The Sunday Mail
Most people clumsily stumble through life thinking that intelligence is similar to wisdom.
Well, it isn’t!
Intelligence is natural, but wisdom is preternatural. Similarly, while intelligence is worldly, wisdom is otherworldly.
You see, there is definitely a nuanced difference between the two, pretty much like the distinction between foolishness and stupidity; or better still, beer and whisky.
(Well, as a disclaimer, the pious Bishop, as a teetotaller, takes neither of the latter [wink] concoctions – no matter how wise you think them to be)
So, in essence, intelligence is only but a strand of wisdom.
You cannot be wise without being intelligent, but you can be intelligent without necessarily being wise.
In our culture, wisdom is like wine: it matures with time, and this is precisely the reason why it is reposited in hoary old men and women. They are the avatars of this invaluable trait that has shaped our civilisation throughout the Ages.
And one of the key lessons that our civilisation has been taught by these wise man – through both folklore and lore – relates to totemism, which is a system of belief in which humans are said to have kinship or a mystical relationship with a spirit-being such as an animal. In Bishop Lazi’s culture, one of the most revered creatures that walks, or rather swims, the Savannah plains and rivers is the crocodile.
Having grown up in a little village where the fabled Save River splits Buhera and Zviyambe, the Bishop definitely knows why this reptile inspires both awe and dread.
With an uncanny ability to inconspicuously blend with its environs, this four-legged monster usually reconnoitres at river banks while basking in the sun. Often mistaking it for a log, ill-fated prey, including human beings, venture into murky, shallow waters, prompting the croc to surreptitiously slip into the water without making so much as the faintest of noises.
Using both speed an d stealth, the reptile torpedoes towards its prey at a mystically-calibrated depth that doesn’t stir the water.
Whenever you hear the sound of the water break, accompanied by an uproarious splash, it’s usually an unfailing kill. And this, dear reader, is the reason why our elders always idiomatically explain that a crocodile never forages for food, but its meal always neatly presents itself like a wrapped Christmas gift (Garwe haridye chekupamba, charo chinoza neronga).
All this is a lesson that is yet to be learnt by the prawn-munching brigade amongst us that are investing every ounce of energy to make sure that the country’s economic reform programme comes to nought.
Having built filthy riches over the past two decades and invested in money-printing strategic sectors of the economy, these influence-peddlers believe that everyone and everything has a price. They buy powerful – nay very powerful — friends across the political divide; they buy Lady Justice to look the other way; they buy newsman to see and hear no evil; they buy law enforcers so that they remain blind to their indiscretions; and worse of all, they buy forex on the black market.
While painful for the majority of Zimbabweans, including Bishop Lazarus, the current painful market aberrations and chaos provides these greedy maggots with daily rich pickings.
They sit in commodious air-conditioned offices setting forex rates, while their minions trawl our cities mopping up the greenback.
Through weaponising black market exchange rates, which are even being absurdly used by vegetable vendors to set prices, they are determined to ensure that whatever Mthuli and Mangudya does won’t succeed.
For some time, after Government began its currency reforms on October 1 last year, the exchange rate – then pegged at 1:3 – held steady for more than six months up until March 30 this year, when it inched up to 1:4.
It snailed up to 1:5 at the beginning of May.
However, dear reader, it all went haywire from May 21, when fuel prices were adjusted to $4,89 for diesel and $4,97 for petrol.
Fuel importers also began getting forex at the interbank rate.
The next day, rates jumped to 1:7 before quickening to 1:8 in just eight days. Curious.
But these clever-and-a-half comrades have complicated labyrinthine links with their minions, which help them escape culpability through deniability. So you cannot name them and shame them, lest you be sued to your last undergarment.
Link them to the crime is clearly not always easy, so they think that their ivory towers are beyond the incredibly long arm of the law.
In his recent autobiography “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership”, former FBI director James Comey indicated how much easier it is to nail down clumsy drug-peddlers than cunning white-collar executives.
“In a drug-dealing prosecution, of which I had done many, the mission for the government was simply to connect the defendants to the transaction. If federal agents burst into a hotel room and find a kilo of heroin piled in the middle to the table, everybody sitting at that table is going to jail. . .
“In the corporate fraud case, the challenge was reversed. . .We would know who was sitting at the table and exactly what the deal was. But everybody at the table would say they had absolutely no idea that this. . .was illegal. It fell to investigators and prosecutors to prove the content of a person’s mind beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury of twelve, who must unanimously agree that the government met its burden.”
But Bishop Lazi would recommend the Book of Psalms to these Gucci comrades who chant revolutionary slogans during the day, but burn the midnight oil during the night in pursuance of their of their parochial and greedy interests.
“Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever. For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed; the offspring of the wicked will perish.
The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.”(Psalm 37: 27-29)
Psalms 106:3 is equally succinct: “Blessed are those who act justly, who always do what is right.”
These self-deluding Gucci comrades, who confuse the crocodile for a log by thinking that a Second Republic is a false dawn, must think again.
They are walking in murky waters.
While the calm waters might give them a false sense of security, they must know that something is definitely in the water.
Be on the lookout for the uproarious slash.