Communion with Bishop Lazarus
I hear Bruce Wharton is trying to convince us that the Americans love Africa more than America loves America.
That is why America has done amazing things for Africa during this Ebola outbreak, including dispatching so many medical personnel and setting aside so many millions to help us; to help us poor helpless and hapless Africans.
Africa, Africa, Africa! The stage for every half-assed political poseur the world’s worst nightmare can vomit up on a bad day – from Bono to Clooney to Wharton.
Of course, Wharton will never tell us that far much more money is spent on bombing helpless and hapless people all over the world.
It’s hypocrisy, it’s an American specialty, served up in double measure.
And it shall never change. Regardless of what Wharton or anyone else screams, with threats of hellfire (missiles) and brimstone against any heretic who dares think or say otherwise.
It’s the American way.
The Bishop will not talk about it, will not care, will not lose a wink of sleep.
Rather, what concerns the Bishop is what Our First Lady of Grace is seized with.
It is fervently hoped that this is not mistaken with Our Lady of Graces, the Madonna delle Grazie, who I am sure will prominently figure in today’s beatification of Paul VI by Pope Francis at The Vatican.
The Bishop will not pretend to be an ardent candle-burner at the hallowed altars of Holy See saints and would-be saints, but will dare to say – at risk of heresy and a fiery death at the stake – that Our First Lady of Grace could just be that saviour that rescues Zanu-PF and Zimbabwe from this growing sin of Wharton-esque hypocrisy.
On Thursday, under a scorching sun and before an appropriately fired-up audience, she said the moment of truth was nigh.
Needless to say, this was within the context of the Gamatox phenomenon that has gripped the political imaginations of just about all Zimbabweans.
What is significant is that the First Lady has dared broach a subject that very few people have had the nerve to tackle openly and frankly.
She said publicly what most people whisper – with furtive glances over tense shoulders – and said it so boldly and in very timeously rather than timorously.
The fact is Zanu-PF is at the Rubicon, and its continued survival as the font of our foundational values as a nation demands crossing that Rubicon.
For far too long, Zanu-PF has swept issues under the carpet, it has looked askance at the elephant in the room, acted as if the loud fart has neither been heard nor smelt.
And yet the stench of hypocrisy is stinking to the high heavens!
There is a coterie of schemers within the party that by day sings President Mugabe’s praises but once the sun sets (and sometimes before it does), slink in shadows and do all they can to undo what he stands for.
And not only do they undo what he stands for, but also seek to undo him as the sitting Head of State and Government, and President and First Secretary of a ruling party that he so assuredly led to victory just a year ago.
Methinks President Mugabe has been much too patient.
He has been too patient with corrupt officials who sully his revolutionary name with their gormandiser’s greed; too patient with inept and slothful officials who coast along by merely chanting the right slogans at the right time; too patient with atavistic officials who would rather see his back even as they hypocritically mouth platitudes like “VaMugabe chete chete”.
His patience, a virtue by any definition for this fine Catholic gent, should surely wear thin at some point!
Why, even the Son of Man took the whip to the infidels in the temple who dared defile his Father’s house by turning it into a den of thieves and robbers.
If anyone anywhere anyhow in Zanu-PF is of the belief that he or she can do better job of leading the party and Government than President Mugabe, then why not come out in the open?
For crying out loud, Simba Makoni, the beer-and-bicycles budget man, did it, and surely he is not more of a man than the mighty kingmakers prowling Zanu-PF’s corridors of power, ready to devour anyone who has the cheek to hold a different opinion.
Like Joshua, these people must be brave, must have the courage of their convictions, and stand up and declare “as for me and my house I will serve so-and-so”.
Like Martin Luther, they should be able to state without equivocation that here I stand, I can do no other.
Like the RGM they love to hate, they should tell us what they are made of and what they will stand – and die – for.
Enough of this Wharton-esque hypocrisy: live by your principles . . . or your wallet.
And when all is said and done, when the battle had been fought and won, when the conqueror stands atop the hill and the vanquished licks stinging wounds, Zanu-PF must begin that very important process of internal re-organisation.
Hard questions must be asked, tough decisions made, and Zanu-PF must be steered back onto that path that saw it espouse gutsaruzhinji and establishment of a people’s republic.
Zanu-PF, really, can do no other.
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