is openly contemptuous of the public it is supposed to serve and which is devoid of even a hint of professionalism.

Anybody who witnessed Happison Muchechetere’s brain-dead tirade last week will have immediately understood where the problem lies.
Muchechetere wants us to believe the Zanu PF jingles they continue to defiantly play are popular with the generality of Zimbabweans.

Muchechetere said the jingles were now a permanent feature on radio and television and were being played frequently to respond to “demand”.
Who is demanding to have the jingles played every 30 minutes on radio and TV?  Other than Jonathan Moyo, Webster Shamu and George Charamba we do not know of any other Zimbabwean who is clamouring for the jingles to be played.

If the jingles are as popular as Muchechetere wants us to believe why are Zimbabweans not requesting them on programmes such as Kwaziso /Ukubingelelana on Radio Zimbabwe or the other phone-in request shows?

We salute our brave colleagues in the diaspora, who were forced into exile when their radio stations were raided here.
So long as ZBC churns out its turgid message of hate and false heroism, our colleagues broadcasting from outside the country need to keep up the good work. This is especially the case when the MDC formations are unable or unwilling to uphold the torch of freedom because they are too busy feeding at the national trough.

As for the West not being amused by the “prevailing peace”, this is obviously a reference to the countries that feed our poor and starving masses. They have made it abundantly clear that so long as Zanu PF persists with its campaign of calumny and abuse there will be no transfer of funds. Why should the public of Europe and the United States underwrite a delinquent regime that continues to seize productive farms, poisons the political well with its asinine messages, and refuses to meet its obligations under the GPA?

“Let’s all walk the talk,” the Herald sanctimoniously proclaimed after the meeting of the three parties to press for healing.
They don’t seem to understand that healing will only come with disclosure and honesty. That requires full confession.
We don’t need any lectures from a state media that is part of the rot. As they helpfully reminded us this week, a fish rots from the head!

The People’s Voice, by the way, says the jingles are “music produced by Zanu PF stalwarts who came up with an amiable blend of music that arouses a nostalgic reverie of the fight against the white oppressor”.

Does the MDC not have its own music, the paper asked?
Yes it does. But it is excluded from the airwaves.

“The celebratory music produced by the highly talented choir is simply a sneak preview to the run-up to the 2011 elections where Zanu PF has already braced for a landslide victory,” the People’s Voice tells us.

So Zanu PF knows the date and the outcome already! Why should they want to “brace” for victory? And how can the music be a “sneak preview” when it is broadcast every 30 minutes?

We were amused by remarks made by President Mugabe last week when receiving the new French ambassador, Francois Ponge. He said he hoped the ambassador would help restore bilateral ties which have deteriorated since President Nicolas Sarkozy took over.

Mugabe said relations had been more cordial when Jacques Chirac was in office.
Monsieur Ponge was much too polite to mention that Chirac has been experiencing a little local difficulty in the courts which made it problematic for him to go on being so generous to African leaders. It has something to do with his tenure as mayor of Paris.

He did invite Mugabe to the Elysée once, in 2003, but we all recall that stiff and distant handshake!
France found it prudent from then on to adhere to Europe’s “common position” on Zimbabwe. It left them less exposed to their troublesome allies on foreign policy.

Mugabe apparently gave Ponge one of his little lectures that he likes to do on these occasions, this time on how Tony Blair internationalised the dispute with Britain.

The president’s advisors should understand that ambassadors presenting their credentials are usually very well briefed on recent events and are unlikely to swallow these little homilies.

We had the self-exiled columnist Reason Wafawarova taking pot shots at our journalists last week.
It did not make any sense for Zimbabweans to be in the forefront of blocking trade in Zimbabwe’s diamonds, he opined.
“Neither does it make any sense that Zimbabwean journalists at the Standard newspaper and its sister papers, the Zimbabwe Independent and NewsDay are paid for fronting the voice of white supremacists of Rhodesian background.”

Are they really Reason? And what about you? What are you doing in Australia when you could be fighting the good fight with your dead-beat friends in Zanu PF?

Isn’t it about time you came home as you suggest in your slogan, “It is homeland or death”?

We would hate to think you are firing broadsides from the safety of your Australian homeland while your compatriots struggle to survive here because of the policies you propagate. But don’t worry, we all understand the message about looking the other way while post-liberation rulers get fat on the country’s natural resources.

Tafataona Mahoso has been preaching that gospel for years and look where it’s got us!

The Manica Post continues to gun for the loudest praise-singers of President Mugabe award. After Mugabe’s meeting with members of the Johanne Marange Sect at Mafararikwa, Marange, the paper led with a story headlined “President meets largest crowd in history”
It forgot to mention it was a captive audience.

“On March 27, 1980 President Mugabe addressed arguably the largest rally in the history of Zimbabwe when about 200 000 people thronged the Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield to welcome him back from the liberation struggle,” read the Manica Post story.

“But the crowd did not come anywhere near the pilgrims of St Johanne Marange Apostolic Church he addressed last Saturday.”
The paper told us around 250 000 members of the church gathered to listen to Mugabe’s address.

What we find curious is that the paper found news value in the large attendance of the Vapositori instead of what the president actually said there.
And why were we not told why the president was surprised by the large gathering which he admitted he had never addressed in his lifetime?

“I asked Mutumwa (High Priest Noah Taguta) how he manages to address and look after a multitude of this nature,” Mugabe said. “I am told that some people are not even in attendance and I have never addressed a crowd of this magnitude. Opportunities to address a large crowd of this nature are rare to come by,” he went on.

Clearly, he has not managed to look after the crowd that thronged Zimbabwe Grounds to welcome him in 1980. Highfield voted MDC in 2000 and has never looked back. And this was his own constituency!

The meeting in Marange could have reminded him of the large gatherings that used to voluntarily attend his rallies across the country.
And why was there a contradiction in the figures of the Vapositori who thronged Mafararikwa? While the Manica Post put the figure at 250 000, Nathaniel Manheru, who operates from Munhumutapa Building, said it was a “150 000-strong congregation”.
Let’s get the spin right.

We read with interest in the Sunday Mail the large number of companies that have declined to sign up with Saviour Kasukuwere’s fatal empowerment project. They seem to be staying away in droves.

But only a few weeks ago the same paper ran a front-page story on how all these companies were enthusiastically joining up. Now Kasukuwere is threatening dire punishment for those who don’t obey his injunction.

Difficult to get at the truth when reading between the lines in Izvestia. But one thing’s for sure. The empowerment regulations have done untold damage to investment and recovery prospects. But in Zanu PF destruction of the economy has always been rewarded with promotion. Ask Joseph Made!

What is going on in Rwanda? Reports suggest as elections draw closer, repression of opposition activism is also gaining momentum.
An opposition leader was found dead, decapitated, an independent journalist gunned down outside his home in Kigali, an exiled general shot and is lucky to be alive.

Leading opposition figure, Victoire Ingabire, is under house arrest, dissenting voices are being silenced. Two popular vernacular newspapers have been closed.

In recent months, opposition party leaders in Rwanda have been arrested and charged with denying the genocide.
Human rights campaigners have said Rwandans are streaming out of the country because of the hostile political environment.
We were interested to note that Paul Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Front uses a clenched fist as its party symbol.

We wonder what our own rulers think of Kagame now Rwanda has joined the Commonwealth and gone Anglophone. He was seen as an upstart in Harare a few years ago. And that was a view shared in Paris.

President Sarkozy was furious, we hear, when he made a speech in Kigali in French last year and Kagame replied in English despite being fluent in French!

Kagame’s party has not forgiven the French for their support of the genocidal Hutu regime in 1994.
Then there were the rather inexperienced American visitors to Kigali who said they were mobilising support for unity between “the Tutsis and the Hutsis”!

Finally, we were amused by Iranian vice-president Mahmoud Baghaei’s (pronounced Bug-Eye) ridiculous remarks about events in Zimbabwe. Addressing a Zimbabwean delegation in Tehran which included the ever-gullible Isdore Guvamombe, Baghaei said if President Mugabe had not got into power in Zimbabwe it was going to be difficult for South Africa to have its own Independence (sic).

“Mandela was influenced by what he saw President Mugabe doing in Zimbabwe.”
Indeed he was. That is why he did things very differently there. He favoured a non-racial inclusivist and constitution-based society where everybody had rights, as distinct from the narrow exclusivist regime to the north where government took arbitrary decisions and disregarded the rule of law.
Then of course there was Zimbabwe’s Congo intervention which Mandela publicly opposed.

We are grateful to Vice-President Bug-Eye for bringing these stark contrasts to our attention.
Meanwhile, we would be keen to know if Guvamombe endorses the Iranian custom of stoning errant women to death!

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