THE SATURDAY COLUMN
So the Bible says, there was that short stout man, Zakeyo, who climbed up a tree and perched precariously on a branch and positioned himself on a vantage point to get a glimpse of the Son of Man, knowing too well he was too short to go measure for measure with the tall ones.
As Jesus passed by, he saw Zakeyo and decided to go with Zakeyo to his house, where, naturally the short man would clearly have a tete-a- tete with God’s son. It must have been a long walk for Zakeyo to his home, he broke into fox trot, but Jesus must have told him to ease up and walk normally. Time was on their side.
So there is this short, stout man, our own version of Zakeyo, but is a mortar mouth who has found himself in Parliament by the benevolence of the political gods but is disrespectful a lot.
This, our Zakeyo, is different to our biblical one. He dishonourably mistakes gym fitness for mental and physical fitness. He so loves picking fights with everyone, including colleagues in the august House. His love for money and violence is telling. His love for money is brazen. History has it that he once demanded US$10 million from a white business mogul, to link him up with his uncle. According to the agreement, his uncle, then a feared gnu, would be found at his farm in the east. The mode of transport was a helicopter, which the filthy rich white man possessed. But the oiling of hands did not go well, prompting Zakeyo to make threatening noises. He was not even shamed of it.
Even in Nigeria where the business of securing handshakes with the big guys is lucrative, life cannot be that easy. US$10 million for securing a meeting?
Others remember him for leading a committee that got oiled by a company mining black gold, north-west of the country. With the ill-gotten loot, they are said to have frolicked at a tourist resort and sloshed themselves silly. We cannot rule out chasing after night nurses in that fetish night, especially with a windfall from black gold miners.
Now, our mole tells us Zakeyo failed to play the same trick at a Chinese firm on the banks of a famous river. He has tried all tricks in the book to get the Chinese to oil his hands without success. Someone must have tipped the Chinese.
Just a few days ago, Zakeyo is said to have roped in a traditional leader and cooked up a story that the Chinese beat the hell out of the people’s dear leader. You see myth and mystery has it that all Chinese guys are good at karate. And, yet, some of us who have travelled far and wide, know for a fact, that while the Chinese look similar with their characteristic round faces, short frames and button-hole eye lids, they have vast and different capabilities, as vast as the sea.
Believing in this karate for all is “stupidstitious” the short stout man thought his story would be bought. It turned out the Chinese guard was the one who received a thorough hiding from the man of tradition. But you see, Zakeyo, is not short for nothing, he engineered a police report for the leader, all to fix the Chinese.
For the benefit of those who do not know the background, the short stout man is a mortar mouth of great repute, who is good friends with the traditional leader, who was critical for his ticket in the august House, albeit without political ideology or ideological clarity. We just hope the chief has learnt his lessons. Mhanya Zakeyo!
ZESA a small stream that never runs dry
We hear corruption at our power utility has reached fever pitch that even Nyaminyami, the BaTonga river god that superintends over the Zambezi River is so angry that it has decided to drink all the water from Kariba Dam, only leaving 30 percent. With more and more scandals at the power utility, surfacing, the river god might drink it all, to shut down the turbines and stop corruption. Then, then, then, the country starts afresh.
Just yesterday morning, it was wintry and I chilled under the blankets only to be awoken by a knock at the gate. Attending to the knock shocked me. Two women and a man in white coats greeted and introduced themselves as Zesa officials.
The next question was a shocker. “Do you have a maid?” “No! Why?” I responded. Well, the lady explained, there is a syndicate involving our technicians and maids. They fall in love with maids and fiddle with prepaid meters and $5 can be used for six months. While you guys are at work, something is happening behind the scenes. They bed your maid, eat your food and give you free power. It cannot go beyond this craziness. ZESA auditors have discovered that the problem is prevalent where there are housemaids, especially in low-density suburbs.
So, the crooks at it again! There is no peace and rest at the power utility. After mammoth scandals, from a jailed former Cabinet minister, a suspended chief executive, a suspended board to this new one brewing, God forbid! The power utility’s veins and blood and its subsidiaries are dripping with corruption. Honestly, ZESA is a small stream that never runs dry. By now its coffers must have dried, had it not been for the benevolence of mercy.
Pastor Chiwenga, wetting pants and a Paul Mkondo at hospital
Well, this one made me crack my ribs with laughter. Pastor Talent Chiwenga looked foolishly brave in his street sermons, daringly picking on anyone and little everything else, as he “sought the Kingdom of God.” But you see, the man is such a coward. We are told, he was transferred from Masvingo to an upmarket trauma centre in Harare for an operation. Well, they say he was so scared of going into theatre that he wet his pants. Now who does that? There was drama as close church members struggled to convince him that theatre does not necessarily kill especially when it is about broken fingers and dislocations. But what is stupid in the whole story is that here is a pastor who so fears death, yet death is the only way to meet his maker. Day in day out, the man of the cloth ranted and rumbled on the streets, pretending to be holier than thou, and yet God put him in his right position through the accident.
Again, the charismatic political pastor, failed to raise money for the operation. Followers had to do a Paul Mukondo on him to raise $3000. For the Millennia, Paul Mkondo was an insurance broker, whose jingle “Itai cent, cent varume ini ndabhuroka” invoked a sense of shame to those who spent fortunes but failed to save for their retirement.
I am normally sympathetic and compassionate to my fellow countrymen, but Talent Chiwenga, must have been taught by God about humble beginnings, Godly sermons and real life situations.
In most cases, people fail to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, not because they have sinned but because of the pastors they follow. Thugs masquerading as pastors? May Chiwenga recover and derive a lesson from the accident. Was there no sinner in the Holy Book, who turned blind but repented and turned lay preacher? All is well that ends well.
Well, it is a public secret that the Vehicle Inspectorate Department (VID) is a fetid digester. Many people masquerading as drivers on our roads are actually not supposed to be there. Not even should they be driving donkey or ox-drawn carts in the villages. It is disgusting that corruption has become so entrenched that the bosses here are unable to detect it. Here, omission and commission is the same. VID to me looks like a circus in which the Chief Vehicle Inspector is the main clown. VID has only 23 depots countrywide: that is Beitbridge, Belvedere, Bindura, Birchenough Bridge, Bulawayo, Chinhoyi, Chitungwiza, Chiredzi, Chirundu, Eastlea, Gwanda, Gweru, Hwange, Kadoma, Kwekwe, Marondera, Masvingo, Mutare, Nyamapanda, Plumtree, VID Training Centre, Victoria Falls and Zvishavane.
Their duties are simple: Vehicle inspection and accident evaluation, testing of aspiring drivers for learner’s licence, testing of learner drivers for Certificate of Competency, preservation of infrastructure and road network through weighing all loaded heavy vehicles, provision of expert evidence in court cases involving disputes on vehicle inspected.
The full import of all this is that all these aspects are corrupted. VID is therefore responsible for most of the road carnage that involves human error. In other countries they would have been charged with mass murder. Most of the accidents are their fault.