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Some Reflections on Student activism and the Pitfalls of Celebrity politics in Zimbabwe

By Blessing Vava ''Student activism is a highly conflict-filled terrain with very passionate individuals and groups involved&...

Friday, 16 March 2012

Jonathan Moyo: The outsider who weeps louder than the bereaved


The chameleon; Jonathan Moyo's sexual orientation
highly questionable 

By Blessing Vava
The state broadcaster, ZBC never ceases to amaze me. Every night we are subjected to vitriolic and biased analysis from their so-called analysts especially in the mould of acerbic former junior minister of Information and Publicity Professor Jonathan Moyo. After watching him comment on the Prime Minister’s address to parliament on Tuesday I was left with no option but to pen this article.

 Commenting on the Prime Minister’s remarks on corruption that those involved in corrupt activities should be investigated, the visibly angry Moyo dismissed  the premier’s remarks accusing the latter of ‘double dipping’ and also suggesting the he should be arrested for corruption. He has been saying it in most of his many boring writings in the state owned Sunday Mail. Those who know him can testify that he writes a lot usually when he is drinking whisky.   However it is quite surprising how corrupt people like Moyo are now acting as if they are saints while their involvement in corrupt and criminal activities is well documented. He is being loud for nothing and I feel this is the time to silence poisonous tongued people like him.



 In 1993, while working for an American organization called the Ford Foundation in Nairobi Kenya, as a program’s director, Moyo is alleged to  have embezzled close to $88 000 before he fled to South Africa running away from arrest.  As they say old-habits die hard, the naughty (or is it nutty) Professor was at it again, this time while working on a project entitled The Future of the African Elite sponsored by the W.K Kellogg Foundation at WITS University, Moyo is alleged to have absconded from the project after pocketing close to a million rands meant as a research grant for the project. This is a man whose history of corruption is in the public domain but it is quite surprising how he is portraying as if he himself is a saint while reports indicate he is a wanted man in these two countries for corruption. So my advice to Moyo is to keep quiet, you cannot run away from the wheels of justice. You can run away, but you cannot hide, you know that the arm of the law is long and very soon they will get you.  And your ambitions of becoming president would be doomed. Shame! Corrupt, uncouth and dishonest people like Moyo should never be allowed anyway near public office. Mugabe tried it in 2000, when he appointed him the information minister and it was indeed a disaster he regrets till he sees his grave.

Zimbabweans should never forgive you for killing our media. Moyo is the biggest sanction Mugabe inflicted to the people of Zimbabwe, apart from of course Mugabe himself. We indeed suffered during his time. The reason why millions of Zimbabweans are no longer watching ZTV is because of people like Moyo. How can we be proud of watching SABC when we have our own ZTV? Everything he touches turns to rust and hope Mr Mugabe is aware. Because of his unpopular media reforms and propaganda through music ZANU PF lost an incredible number of voters. He goes down in history as the most hated minister, if not person in the history of this country. This is the same man who spent about $2 million during his 468-day stay at the Sheraton Harare Hotel in 2000, working first as a Constitutional Commission spokesperson and later as Zanu PF election campaign manager on tax payers money. Moyo’s actions are nothing but compensatory behaviour of trying to redeem his contaminated image after holding secret meetings with American diplomats ravaging the president left, right, centre and from the rear. Moyo should be ashamed of his chameleonic behaviour; yesterday you are ZANU PF, today UP and tomorrow  MDC and you expect people to take you seriously. NO. Shame how you spend your academic energy writing long, boring propaganda articles attacking the premier; you are a big disgrace to the academic fraternity. As a true academic we expect to see quality work, not those directionless, long articles with nothing more than personal attacks directed to MDC leaders.

After reading your two journals, Voting for Democracy (1992), The politics of administration: understanding bureaucracy (1992), I’m left wondering if this is still the brilliant academic who has now reduced himself to a newspaper columnist whose writings are nowhere near that of an academic, worse a whole Professor. Opinion pieces which do not even deserve space in a letters to the editor section in any serious newspaper world over. His obsession with the PM’s bedroom affairs is as if he is an embittered ditched lover. The world now will be left with no option but to question Jonathan Moyo’s sexual orientation which for long has been highly questionable. We deserve something better. If Moyo has a conscience which i believe he lacks he should be ashamed of himself. Zvazviri!

Blessing Vava is from Chipinge and he can be contacted on blessingvava@gmail.com


*Please acknowledge that this article was sourced from www.blevava.blogspot.com


Tuesday, 13 March 2012

National Annual Chiefs Conference-a big charade



By Blessing Vava
The just ended National Annual Chiefs Conference held in Bulawayo was reduced to a comical show which left me laughing as if I had been watching the hilarious DSTV Jerry Springer show. The whole conference was characterized by weird, unimaginable and outrageous demands  reducing what was supposed to be an important national event by our traditional leaders  to tackle a host issues affecting our rural areas to a ‘big charade with nothing of importance coming out of that conference.’  To sum it all, it was a ZANU PF conference but this time focusing on one of their numerous wings masquerading as traditional leaders who have since ceased playing their role as community leaders. We all expected vigorous deliberations on how they were going to deal with the issue of drought and hunger that the nation is facing and other issues of development to our rural areas which remain backward, under-developed and marginalized. 

Part of the drama-Mugabe gets Gaddafi gown  from the
national chairman of House of Traditional Elders in Kenya
Kamlesh Mondoo Patti
The conference had no serious deliberations but demands and praise singing of President Mugabe. One would have mistaken the gathering for a nursery school party. Chiefs have indeed digressed from their role that among other things is of settling customary disputes, connecting residents to district assemblies, acting as gatekeepers for their subjects and championing local development.

Sad how they have become ZANU PF activists and commissars who do not deserve any respect at all if what they deliberated at their so-called Indaba is anything worth talking of. Maybe they were not briefed on the purpose and importance of the gathering because surely that meeting was a waste of our hard earned taxes.  I feel pity for the thousands of people who are under the custodianship of our chiefs. So what feedback will they give the people they left in the communities? What will they tell the people about the apparent food deficit? How will they answer to the young people’s cry for jobs and other opportunities? Most obviously, after being drugged on such luxuries, they will just go on to say ‘it because of sanctions.’ When they spent four days, making noise and demanding luxuries some of which you wonder if they really deserve in a country that is struggling economically. Maybe they were assured that the closely guarded ‘diamonds purse’ will cater for them. The comedy show which was officially opened by President Mugabe drew 1000 delegates including 200 wives of our country’s chiefs who also accompanied their husbands to this indaba. They also took time to enjoy the luxury of the 5-star hotels they were booked as most of them reside in rural areas.  As the script goes on I also realized that the hosts of the event were said to be Mashonaland East province but surprisingly the event was held in Bulawayo and one wonders why the event was held in Bulawayo and not in the hosting province Mashonaland East.

One of the main highlights which spiced the comedy show were the newspaper headlines which ran through from the day the conference started right up to the end. I have tried to pick a few newspaper headlines for everyone to see the kind of deliberations by the people who preside over a very important but backward constituency and they seem not to understand their role as community leaders. The few headlines I came across had titles like,‘Chiefs demand guns,’ Chiefs says Mugabe will die in office,’ Chiefs endorse Mugabe,’ Chiefs wives goes sightseeing,’ most sickening being ‘Mugabe gets Gaddafi gown,’ as if there are no important issues that are affecting the people they lead in their communities worth debating. Of great surprise was a one Chief Dandawa, chairperson of the traditional chiefs in Mashonaland West province who demanded that chiefs be given guns to protect themselves from people who do not respect them especially politicians. So does it mean that when one owns a gun that is a passport for you to be respected? Chiefs do not need guns, otherwise they will end up intimidating or killing in the name of respect. I find Chief Dandawa being a good candidate for psychiatric treatment.

The chiefs also demanded diplomatic passports. My question is, to go where and to do what? Because their job is purely local and does not require any travelling abroad and hence they should not be given diplomatic passports. The list of demands goes on such that I can’t write it all, and at this rate very soon they will be demanding designer underwear. However, in all this melodrama, for the first time Vice President Nkomo said something sensible and I salute him for that when he dismissed their demands attributing it to laziness. Nkomo is right, all of the country’s chiefs benefited from Mugabe’s controversial land reform exercise and they were some of the main drivers. They are direct beneficiaries of the agricultural inputs, food aid and farming implements and are also responsible for the distribution which they have been abusing by only giving ZANU PF people. Chiefs should stop behaving like cry-babies and do something productive on their vast pieces of land for them to get the luxuries they are clamouring for.

Such levels of greed and self-aggrandizement are the reasons why our rural areas are still backward and undeveloped. What they said in Bulawayo was a clear sign that these chiefs are only interested in satisfying their personal needs more than that of the communities they lead. Their active role in pushing partisan politics is regrettable and a betrayal to our African cultural values. It can clearly been deduced that the role of chiefs in development of our country is very critical as they can facilitate and either derail or delay development. It is therefore very important that the role of chiefs in the society is well articulated as they should be in the forefront fostering development at local level. The laws governing chiefs, their jurisdictions and key result areas should be clearly articulated just as the roles of the President or Prime Minister are clearly articulated in our laws and statutes. The challenges such as succession in chieftaincy as well as open political participation of chiefs are prominent and critical and need to be addressed by policy makers.
Blessing Vava is from the Committee of the Peoples Charter (CPC), and can be contacted on blessingvava@gmail.com

National Annual Chiefs Conference-a big charade



By Blessing Vava
The just ended National Annual Chiefs Conference held in Bulawayo was reduced to a comical show which left me laughing as if I had been watching the hilarious DSTV Jerry Springer show. The whole conference was characterized by weird, unimaginable and outrageous demands  reducing what was supposed to be an important national event by our traditional leaders  to tackle a host issues affecting our rural areas to a ‘big charade with nothing of importance coming out of that conference.’  To sum it all, it was a ZANU PF conference but this time focusing on one of their numerous wings masquerading as traditional leaders who have since ceased playing their role as community leaders. We all expected vigorous deliberations on how they were going to deal with the issue of drought and hunger that the nation is facing and other issues of development to our rural areas which remain backward, under-developed and marginalized. 

Part of the drama-Mugabe gets Gaddafi gown  from the
national chairman of House of Traditional Elders in Kenya
Kamlesh Mondoo Patti
The conference had no serious deliberations but demands and praise singing of President Mugabe. One would have mistaken the gathering for a nursery school party. Chiefs have indeed digressed from their role that among other things is of settling customary disputes, connecting residents to district assemblies, acting as gatekeepers for their subjects and championing local development.

Sad how they have become ZANU PF activists and commissars who do not deserve any respect at all if what they deliberated at their so-called Indaba is anything worth talking of. Maybe they were not briefed on the purpose and importance of the gathering because surely that meeting was a waste of our hard earned taxes.  I feel pity for the thousands of people who are under the custodianship of our chiefs. So what feedback will they give the people they left in the communities? What will they tell the people about the apparent food deficit? How will they answer to the young people’s cry for jobs and other opportunities? Most obviously, after being drugged on such luxuries, they will just go on to say ‘it because of sanctions.’ When they spent four days, making noise and demanding luxuries some of which you wonder if they really deserve in a country that is struggling economically. Maybe they were assured that the closely guarded ‘diamonds purse’ will cater for them. The comedy show which was officially opened by President Mugabe drew 1000 delegates including 200 wives of our country’s chiefs who also accompanied their husbands to this indaba. They also took time to enjoy the luxury of the 5-star hotels they were booked as most of them reside in rural areas.  As the script goes on I also realized that the hosts of the event were said to be Mashonaland East province but surprisingly the event was held in Bulawayo and one wonders why the event was held in Bulawayo and not in the hosting province Mashonaland East.

One of the main highlights which spiced the comedy show were the newspaper headlines which ran through from the day the conference started right up to the end. I have tried to pick a few newspaper headlines for everyone to see the kind of deliberations by the people who preside over a very important but backward constituency and they seem not to understand their role as community leaders. The few headlines I came across had titles like,‘Chiefs demand guns,’ Chiefs says Mugabe will die in office,’ Chiefs endorse Mugabe,’ Chiefs wives goes sightseeing,’ most sickening being ‘Mugabe gets Gaddafi gown,’ as if there are no important issues that are affecting the people they lead in their communities worth debating. Of great surprise was a one Chief Dandawa, chairperson of the traditional chiefs in Mashonaland West province who demanded that chiefs be given guns to protect themselves from people who do not respect them especially politicians. So does it mean that when one owns a gun that is a passport for you to be respected? Chiefs do not need guns, otherwise they will end up intimidating or killing in the name of respect. I find Chief Dandawa being a good candidate for psychiatric treatment.

The chiefs also demanded diplomatic passports. My question is, to go where and to do what? Because their job is purely local and does not require any travelling abroad and hence they should not be given diplomatic passports. The list of demands goes on such that I can’t write it all, and at this rate very soon they will be demanding designer underwear. However, in all this melodrama, for the first time Vice President Nkomo said something sensible and I salute him for that when he dismissed their demands attributing it to laziness. Nkomo is right, all of the country’s chiefs benefited from Mugabe’s controversial land reform exercise and they were some of the main drivers. They are direct beneficiaries of the agricultural inputs, food aid and farming implements and are also responsible for the distribution which they have been abusing by only giving ZANU PF people. Chiefs should stop behaving like cry-babies and do something productive on their vast pieces of land for them to get the luxuries they are clamouring for.

Such levels of greed and self-aggrandizement are the reasons why our rural areas are still backward and undeveloped. What they said in Bulawayo was a clear sign that these chiefs are only interested in satisfying their personal needs more than that of the communities they lead. Their active role in pushing partisan politics is regrettable and a betrayal to our African cultural values. It can clearly been deduced that the role of chiefs in development of our country is very critical as they can facilitate and either derail or delay development. It is therefore very important that the role of chiefs in the society is well articulated as they should be in the forefront fostering development at local level. The laws governing chiefs, their jurisdictions and key result areas should be clearly articulated just as the roles of the President or Prime Minister are clearly articulated in our laws and statutes. The challenges such as succession in chieftaincy as well as open political participation of chiefs are prominent and critical and need to be addressed by policy makers.
Blessing Vava is from the Committee of the Peoples Charter (CPC), and can be contacted on blessingvava@gmail.com