Beware of distractions and distortions

May 21, 2012 at 10:29 am Leave a comment

The frenzy triggered by news that Nigerian prophet TB Joshua is expected to visit Zimbabwe is not only much ado about nothing, but it shows how political spin doctors distort issues to distract the nation from reality. If we look at how the TB Joshua issue is being handled and we relate it to the noise about issues discussed as “sticking points” in the draft constitution, we can easily see how the spin doctors are using emotional distractions and media distortions to make the nation blind to real issues.
There are more important and serious issues the nation should focus on such as the way revenue from diamonds is being handled, Zesa blackouts, unemployment, economic resuscitation and reforms to ensure democracy prevails, among others. But these issues are not part of the spin doctors’ and their masters’ agenda. Instead, they create mountains out of molehills on issues to do with who invited TB Joshua, “Copac mafia”, homosexuality and other trivia.

We need to be careful as a nation and see realities because these spin doctors are bent on appealing to our collective primitive ego — the inner child in us. We need to constantly make sure that the nation’s adult observing ego is awake at all times to see through the smokescreen created by spin artists over trivia such as TB Joshua’s envisaged visit. Whether the Nigerian prophet comes to Zimbabwe or not does not matter, he will come and go, but our woes such as unemployment, absence of the rule of law, corruption, media repression and electoral fraud will remain. These are the ills our politicians and spin doctors do not want us to focus on because their source is none other than them.

We need to understand as a nation that the spin doctors and their handlers want to perpetuate fear and hatred that they use to manipulate us to ensure autocracy remains intact. This has serious negative consequences that must never be taken lightly.

The mainstream media, consciously and unconsciously, aid the spin doctors’ agenda by enthusiastically catching on to the divergent issues such as TB Joshua and homosexuality. As a result, there is a chasm between what are viewed as top stories and realities on the ground.

The spin artists are serious wordsmiths who, like magicians, create illusions to make people believe the unbelievable, for example, that the views of one political party represent the views of the people and therefore they must be central to the new constitution.

All this is aimed at covering up for the politicians in power who are unable or do not want to stand up for their failures. With the aid of spin artists, they divert attention to scapegoats.

Politically, for instance, it is more expedient to focus on demonising TB Joshua and homosexuals than to talk about revenue from Chiadzwa diamonds or the way army generals are unconstitutionally meddling in the country’s politics. This tactic is used to switch the spotlight from challenging politicians on their failure to address bread and butter issues to the seemingly abstract ones.

As we approach the inevitable elections, the distraction and distortion tactics will be rolled out more as politicians gear up for votes. We must, as a nation, wake up and smell the coffee otherwise we will continue to expend our creative energies on trivial issues at the expense of democracy and development.

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