Wedding bells, politics and the Constitution

HARARE - This week we saw the devil standing firmly between love and a wedding; a political scarecrow clothed as a hapless, heart-broken woman.

The political intrigue surrounding this issue was not lost to the nation.

Those who are plotting behind the scenes exposed themselves by deploying yet another woman to file papers soon after the collapse of the first case.

Granted, the Prime Minister dated these women at some point.

Being a widower, he obviously engaged in a long search for a partner and during this process, you meet many characters along the way.

But the choreographed court cases this week exposed the political hand behind them.

When you are playing cards, crazy eight to be precise, you anticipate the opponent’s move, deploy strategic cards at strategic moments and when you feel the opponent has exhausted his play, you throw in the joker.

One Nozipho was the joker and that she lodged her application soon after the collapse of Locadia’s case exposes the fact that while the cards may be different, the player is the same.

But the strategy is beginning to backfire in the court of public opinion, which is the most important court for any spin doctor worth their salt.

Because the court challenges now being lodged everyday create a victim image out of Tsvangirai.

And a victim image is good for politics.

We know how we harvested political capital after showing Tsvangirai’s battered face to the world in 2007.

Even as a political plot, it is beginning to fall apart at the seams because it has been overdone.

It is a political overkill. Even in football, you earn a card if you continue to kick the ball into the nets after you have scored!!

The motive is to besmirch, to malign and to portray a reckless political contestant who leaves heart-broken women in his wake.

But surely, it is not a crime to fall in love and then move on to settle for a final choice.
Otherwise all the women we have fallen in love with at some point in our lifetime would have pitched up to silence our wedding bells. It is not criminal to date.

And the public media lackeys of this plot exposed themselves in the process.

It was prime news at The Herald and the ZBC when Locadia lodged her papers early this week.

Even on the day of the verdict, “D-day” as they called, the story was strong enough for page one.

But when the verdict of this running story was finally announced, which verdict the reading and watching public thought was more important in this running story, it was buried somewhere in the nonsense of their daily coverage.

Tsvangirai’s victory went down the pecking order.

In normal journalism, every verdict of a court story should claim equal prominence to the running stories.
For example, you don’t announce my arrest for theft on page one and bury my acquittal in the classifieds section.

Any editor ought to know this rule about equal prominence, but anyway, this profession has changed since our brave and ethical days.

For the ZBC, Tsvangirai’s court victory came in the second segment of the main news while yesterday’s issue of The Herald made it a small anchor story with a begrudging headline!

As a former ball-pen warrior myself, I am ashamed!

Cry, my beloved profession!

Somersaulting over the Constitution.
And talking of The Herald, they had this interesting story yesterday where they alleged the Prime Minister had had a summersault over the Copac draft and that he now agreed the Principals can meet to amend the same draft.

The story misquotes an interview the PM had with Studio 7 and anyone who read that interview will marvel at the brazen lie.

The irony is that the real summersault was on page one of the same issue where the Zanu PF politburo agreed with the PM’s position that the Copac draft should now go to the Second All-Stakeholders Conference.

This is not what Zanu PF wanted.

They wanted Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube to sanitise their nonsense disguised as Zanu PF amendments.

What readers did not know was that on Monday, Tsvangirai told Mugabe he would not join him in amending the Constitution, to which the President asked for the PM’s opinion on the way forward.

The PM said Zanu PF had an opportunity at the Second All-Stakeholders to raise their case.

The two agreed to meet the following day, which the meeting did not materialise but the President went on to railroad the Politburo into supporting the route to go to the Second All-Stakeholders Conference.

What we had heard was that come hail or high water, the Principals would have to discuss the Zanu PF amendments and that the Stakeholders conference would not proceed if the amendments were not discussed.

Well, it appears we are now headed for a Second All-Stakeholders Conference in line with what Tsvangirai has always said and no amendments will be discussed by the Principals.

Now, who between the two has somersaulted from their positions? - Bull Eland

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