I have never met Pius Wakatama, but for a long time, he has been one of my favourite writers or columnists.
By John Sigauke
Unfortunately he had disappeared into thin air for a while and I actually missed his writings. I recently discovered that he is back, not with his original penning dexterity though. I guess he is getting on in years.
His writings, which used to be a reading therapy for me despite our ideological differences, no longer inspire at all.
In his recent instalment in The Standard entitled Political patronage has destroyed Zim, he tried cunningly without success, to set Zanu PF members against each other.
In his argument, he believes Professor Jonathan Moyo is being persecuted for exposing corruption, appointing people who are not Zanu PF members, creating the Information and Media Panel of Inquiry (Impi) and condemning the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) for cancelling a rally by the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) to commemorate the World Freedom Day.
Somebody must tell him that Moyo is not under any persecution. It is within the democratic rights of every member of Zanu PF to interrogate actions of their colleagues. After noticing that Moyo is appointing people who criticise Zanu PF, Wakatama tried his luck. He pretends to fight from Professor Moyo’s corner in a desperate bid to curry favour that will probably entice the minister to take him (Wakatama) on board.
There is nothing wrong when Moyo’s colleagues query the appointment of Edmund Kudzayi as the editor of The Sunday Mail. Apart from allegations of being Baba Jukwa, the comrades are arguing that the young man does not have an iota of newsroom experience.
Naturally, people are bound to ask questions when they see square pegs in round holes. Zimpapers is teeming with veteran journalists who remained steadfast when things were not rosy in the country. The likes of Kudzayi ran into comfort zones, only to come back when things had shaped up, to eat the fruits that are supposed to be eaten by the journalists who were in the trenches. There is no political patronage here, Wakatama.
There is nothing wrong in questioning the appointment of Geoff Nyarota to head Impi. Wakatama told us that Nyarota is an internationally recognised journalist. Agreed, but he should also tell us that the man is a losing MDC-T parliamentary candidate. That alone justifies the questions that people have about this odd appointment.
Strangely, there is no declared Zanu PF member in Impi. The comrades only wanted to know how the national vision espoused in the Zim Asset could be driven when people who are opposed to it are at the helm of strategic institutions. After all, Impi does not add any value to a country whose economy is bleeding. With the huge allowances the panelists are pocketing, it is really a misplaced priority.
Wakatama seems to suggest that since elections are there to change regimes, it’s therefore, democratic for Zanu PF members to orchestrate regime change from within. To me this doesn’t add up at all. It’s tantamount to celebrating an own goal. Which soccer team on earth can condone a player who continues to score own goals?
He went further to say that “the Zimbabwean environment can only be changed from within Zanu PF because there is no time to wait for possible regime change through elections.” He even cited examples of apartheid South Africa and Soviet Union where regime changes came from within. This sold out the ill-intention of his article.
Wakatama contradicts himself. He talks of democracy at the same time he incites people not to wait for elections to effect regime change. Which democratic method does he want us to use to change the political leadership? Democracy dictates that regimes be changed through the ballot. Wakatama is now certain that the horses (MDCs) that he has been backing all these years, will never win an election in Zimbabwe, thus he now wants the regime change to come from within.
Wakatama seems to suggest that what Moyo is doing is a democratic step towards effecting a regime change from within Zanu PF, and to him, nobody must take offence. While he seems to praise the Professor, ironically he is attempting to set Zanu PF against Moyo.