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GMAZ spelling mistakes: Error or malice?

14 Apr 2020 at 11:57hrs | Views
The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe recently embarked on a program that seeks to decongest shopping centers in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures announced by President ED Mnangagwa. The program will see Millers distributing roller meal direct to the retailers at designated shopping centers. The Zimbabwe Republic Police is on board and several people are happy that roller meal will be available in their residential areas.

The announcement of the program in typical GMAZ fashion attracted a lot of attention. All things GMAZ nowadays attracts nationwide attention and the roller meal distribution schedule was no exception. The people of Mthwakazi took a glance at the documents that were circulated on social media and all hell broke loose. Mthwakazi came out guns blazing over spelling errors. Places like Makokoba were spelt as Makokova, Cowdry Park appeared as Culdry Park and the people of Mthwakazi were livid.

Most social media comments moved away from the program and its mechanics to focus on spelling errors. The people of Bulawayo came out to defend their language and heritage. A bit of tribal slurs was thrown into the mix and GMAZ once again had captured the spotlight.

Error or Malice?

Malice is defined as the desire to harm someone; ill will. While the error is defined as a mistake. A wise man once said to err is human but to forgive is divine.

uMpumelelo Ndimande a Radio Presenter on Hillbrow Radio did a video that circulated online, and in the video, she called on the people of Bulawayo and Matebeleland to forgive the mistake.

Fact-checking the GMAZ document it was revealed that the document with errors was a leaked internal document that was leaked between the design and editing phase, the document was not a final product meant for public consumption. The final version of the document came out and it was too late it had been defeated by the leaked document.

GMAZ on its part did nothing wrong, the document was going through its production process to create a final product good enough for the public and image of GMAZ. The document was leaked and people felt offended. On its part, GMAZ came out and took responsibility for the document and issued an apology.

The actions of GMAZ suggest that there was no malice intended and these were genuine spelling errors by an individual who genuinely did not know how to spell Makokoba or Cowdry Park. If a child gives a wrong answer in mathematics it is not malice but simply a lack of knowledge.

The people of Bulawayo and naysayers need to realize that one who is going out of their way to provide you with mealie meal has no ill intentions against you.

Malice, in this case, would have been in the form of not including Bulawayo at all in the distribution or blatantly serving and reaching out to few areas than expected.

GMAZ is one of the few associations which has a regional office in Matebeleland. The national chairman of GMAZ travels to Bulawayo routinely to brief members of the executive who are in Bulawayo. The majority of GMAZ programs have been launched in Bulawayo and it is easy to forget all that they have done to ensure that Mthwakazi is not left behind.

Anti GMAZ narrative

It is unfortunate that sections of the media and others have sold us an anti-GMAZ narrative which we have consumed and digested as a people.

When GMAZ launched the price monitoring program it was dubbed illegal and they were labeled as a cartel. Fast forward to the present day, retailers are charging mealie meal in forex, others are refusing electronic money while others are placing a punitive premium on those purchasing mealie meal using local currency. The consumer now realizes the need for effective price monitoring and control, yet when it was announced many spoke against it.

GMAZ was accused of sending maize to DRC, today it is GMAZ who are going out of their way to ensure that the nation has enough maize and mealie meal.

GMAZ has stood up for its customers and they have demonstrated that they value Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwean people not just as markets but as people. In the wake of COVID-19, GMAZ stood up and voluntarily gave generous food hampers to frontline health workers. They also went on to offer government maize which had been meant for other products that are profitable to the Miller and gave up these to ensure that households have mealie meal.

The world won't give a standing ovation to GMAZ, neither will Zimbabwe but a standing ovation is due to them for seeing beyond a market and looking at us as citizens and human beings.

Beyond the spelling errors lie good intentions and patriotism. GMAZ made an error while doing something for the people, unlike those who are perfect in everything yet doing nothing.

Nicholas Ncube is a researcher, blogger, and commentator

Source - Nicholas Ncube
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