And the Minister wept at the airport
Last week, I promised some juicy staff about former Minister Walter Mzembi and this will probably be the last we will write about him, at least for now.
Well, the guy was an eloquent orator, but you see, he was not so lucky with his love life. I had known him as our Government minister, but had never really been in close contact with him to the point of shaking hands with him.
As a Zimbabwean living in the Diaspora, I had not really gotten a chance to talk to him in person. I watched him on TV and thought eeish the guy was smart.
One day, in 2012, while in transit at Heathrow International Airport, I bumped into a Zimbabwean delegation going to the International Tourism Bourse in Berlin, Germany.
You know with the Diaspora mentality, it feels good to link up with people from home.
Then there were a few ladies and guys wearing Zimbabwe Tourism Authority regalia. After greeting them and chit chatting, I decided to leave them and keep my distance.
Soon, I noticed Walter Mzembi and Karikoga Kaseke ghost in. A few moments later, a young man appeared with two teenage girls, who I later understood to be the then minister’s daughters from a collapsed first marriage.
A young man escorted the two girls, but kept his distance as they greeted their father and shared hugs and kisses. After a small talk of 10 to 15 minutes the girls left.
Suddenly, Mzembi broke into tears. He could not hold back. Everyone huddled around him, obviously trying to avoid causing a scene.
The story turned out that Walter Mzembi had left for school in Cuba, leaving behind his wife with his sister’s teenage son (muzukuru) in the house, for the house needed a male figure.
As things would turn out, muzukuru took over all manly duties and became the husband of the house. He took over the wife and all.
While poor Walter drowned in books, muzukuru drowned in his wife.
Well, muzukuru impregnated her and they even wed. Muzukuru then left Zimbabwe for UK with the wife and child.
Poor Walter, who was flirting with his hairdresser Barbra, took her in as wife in the confusion. So, it turned out muzukuru had brought the children to see their father at Heathrow, igniting memories in Walter.
Sad! Such is life, anyway!
Once a shadow, always a shadow
I really feel sorry for MDC-Alliance shadow leader Nelson Chamisa.
The man is putting himself under unnecessary pressure from his supporters by biting more than he can chew, and very soon he risks suffocating himself.
Chamisa has of late grown a penchant for trying to please everyone, but largely through impracticable pronouncements.
Dear readers, you may wonder why I have called Chamisa a shadow leader of the MDC-Alliance; I have just plucked it from the party’s favourite word — shadow.
Apart from seeing shadows when it comes to political competition, the opposition party likes to call itself a shadow of almost everything.
And forgive me for observing that the Chamisa I am seeing these days is actually a shadow of his former self.
He is now easily agitated, appears to be always in a hurry and thrives of fake bravado.
Well, the MDC-Alliance calls itself a shadow ruling party, the party has a shadow president, a shadow cabinet, shadow members of parliament, shadow councillors, shadow spokespersons, and even a shadow army in the form of the so-called Vanguard.
If you go to Parliament and any other institution where the opposition party has some representation, you will always get someone from the party who is a shadow of the actual.
Ladies and Gentlemen, what exactly can come out of such a shadow, apart from just being that — a shadow?
Back to the shadow leader of the party — Nelson Chamisa.
Like what I have said, the man should be suffering from some undue pressure from his fellow shadows, who are pressing for his failure so that they also take over the bigger shadow position.
Resolutions from the recent MDC-Alliance congress in Gweru, clearly indicate a party leader being set up by those around him.
The resolutions have left Chamisa totally confused.
The resolutions ask him to initiate dialogue with ZANU-PF, and at the same time they empower him to lead demonstrations (a substitute word for violence in the MDC-Alliance jargon) against the ruling party.
Surely, you cannot mix dialogue with violence in the hope of harvesting a happy ending.
Chamisa has become so confused that from the time of the congress, he has been putting himself under intense pressure from his supporters, they too are shadows of ZANU-PF supporters.
He knows quite well that he is far from the throne to make substantive decisions, yet he has been telling everyone who cares to listen that he is fixing the problems facing the country.
Chamisa seems to enjoy it when he fools his gullible supporters by promising them the impossible, living up to his billing as a shadow president.
How many times does he need to be reminded that his party is just a shadow, and has been a shadow since its formation in 1999?
The only way out is for Chamisa to be open and truthful with his supporters, tell them that he has no influence whatsoever in the decision making matrix, simply because he is just a shadow, and will remain so forever.
His campaign strategy for 2023, which he started with the illegal demonstrations on August 1, last year, is now beginning to falter and is clearly unsustainable.
It is putting him under pressure, thus leading him to make unreasonable pronouncements that defy any logic.
The last Zimbo standing
While most of the Zimbabwe national football team players are still trying to come to terms with their disastrous 2019 AFCON campaign, and were probably following the final between Senegal and Algeria on television last night, one Alvin “Aluvha” Zhakata was being feted to some VIP treatment by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the continent’s highest football authority.
Zhakata, a daredevil football fan, who has been making headlines across Africa following his epic journey from Cape to Cairo just to watch his favourite game of football, was a guest of the CAF president Ahmed Ahmad last night.
His extraordinary passion for the game has left the football fraternity in astonishment.
A virtually unknown figure some few months ago, “Aluvha”, as he is known among the local football fraternity literally is a Zimbabwean cheerleader, who literally put his life on the line, navigating some of Africa’s scariest spots in this audacious adventure to Cairo.
Yes, there were times we all thought this was unnecessary. Hitch-hiking a distance of 10 000km across eight countries? Imagine the complications along the way?
The unpredictable transport system, the visa complications, the language barriers and most of all the danger this man was getting himself into passing through some of the strife-ridden places such as Sudan and Ethiopia?
His colleague Botha Msila of South Africa gave up after encountering a lot of frustrations along the way. A journey, which was supposed to take them a few days was turning into a nightmare at the borders of Ethiopia and Msila did the “honourable thing” when he heeded the growing chorus from concerned citizens back home.
Well-wishers were all over the place to sponsor him with a return air ticket to Egypt and he should have been grateful after travelling with all the comfort that Aluvha deprived himself!
What level of attention-seeking is this that a man sacrifices his own life and the welfare of his dependants just for fame?
Aluvha, how could you sacrifice your life in those unsafe jungles of Ethiopia at the time and the war-torn streets of Sudan?
“We wanted to make history as the first people to make it from Cape to Cairo by road for a sports tournament,” was his reply.
Really? A journey that was supposed to take something like one week ended up consuming 44 days! But in the end, what matters is the result. Did Aluvha achieve the feat? Yes he did!
Alvin Zhakata, a 32-year-old nurse from Harare, holds the distinction of being the only person in history to make the great trek from Cape to Cairo by road in pursuit of a football event.
It’s unfortunate his beloved Warriors betrayed him by exiting the tournament in the group phase, some days before he had arrived.
Still, he has made the headlines in Africa and beyond. He is the last Warrior standing in Egypt.
As Zimbabweans we have to pick one or two lessons from Aluvha’s unprecedented adventure.
Remember, this is the same Aluvha, who went on a road trip from Harare to Rwanda, a few years ago, to support his Warriors at the CHAN finals.
For those who have never met him personally, he is not one of those striking figures you would expect to meet.
If anything, you would mistake him for one of the patients he attends to week in and week out because of his super slender frame.
But in that slim body resides a powerful soul and spirit and something more of a lion’s heart. His never-say-die spirit and great determination is what we need as Zimbabweans in our quest to build this great nation.
The Warriors too should pick some priceless lessons from this man’s resilience so that we turn our nation into a football powerhouse.
Well done Aluvha, you are the last Warriors standing!