Sunday, 5 October 2008

Nigel: When they came for me, country and others…

Nigel: When they came for me, country and others…

I am not given to dishing out easy delights to fools. And if fools choose the splendour and bliss of ignorance, then let them have it, but without expecting thinking men and women to go on holiday, both in mind and by mouth.

Two weeks ago, my instalment caused a flutter in the MDC dovecot. I don’t know what it was about that instalment which tickled their sides, top to bottom, side to side.

As a result, I got a magisterial censure from this tribe which today feels governing, feels in charge of Zimbabwe, and does so with righteous aplomb. How dare I disturb their newfound "power" by releasing inconvenient truth, they excoriate, even wondering why I do not appreciate and support this one peace they have waited for, for so many moons before it came, all against the endless wiles of "Mugabe’s murderous regime"?

It is their time for a glorious, munching rest. So why mumble about their being nothing, even if this were true?

Why deliver a truth which must be deferred to allow for a ride, a gentle wafting into Elysian fields, that zone of eternal bliss, post-purgatory?

I, son of Manheru, must oblige these hungry lotus-eaters!

Bush’s black curse here

Well, I didn’t. I won’t, which is why Chamisa is mad with me, suitably mad with me on behalf of his master, Morgan Tsvangirai.

And it was madness that reverberated far and wide in a manner that was supposed to unnerve me.

It ran in the New York Times; it drew the comment of one McGee: that loud-mouthed black curse George Bush so graciously deposited on our blessed land.

What could have been more severe, they reasoned, these head-in-the-sand political might-be-s! But they will soon find out they have provoked a nursing tigress; they should not hope for even a glacial peace.

Votokunya. Whatever rituals of governmental leadership Tsvangirai may simulate today, tomorrow or whenever, he is not this country’s Prime Minister. Not just yet. Perhaps tomorrow.

And when tomorrow arrives, this column will be the first to hail him, first to address him as such. But no presumptuousness, please!

Far from suggesting an acute sense of duty, such presumptuousness betrays a very unsettling megalomania, a very disturbing narrowness of intentions.

And for me there is no surprise. That is the inevitable character of a political career shorn of people and larger purposes.

It dives for power, well before time, law and modesty.

Between likelihood and fact

However sonorous the agreement between Zanu (PF) and the two MDC formations may ring, it is not legislation and thus cannot command anyone, least of all Robert Mugabe as the lawful Head of State and Government of this law-abiding Nation.

Those guys must get that plain and clear so we are all spared the present confusion between likelihood and fact, between promise and the present.

And no one should expect me, or any communicator at that, to be bound and commanded by the legal promises of today’s politics. Let those promises be delivered, and then we have a Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers on our statutes, to whom we can all genuflect deservingly.

And the men and women who complain of perceived indignities know how to speed up matters. Let them take what is on offer when they meet the President today at State House for another round of talks.

That is the way to hasten honours which they so crave for but which they do not have presently. They thus must not seek to violently pluck supplications from us. It is not just disgusting; it betrays a dangerous craving for enormous power that may be undeserved. Supreme law is not a matter of prospect or conjecture.

It is an implacably hard fact on national parchments. Yes, we can be appealed to for some politeness — mere politeness - in recognition and appreciation of what may pass for a development of some significance between Zanu (PF) and the two MDCs.

But not to come down on us with the force of an injunction as if we have infracted any law. We haven’t and I personally resent latter-day compass-wielding pseudo-Urizens who seek to set boundaries to my pen. I get very hot and truculent.

Dare not, Sirs.

What a cheap gag!

This column is not, will never be, about delivering delectable lies and illusions brewed for dreamy easiness to those who find facts of outcomes they negotiated for, appended their signatures to, just too hard for ingestion by their broad constituencies.

It is their duty to find sweet floss for their constituencies. Not mine. This stupidity of trying to intimidate me by invoking miasmic titles such like "prime minister designate", "elected representatives of the people", blah, blah, blah, just will not wash.

Is the run-ahead "prime minister designate" elected? Is he not a product of politics of narrow negotiation for inclusivity, rather than those of and from the ballot?

Did he not drop out of the race a mere five days before the polls, after it became clear to his American sponsors he was headed for a whitewash, which still came nevertheless? And to say so is treasonous?

Do I have an obligation to sustain MDC’s the March 29 illusion it has invented for itself? And when I remind them they did not win Presidency in March — that they merely led in the initial run for Presidency — I am said to be spreading hate-language?

What a cheap gag!

If they won why are they not in Government?

Dimming prospects of rapport

And you dare tell me my column is what threatens the agreement?

Am I party to that agreement? Am I that important?

I did not write last week.

Did the agreement move forward by even half an inch during that respite? Would it with the kind of provocative dependence on Britain and America which MDC-T is showing, apparently without any sense of shame or regret.

Would it with Tsvangirai’s foolish trips to bank queues so he gets first hand the suffering which his sanctions have wrought on Zimbabweans?

Would it with the various advisory committees full of Rhodesians which his MDC has set up as props and to help him turn a bad agreement into good political gains from within? Would it with the numberless meetings his Masunda is having with ambassadors of hostile countries, as if Town House has become the new ministry of Foreign Affairs?

He wants to join President Mugabe to New York? Was he not there a few weeks back, thanking the Americans and British for keeping the sanctions pressure on?

The State must now sponsor him to America, must now underwrite the costs of sanctions against which it has been struggling in the past eight or so years?

My foot!

What is going on Nigel?

Oh Nigel! Oh Nigel! These white boys will hurt you if you are not careful.

From the very beginning of your dalliance with those boys from the Thomas Meikles empire, I smelled African blood.

You became too powerful, too successful for your race, for your place in white economy and world.

Grief was bound to follow.

But I knew more. I knew you had come into the white Rhodesian corporate empire to stave off indigenisation.

You would have been the black buffer to a policy that was ironically meant for you.

I winced, prayerfully hoping the good Lord you worship would grant you wisdom and guidance out of the belly of this great beast whose menacing grin you mistook for a gay smile. Surely you would have known that on the back of the MDC’s March prospects, the Rhodesians, right across the economic board, had set up structures for a return to Rhodes’ dream of painting the map red, British red?

We saw discreet but precipitous changes; we saw foreboding movements across sectors; we saw far-reaching re-positionings in key sectors, including agriculture.

Soon after the expected MDC takeover, there was just going to be one massive roll-back, legitimised as movement for democratic change. Indeed Rhodesians never die. Only their askaris do.

He knows the shrine

I could not fathom you Nigel, reducing yourself to a front for white interests. I just couldn’t.

You meant much to most of us, young Zimbabweans; symbolised much by way of overcoming the debilities of colonial history through sheer spirit and ardour.

The white guy you are pitted against, and which one of your black business brethren has no compunction to play dirty skirt to, comes a long way with the TM family.

He knows which god they pray, knows the route and hour to the shrine, indeed repeats incantations that invoke the guardian spirits with such ease. You don’t and yet still hoped to carve


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