The temptation was strong this week to highlight the sad case of a young lady named Ankita Ndakukamo out southwest in the Land of the Brave.
The young Namibian engineer was looking for mentorship so that she can get the necessary training for her to be professionally registered in her home country.
A fellow called Alwyn Strauss refused to supervise her work “because you are a black person, you are a black lady”.
Much could be said about this incident and what it means for Namibia and Africa, but our Namibian colleagues, we are sure, can confront this ghost of German genocide and South African apartheid better than we can.
Much could also be said about Eng Strauss’ response when asked if he was racist because of his treatment of Miss Ndakukamo.
Strauss said: “I am definitely not a racist. I have a picture of Nelson Mandela in my office.”
Make what you will of that!
The temptation was also strong to call out Temba Mliswa, who was during last week quoted in the private media saying Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa should resign from Zanu-PF and Government so as to “save his dignity” or whatever terminology the young man used. We would have wanted to ask Mr Mliswa why he fought tooth and nail to remain in Zanu-PF, we would have wanted to ask him what that says of his dignity in light of his new-found home in opposition politics. But we will let the people of Zimbabwe make what they will of that. Again, the temptation was strong to discuss the case of Colin Kaepernick, the American footballer who refuses to sing “the Star Spangled Banner”, and anthem which contains the unsettling lines: “No refuge could save the hireling and slave/ From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave…”
We could debate what Francis Scott Key meant when he penned that verse, we could ask Ambassador Harry Thomas how he feels when he sings it, but that is a debate others must take forward, and Nathaniel Manheru already asked useful questions about this yesterday. Besides, we have much to protest about back home. We want to raise a protest about the protesters.
We could start by asking Sten Zvorwadza what he thinks about the vendors he purports to represent losing their wares to violent opposition activists who he himself has goaded into taking to the streets. We have not heard a squeak from him with regards to these men and women who are gamely trying to make a living in a sanctioned economy. Is it that he cannot talk with his mouth full, full of the crumbs that fall from the master’s table as said master dines and plots Zimbabwe’s downfall?
Is it because the vendors he claims to represent cannot put fuel in that guzzler he drives around Harare when he is not busy disturbing our tourists at Rainbow Towers Hotel or taking up space as a guest of the State as he tries to show donors that he is enough of a nuisance to warrant budget support for his “vendors union” office?
We must protest the hypocrisy of it all.
We must also protest the silence of the Zimbabwe’s Lawyers for Human Rights, those millennial crusaders who cannot find a bad thing to say about the destruction of public and private property by criminals who come poorly robbed in the garb of democracy activists. Is there no case there for protection of human rights, sirs, or are the people who lost property and were injured at the hands of a rented crowd the children of a lesser and undemocratic god? In the same vein, we must also protest the so-called democratic lobby gallivanting as an electoral reform agenda.
Everyone knows that from 2008 there has been a slew of reforms to electoral law and practice, as well as to the media and security sectors.
Those reforms continue up to today, with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission looking high and low for money and expertise to implement biometric voting. Now, two years before we go into another election, we suddenly have a creature called Nera crying for “electoral reforms”.
Not one of the screaming banshees can point to a specific area of reform. The reason for this is clear: there is nothing, hapana hapana.
This tell us one thing.
The reason for all the noise from the orphans of Nera (abandoned by voters, sympathisers and donors) has nothing to do with laws, procedures and practices. This is all about appealing to Western wallets and bank accounts that are blissfully unaware of the legal framework governing elections here so that the poor orphans of Nera can get an extra dollar at the very least, or that said Nera orphans can be “reformed” into Munhumutapa and State House.
For this we protest and shall continue to do so.
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