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You can't pull in croc with fish hook

14 Nov 2021 at 05:37hrs | Views
IN the village, the outcome of a fishing trip to the river often meant the difference between a sumptuous meal and another dish to be tolerated just to keep the body and soul together.

As pleasurable as it might sound, fishing, particularly in treacherous waters, is an extreme sport.

A lot of creatures lie beneath the depths, not least the dreaded crocs that have a notorious reputation of stealthily moving in to snatch unsuspecting fishers.

Of course, they are the biggest hazard for fishermen. Because of their camouflaged skin and ability to remain stiffly still, most fishers usually mistake crocs for logs.

Somehow these reptiles can tell when their target becomes too comfortable and make their move. They can imperceptibly slip into the water and torpedo their victims while remaining undetected.

You won't see them coming.

When you hear the crocs uproarious splash, you almost know that it would be fatal.

So, for the fishermen, it often means being obsessively wary of their environment as it could easily be the difference between life and death. It was such inherent dangers that forced overly protective village elders to insist that fishing trips could only be undertaken by adults for obvious reasons.

This did not sit well with a young Bishop Lazi, who always looked forward to the day he would finally be able to realise this long-cherished dream. As nature would have it, the Bishop eventually graduated into adulthood and fishing topped his bucket list.

The day finally arrived!

In no time after gathering his bait, the Bishop's line was cast at a spot in the river where he thought he would get his catch.

After what seemed to be an eternity in the hellishly oppressive Buhera heat, it was time for action.

This was it!

The sinker wildly gyrated for a while before taking the telling deep dive, which prompted an instinctive tug from the young and expectant fishermen.

Voila! It was a big catch!

After some time wrestling using a creaking fishing rod that had tensioned into a bow-like wooden contraption that looked as if it could snap at any time, the Bishop finally managed to muster every ounce of strength in his body to haul the hooked catch.

Lo and behold, on the other end of the line was this big, stubborn tortoise.

Unhooking it was another duel altogether. There was no option, but to cut the line. Thus, the Bishop's first fishing expedition couldn't have been more anti-climactic and deflating than this.

Suffice to say, it was a long walk back home.


There is a lesson to be learnt: Some thrills can lead to unexpected frills.

Bishop Lazi is sure Harvard-educated lawyer Musa Kika can relate.

In May this year, after Chief Justice Luke Malaba's tenure was extended on the strength of an amendment to the Constitution that gave him the option to elect to continue as CJ beyond the age of 70, Kika launched the most audacious bid yet to nullify the appointment.

In his finite wisdom, knowing full well that there were chances a favourable judgement to him would most probably be challenged, he cheekily cited all the 18 senior judges of the superior courts as respondents, as he claimed they were conflicted insofar as they could potentially benefit from the amendment.

Not surprisingly, when the declaratory order was granted by the High Court on May 15, an appeal was made and duly noted.

But Kika had an ace up his sleeve, or so he thought? By citing Justices in the superior courts, he thought they would naturally be forced to recuse themselves and in the process precipitate a constitutional crisis.

Various running commentary and compositions disguised as superior legal opinions supporting Kika led by law lecturer Alex Magaisa provided a dramatic soundtrack to the unfolding drama.

It was only when Marx Mapungu, a Zanu-PF supporter, took the case to the Constitutional Court to reverse the High Court ruling that Kika's fantasy world came crushing down. It all began to unravel and the thrills turned to frills.

Lawyers representing him had a torrid time as the court quizzed them on their client's wisdom to cite all the senior judges, which seemed to have been deliberately and mischievously engineered to disable the Judiciary, especially in a case that involved the Chief Justice.

Asked about what they thought would be a viable legal pathway out of the deliberately contrived imbroglio, the learned men were tongue-tied. Quite frankly, it was embarrassing.

When he set out on his ambitious expedition, the young Kika, buoyed by impressive academic credentials, which include a PhD in Public Law from the University of Cape Town, was angling for a big fish, but he unhappily ended up baiting a feisty tortoise.

It was more than he bargained for.

But the intricate details of what was actually happening behind the scenes is a story for another day. The Bishop cautioned at the time that the battleground had since shifted from the streets to the courts where lawfare was now the preferred weapon of choice.

But human beings never learn.

Despite the calamitous and dramatic collapse of Kika's case in court, there are still daring fishermen who feel they can handily use the law to engineer tectonic shifts in politics.

By their very nature, tectonic shifts are imperceptible. Once a plan, however perceivably strong it might be, is revealed beforehand, it is as good as dead in the water.

As one ambitious, but naïve politician once said in Parliament, "You cannot fell an elephant using a catapult." The joke, however, was on him as he did not realise that he was not an elephant, but an ant, in the bigger scheme of things.

But Job 41:1-10 is more emphatic: "Can you pull in Leviathan with a fishhook or tie down its tongue with a rope? Can you put a cord through its nose or pierce its jaw with a hook? Will it keep begging you for mercy? Will it speak to you with gentle words? Will it make an agreement with you for you to take it as your slave for life?

"Can you make a pet of it like a bird or put it on a leash for the young women in your house? Will traders barter for it? Will they divide it up among the merchants? Can you fill its hide with harpoons or its head with fishing spears? If you lay a hand on it, you will remember the struggle and never do it again!

"Any hope of subduing it is false; the mere sight of it is overpowering. No one is fierce enough to rouse it."


ED remains unmoved by the sideshows that are naively meant to distract him from the visions and plans that he sees clearly in his mind's eye and continues to aggressively push around the country.

Maybe it is his security background that gives him the incredible ability of keeping his head when everyone is losing theirs.

While ignoring the immature stunts of his political rivals, he is relentlessly working to reshape the political terrain in a profound way that is changing lives of ordinary folk for the better. A lot would have changed by the time Zimbabwe goes for elections in 2023.

In all likelihood, Zimbabwe would most likely be energy self-sufficient, if not an exporter, especially after completing the Hwange Unit 7 and Unit 8 expansion project. In all likelihood, Zimbabwe would most likely be food secure, producing enough cereals and grains for local consumption and industry, having weaned itself from rain-fed agriculture through the ongoing aggressive irrigation rehabilitation schemes that are changing livelihoods.

In all likelihood most roads would have been attended to, while the lives of rural communities would have significantly improved owing to the sheer number of clinics and schools that are being built through the masterstroke that is devolution. A miracle would have happened in parched Bulawayo through quenching waters from the Gwayi-Shangani Dam.

It would be a markedly different terrain where most societal grievances would have been trimmed, paving way for a contestation for preponderant political ideas, which unfortunately the opposition, which thrives on the protest votes, does not have.

As Bishop Lazi always says, there is a silent revolution that is happening in the countryside.

You only need to look at the Presidential Rural Horticulture model scheme in Jinjika Village, Mangwe, Matabeleland South, to get an appreciation of big things to come.

These are tectonic shifts.

The 2023 manifesto is already writing itself.

Bishop out!

Source - SundayMail
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