22 February 2019

Zimbabwe: Floods of Propaganda Won't Conceal Failure

opinion

THIS week, like everyone else in the country, Muckraker was surprised to read in the state media that the government was dealing with the economic crisis.

"Government dealing with economic challenges," the Sunday Mail headline screamed. "Fuel and wheat shortages already fixed."

This, like everything else said by the government, was met with a great deal of shock and derision. The headline was read by people queueing up to buy bread in the morning, and later in the week read by people in fuel queues; those living the nightmare.

Still, they went on, these bearers of good news.

"Government has made significant headway in dealing head-on with various challenges affecting the economy, and has since addressed fuel and wheat challenges, while satisfactory progress has been made in key developmental projects, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said," the paper dutifully reported.

Clearly, this lot is existing in an imaginary Zimbabwe different from the one the rest of us live in. It reminded us of the daft propaganda of Mugabe era. Please, you comrades at Zimpapers and Munhumutapa Building, lead us to this parallel universe, this place where we actually have a government that knows what it is doing, and where shops are filled with affordable basics and fuel stations have fuel round the clock. It must be somewhere in Mars.

Lousy

Millions of people across the country this week discovered that they had all lost their senses of hearing and sight.

It was a sudden epidemic that struck without warning, and it seemed that the only people who could hear and see were those in government. How else could one explain that what we all heard our President say at the rally in Rutenga is not really what he said? We could swear we heard our leader say he would go after those doctors that treated injured looters and the lawyers that represented them. Only for the nation to be told that, no, all of you have dollops of thick wax in your ears and cataracts in your eyes.

There were attempts to "distort, render mischievous translation and deliberately twist His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa's message at a Zanu PF rally in Mwenezi on February 16. Clearly the usual detractors are out to create what is patently fake news," according to the Ministry of (Mis) Information.

"Media reports that the President threatened to track down lawyers who represented arrested rioters or doctors who treated the injured during the recent violent disturbances were not only misleading, but were deliberately distorted to suit a well-known political narrative," minister Monica Mutsvangwa announced.

So, what had he actually said? "President Mnangagwa clearly stated that government will emphatically deal with any attempts to destabilise the country in the future," she said.

This was all very confusing. Was that an imposter we all saw speaking on our one and only favourite ZBC TV? Clearly it was him? Who else wears a scarf in the 40-degree Mwenezi heat?

If our mandarins at the Ministry of (Dis)Information feel they have to explain their leader each time he makes a rash statement, it is going to be a long four years to 2023. They may have to hire a full-time Presidential Interpreter.

The government also denied that Mnangagwa had threatened to "crush his enemies".

This must have come as a massive disappointment to Zanu-PF activists, who were already sharpening their machetes and clubs in eager anticipation of starting the only job they are good at.

Old script

It was delightful to learn that the people of China have confidence in Mnangagwa's leadership.

According to the Herald, "China is confident Zimbabwe will achieve its developmental goals under the leadership of President Mnangagwa, whose reforms will transform the economy and attract more investors".

It is good to hear our leader being endorsed by successful countries. The problem with our people is that they do not appreciate their own. Sometimes, you see some musicians getting famous outside the country but terribly under-appreciated at home. This is the case of our beloved leader; loved abroad but treated with suspicion among his own ungrateful people.

Zhao Baogang, China's man in Harare, declared: "China has strong confidence in the Government and people of Zimbabwe under the leadership of President Emmerson Mnangagwa."

This is excellent news. We are pleased to inform Cde Zhao that, in the spirit of revolutionary solidarity, and under the auspices of our Look East policy, we are prepared to lend Mnangagwa to the People's Republic of China, so that they too can benefit from his wise leadership. He is our own version of Deng; if wishes were horses, beggars would ride!

Immature

Once again, the MDC has shamed all those critics who have always questioned whether the party is ready to lead the nation. At a rally in Gweru last weekend, the party's national organiser, Amos Chibaya, easily dismissed all such lingering doubts.

"I am the owner of all party structures as the organiser. The party president's term is still on. Chamisa was born in 1978. That is the same year that Morgan Tsvangirai's first born, Edwin, was born. So, in short, Chamisa is Tsvangirai's first born left to lead the family of the MDC," Chibaya thundered, to obviously wild cheers from the thousands of people obviously lucky enough to be so well led. Channelling his inner Mnangagwa, Chibaya went on: "In short, once you begin to think that Chamisa must be removed from the helm at the congress, you should realise that your ancestors have forsaken you and you have lost your senses."

By declaring that Chamisa has a divine right to lead the party, and calling anyone thinking of challenging the Chosen One as crazy, Chibaya proved all the doubters wrong. Clearly, this is one party that has now matured and is now fit and ready to form the next typical African government.

Job well done

Muckraker joins the nation in congratulating the four military generals who were this week promoted, being lifted from the trenches of army life to the lofty lobbies of diplomatic service.

According to a statement by the Office of the President and Cabinet, the deployments were "in line with government's critical global engagement and re-engagement strategy".

In other words, in order for us to end all this talk in diplomatic circles that we are a military government, we devised a genius plan; send the same military men into diplomatic service. Soon, the likes of Anselem Sanyatwe will be appearing at diplomatic gatherings somewhere abroad, wine glass in hand, telling people: "Remember me? I'm the one that was in charge of a brigade that shot at people at 45-degree angle, resulting in a few deaths."

Militarisation of the diplomatic service and other civilian affairs is gathering momentum.

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