Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

Triple C: Puny-wise, Pint Foolish!

11 Dec 2022 at 08:56hrs | Views
Obdurate immaturity

IT is not like Nelson Chamisa had not been warned, whether by living men or by past circumstances. Both did; yet he still hurtled headlong towards yet another blunder, which left him bloodied, again underlining this obdurate knack for political missteps. His repeated immaturity strongly suggests some premature birth. On leadership, that is.

An pre-maturity compounded by a hastily stolen crown long which has since been rested on some soft head; its heavy metal outer ring cutting through and resting on a still delicate, throbbing fontanelle.

When time and need decided the day

In trying to appease and placate online and thus exaggerated public outrage over the USD40k loan offered to his hungry Parliamentarians; in trying to simulate superior public morality over the same matter, Chamisa provoked and precipitated a robust showdown with his legislators.

Any human being with some slightest, lightest facility for common-sense would have foreseen and forewarned him against such reckless provocation. Hungry, embittered and long angered by his high-handed leadership style, this determined parliamentary cabal for whom time and need cocked stout rebelliousness, was in no nonsense mood.

Mephistophelian offer

Time in that the USD40k with which Zanu-PF tantalised them, came in the nick of time, and yet so late in the tenure of these parliamentarians that none would dare resist the offer. Need in that never has parliamentary history presented a collection of poorer men and women; a collection of men and women so mentally ill-equipped to face any other life other than that cloistered by elective political office.

The week before had shown all of them in various stages of slumber, nay soporific stupor and so grotesquely slouched in comfortable parliamentary seats which the Chinese Government had built and donated, that no sane voter can ever countenance giving such a lot another chance in the next plebiscite.

And they all knew/know it, which is what made Zanu-PF's USD40k offer so powerfully Mephistophelian, too tempting to be ruined by some upstart prancing as a moral prig! And boy, were whole souls not pawned with such remarkable ease?

Giving hostage to fortune

And also with such comic reversal of roles! Honourable Mutseyami who was supposed to whip all of Chamisa's MPs out of rebelliousness, and into line, instead wickedly turned his tong on Chamisa's tender parts! Back caved in like a stretched bow, and body writhing in pain, Chamisa desperately despatched his colourful coxcomb — one Gift Ostallos — to quell this violent rebellion by his insolent MPs.

What followed reminded me of some dramatic chastisement which Obierika, the Elder of Umuofia, served his war-mongering Clan after it despatched its hotheads to negotiate peace with the neighbouring Clan of its uncles called Umuaro. Umuaro had killed a son of Umuofia in a scuffle, deemed an abomination and a slight to its honour.

Delivering hot coal through bare hands

Obierika had vainly tried to counsel peace. But who heard him? Umuofia was hell-bent on war. The "peace" mission was defiantly despatched to Umuaro. Predictably, it brought back war. With peace failing, Obierika felt his hour to tell his Clan one or two truths had come.

Without mincing his words, he began: You put live coal in a child's naked palms and counsel him to deliver the parcel with diligent care, what do you expect? Umuofia, now see with what good, delicate care the kid has delivered the parcel! After these sharp words, Obierika threw his quilt of goatskin over his shoulders and left for his compound!

Delivering the obvious

Without even the slightest tinge of shame, Ostallos convened a loud press conference to announce the outcome of Chamisa's meeting with his defiant MPs. Head drunk with youthful exuberance, and bobbing up and down like a floater on a wintry fishing day, Ostallos broke news of the much-awaited outcome.

This he did which characteristic, bombastic aplomb: Be rest assured (sic) that all Triple C MPs have pledged to pay back the full loan when it falls due! Aaah! Kikikiki! Except this is what is done with all loans, be rest assured? What was the news? What was furore and the stand-off all about then?

The Good Samaritan who could afford

Know ye, all politicians: the double exigency of poverty and survival knows no principle! True, the Bible gave us the parable of the Good Samaritan. Except this was only so because the Samaritan could afford to be good! Had he been been the one the Highway robbers had fallen upon, without doubt the parable would not have been preached or written.

No weeping would spare oil or a bandage. I use this Biblical trope in the hope I make an impression on this routinely blunderous political pastor in whose head not the slightest scintilla of wisdom seems to visit, inhabit, let alone ever linger.

So much in names!

The drama in Parliament was vintage Zanu-PF at work. Honourable Temba Mliswa rose to defend the loan, rounding off with a sharp castigation of Chamisa. As he did that, the combined strength of Zanu-PF and Mwonzora Parliamentarians cheered and jeered, forcing some few Chamisa MPs, led by Honourable Settlement Chikwinya, to put some show of defending their deservedly embattled leader.

Others, led by the usually waspish Tendai Biti, chose golden silence. Advisedly, as Settlement Chikwinya was soon to find out. Deftly, the Zanu-PF-dominated Parliament had used the alphabet to approve and disburse loans. This alphabetic method made Biti and Chikwinya rank among the earliest MPs to have their loans processed!

Which is what muted Tendai Biti. Tendai means Be Thankful, as indeed he was! Settlement, Chikwinya's first name, seemed given him to urge Parliament to settle, as indeed it did! Once settled, Chikwinya's noisy defence of Chamisa became fawning noise, for which he would be called out mercilessly!

New Raj, nabobs

Britain is beginning to be an interesting colony for diaspora India. With Rishi Sunak as the new British Premier, the British Raj has now become the Indian subaltern; the historically reviled Indians have now become the new nabobs of Albion!

Alongside James Thomson, my fellow Africans, Indians, Arabs, Chinese and I can now break into an age-old, British patriotic and jingoistic ditty: "Rule Britannia!/ Britannia Rule the Waves!/ Britons never, never, never will be Slaves!"

Who are the nabobs?

For the sake of those with a weak grounding in the history of the British Empire, nabobs were Britons who originally left the small Great Isle for the colonies, all to escape poverty at home. These would serve and man the British colonial system abroad.

Once there, and banking on the halo of their race as global governors, they soon struck it so rich they would build fabulous wealth back home, even going back to the Isle of their initial misery as freshly self-made Lords and Ladies. Often, they would run for high office, in the process upsetting the Great Chain of British Being.

Macaulay was one such rags-to-riches transfiguration made possible by the racialised political economy of colonial India. I do not need to talk about the Churchills and the Kiplings of their world, all of them made in colonial India. But with Rishi Sunak now well ensconced in Number 10 Downing Street, this dark narrative has, quite happily, now been turned upside down.

The subaltern now rules Albion, with once-mighty Britons now ever, ever, ever slaves we once were in their history.

Hurry, we now have some weather!

I said Britain is becoming an interesting colony. In several ways, it is now. For a start, its BBC now knows there is a country called Zimbabwe which, like the rest of world nations, also has a weather! For once, the BBC Weather Bulletin now recognises that nimbus clouds actually form in the Indian Ocean, to cross the Mozambican Channel before they spread over Mozambique and Zimbabwe, to then reach South Africa in the south, and Zambia to the north of us.

That is a great Damascene moment in British Climatology and common sense, ventilated through the mighty BBC. It was as if excluding us from their weather bulletin would deny us weather! Or stop the rains from falling, and the sun from shining!

There is no weather today!

Back in the early days of our Independence, we had a terrific newscaster called Cde Masuku, MHDSRIP. Soon after going through the radio bulletin one day, he hurried off the news desk with the speed and singleness of a man whose drink had been unduly delayed.

An alert but alarmed DJ stopped him in his hurried tracks: "But you haven't given us the weather, Mister Masuku?" To which Cde Masuku curtly and huskily responded: "There is no weather today!" He resumed his hurried departure. If the same was to be asked a BBC weatherman/woman today, I am sure the response would be something like: "There is no Zimbabwe or weather till the end of Zanu-PF, Sanctions and British anger!"

Trading with a systemic threat

I am told there is a British company which has now secured a coking-coal mining concession in our Hwange. I am again told it is not wasting time in setting up shop, never mind precepts of COP'26 held in Glasgow. Scotland, after all, is another country.

Is it not, on a football map and in commerce, at the very least? The new British investor's biggest customer for the coking coal is going to be DISCO, the Chinese company which is building the largest steelworks plant at our Manhize. Yet only less than a month ago, in mid-November, Rishi Sunak described China as "a systemic threat" to Britain, to the western world and their values!

A "systemic threat", it seems, can still be traded with, and is less threatening than a Zimbabwean weather bulletin on BBC! This earth my brother!

Coking Cumbria

Still that is not my main point. My main point is that a Nation which once dubbed itself "the workshop of the world" has now declined to the status of delivering charcoal to overseas factories of her erstwhile colony, China. Rule Britannia, Britannia rules coking fields!

Talking about coal, my son who works in Nairobi sent me a clip, to which he attached a strict instruction which I would dare ignore at own peril. The clip reported that the Sunak Government had just lifted the ban on a coal mine in Cumbria, which it now wants reopened to generate 2,8m tonnes of coking coal a year, all for export.

This US$165m coking-coal mining project is set to create 500 new British jobs, while spewing 400 000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere a year! God Save Glasgow, the King, and his querulous household!

All set for return to Commonwealth

The pace of our re-entry into the Commonwealth is picking pace, thanks to President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa's re-engagement policy. The just-ended Commonwealth fact-finding Mission is likely to be the last stage paving the way to our rejoining the Club.

Several African, Asian and Pacific countries are determined to have Zimbabwe back, wagging a middle finger to ABC: Australia, Britain and Canada, the three countries which have been standing in the way. Once the Mission finalises its report, the outcome will be put to all members of the Commonwealth to decide on Zimbabwe's proposed return.

Should the majority accede, as all indications seem to show, the ABC will have little option but to concede.

Diplomacy from boardrooms

Which means what for Zimbabwe's re-engagement programme? Zimbabwe will continue to have grousing, censorious but effete partners by way of the ABC in the Commonwealth. Except the three countries may have to put up with Zimbabwe, once she is readmitted.

One also sees mining self-interests taking precedent over false moralism which powered the combined diplomacy of ABC. Coking coal quite apart, the British would never want to jeopardise their newly established interests in the Zulu Lithium Mine in southern Zimbabwe, for which massive equipment has started arriving in the country.

It is reckoned to likely be the largest lithium mine in Zimbabwe. Going forward, the British may have to learn to put their diplomacy where their mouth is. Australia, too, will have to decide what comes first, energy or false ethics parading as diplomacy. Which leaves Canada alone. But then, cares about it anyway?

Whither Zimbabwe's Re-engagement?

In the EU, Zimbabwe's re-engagement policy still faces challenges in some Nordic countries, and residually in the Netherlands and Germany. With the situation in Eastern Europe, one sees economic interests and diplomatic rapprochement taking precedent over all else.

Which leaves America either alone or with some perfunctory cable of lukewarm anti-Zimbabwe partners. We wait to see what sentiments the America-Africa Summit reveal. Whichever way, it is clear America realises its position is growing increasingly untenable.

Africa's anti-sanctions stance is now stronger than ever before. Most likely it will be ventilated at the Summit. Besides, Zimbabwe is forging ahead, America's sanctions notwithstanding. Even her argument that sanctions are either targeted or progressively reducing, is wearing thinner and thinner with each day that passes.

As one senior Zimbabwe Government Official told an official of the US Embassy at the beginning of this week, how does removing the dead from the American sanctions list target such irrational measures? Such is the state of affairs in the human world, at the very least as seen through the eyes of a braying donkey.

Source - The Herald
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.