Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

The bane of rabid, frenzied media

16 Jun 2019 at 09:35hrs | Views
Again, dear reader, if ever you are in doubt, if ever you are confused, if ever you need a moral compass, or whenever you find yourself agreeing with Jonathan Moyo, you should know that you are close to losing it.

A village is the basest component of a community and society.

It is an unabashed representation of both societal ills and virtues.

Human interaction at village level seemingly breaks down a complex world into a liveable and discernible reality.

And clearly there is nothing as complex and unfathomable as a human being.

In a typical village setting, one gets to understand the inner workings of a human brain, including, by extension, the collective psyche of communities and or societies.

So in Bishop Lazarus' village there was this chap, Sinyoro, who was famed for his ant-like work ethic.

Sinyoro was neither his totem nor his name, but it was his village-ordained nom de guirre that had been proprietorially earned through indefatigable volunteerism, which always left the whole village in awe.

Whenever and wherever he showed up, he would always make daily exertions easier; hence the name.

No job was too big or too small for him.

Whether a fellow villager wanted his football-sized field cleared for the next summer cropping season, or wanted his granary fixed, Sinyoro — who invariably wore his sagging, faded green jacket and ashen, frayed cap — was always the go-to guy.

This pint-sized village Hercules would make light work of hacking the stubborn mupfuti and musasa trees to prepare virgin fields.

He would also substitute mighty oxen to roll extraordinarily heavy and bulbous granite boulders to be used as stilts for an expectant villagers' granary.

For his services, which ordinarily would have warranted a king's ransom payment, Sinyoro only demanded a chicken or a goat, depending on his palate.

Indeed, meat was his favourite.

But it was at funerals where his services were most appreciated.

At these events, he would be all over the place, burrowing gorges where anthills previously stood in order to prepare the final resting place for the dearly departed, killing and skinning fatted cows for funeral meals, and dislodging women at the hearth in order to pound pap frenetically into a palatable molten paste for the grieving.

"Sadza raSinyoro," grief-stricken mourners would often say while admiring the soft morsels of pap.

Unhappy Ending

But as Proverbs 12:22 says: "The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy". Time always reveals a man's true colours.

Every dog has its day, and for Sinyoro, his day ironically came in the form of a doggedly inquisitive dog, Tiger, at one of these solemn village events.

After the tiring back-breaking chores, Sinyoro asked to be excused a bit as he wanted to go home and change his clothes as they now were unsightly, being stained by blood sputter from processing the cow for the day's meal.

Just as he was making his way home, Tiger animatedly and excitedly started to hover around his sagging jacket, which was now even saggier.

Sinyoro tried to shoo the dog away by a backhand slap, which made the dog even more animated, attracting the prying eyes of previously inattentive mourners.

A panicky Sinyoro tried to trot away, but his stride was broken by Tiger's leaping forepaws.

The man fell violently, forcing the disloyal jacket to unfurl an elongated roll of pilfered tripe from the cow, among a plethora of other stolen paraphernalia.

After a search party was sent to his home, it was discovered that whenever this seemingly helpful fellow did his chores, he would pilfer prized possessions: a pair of trousers and blankets here and a haul of kitchen utensils there — in fact, anything he could lay his hands on and which his jacket could manageably carry.

Rather than risk losing their scant earthly belongings, no sane villager ever took his chances with Sinyoro again.

But ever since that incident, villagers faced a huge moral conundrum of how exactly to judge the disgraced Sinyoro: was he a good person or a bad one?

The sulking cabal

As the Bishop always counsels, if ever you are in doubt, if ever you are confused and if ever you need a moral compass, you have to read the Holy Book.

Luke 6: 34-35 tells us that you cannot expect something good from something patently bad.

"For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil . . ."

For the uninitiated, this Biblical passage presupposes a dualistic view of the world, which assumes that all forms of life are governed by two equally competing and opposing forces: God and Satan, light and darkness, morality and immorality, and Dynamos and Highlanders.

But this view is largely conflictual.

It is a misbegotten premise that seems to blind local opposition parties and comrades on the other side of the media divide.

To them, opposing entails frenziedly flogging the opposed and rabidly attacking opposing viewpoints.

This is exactly the same reason why we continue to see clichéd jaw-dropping doomsday headlines from our militant scribes in the supposedly independent press.

"Zimbabwe economy dies," screamed one such outlandish headline from a local daily.

Argh! Kikikiki.

Not surprisingly, most diplomats, even the most ill-willed, are now increasingly befuddled as to why the local media is hell-bent — kamikaze-like — on destroying the country's fledgling economic prospects through manufacturing gratuitously negative headlines.

In economics, there is something that is called "headline risk", which essentially is the possibility that a news story will likely have an adverse effect on a stock, company or economy.

But again you would realise that these doomsday headlines are the handiwork of the sulking former press corps of Professor Jonathan Moyo, the ex-Zanu-PF self-anointed crown prince who fortunately or unfortunately later turned out to be a clown prince after November 2017.

Before the 2017 political transition, they wittingly did his bidding in the hope of plum jobs post the ill-fated successionist plot, but now they do the self-banished Professor's bidding unwittingly through railing against ED's administration.

Again, dear reader, if ever you are in doubt, if ever you are confused, if ever you need a moral compass, or whenever you find yourself agreeing with Jonathan Moyo, you should know that you are close to losing it.

So these scribes remain hostage to a failed political enterprise.

The Bishop would like to warn these comrades that cognitive bias often leads to a distorted world-view that is often heedless of the many shades of reality.

While they scream above hilltops that the sky is falling, silently ED works.

As Bishop Lazi said in the beginning, village life breaks down the world into a liveable and discernible reality.

In essence, life is experiential.

In different corners of the country today, they are children who are seeing tar being laid for the first time in their lives; they are thrilled at recently rehired farm hands recovering Arda Estates; and there are promising prospects at CSC, Arcadia Lithium Mine and Karo Resources, which will in the medium term begin to be felt.

Unfortunately, this cannot be readily apparent in view of the current evanescent and transitory pressures in the economy; but fortunately, it is a marathon and not a sprint.

But it will be naïve to think that these sulking scribes in the private press will lay off ED a bit; they will continue to attack him because his success is a threat to the quintessential value and identity of today's private/independent.

It is the same duel between Trump and CNN. To put this into context, in the book "Fire and Fury" by Michael Wolff, Trump's former strategist and adviser — the controversial Steve Bannon — is quoted predicting why he thought attacks on the wannabe President would likely increase.

"It's (media coverage) not only going to get better, it's going to get worse everyday, and here is why — corporatist, global media that are adamantly opposed, adamantly opposed, to an economic nationalist agenda like Donald Trump has. And here is why it is going to get worse: because he is going to continue to press his agenda. And as economic conditions continue to get better, they are going to continue to fight . . . Every day it is going to be a fight," said Bannon.

Well, like the 18th century French thinker and philosopher, Voltaire, who once said "I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to death your right to say it", Bishop Lazi equally believes in a free press, lest he be labelled as an enemy of press freedom.

Equally, he also believes in the Frenchman's famously powerful statement: "I would rather be ruled by a fine lion (Shumba), much stronger than myself, than by two hundred rats of my species."

ED was elected to make the tough decisions, and he is making them.

Bishop out!

Source - sundaymail
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.