The Sunday Mail
The Sharp Shooter
Sometime last year, on March 6 to be exact, the impeccable mind of The Sunday Mail editor, Mabasa Sasa, carefully authored and published an exceptionally brilliant piece entitled “Looted Ndebele cattle and People Last”.
Sasa tells the story of colonialism, imperialism and white supremacy with focus, precision and poignancy.
He narrates the embodiment of what Rhodesia stood for and even how today the pathways of Africa Unity Square in Harare resemble the Union Jack.
He also talks of the significance of Harare’s rectangular town planning which was in direct contrast to the circles and concentric patterns that appealed to African aesthetic and religio-cultural sensibilities. “There is a strong cultural-historical component to town/settlement planning, with aesthetic values informed by socialisation towards certain concepts of beauty,” wrote Sasa.
If one did not pay attention to detail, Sasa would have been blamed for seemingly going in circles ululating about nothing at all in relation to the savoury headline regarding “looted Ndebele cattle”. Knowing Sasa as I do, he is neither trivial nor mediocre, so I read on.
Then he talks of Meikles Hotel being built to cater for the accommodation needs of colonial businesspersons, representing settler capitalism. “As for Meikles, well it remains Meikles. Yes, Meikles. That’s quite another story! In fact, it is the story.
“Back in 1895 … the settlers …were to be paid with cattle looted from the Ndebele … John Meikle — brother of Thomas and Stewart — chaired the Loot Committee responsible for grabbing Ndebele cattle and using them to pay settler mercenaries … in all the Loot Committee plundered 362 000 head of cattle. That’s Meikles for you,” to paraphrase Sasa.
Who would have known that when Sasa wrote this refreshing piece he had his pen squarely aimed at Joice Mujuru who had chosen to launch her now defunct Zimbabwe People First at that colonial venue?
“The ‘people’ stood outside as Madam Mujuru made a grotesquely coquettish pitch to diplomats in that hotel of 362 000 declared Ndebele cattle,” fulminated Sasa.
Now slightly over a year later, in hindsight, one would have wished to move mountains and hand poor Nkosana Moyo a paragraph or two or what Sasa had warned the year before. Surely, with all the warnings and the pitfalls that befell Queen Bee soon after her entry into politics via Meikles Hotel, surely it must have been cruel on the part of Nkosana Moyo’s advisors to let him wade through the exact same steps and snares that mauled Joice Mujuru’s entry into a stillbirth of opposition politics.
Did anyone ever bother to whisper to Nkosana Moyo that he would be trampling on the memory and ethos of the entire Ndebele dynasty by announcing his sorry presidential candidacy on the grave of 362 000 looted Ndebele cattle?
Did anyone have the sincerity to guide Nkosana that there are no voters in Meikles Hotel but voters are comfortable with Rudhaka Stadium, Sakubva Stadium or Mucheke Stadium? Is this really how desperate some Zimbabweans have become by gathering a handful of elitist cheerleaders to spur on an uninspiring Presidential aspirant to the gallows of political oblivion?
If anyone had any doubts about Nkosana’s chicanery, then last Thursday the truth was laid bare as he cowardly attacked his fellow opposition charlatans describing them as people coming together to divide jobs amongst themselves.
What nerve! What cheek! Of course, we all know the grand coalition is jobs for the boys and girls but do you have to announce that when you too are in opposition to the government of the day? Is it not part of my job as The Sharpshooter to say things like that? Since when did you start speaking for Zanu-PF mfowethu Nkosana?
But this nonsense of you thinking you are the Chuck Norris of opposition politics must stop.
Since the day you chickened out of Government no one has ever taken you seriously — it is doubtful you can even beat the Fadzi Maheres of this world. If you had any doubts about the popularity of Zanu-PF and Cde Robert Mugabe then you should have been in Marondera or Mutare a few weeks back, or Masvingo last week.
If you thought Cde Mugabe’s rallies are about bused people then the Zanu-PF rallies around the country have shattered that lame myth about the revolutionary party being a spent force.
I will forgive you, Nkosana, if you did not read Sasa’s article last year or my piece the other week about the opposition’s trajectory towards its Waterloo — kicking screaming and gnashing its teeth. History will be there to judge you harshly in a couple of months because you still think launching a fly-by-night party at Meikles Hotel is the tarred road to State House.
Look, no one forced you to make a fool of yourself last week. No one coerced you. You democratically chose to fool yourself that Zimbabweans having been waiting for a weak Presidential aspirant of your impotency. Even if you loathe Zanu-PF, you have to give credit where it is due.
One cannot help but admire the political acumen and strategy of the leadership and the rank and file of the ruling party. Theirs is a well-orchestrated plot to win election after election freely and fairly. Clearly, rigging is not an option for Zanu-PF. President Mugabe does not need to rig a single election because the majority loves him and will continue to love him.
What is your strategy, Nkosana? The youth are the largest and most important voters and deciders of the future leadership of this country. The ruling party has targeted the youth vote because it has the numbers that make election sense. But the youth are not found at Meikles Hotel.
Nkosana is living up to what MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora said sometime back: “We will end up with Cabinet positions being filled up by all the presidents of the political parties in the coalition, that’s unworkable … because a coalition of many people is unworkable; coalition per se is not the answer.”
We recall how Mwonzora chided, “We have seen leaders of some political parties showing that they cannot co-exist with others,” obviously in direct reference to his predecessor Tendai Biti who has over the years successfully lampooned the egos of Tsvangirai and Mujuru, just like you are doing now Nkosana.
People never learn. We have known for a very long time that the MDC-T would never join forces with the very traitors that formed several other MDC’s or with the very traitors like yourself Nkosana who formed other political non-entity parties such as NPP and PDP.
The brutal truth is that the ideologies of the various opposition parties are so varied and so dissimilar they could never agree on a single policy for a few seconds. Surely, with Nkosana’s latest melodrama, I am not the only one who can see that our opposition majors on minors, particularly as they stare more defeat in the face.
Why is it that they do not want to lose the next election with a bit, just a bit, of dignity?
Now they are going to blame you Nkosana just as they did Simba Makoni and his Mavambo joke. Will you dine at Meikles Hotel after that? Anyway, thank you for dividing the opposition Nkosana, asante sana.