Friday, February 8, 2008

The many lies told in your name(s)

By Oscar Nkala

MANY journalists in Zimbabwe, by virtue of being close to the politicians, can tell when any minister, given their long stay in power, comes to a press conference or rally drunk.
There is the famous case of one Vice-President who is an addict to London Dry Gin, so much that when he began calling non-ZANU PF supporting Zimbabweans ‘imigodoyi’ in 2000, the fraternity maintained its silence.

In the process, it swallowed the knowledge that such daring insults were the audible effects of London Dry Gin much more than the frothing of an angry revolutionary who wonders why everyone, except himself, has gone haywire.

But the latest drunken rant could have been more surprising than a pangolin for sale at Makokoba People’s Market if it had not come from Patrick Chinamasa, an unwilling prisoner in the iron cage which many years of dictatorship and rule by murdering the people and gang-raping the constitution has firmly locked ZANU PF leaders into. Strange statements, which are infact the diametric opposite of what is happening in Zimbabwe were made to an audience which seemingly dared not ask the speaker to justify his content.

It could have been their continuing complicity in selling our souls on their part, but it could also be because ZANU PF is getting more and more customers of its propaganda in Europe, if recent talk of building bridges, even when Zimbabweans do not see the rivers needing to be crossed, is anything to go by. The strange statement goes thus:

“Allow me, Mr Chairman, to conclude my address by giving the new council (UN Council on Human Rights) the assurance of my country to respect human rights without regard to sex, religion, race…, as provided for in UN charter and the Constitution.”

I have no doubt that the esteemed gentlemen and ladies who sat and listened to such rantings, which could not come from any other place except a non-existent Zimbabwe where only Chinamasa and other imaginary creatures can exist, did not argue because they did not see the merits of arguing with a pepped-up pathological liar. The fact that they know him as the legal face of a regime that lives on the blood of its citizens at home and money-laundered from its own refugees abroad is most obvious, unless they came from a neighbouring planet to the strange one where ZANU PF and its people live.

It should have been worse than unfortunate therefore that earlier in the same statement Chinamasa had ranted at length about how this democratic government wanted the UN to help in protecting it from its own people by preventing funding to organizations that preach human rights in the country. These organizations preach regime change, the minister said, as if there is a school in this world where people need to be taught to hate dictatorships that can’t even feed them.

So democratic is this country that it has drafted a bill which will ensure that the state reads the e-mails of everyone, regardless of whether it is about how badly Joseph Msika is farring in his preferred South African hospital, or to announce the death of a cousin from common flu in Matshetsheni because the ambulance had no fuel and the local clinic had no basic pills.

Without trampling on the rights of its people, the rights-fearing government has also asked the mostly patriotic internet service providers (ISP) if they can the bills for tapping internet. They ISPs have willingly said yes, as they can see that the State indeed has more pressing commitments such as buying Humvees for senators and Korandos for heroic army officers who are dealing with George Bush’s racist attempts to re-colonize the country.

After all, is it not the sovereignty (whatever that word now means after being abused by ZANU PF) of the country and the comfort of our uneducated chiefs, who earn more than UZ graduates, that matters? The delegates should have felt insulted that a man who, in one statement, asks them to help the State in activities of repression, deprivation and denial of rights, goes on to assure them of a commitment to human rights and the rule of law.

There is no need to go to lengths in describing the nature of ZANU PF’s barbarism from 1980 to today. Mugabe knows it better than Chinamasa, which is not strange considering that the minister is a political mafikizolo, who just had the misfortune of being thrown into the deep end of a boiling whirlpool.

I will not mention the Gukurahundi killings, which Mugabe asked all of us to believe happened in a moment of madness. By mere calculation, acts committed by people as mentally deranged, as who-ever was Zimbabwe’s leader at that time cannot be prosecuted until many psychiatrists and magicians confirm that their minds are in a state of disrepair. Therefore, Mugabe wants us to believe that the people who lovingly upheld human rights by embarking on Gukurahundi cannot be prosecuted because they were mad at that time.

As such, Gukurahundi commander Perence Shiri, who preferred to be called Black Jesus because he could take life, was mad. So were one Robert Mugabe and a certain Emmerson Mnangagwa. Many say Enos Nkala was just as mad as Sydney Sekeramayi or the editors of the papers that helped the State criminalise, isolate and and annihilate a whole tribe, but judging by his sound mental state now, I am sure he is a very good actor.

So those who believe in forgiving murderers simply because they plead madness must think again because this is yet another ZANU PF piece of propaganda. It is only meant to say that this people-loving government would not have raped, killed and maimed Matabeleland if it had not collectively lost its senses.

By inference, Zimbabwe’s security forces and government are still made up of dangerous psychopaths who can still convince the world of their commitment to human rights when, by the Mugabe’s own admission, they bay for blood when their moments of madness come, which can take up to eight years considering that they were mad every day between 18 April 1980 and 21 December 1987.

The same psychopaths and paedophiles, which today claim so much fitness and effectiveness in countering a new colonization order, were in 1997 awarded government compensation for as much 100 per cent disabilities ratings for injuries allegedly sustained during the liberation war. It was also part of the human rights culture of this country that the citizens were taxed to the marrow to pay for the sacrifices of dagga-smokers and school drop-outs called war veterans, as if Zimbabweans ever hired mercenaries to liberate their country.

I am sure even world-acclaimed coup specialist and mercenary Bob Denard would have charged less than what our governing cripples paid themselves for liberating us. Denard charged much less for dirtier jobs that even got botched-up in the Comoros Islands, the badly battered economy was shaken but did not collapse like ours.

While Bob Denard ended up face to face with the music, our psycho-paths are still being allowed to go around the world misrepresenting the country and twisting its puerile human rights record into a shining mirror of achievements. Surprisingly, UN commissioners, whom we expect to know better about the dangers of psychopaths in power, still clap, ululate, pledge unending cooperation and mumble over coffee about cordial relations that have never existed.

It is now that the world, apart from blaming Zimbabweans from failing to dislodge the ZANU PF monster, should also play its part by refusing to be lied to about us. I do not believe that the whole essence of democratic discourse and diplomatic respect has the net effect of forcing everyone to listen to long speeches founded on nothing but mere fiction that even lacks imagination. If the people present at Chinamasa’s presentation can tell the difference between white and red, then they should have known better that the assurance of human rights respect was coming from the wrong mouth and from a very strange direction.

Unlike many others in cabinet, Chinamasa does not suffer from intellectual malnutrition, so we can safely assume that he sat down, concocted the lies and even rehearsed how he would present them. Maybe CIO had also provided accurate intelligence on just how gullible the audience would be, but as Zimbabweans we should be able to stand up and tell the world not to tolerate what we cannot tolerate in our country. The Zimbabwean record of human rights abuses, notably the devilish nature of the people who make up both cabinet and parliament, is as clear as muddy water.

It certainly speaks for itself because every other country that matters in this world is playing host to Zimbabwean asylum seekers and refugees.

The exiles are the people who should tell the world about Zimbabwe’s hatred of human rights other than those of the Zezurus in ZANU PF, the Gushungo family and their touts. The language used by Chinamasa should leave the ever-doubting Thomases at UN in no doubt that the government of Zimbabwe intends to do more of trampling than upholding the rights of its citizens.

ZANU PF’s pre-occupation with power should tell the world that whatever the government does is not for the good of the people, but the security of a deeply unpopular regime which fears prosecution for human rights abuses much more than the fragmented opposition. Somebody said that sovereignty and patriotism alone cannot feed the country and I agree. The narrow and badly bastardized meaning of sovereignty as it refers to ZANU PF is not good for the hungry man in Gwanda or Murambinda.

It is high time that the whole world started refusing to accept statements like the land being the economy, sovereignty and patriotism. Zimbabweans have already sacrificied everything except their children. It therefore makes no sense for Mugabe to keep saying they should sacrifice for the sovereignty of the country. Sacrifice what for what? Why is the sovereignty issue so confined to stinking ZANU PF corridors if the whole country has the right to bask in its preservation?

The diet of patriotism we are being fed on is thoroughly nauseating diarrhoea, which should also bring the world’s attention to our acute shortage of medicines. These are the very issues around which ZANU PF has built a not-so intricate web of lies that is luckily full of self-inflicted holes. These issues have become the very altar on which the rights of Zimbabweans have been sacrificed since 1980.

Chinamasa also needs to know that ZANU PF does not enjoy a complete monopoly in terms of access and dissemination of information. There are more eyes looking at Zimbabwe’s than the blind ones in ZANU PF.

Government can decide what gets published in its mouthpieces or tell its megaphones at Newsnet how to beam the day’s biggest lies as headlines. However, the illusion of a monopoly is a monumental blunder which ZANU PF and those who believe in it should be made to pay for. But that will still depend on whether as Zimbabweans, we refuse to be lied to and lied about.

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