Will the MDC pick up the ball please!
THE MDC appears unable to recognise a Christmas gift-horse when it looks
them in the mouth.
Gideon Gono is reported as backing the scheme announced by Emmerson
Mnangagwa at their party’s conference recently to reintroduce the ill-fated
This scrap of paper arguably brought more suffering and national
embarrassment to this country than any other document in our short history.
It is a testimony to Zanu PF’s stubborn myopia that it is unable to
recognise a bad and unpopular policy when it presents itself. As for the
MDCs, any other party in any other country would be performing a victory
dance. This is the single most strategic advantage the party has been
awarded all year. And it’s for free.
It is a gift of a policy that any dynamic party would grasp with both hands.
The ZimDollar is heartily loathed by all Zimbabweans. What can Zanu PF be
Is it seriously suggested the people of this country want to return to bank
queues; that they are calling out for price regulation, empty supermarket
shelves and all the other horrors that go with the worthless dollar and its
Gono actually knows better but is required to repeat party mantras if he is
to survive on the Zanu PF Merry-go-round.
How long, we wonder, will it take the MDC-T to wake from its customary
slumber? This is the best opportunity they have ever had to adopt a popular
and correct national stance: Nobody wants the ZimDollar except the likes of
Didymus Mutasa and Goodwills Masimirembwa.
But will the MDC pick up the ball and run or just sit tight? Answers on the
back of a postage stamp please.
Perhaps the most fatuous statement last week came from George Charamba who
claimed that parliament was interfering with the executive over the BAZ
This would be funny were it not so wrong. Parliament is perfectly entitled
to hold the executive accountable for its actions. That is what democratic
governance is all about. What democracy is not about is having pompous
officials attempting to prevent the people’s representatives from exercising
their oversight role. Parliament is perfectly entitled to comment on and
reject government policy.
When the provisional government was in gestation it was argued by civil
society that senior civil servants should not be politicians. The MDC in its
wisdom said no, they are professional administrators and should be left
alone. Now we can see the consequences of that naïve policy.
Muckraker was shocked to read that President Mugabe was the only head of
state attending President Kabila’s inauguration.
It must be quite obvious now that the president’s advisors have a policy of
encouraging their boss to attend every single function he is allowed to.
This is a visibility thing. He needs exposure although one would have
thought he had sufficient already.
Occasionally the policy backfires. We are still waiting to see Ecuador’s
The Bankers Association let us down badly last week. They told us there was
enough cash to go around in the run-up to Christmas. Within 24 hours of
that statement the ATMs had run out.
For a moment we had a glimpse of the bad old days Zanu PF wants to bring
back. But thankfully the banks, sensing danger, managed to restock just in
time for Christmas. Still, the Herald was a bit off the mark with its
“nation awash in plenty” stories.
The nation was excited by the women’s football tournament which was the
highlight of the Unity celebrations. But we can be sure if that’s all the
regime has to offer, their prospects don’t look good!
Muckraker was amused by a ZBC report entitled “No Xmas for essential staff”.
While the rest of the world was celebrating such a special day, says ZBC, it
was business as usual for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation staff and
obviously other “crucial” sectors.
The “essential” ZBC staff had to forgo the pleasures of the day and work
diligently just like on an ordinary day, we were told.
“Further afield at places like Zindoga, Mereki and other merry-making
places, people were really enjoying themselves,” mused ZBC.
We are sure that the much-abused ZBC listeners and viewers wouldn’t have
minded one day without the “first and permanent choice”.
Very few would have missed those tasteless propaganda jingles which are
being churned out like confetti. What of the drab 1980s repeats as well as
the “not to be missed” Zvavanhu hosted by none other than Tafataona Mahoso,
Vimbai (European) Chivaura and Sheunesu Mpepereki.
Muckraker has since discovered that the Mahoso, Chivaura and Mpepereki act
is not a new phenomenon in the world of television. In the US they had The
Three Stooges who were a comedy act of the early to mid–20th century.
According to Wikipedia their hallmark was physical farce and extreme
It’s nice to know that Mahoso and company are diligently following in their
‘Lessons of progressively managing the media in developing nations can be
drawn from China,” stated the Sunday Mail.
“While the country has over the past 30 years totally transformed its media
by introducing reforms and opening up, the government still maintains some
oversight over the operations of the media as a whole ‘for the sake of
long-term development and national security’,” it added.
“The Internet has helped shape China’s media landscape and provided a
platform for people to express themselves but only within the confines of
the Chinese law and in ways that promote the country’s development and
And to the question of who defines “sovereignty” it is of course the
Communist Party. Censorship guidelines are often circulated weekly from the
Communist Party propaganda department and the government Bureau of Internet
Affairs to editors.
The Sunday Mail goes on to say: “While the Chinese model of media management
might be viewed by some as limiting the freedom of the media, it is
unquestionably a better model than models of the West because it is rooted
on the need to promote development, security and progress in a country,
elements that form the basis of existence for every nation and therefore
should be promoted by all citizens of a country.”
The watchdog group Reporters without Borders ranked China 171 out of 178
countries in its 2010 worldwide index of press freedom.
It is one thing for journalists to sing the praises of their handlers and
quite another to call for the Great Firewall from China. That is low, even
for those at the Sunday Mail. Let us not forget at the end of the day that,
as artist Ai Weiwei will testify, China is a country that throws people in
jail simply for upholding the tenets of the Chinese constitution.
What, by the way, happened to the tributes to Kim Jong-Il? We thought we
were bonded in brotherhood with that lot.
All we got was a squeak from Didy Mouse and that was it. What happened to
the “il Juche Idea” and other such nonsense we were fed in the 1980s?.
And all those people hurling themselves at the coffin. What does that tell
us about a politically brainwashed society? Today North Korea is a basket
case while its southern counterpart is a dynamic and prosperous nation.
The joke doing the rounds last week was Kim Jong-il telling his staff “I
told you I was il”.
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