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A chitchat ain't an interview

20 Jan 2024 at 17:00hrs | Views
It's been quite a spectacle to witness people – who since 3 October 2023, have been painting Sengezo Tshabangu as a Zanu-PF tortoise that has allegedly caused the mayhem which has ravaged CCC through recalls of some of its MPs and Councillors - latching onto two videos by Ezra "Tshisa" Sibanda of manifestly bizarre chitchats he had with Mbuso Siso and Albert Mhlanga, and taking the chitchats as professional "interviews" that purportedly expose the real team and the goings-on behind Tshabangu, that triggered the recalls, and what has transpired so far.

But a chitchat and an interview are worlds apart as night and day.

A professional interview should be about verifiable facts that are informing; while a chitchat is a trivial conversation between acquaintances, friends or relatives about anything, which is largely unverifiable and amounts to nothing of public value.

While Siso chitchatted for 30.47 minutes, and Mhlanga 3.26 minutes, they said nothing individually or together which proves, confirms or explains anything verifiable or valuable about what or who triggered the CCC recalls on 3 October 2023, why, and when the constitution submitted by Tshabangu to ZEC, Parliament and in court was written and by whom.

The chitchats are comically self-indulgent, and are littered with internal and mutual contradictions, for example, on who appointed who.

Also, one major talking point about the recalls, which the chitchats do not unpack is the claim that Tshabangu is a ZanuPF's tortoise. If anything, the chitchat debunks that claim.

It's all about CCC.

Siso even claims that he speaks to Nelson Chamisa regularly, and that the latest was last month; this too is not probed.

Siso and Mhlanga say nothing important and verifiable that they themselves have done since 3 October 2023.

And before Siso even utters a word in his chitchat with Sibanda; he's told his title:

"…Now I've got uMbuso Siso, the interim treasurer of Triple C. Mr Siso…who appointed you?"

No empirical evidence is given, that Siso is CCC treasurer, to justify the leading first question.

Nor is Siso asked to provide verifiable information that he's CCC treasurer; his word is good enough; no questions about CCC accounts he controls, or to which he's a signatory.

Albert Mhlanga fares no better. In fact, his show is worse.

Sibanda introduces Mhlanga in a way that proves theirs is just a chitchat:

"…We are here in Bulawayo one on one with Albert Mhlanga, the interim vice chairman of Triple C", he declares; before asking, "are you the interim vice chairperson of Triple C?"; to which Mhlanga happily answers, "yes, you are correct Tshisa".

The claim that Mhlanga is the "interim vice-chairman of Triple C" flies in the face of public facts before the courts.

In HH 652/23 and HC 7321/23, filed in court by recalled MPs, Tshabangu tendered a detailed opposing affidavit under oath about the source of his authority which, inter alia, says Job Sikhala is the national vice chairperson. Under paragraph 16.19 he avers that:

"Crucially, it should be noted that the 22 January 2022 [MDC-A] National Council meeting which resolved on the creation of CCC as the then MDC-A's new platform/label for contesting elections was Chaired by our Deputy National Chairman, Mr Job Sikhala, in the absence of the substantive Chairperson, Thabitha Khumalo, was indisposed."

All told, it's tragic that some loquacious voices in Zimbabwe's public discourse now believe that they are not only entitled to their own opinions, but that they are also entitled to their own facts.

It's trite that when someone utters a falsehood, it does not become true because it's what you want to hear. Truths and falsehoods standalone, subject to empirical verification.  

Factually, nothing in the ongoing saga of CCC recalls, and possible end games, turns on anything said in the two chitchats Sibanda had with Mbuso Siso; and Albert Mhlanga, respectively.


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