It is a common, but seemingly heartless response by any newsman whenever reports of a road traffic accident filter through. The first question is always, ‘‘were there any fatalities/ pafa vangani?’’
In the absence of fatalities one is bound to hear ‘‘haa hapana nyaya/ it’s not a story,’’ accompanied by discernible disappointment on the newsman’s face for an ordinary accident is just that, bad copy.
It doesn’t sell the papers.
I have always been fascinated by this human condition that seems to put business ahead of human life.
The mundane is not news.
I am sure many who have been following international media over the past few months will have noticed that Zimbabwe has been largely missing from the newscasts.
This either means westerners have realised the game is up in Harare, which may explain talk of moves to effect regime change at Harvest House, or the re-engagement process is gathering momentum, true to the dictum, if you can’t beat them, join them.
What is more, word doing the rounds is that the BBC wants to interview William Masvinu, who was conferred with the title of Mr Ugly Harare at a pageant held at City Sports Bar a fortnight ago.
It appears the politically ugly among us are no longer that newsworthy, the Masvinus are.
The other noticeable trend, over the past few months, are the attacks the MDC-T is being subjected to by its erstwhile allies like the CFU, ZCTU, NCA, Zinasu to mention just a few.
Tsvangirai is being deserted, not only by his handlers, but hangers on too.
And earlier this week, it was the turn of University of Zimbabwe economics Professor Tony Hawkins, who has hardly been flattering to Zanu-PF over the years.
Hawkins tore into what MDC-T hopes to use as a campaign issue: Their claim that their entry into Government stabilised the economy and brought inflation from nine to two-digit levels.
MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti, who is finance minister in the inclusive Government was even dubbed ‘‘best finance minister in Africa’’ for it.
Professor Hawkins was quoted in the South African weekly, the Sunday Times over the weekend blasting MDC-T for policy incoherence and for crediting itself with turning around the economy, which halted astronomical inflation in early 2009.
In the article titled, “MDC slated over economic revival claims,” and reproduced by this paper, Prof Hawkins pointed out that MDC-T had nothing directly to do with the fall in inflation as dollarisation brought an overnight change to the economy.
“There is nothing that the MDC did in that regard to turnaround the economy. It was a result of dollarisation. That is where the change came from not as a result of their implementing any praiseworthy policy. The MDC is pretty much out of its depth,’’ Hawkins said.
The then acting finance minister Patrick Chinamasa and Zanu-PF introduced dollarisation in a budget presented on Thursday January 29, 2009; a whole fortnight before the formation of the inclusive Government which was sworn in on February 13 the same year.
The then acting finance minister Chinamasa, presented this new policy package in the last budget of an exclusively Zanu-PF Government, after endless days and nights of inter-agency brainstorming.
The policy and decision to dollarise was a Zanu-PF idea, the implementation was by Zanu-PF.
The inclusive Government inherited a Zanu-PF programme, Biti found it there and is still to introduce anything as finance minister in the inclusive Government.
And now MDC-T wants to not only steal the idea, but to patent it and run with it at election time.
How they thought they could do that and get away with it is anybody’s guess.
In fact, the inclusive Government has been governing on Zanu-PF ideas.
MDC-T’s record in Government is an unenviable one, corruption in the councils and lethargy in central Government.
MDC-T leaders have, however, made headlines mostly for the wrong reasons, mostly mundane, shockingly puerile.
Take Tabitha Khumalo who wants the legalisation of prostitution and camaraderie between wives and mistresses.
Sithembile Mlothswa who wants sex toys for prisoners and a cap on the number of sexual encounters per month.
And of course, Tsvangirai’s name-sake, good ole Morgan Femai who wants our beautiful women to be less attractive to us; leaving many wondering whether given
his party’s pro-gay stance, he wants us to be attracted to one another.
The bottom line is something is afoot at Harvest House that may explain why the MDC-T breaks into goosebumps whenever the word election rolls off anyone’s lips.
Interesting things, very interesting things have been happening over the past few weeks, first you have Morgan Tsvangirai prancing to China at the invitation of the Municipality of Beijing, and claiming that he was invited by the Chinese government.
A clear quest for a home given the vibes from his handlers who no longer find him politically sexy.
The China jaunt, that came on the backdrop a Sinophobic campaign by his party, followed revelations by NCA chairman, Professor Lovemore Madhuku that some Western countries had approached him to headhunt for a capable leader for the MDC.
And where is Zanu-PF in all this? Tsvangirai’s flanks are exposed, does it have to take Hawkins to see that?
And the talk of election roadmaps, and constitution-making as if a new constitution was ever a pre-condition for elections should be put to rest.
It’s time to cut the chase, call for elections and finalise the Constitution thereafter.
I do not, for the life of me, see Copac finalising in a matter of months, what they have failed to do in three years.
Tsvangirai and his party are out at sea without a compass.
It’s time to bring the wave.