|Tsvangirai: Tying the Knot or Knotty Ties|
|Friday, 25 November 2011 22:19|
Marutenga naZvanyanya/Sim-ukaiwo mupembere/Gwenya-mbira svika pedo/Uitewo makorokoto/Nhai maiwee-e kani tofara isu/Imi amaiwee-e kani tofara! Hurray, Nelson Mandela has turned 12!
This week's scoop by The Herald was stunning. A scoop against Trevor Ncube's stable. A scoop against Strive Masiiwa's stable. A scoop against supposedly all-seeing America's organs here. Above all else, a stunning scoop against the Prime Minister's spokesman, Luke Tamborinyoka. He had to read about his boss' amorous conclusions, to read it all in The Herald!
The way to home truths
Down, down that highway, past Renje, past Nharira, past Daramombe, into Buhera, past Banza, Chigavakava, Nerutanga, Chikuvire, crossing Chidzikisa River, leaving Buhera camp alone, to her the North. Locadia will do a gentle dip, yehumwenga, a dip into a vlei unevenly split by the Nzombe stream as it hurries to empty into Chidzikisa, close to Jemawachema, the place of repeated tears.
This side of Nyazvidzi
The small joys of new home
You follow up on each comb swipe by a hard, open-palmed pat on the head whose hair is already slippery from the ruredzo. Pat, pat, pat until you beat it into a thick, even mat of cascading or undulating knots so beautiful to behold. You then rinse the head gently, following and reinforcing the cascading hair strands.
Faded times, faded joys
Coke in hand, or on counter table, you slide into the makeshift dance floor to jive furiously to East African riffs like "Monica Akeche", "Rosalind Soda" always vulgarised to "Ruzarina Soda", or much later, to Solomon Skuza's "Banolila", blaring from an old Tempest or ZEC, all to the great notice of village beauties fawning reluctance, playing the un-eager.
And the icing on the cake was to have brand new "super-pro" tennis shoes which would flash in sympathy as the tempo heightened and swift feet pounded the dance-floor in intricate twists. All done, you whip out a white handkerchief, often with an ornately put amorous message from a loved one from the village. You elaborately wipe off few grains of sweat from you brow, all in a huge pantomime show of ostentation. That was to be home, to be in Buhera then.
Weep not child
The drink, the bread, all these playing forerunner to the main course - habitually sadza nenyama - which in turn trigger makate nemakate emaseredzanhindi (settle-my-stomach brew), always potent, always frothing to give all drinkers, however shaven and shorn, some effervescing moustaches!
All this will take place in hungry, drought-stricken Buhera, the new home for the new bride. So, Comrade Luke, weep not, weep not child, for there is plenty ahead. Like a drunken man's fart, a wedding is always a noisy affair.
Defiling zones of privacy
Kuti uri muDanga here? Should it become absolutely necessary, absolutely necessary for the Office to come in, these zones of privacy should be navigated cautiously, should be handled by authorised officials with utmost care, and under very heavy strictures and studious guidance.
Into the bedlam
Beware of sextics!
Sex, man to man
In the league of Chirau, Ndiweni
People like Chirau, Silau as he became in national comedy. People like Ndiweni. No serious politician wants to be the joke of the pub, which is what Tsvangirai now is, and without being accorded the right of reply! Is this marriage in the taboo month-of-the-goats a desperate way of containing more damaging aspersions of homosexuality? Michael Jackson did precisely that. And could Tamborinyoka's denial be a desperate way of placating offended traditional power in the land, while waiting for this months of goats to expire, before coming back with confirmation of the marriage in Zvita or December, the months of deeds? The Prime Minister appears to hop from one entanglement to another. Tomboisendeka iyo.
From disaster to gaffe
And the denial, one so hideously mistaken anyway, comes by way of a bald bite tendered in the hope of an impression, in the hope of genius. Listen to Luke: "If you can believe that [that his boss has paid lobola for his new love] my brother, it is the same as believing that former South African President Nelson Mandela is now 12 years old". Aaah Look (again no pun)! That is appalling. Well, with Mandela ailing at 93, is this just a reckless bite or a mockery of Mandela by a public relations upstart whose style is igniting a conflagration to douse a torch-fly? So Luke defends his boss through a remark which far from conveying incredulity, actually mockingly describes the age-related mental status of a man to whom a gushing tribute begs. It's not very polite Luke. Much worse, if the analogy was meant to convey impossibility, it turns out that indeed it is far easier to imagine Mandela turning 12 than to visualize Luke as a truth-telling spokesman of the Prime Minister. What now?
Widening gyre of errors
Luke weds, sorry, wades deeper into mud. "The Prime Minister spent the whole day at his Charter House office... The only marriage the PM is concerned about is the dysfunctional marriage called the transitional government". If this was meant to be a clever deflection, it turned into an uncontrolled bounce from a reckless return.
In the first place Luke seems so comfortable in parleying Tsvangirai and his new in-laws, albeit with The Herald in between, playing Trojan Horse. Or he genuinely believes he is debating The Herald? Even an idiot knows this breaking story is not about The Herald writer, is not about a medium. It is not about the notebook; it is about the knot, whether tied, to be tied or untied. It is about the written, about the man in the news, indeed about the man in subcontracted denial. To what end for his boss? Why can't Luke simply produce his boss denying the story if he thinks he is so right, telling himself to shut up in the meantime? And if "the transitional government" is the only "marriage" he knows and cares about, is caring for it inviting one Jacob Zuma into the bedroom? It is an ever widening gyre of errors.
Hit, pay and run!
Then you have Tsvangirai's unaccredited tongues masquerading as unnamed and unmanned officials. I have no doubt that we are still listening to Luke, only incognito. He says:
"What is happening now is an attempt by the Tembo family to embarrass Tsvangirai into marrying her. These people think they can corner him into marriage." All the reports on the claimed marriage are "sexed-up" by evil people intent on "stitching Tsvangirai up" with their daughter, the voice adds. No, Tsvangirai never married, he only paid "damages" for impregnating the Tembo girl out of wedlock, we are told! This is incredible. So who "sexed" who? Who "stitched up" who by the way? Not even the language is helpful. Zvese zviri kubhiridha! Do I get the sense that the Prime Minister and/or his people find the fact and status of marriage more menacing than the image of a playboy, of a nymphomaniac who goes about breaking knickers without lasting responsibility?
That the Prime Minister hits, pays and runs? The same way he is said to have hit Loreta Nyathi, before bolting, again dropping a few coins in mid-flight? Where does that leave the PM's image? And of course that line fuels greater speculation on the Prime Minister. Already, we hear he is about to dump Locardia because of pressure from some married woman, again associated with ZANU(PF), an irate woman who will not have it. Is that true? The gyre widens even more, I say! Why stock more damaging speculation?
In so many angry words
Enter Ruhanya, the "political scientist": "This woman [Tembo] is a friend if not relative of Theresa Makone [Home Affairs co-minister] and the MDC and anyone else who does not see the hand of Theresa Makone is not being honest.... Tsvangirai does not go out looking for girlfriends, but he has personal friends who play matchmakers and at the heart of this free dating service is personal interest, namely controlling Tsvangirai. Makone should move out of the private activities of the Prime Minister and focus on her job as a public servant. The woman is a source of instability in the MDC-T".
Very serious charges from a man whose locus standi on this whole matter is hard to fathom. But it works. He draws out Makone who confirms a relationship akin to what Ruhanya alleges: " We involve each other to the extent we want to and there are boundaries in that relationship." On relationship with the bride and whether or not she introduced her to the Prime Minister, she defensively says: "So what, so what? Whether she is a friend, a relative, an acquaintance, so what? What has that got to do with me if she is to have a relationship with the Prime Minister?
She is not a stranger to me." Was Theresa confirming something in so many angry words? And then we are told about something called Project 2016 by which it is alleged Makone wants to take over the MDC-T leadership. Expectedly she denies. To all that add the un-sure reaction from MDC-T Senators to a naughty motion from ZANU(PF), led by the national chairman, S.K. Moyo. The overall picture is of a knotty affair.
Teaching the horse to neigh better
Without doubt Ruhanya is a very useful but undisciplined informant. Certainly he lacks the disciplined thinking of a political commentator, although his outbursts provide valuable pointers. He is an embittered MDC-T activist aligned to a losing faction. This is also the faction of Luke, Timba and a few other talkative ones.
The fight starts in the Prime Minister's Office to reach the Prime Minister's bedroom. And on both end-nodes of the short continuum, the Makones feature: husband in the Office, wife at home. And both factions have sourced potential brides for the Prime Minister, hoping for more profound hold over the man. I wait either faction to challenge me and we can go into names if they so wish. Professional ladies have been hurt, their careers ruined. So Ruhanya is no bystander, no observer at all. So true, Luke might not have known about the beginnings of this whole matter. But he had an obligation to check with the horse in order to neigh better. He didn't. Expectedly matters got messy, with the Prime Minister sinking deepest into the quagmire.
Aim just below the belt!
Far from beating back the Makones, the Timba faction has only succeeded in exposing Tsvangirai even more. The boss has become the collateral damage of his warring minions. We now know what kind of a leader he is in his party, what kind of a leader he seeks to be for the country. To control him is to aim just below the belt, and his officials have done much to bring this otherwise forbidden zone up for pelting. If he runs party affairs from the hip, then the hip naturally becomes an issue of governance.
He cannot blame nobody. In the MDC-T, politics play out as sextics. It is not about good ideas on running the country which endear you to the man. It is about beauties, bevies and bottoms! Far from helping him become a good politician, Tsvangirai's officials are busy finding fine feathers for the peacock, fine feathers with which to dazzle the peahen. Need we wonder why the Prime Minister winds up in Morocco, ostensibly to learn democracy from an autocratic monarch? It is scary! Icho! -