Zim revels in camouflaging reality

HARARE - Soon after the death of former Cabinet minister and journalist Nathan Marwirakuwa Shamuyarira last week, the bad road that leads to his Borrowdale home was hastily patched up to allow for the safe passage of President Robert Mugabe and other VIPs.

We are told his house also was hastily painted, while his body lay in the mortuary, to mask the true state of the property belonging to such a revered former senior member of our country’s government.

The above patch-ups of both the house and the road, carried while Shamuyarira’s body lay in the soft requiem of death, go a long way to show our penchant as a nation to live a lie.

We are prepared to meet huge expenses to camouflage the true reality from ourselves, to lie to those in authority so that they get the impression that things are well.

Why can’t we just let the president see for himself the true state of our roads that ordinary folks like us use everyday, or even the run-down house that the incorruptible Nathan Shamuyarira lived in?

We have a strange affinity to live a lie, to dupe ourselves and pretend we are deaf, even to a sonorous reality shouting out to a deafening din.

This explains why we are not even discussing the economy that is hurtling down the cliff.

Over a million children now out of school are not even being discussed.

You cannot even withdraw a meagre $30 dollars from some of the country’s banks because of a debilitating liquidity crunch but you will not even find that on the front pages of our national newspapers.

Instead, you will find on the front pages stories about raunchy dancer Bev and her encounter with the police for indecent exposure instead of rather more important stories like the starving lot at Chingwizi, and even more importantly the sliding economic situation in the countryside.

No, all that grim reality is not the news!

Bev’s indecent exposure becomes the talking point when in fact the nation’s worry must be about an economy indecently exposed to the vagaries of a multitude of factors, chief among them avarice and unbridled corruption.

It is not Bev, but the economy that is indecently exposed.

But you notice a whole nation of educated people discussing Bev and not its economy that is in a parlous state, wobva watoshaya kuti zvinhu zvacho zviri kumbofamba sei.

You will find, in spangled banner headlines on the front pages of newspapers in this country, stories alleging that Morgan Tsvangirai has literally fled paying his hospital bill, even though that bill has been fully paid.

The lie about Tsvangirai’s assumed bill is made to be a national talking point, even though the true story that must be gripping national attention is the story of a staggering bill of over $10 billion in external debt that we cannot pay as a nation.

We have this penchant to debate false issues and engage in wrong debates instead of focusing on the realistic issues of an economy on a tailspin as a result of a stolen election that created a crisis of legitimacy for the government.

Government is the biggest debtor of almost all local authorities, the majority of which are run by the MDC.

The government that has failed to pay its debt and has paralysed operations of urban councils is not even in the newspapers; what is in the newspaper is Morgan Tsvangirai’s assumed bill.

A whole government ran away from its debt through its populist policy to order all councils to cancel debts, knowing fully well that it is government itself that is the biggest debtor of local authorities.

But you will not find that headline in the State media, they have Tsvangirai’s assumed debts to write about.

That is what we truly are; a nation with a penchant to live a lie and debating false issues.

So we will continue to lie to ourselves, debating non-issues when the country is on the throes of an economic and social disaster.

Tough luck to all those who don’t have a dead senior Zanu PF official in their neighbourhood!

It will take donkey years to have the roads to your neighbourhood patched up.

In the meantime, in the wake of massive deflation and with a government that is failing to pay its own workers, we are debating paternity tests by Alick Macheso and Tafadzwa Mapako.

With one million children out of school and a fallacy called ZimAsset masquerading as an economic blueprint, you will find Zimbabweans in tense and serious discussion about Madzibaba Ishamae from Budiriro.

Yes, as a nation, we revel in being digressed; we enjoy living a lie even if the truth is too loud to be ignored.

As Chinua Achebe would say, “A man should not chase rats when his house is burning!”

But faced with an economy in serious trouble, Zimbabweans have chosen to go after rodents in the vlei!

*Tamborinyoka doubles up as spokesperson to former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and the director of information of the Movement for Democratic Change.

He writes here in his personal capacity.

    Comments (1)

    The powers that be have used diversionary tactics for ages as seen by the disgusting paper Hi-Metro that the Zimpapers print. I cannot believe that people buy this rubbish but they do!

    saundy - 11 June 2014

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