Nothing gets Zimbabwe's political class all worked up like a funeral. They are a crazy bunch every day of the year, our politicians, but the crazy meter shoots up to maximum at news of an impending funeral.
And funerals do not come as massive as the one funeral that many loving Zimbabweans had been dreading for many years: the funeral of our founding owner, Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe.
Yes, we must use the term "comrade" now, which we the people, through our believed newspaper of record The Pravda, had stripped him of in our little game of musical chairs a couple of years ago.
Once it was announced that Mugabe had died, all moral sense retreated. Where do we even begin? There has been so much nonsense all around; it's hard to know where to start.
First, our rulers suddenly discovered that he is an "icon of our liberation, and our founding father". You would never guess that this was a man that The Herald not too long ago described as "a hero turned villain" and a "disgraced nonagenarian".
Yet, now, here we are sending a luxury chartered plNOTHINGane to fetch the "disgraced nonagenarian", who has now suddenly become a national hero. One has to marvel at our ability to shift positions with zero regret.
But you can always bet on Mnangagwa desperately trying to find a stage to make a speech, something which he loves, but is woefully terrible at.
Almost two years in power, the man is still yet to convince even himself that he is presidential.
Mnangagwa was left with egg on his face as he was forced to make a major climbdown when he visited the Mugabe residence yesterday.
Having announced that Mugabe will be buried on Sunday, the septuagenarian leader was forced to eat humble pie after the Mugabe family released a statement expressing "shock" at what they called attempts by government to coerce them to accept a programme for the funeral and burial of Mugabe.
A sheepish-looking Mnangagwa told mourners they had not agreed when Mugabe will be buried -- which is in contrast to his own Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa, who, among other government officials, told journalists earlier this week that Mugabe will be buried on Sunday.
Imagine the surprise then when Mnangagwa told mourners that Sunday had just been thrown around as a provisional day.
Muckraker is not surprised by accusations by the Mugabes that Mnangagwa wanted to foist the programme onto the family. It was only last week that Mnangagwa was advising South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to "use a bit of force" to deal with the problem of xenophobia.
Mnangawa found out, to his humiliation, that using force does not always work and was instead forced to get off his high horse.
A sorry mess indeed!
Poverty in opulence
Then you had the Mugabe family. One has to be careful here; when talking about his "family", one must draw a line between his real family, and the political hangers-on who have inserted themselves into some self-created role of Mugabe's biggest defenders.
Some are in Kenya, some in South Africa.
First, the hangers-on. One of them, writing in an obituary, told us how Mugabe was so poor he was reduced to using Uber taxi to get to hospital.
This news must have been received with widespread anger all across the country; how could our leader be reduced to using taxis while getting foreign health treatment? The cruelty of this Mnangagwa regime is without limits.
And then, we were told that Mugabe was merely a prisoner of the securocrats, and meant no real harm. This must have been news to those who swear they heard Mugabe, on many occasions, boasting of degrees of violence and laughing at victims. "Kakadhashurwa", he once said of the late MDC founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Perhaps we all imagined it all.
As for Adam Molai, the national nephew, he told journalists that Mugabe's legacy included world-class health facilities. That he made this claim while standing outside an expensive foreign hospital forced Muckraker to watch the video again, just to be certain he wasn't talking about Singaporean hospitals.
We also would like to thank Leo Mugabe for revealing the cause of death; it was the loss of power that caused Mugabe's health to "nosedive", Leo told The Standard.
Many of us can relate; he is not the only adult in the country that suddenly lost a job and has had to sit at home doing nothing all day. It does take a toll on one's health.
It was not just Zanu PF acting up this week. After watching Zanu PF embarrassing itself trying to grab Mugabe for its own selfish ends, MDC leader Nelson Chamisa decided he could not be beaten.
Isaac Moyo, the intelligence chief, had decided to tell the state press that he somehow knew how Mugabe had voted in 2018. We all know, of course, how the CIO likes to know how we vote, even if we are former rulers.
Of course, Chamisa was not going to let Moyo stew in his own soup. He decided to jump in and join in. At a press conference, Chamisa declared that "Zanu PF cannot claim Mugabe" because he voted and "endorsed the MDC and particularly my candidature".
For some reason, something snaps in Chamisa's mind each time he sees a funeral. It's like a trigger for him, which causes him to dump his usual good sense. His entourage needs to be on guard each time they pass by a random funeral. He might just gatecrash it and grab the microphone.
Muckraker would like to commend the professionalism of Simon Khaya Moyo.
Remember it was Cde SK who, in 2015, announced the expulsion of Joice Mujuru from Zanu PF on allegations of trying to oust Mugabe.
Fast forward to 2017, and it was SK again announcing the sacking of Mnangagwa from Zanu PF, also for trying to rebel against Mugabe and, we were told, for "lacking probity".
Yet, it was still SK who came out to announce that Zanu PF no longer wanted anything to do with Mugabe, Grace and their friends.
Now, this week, it was SK again coming out to tell us that we must all honour and cherish the same Robert Mugabe.
One has to marvel at such levels of professionalism. All of us have so much to learn from the man from Mangwe. Just do your job and don't involve yourself in office politics.
Speaking of spokespeople, Muckraker was delighted to see Nick Mangwana easily unpack the one question that has vexed many scholars and authors: how Mugabe went from so-called hero to villain.
Some experts say Mugabe was always bad, and some say he turned bad after the rise of the opposition. Nick debunked all these theories, telling South Africa's ENCA channel that Mugabe became a bad guy because he "married wrong".
Had Mugabe not married Grace, he would have remained a good guy, so said Cde Nick.
No wonder the Ministry of Information is in such dire straits. You have Blank Nick on one hand, and, on the other hand, deputy minister Mutodi. While Nick provides dumb commentary on televisions, Mutodi provides evidence, on a daily basis, that one doesn't need to have a brain to serve in Zanu PF.
What a prize-winning combination. Just what you need for this type of job. A clueless "New Dispensation" requires fittingly clueless spokesmen to sell its clueless ideas.