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Tall tales of an evil regime in Harare

16 Aug 2020 at 08:12hrs | Views
Life is a tapestry that is woven out of various religious, political, cultural and normative beliefs and persuasions.

As is often clichéd, variety is a major spice that leavens and livens life.

However, the gift of free will often means human beings align themselves with whatever and whichever values they hold true and dear.

One of the major religious, philosophical and theological questions Bishop Lazi finds himself fielding time and again is: If Christianity is the "only" true religion, does it mean that other religions Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism are destined for eternal damnation?

But even in Christianity itself, just like in any other religion, there have always been infinite sects ever since the Reformation led by German theologian Martin Luther in the 16th Century.

It is, therefore, uncommon that many people variously pride themselves of being Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Lutheran, apostolic, protestant, et cetera.

Not many people know that in the beginning there was one Christian church the Catholic Church and this is why it is referred to as the Holy Mother Church.

But, which one is the one and only true sect?

Sects are also common in politics and culture.

Baneful duality
In the real world, where idealism is seldom a lived reality, political, social, cultural and religious differences do not spice up life, but they become a source of conflict, especially in circumstances where life is naively and narrowly viewed within the prisms of the dichotomy of good and evil.

You see, the simple and lazy mind always reduces a complicated world into a reductionist construct of the baneful duality of good and evil.

What makes it worse is that people are usually as passionate about religion as they are about culture and politics, and in circumstances where viewpoints and beliefs which are often intractable are fervently pushed and patronisingly foisted on those who hold different viewpoints and beliefs, this invariably leads to conflict.

Bigoted sectarian and supremacist views by groups that presumptuously consider others as evil are the hallmarks of racism, sexism, ableism, ageism and many other toxic "isms" that have, are and will always afflict the world.

American scholar Professor David Loy, who extensively studied Buddhism, has interesting views on how human beings generally perceive the duality of good and evil.

"We all love the struggle between good (us) and evil (them). It is, in its own way, deeply satisfying.

"Think of the plots of the James Bond films, the Star Wars films, the Indiana Jones films. In such movies, it's quite obvious who the bad guys are.

"Caricatures of evil, they are ruthless, maniacal, without remorse, and so they must be stopped by any means necessary. We are meant to feel that it is okay even, to tell the truth, pleasurable to see violence inflicted upon them. Because the villains like to hurt people, it's okay to hurt them. Because they like to kill people, it's okay to kill them. After all, they are evil and evil must be destroyed," he observes.

It is the same narrative that is being weaponised by the forces that are ratcheting up attacks against the Zanu-PF Government.

Over the past week, tall tales of a political crisis in Zimbabwe have attracted interest from the African Union (AU) Commission chair Moussa Faki and South Africa, among others.

The Bishop told you last week that it is not fortuitous that the country is now finding itself hounded purportedly for being a "rouge regime", especially after being classified by Washington as one of America's adversaries on May 31.

Need I also remind you that Trump's top national security adviser Robert O'Brien also instructively warned that the US will be using "a number of tools . . . working close with our allies" to deliver a response that "will be proportional".

Which are these tools and who are the allies?

Bishop Lazi understands that through using the convenient cover of a well-calculated smokes-and-mirrors campaign deployed through social media to create a false narrative of a country that is consumed by strife, which narrative was unsurprisingly wittingly and unwittingly latched on by a posse of disgruntled and power-hungry politicians, the US State Department officials have been tirelessly working the phones to force some of the key regional and international organs to either speak out or heavily lean on Harare.

This obviously serves two purposes for the US: It hopefully dilutes the momentum of the robust anti-sanctions lobby which took the West by surprise last year ahead of the 40th SADC Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government on Monday, and it also hopefully tilts the scale against the regime in Zimbabwe.

With all this focus on Zimbabwe, you wouldn't think there is a festering conflict in Mozambique, which is worsening by the day, among other weighty security matters in Africa.

Evil regime
We are told that the latest episode of outrageously egregious acts of commission that have riled the world include the arrest of journalist Hopewell Chin'ono and Jacob Ngarivhume for organising protests, grand corruption involving procurement of Covid-19 personal protective equipment (PPE), including economic mismanagement that has heaped economic misery on already suffering Zimbabweans.

You would think that Zimbabwe is the worst country imaginable.

Well, Buddhists claim that ignorance and heedlessness make the world blind, which is true.

Today marks 1 335 days after Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein was arrested by Egyptian authorities on December 20 2016 for "incitement against state institutions and broadcasting false news with the aim of spreading chaos".

While in solitary confinement, he even suffered a broken arm.

And while Chin'ono is enjoying due process of the criminal justice system, Hussein's case has not yet gone to trial.

Last month, another Egyptian journalist, Mohamid Monir, reportedly died after contracting the coronavirus in pre-trial detention.

He had been arrested for appearing on Al Jazeera, a TV channel that is banned by Egypt's government.

It gets interesting.

On August 6 almost 20 days after the arrest of Chin'ono and Ngarivhume Australian police raided the homes of two people and seized their mobile phones and computers for organising protests in Melbourne through Facebook, particularly at a time the country is grappling rising Covid-19 infections.

The duo was charged with incitement.

Under Australia's Crime Act, inciting people to pursue a course of conduct that involve the commission of an offence is criminal.

From the Egyptian case, it looks like incitement is a really big deal.

Three days later, six people who heeded calls for the protests were arrested in Melbourne. Sounds familiar? Kikikiki.

Remember the Drax International furore which got people so worked up?

Well, you can be forgiven for feeling dizzy after reading this. The UK government recently spent £156 million (or US$203 million) buying 50 million face masks deemed unsuitable for its National Health Service (NHS). They were purchased from a private equity firm, Prospermill, which had no track record producing PPEs and had a share capital of £100 or US$130. Kikikiki.

In this part of the world, this is what we call a shelf company.

You see, Prospermill managed to find itself in this enviable financial position because it is co-owned by Andrew Mills, an adviser to the UK government's board of trade. Sounds familiar?

This is not, however, the only corruption scandal to plague Boris Johnson's government of late.

But what is ironic is that we have seemingly riled Zimbabweans living in the UK furiously tweeting diatribes targeting President ED who has fired a Cabinet Minister and whose Government has since arrested those implicated in the PPE scandal while similarly implicated officials in their adopted countries walk scot-free.

Also, a point that is often missed by many is that not a single life has been lost at the hands of security agents enforcing Covid-19 restrictions since the lockdown began, while in some countries, which Bishop Lazarus will be charitable not to mention, precious lives have been lost to overzealous law enforcement agents.

In fact, there are numerous cases, some of which have been recorded by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) an organisation not known for being an enthusiastic Government supporter of soldiers and police that have been arrested for abusing people while enforcing the lockdown.

Well, if an evil regime dismisses Cabinet Ministers for corruption allegations, arrests errant security officers, does everything in its power to preserve life, Bishop Lazi would never wish to live under a good regime. Kikikiki.

Lame Malema

As has been mentioned before, ignorance and heedlessness make the world blind.

In Hosea 4:6, the Lord warns: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also forget your children."

Proverbs 19:2 adds: "Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses the way."

Many of the naïve and excitable political lot were quite elated when South Africa's EFF leader Julius Malema heightened his anti-Government rhetoric by calling a revolution by youths to overthrow the Government.

Well, the Bishop remembers reading a story in The Sunday Mail issue of September 29 last year when G40 were trying to use the late President Robert Mugabe's death for cheap political point-scoring of the scheme by G40, the EFF and a former Mozambique president to try leverage on burgeoning youth populations in the three countries to assume the levers of power.

The garrulous and scatterbrain SA politician is known for talking more than he thinks.

After his destructive stint in the ANC, where he was known more for scheming against sitting presidents Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma Marema, sorry, Malema became widely considered as a loose cannon and a danger to himself and others.

He was rightfully jettisoned. But some of his alliances in the ANC remain.

The sticky-fingered demagogue who has been stalked by corruption for the best part of his young life, including the latest VBS scandal now thinks he can tip the political scales in Harare.

Nay, for someone born 13 months after our Independence, he, as he will discover in time, is too young, too green and too unintelligent for such an ill-fated and doomed political enterprise.

You see, the world is too complex to fit in the small and simplistic frame of the dichotomy of good and evil.

Russian philosopher Alexander Solzhenitsyn once said: "If only there were evil people somewhere, insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

Bishop is out!

Source - sundaymail
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