Eating sadza with diamonds

HARARE - After many weeks of grumblings as to where the diamonds money is going, I can declare with a smile on my face that our family has finally benefited from the diamonds money.  

And this is timely intervention as the first ever Zimbabwe International Diamonds Conference was held in Victoria Falls this week.

A key message from one of the speakers, Comrade Thabo Mbeki, is diamonds must benefit all and I cannot agree more. My old mother was given a 10kg pack of maize seed to share with four others at a Zanu PF ward meeting on Tuesday this week.

The meeting, where residents where force-marched, was convened at Tapfuma Primary School in Rujeko Marondera. This was to mobilise support for the revolutionary party on the coming 2013 elections.
   
A stern warning was given to those in attendance that voting for Morgan Tsvangirai will result in the army taking over. And the soldiers will take everyone in military trucks and shoot them. The lucky ones will be taken to the airport and forced to board planes to Europe and America so that they can join the white people whom they so dearly love.

The Zanu PF party leaders also informed the party “supporters” that next year’s ballot paper is ingrained with a secret serial number which can be traced to the voter and there is no way out for those caught on the wrong side.

My mother, who a few years ago was forced to be the party ward commissar despite her old age, was this time demoted for failing to attend meetings.

She had gone to a church gathering out of town and also attended a family funeral.

She is to attend a disciplinary hearing.  

A few minutes at home I visited an old man and family friend who is the party ward chairperson.

He hilariously laughed about the meeting and how Zanu PF was threatening them with child play.

“Vari kudya sadza nema diamonds while we suffer (they are eating sadza with diamonds) and they think we listen to such nonsense”, he quipped.   

He went on to narrate how the 10kg maize seed pack, part of the Presidential Agricultural Inputs scheme, was meant for one person, but the chefs had taken all the seed for themselves leaving a 10kg pack for four people.

Amidst all the threats, the people in the sleepy town of Marondera have maintained a sense of humour that carries them through life’s challenges.

The simplicity with which Zanu PF takes the people of Zimbabwe is astounding and yet backfiring as the citizen’s capacity to analyse and make independent opinion has grown.

The Zanu PF ward chairperson told me they watch news on ZTV and see images from Syria; he wondered how war-ravaged cities of Syria look so much like Marondera even as they had been no war in Marondera.
 
Zanu PF, seem not to be learning from the past, that violence, murder, intimidation and widescale mayhem will not win the party support.  

Urban legend and truthful stories are still being told in Marondera of how almost all those who committed murder on behalf of Zanu PF in 2008 are either dead or have gone insane.

I can say with certainty that two young men, who were my juniors both in primary and secondary school, are dead, after 2008.

I cannot vouch that this is the act of some avenging spirit or whatever. But stories I am told are that one of them confessed to having been present when bodies were thrown in Wenimbe Dam, he says he never participated in the killings but was never-the-less present.

Unfortunately, he is no more to testify to these stories. The local CIO guy who is known to have kidnapped an MDC councillor at Barclays Bank in Marondera is also dead.  

Before he died legend has it that he could not eat sadza, telling his relatives that he had no hands.   
His alleged victim, an MDC councillor has not been found since 2008.

So as Zimbabwe braces for yet another election and more of the same acts of violence and murder, at least the people are able to analyse and differentiate lies from the truth.

More importantly people laugh out some of their tragedies.

As for me I am waiting for the harvest from the small plot and have my diamond, in the form of a maize cob, and eat it too, at last. - David Mutomba

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