2014: What a year

HARARE - Nothing lasts forever, but the scintillating drama that characterised the year 2014 will forever be etched on the minds of many — it was a year when Vapositori beat on the police in Budiriro; a year that saw the fall of the giants in politics and a year when Prophet Walter Magaya ruled the roost.

The fall of political giants

While the fall of former Vice President Joice Mujuru was unpredictable when the year began — the writing was on the wall that her faction was finished when First Lady Grace Mugabe plunged into the political arena, preaching a gospel of hate from September. Mujuru appeared to be the anointed one until Gucci Grace came into the picture.

Thus December saw the fall of not only Mujuru, but Didymus Mutasa, Rugare Gumbo, Nicholas Goche, Francis Nhema, Dzikamai Mavhaire, in fact the list of those reeling in the political dustbins is endless. Mugabe claimed that Mujuru and more than 100 Zanu PF Members of Parliament (MPs) were planning to kill him.

But that is to begin with the epilogue of an otherwise riveting year, not only in terms of politics but also on the social and economic front.

Vapositori beat anti-riot police

We now have a new currency in the form of bond coins — well and nice — but before that in May the country’s feared police were thumped.

Yes, who would ever forget the pictures of police officers fleeing for dear life as the Vapositori — those who don the white garments — charged branding their crooked sticks. It was like lions running away from zebras.

Although the Vapositori were rounded up, thrown into prison and allegedly tortured, their leader Ishamea Mufani is still at large, and in the minds of victims of police brutality remains an enigmatic hero. But that is not to say Vapositori should take the law into their own hands, at least the law is taking its course.

Chihuri collapses

Still with the police, the boss himself Augustine Chihuri fainted — not from the bashing by the Vapositori but the man they called Steve Chocha during the liberation war claimed it was a result of a wardrobe mix up. He said he wore shoes with different sizes and promised Mugabe that he would never faint again.

In May, standing beside President Robert Mugabe at a pass out parade of the newly-minted cops, 61-year-old Chihuri collapsed in a heap.

The police chief was swiftly whisked away lying helpless on a stretcher, away from Mugabe and certainly the public and he was quickly attended to by lands minister Douglas Mombeshora, a medical doctor.

Humiliated by an otherwise natural occurrence, the police boss later issued an apology to Mugabe, blaming his collapse on him selecting the wrong shoe as well as working long hours.

“I’ve been working overnight for quite some time,” he told reporters after recovering.

“The situation has been exacerbated or worsened by the fact that there was a mix up of my shoes. The right shoe was mixed up with the left one.”

Baba Jukwa arrested

Baba Jukwa, that enigmatic Facebook character, who churned a blizzard of seemingly secret Zanu PF sensitive information, was arrested.

The police claimed, in June, that the Sunday Mail editor Edmud Kudzai was the brains behind the mysterious character, and names of ministers Jonathan Moyo and Saviour Kasukuwere were sucked into the whole debacle.

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, speaking in Parliament, assured the nation that his boss Mugabe would deal with the weevils.

Mnangagwa said: “The President spoke about the weevils, that he will remove them, and indeed he is going to do that as he is man of words (sic).” But it is now clear that the weevils survived and actually the Gamatox, the pesticide that was supposed to be used has been thrown into the dustbin for now.

Mugabe savages Jonathan Moyo

In June, speaking at the National Heroes Acre in Harare, at the burial of former Cabinet minister Nathan Shamuyarira, Mugabe said Zanu PF had been infested by weevils which should be taken care of.

Mugabe’s statement followed a brutal savaging of Moyo earlier when he described the minister as the “devil incarnate” who was out to destroy Zanu PF from within.

‘Gays hijack Zanu PF’

Motormouth Hurungwe West legislator Temba Mliswa convened a media conference in September and claimed that some of his comrades are gays — and in Mugabe’s own words such people are “worse than pigs and dogs”. He named ministers and claimed that the people are now powerful in the country.

Gumbura sentenced 50 years

In February, Independent End Time Message founder and pastor Robert Martin Gumbura was slapped with a 50-year jail term on four counts of rape.

He was sentenced to 15 years on two counts of rape and 10 years on the other two. Ten years were suspended.

Magaya draws 350 000 to church

Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries (PHD) founder Prophet Walter Magaya drew a staggering 350 000 people from Zimbabwe and across the region at his Waterfalls church’s all night prayer in November — undoubtedly making it one of the biggest congregations ever to grace the country.

Tens of thousands of people filled the chairs provided at the open air spaces at the event, with people occupying the areas between Waterfalls Falls then across Mukuvisi to Highfield. A few weeks later tragedy was to strike when 11 people died in a stampede at a Magaya service in Kwekwe.

Planes disappearing, being shot

This is certainly not all, but one event though that happened faraway in the Indian Ocean sticks out as an indelible accident that will be hard to forget until the ends of time.

The Malaysian plane, flight MH370 disappeared in March, with 239 passengers and crew, and the plane is yet to be found. There has been no clue whatsoever on the whereabouts of the plane.

Another Malaysian Airways plane, flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine in July, killing all 298 on board.

 

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