HomeOpinion & AnalysisMuckraker: Poor planning from a Planning minister!

Muckraker: Poor planning from a Planning minister!

MUCKRAKER finds it difficult to feel any sorrow for deputy Economic Planning minister Samuel Undenge who failed to plan for the upkeep of his children.

The Harare civil court has issued a garnishee order on the minister which will, he says, make a big dent in his income.
The order to pay $300 for his two children with ex-wife Angeline Munyeza means he is now maintaining four children at a cost of US$450.
He was already paying $150 for the upkeep of two children from another marriage, the Herald tells us.
This looks very much like poor planning from the Planning minister!
Munyeza had approached the courts accusing Undenge of neglecting his children and having last bought school uniforms for them in 2005. He had last contributed to the children’s upkeep in 2006 and their daughter had been turned away from school because of unpaid fees. 
Undenge denied that he was running a profitable farm in Chimanimani, as claimed by his ex-wife. The farm was being sustained by bank loans he said.
We know ministers can rarely be accused of running profitable farms. But the farm in this case was almost certainly profitable when the minister acquired it. We recall Undenge spouting Zanu PF mantras when he was seeking preferment some years ago. He evidently thought that was the way to go. But what exactly has he produced over the past five or six years except a batch of progeny he is unable to sustain?

Meanwhile we had SK Moyo complaining about farm equipment lying idle at the
RBZ warehouse for three years. Some of the implements had been vandalised he told the party faithful in Bulawayo.
Strange isn’t it that nobody in Zanu PF noticed the implements lying around at the warehouse until President Mugabe mentioned an election.
We liked Morgan Tsvangirai’s comparison of Chombo and the baboon. Why does he need all those vehicles, Tsvangirai wanted to know? It was like the baboon picking up mealie cobs in the field, one under each arm and others in his hands. But then he would see another cob and drop his current bundle to pick up the new one.

Under the heading “Zim, Zambia call for stronger ties”, the Herald on Monday carried a report on a meeting of the Zimbabwe-Zambia Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security.
“The commission observed that some externally funded non-governmental organisations were working against the governments of the two sister republics as well as governments of other countries in the region,” the commission said. Opening the meeting, National Security minister Sydney Sekeramayi said the two countries had been the victims of colonialism and “continue to be at the mercy of neo-colonial machinations by the former colonial masters”.
In fact both countries have witnessed the steady sabotage of their economies by their own governments. Zambia’s nationalisation of the copper mines and other institutions in the 1970s led to the collapse of its economy from which it is only now recovering. Here, Zanu PF is performing the same sort of national hara kiri which has seen the departure of investors and dramatic destruction of commercial agriculture.

Levy Mwanawasa’s wisdom is sorely missed. He rarely engaged in the sort of nonsense emanating from the joint commission and its foolish fantasies about NGOs. Many of the NGOs supposedly plotting against Zambia and Zimbabwe were in the forefront of rescuing our people from starvation in 2008 and continue to work for the provision of clean water and hospital equipment.
NGOs played a key role in providing transparency in the 2008 electoral process and thereby prevented the cheating that has come to be associated with Zimbabwean elections. No wonder they are hated in Harare!
Sekeramayi said the two countries should continue to fight neo-colonialism.
In fact they should continue to fight ministerial foolishness that has reduced once prosperous states to basket cases.
The commission did call on Sadc and the AU to support the forthcoming elections within the framework of the Sadc principles and guidelines governing democratic elections.
That presumably includes acceptance of the outcome?

Emmerson Mnangagwa was quoted in NewsDay on Monday saying Zanu PF would continue to rule whatever the outcome.
Speaking in Kwekwe, he said: “In the last elections you voted for the wrong party but today I am pleased to see all of you here and I assume you are here because you support the revolutionary party and what (Owen) Mudha stands for.
“If you disagree with what is being said here, then there is nothing I can do about it, and if you don’t vote for us in the next election –– this country is huge –– we will rule even if you don’t want.”
So there you have democracy Zanu PF-style. Good to have it on the record.
Mnangagwa by the way, despite having got religion, is a serial loser. We recall his failed bid to become party national chairman in 1999. Then we remember him losing his Kwekwe seat in 2000 to a MDC candidate in hiding. In the end, after yet another defeat in 2005 he had to be rescued from humiliation by President Mugabe who gave him the Rural Housing ministry.
Now he has managed to claw his way back up the ladder to the Defence portfolio. Not a very impressive performance! And do we really want another national leader who doesn’t give a damn what the electorate says?
In this connection, has anybody heard President Mugabe admonishing those of his adherents who want him to rule forever?
Has anybody heard him say that such a post is inappropriate in a democracy; that such talk is to be discouraged in Zanu PF because it sends the wrong signal to the country?
How is Kamuzu Banda remembered today? As a devoted ruler of his people? Or a sad case of not knowing when to call it quits.

Please tell us it isn’t true: The government regularly doctors weather forecast data, especially information relating to rainfall and droughts, according to a report in a local newspaper.
Climate Change director Washington Zhakata told journalists at a climate change workshop in Harare last week that weather information required “moderation” prior to transmission.
You see, the public are not thought to be ready for bad weather!
Zhakata was asked why the Met office had every year over the past decade consistently predicted normal to above normal rainfall only for the country to experience droughts.
The Met office apparently gives daily updates to government officials before such sensitive information is put out. 
Muckraker is shocked by this disclosure. And what about those days when the Herald fails to carry a weather report? Does that mean there will be no weather that day?

Who advised Happison Muchechetere to sue the Standard? The paper was guilty of portraying the broadcaster as a Zanu PF propaganda tool, trying to make viewers and customers shun the broadcaster, an indignant letter from the CEO said. He demanded $10 million in damages.
We are not sure whether to laugh or cry. Of course we think ZBC is a Zanu PF propaganda tool. Doesn’t everybody? Despite being publicly owned, it fails to provide a platform to parties other than Zanu PF and speaks in demeaning terms of Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC-T. It has never once been critical of President Mugabe even though he determines national policy. Instead it is slavishly loyal to the party that lost the last election.
Of course we are not going to contribute to Muchechetere’s handsome income by paying him large amounts of money. He doesn’t deserve it.
Instead we shall take great pleasure in getting the Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe to check their records and tell us which item they think is the most egregious example of partisan and unprofessional conduct by ZBC.
It will be a tight choice!

Muchechetere encourages his managers to take individual legal action against the Standard if they like.
That single act demonstrates that his loyalty is with the cabal that abuses power by refusing to open up the airwaves. And we are very doubtful that our colleagues at ZBC will take him up on his spiteful offer.
We recall a minister encouraging officials at the 1999 constitutional commission to sue the Standard. “Come and feed at this trough,” he said after the paper carried a story on the commission which it didn’t like.
He lost the case on appeal.
Another minister tried to get Air Zimbabwe to sue the Zimbabwe Independent.
The Independent is still here. The airline’s managers involved in that case aren’t. In fact they didn’t survive more than a few  months.
The problem is it is very difficult in law to defame the state or state organs. They are considered to be subject to public scrutiny and critical comment even where that comment may be hostile. Read PTC vs Modus.
But whatever the case, Happison should not be such a crybaby. ZBC fires hostile broadsides at the independent press and civil society on a regular basis, then it hides when the heat in the kitchen gets too much. How pathetic!

Also the recipient of poor advice, Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe should reflect on whether speculation about a prominent person’s possible pregnancy can possibly be defamatory. Is it defamatory to be pregnant? This looks like another MDC miscalculation. Declaring war on the  press is never a good idea. Ask Obert Mpofu.

Morgan Tsvangirai was complaining the other day that he couldn’t raise the funds needed to compensate white farmers.
He didn’t seem to recall the visits to farms under siege which he and other MDC luminaries undertook soon after the GNU came into office.
Did he think it was OK to ignore the violence and greed that took place on those farms and that Western states would be pleased to give him lots of money –– $6 billion he wants –– even though he didn’t do anything about it?
And how about these thoughtful words from Tendai Biti to the same CZI audience.
“We have a very difficult situation that we have to handle. I say it is difficult because we are faced with a serious lobby  by the international community to compensate our former farmers that were dispossessed of their land.
“Should we fail to do that, it means we are placing ourselves at the mercy of these farmers for they can do anything to ensure that they are compensated.”
Great stuff Tendai. Really enlightening!

Jonathan Moyo never ceases to amaze. His exploits as a political turncoat are well documented and need no further elaboration. Muckraker thinks if the professor had his way he would delete from the archives the vociferous articles he wrote during his wilderness years –– against President Mugabe and Zanu PF. 
They seem to pop up now and again and will surely dent his attempts to ingratiate himself with the party faithful.
He always seems to find new lows in his articles, even if you think he has gone as low as one can get. Most will concur that his ability to twist and fabricate facts with a metaphorical straight face are second to none and his recent article in the Sunday Mail is certainly no exception.
He brazenly states that “the dubious political success of Tsvangirai’s MDC at the polls has always been synonymous with and only possible through chaos as borne out by what happened in the 2000 and 2008 general elections.
“The MDC-T’s only election strategy is to be destructive by, for example, heightening political tension in the country which attracts negative international media coverage and generally promoting dysfunctional politics whose aim is to dispirit and disenchant Zimbabweans by doing and saying destabilising things that leave them alarmed and despondent.”
Laughter would be an appropriate reaction to such drivel if one didn’t know the author. To accuse the MDC of heightening political tension when they were on the receiving end of the violence that accompanied the elections from 2000 up to 2008 is insulting to any reader’s intelligence.

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