Snubbing a funeral: The new state media lingo

HARARE - It was my first time to hear of it. But you can count on the state media to come up with something outlandish that will make your day.

Early this week we woke up to a strange headline in The Herald: “Tsvangirai snubs Mudenge funeral.”
Can a funeral be snubbed? Is it compulsory to attend a funeral?

One cannot expect this discredited rag to give you the answers.

But their madness went a long way in exposing how Zanu PF and its media surrogates crave for the next President of the Republic to grace their occasions.

They desperately want Tsvangirai’s presence to make it a complete occasion; even if the occasion were a funeral.

True to their tradition of lying, they even said Tsvangirai had left with his wife for a birthday party in Nigeria.

For good measure, we ensured her presence at the bail hearing of the Glen View 29 the following day to inflict maximum damage on the tattered reputation of the so-called public media in this country.

I have always maintained that what is good for the goose must surely be good for the gander. If our journalism is consistent; why is it we haven’t seen “Mugabe snubs Mukonoweshuro funeral?”

Despite chairing Cabinet, in which Mukono was a member, Mugabe never had the courtesy yekubata maoko to anyone following the good minister’s death. Ditto on deputy minister Tichaona Mudzingwa. And in both cases you are assured of silence of the grave from The Herald and the ZBC.

We had a chuckle within the political family. At least Tsvangirai is so much in demand that even funerals are “not complete” without his presence.

The ZBC, true to tradition, made equal noises about the Prime Minister’s trip to Nigeria, even alleging that he had gone there without Cabinet authority.

For the record, the President and the Prime Minister do not need any Cabinet authority, even though their accompanying parties do.

“Zanu PF scores yet another own goal.” The last time, on the eve of a Sadc summit, Zanu PF thugs murdered an MDC activist in Mutare. Magura gave the MDC leverage at the Luanda summit and helped underscore the fact that the political environment remained poisoned and a free and fair election was impossible.

The same summit stopped Mugabe dead in his tracks in his attempt to foist what his bungling spin doctors called a “metaphoric” election in 2012. The summit insisted that reforms, most importantly constitutional reform, are imperative ahead of the next election.

And on Wednesday, on the eve of the arrival of the facilitation team, Zanu PF arrested minister Elton Mangoma on trumped-up charges of undermining the President.

How quickly they have forgotten the Livingstone summit and how the summit made a resolution on arbitrary arrests; and this soon after the arrest of the same minister?

Just in the same week that Tsvangirai had talked of a pull-out of the inclusive government, with no one seeming to comprehend the efficacy of that position, one could count on Zanu PF to provide the answer.

The dying party would have been better off if it was given to shooting itself in the foot. But it has since decided to go one better. They have the tendency of shooting themselves in the “feet.”

Imagine arresting someone for saying Mugabe chibva. (Mugabe must go!). If that were a crime, more than a million people who voted for the MDC, who are of the same feeling, would be filling our prisons today.

Mangoma’s arrest showcased the power of the social media. There was viral communication on the social media sites, complete with pictures and Zimbabweans were able to follow the minister’s arrest, up until they made the literal and metaphorical U-turn on their way to Bindura.

The brave 21st century is the era age of e-technology and I see even our RG’s office is now trying to catch up.

The Bull Eland hopes that he will see relief in the long queues that have been associated with obtaining basic documents such as birth and death certificates as well as IDs.

We are not sure what will now happen to those who were making a living out of those queues or by providing passport forms.

Fed up with the long queues at the registry office, my aunt in rural Domboshava, we call her tete Stella, recently quipped: “Pandaenda kuregistry office uku kubirth rangu, maqueue acho anga akareba zvekuti ndazovati dai mabva mangondipa nedeath racho ndoziva kuti ndapedza nazvo” (When I went to obtain my birth certificate at the registry office, there queues were so long I asked them to process my death certificate as well so I could kill two birds with one stone).

That’s how bad it had become!!! - Bull Eland

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