The Sunday Mail
Fate and fortune, just as life itself, have a weird sense of humour.
Just as Bishop Lazarus was busy narrating the age-old anecdotal tale of the “Arab and The Camel” last week, well, our very own comedienne sister, Samantha Kureya — better known as Gonyeti on account of her heft — was having one helluva time aloft a camel on a beach front somewhere in the Arab world.
Pictures of her plum self, face plastered with a seemingly permanent grin, began to populate social media last week.
Quite clearly, she seems to be enjoying the creature comforts — no pun intended — of her industry, whatever it is that she does.
Where Bishop Lazi comes from, such kind of pictures, which ostentatiously display leisure and luxury, are an unequivocal statement that one has arrived.
But for Gonyeti, this is an amazingly supersonic turn of fortune, especially for someone who we heard had been abducted, assaulted and forced to gulp down gallons of raw sewerage barely four months ago.
It is not easy, particularly for a small-time little-known entertainer, to amass the wherewithal to fly to a beach-side resort for rest and relaxation.
The Bishop knows cross-border folk whose ant-like industry has taken them on bum-battering 2 277-kilometre bus rides to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to shop for odds and ends at the sprawling Kariakoo Market.
Have you ever been on the arduous 35-hour Taqwa bus ride from Harare to Dar?
On worst days, when it is hot, as it often is on some stretches, it really tests one’s fitness, stamina and sanity.
Yet, these cross-border traders are sometimes lucky enough to generate tidy sums enough to buy them a comfy life, but not always so comfy as to afford a whale of a time at some exotic waterfront resort.
You have to be rolling in the “dough” to enjoy such comforts, as our sister is ably doing.
This clearly shows two things: either the entertainment industry, particularly the comedy industry, is richly rewarding, or there is a rich benefactor in town.
Argh, well, I will go with the latter.
But, if amnesia was a disease, we would all have been dead by now, the Bishop included.
It is funny how we seem to have forgotten about the recent frenzied spate of abductions; to which our dear newly-rich sister was also a victim.
We also seem to be blind, too, to the almost miraculous fortune that has visited some of these supposed victims soon after their well-publicised ordeal, which invariably found itself on news pages of international media such as the BBC, CNN and the Guardian (UK).
Most of them now literally enjoy jet-set lives as they are constantly toing and froing the country every other day.
For them, these plane jaunts are now as common as bicycle rides.
But, where is this good fortune coming from? And who the hell is the benefactor?
While Mr Government tries to bleach the stain on his reputation caused by the furore over these abductions, the fame and fortune of these supposed victims continue to soar.
Same old tricks
While news of the purported abductions in our tiny republic hogged international news cycles earlier in the year, a fortnight ago, the same media conveniently missed a major news item, which was, however, reported by MailOnline (UK).
We are now told that the alleged chemical attack on ordinary citizens, including children, in the Syrian town of Douma on April 7 last year — which was largely blamed on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and prompted Britain, France and America to launch a massive military strike — apparently didn’t take place after all.
In fact, we now learn that in its report, the United Nation’s Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) — made up of specialist scientists — indicated that “the traces of chlorinated material which were found at the site were so small, and so easily available, that they could simply not be said to show that chlorine gas was employed.”
However, the report was “sexed-up” and doctored to support the claim that Assad had indeed callously attacked his own people using poison gas.
The scientists are now up in arms as to why their report was sliced and diced in order to cook up a fake narrative.
This is serious: staffers of a huge global organisation such as the UN inventing documents to justify aggression against a sovereign country.
Similarly, BBC Syria producer Riam Dalati last year claimed that “after six months of investigations, I can prove without doubt that the Douma Hospital scene was staged. No fatalities occurred in hospital . . .”
But where is BBC, CNN and the Guardian to report this staggering fraud?
For people such as Bishop Lazi, who have been around the block, the use of such chicanery is now remarkably unremarkable.
Do you still remember the sexed-up dossier by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, which was eventually used to justify the US-UK invasion of Iraq in 2003?
Every time I hear misguided folk saying an invasion by these self-righteous world powers will leave us in better stead, I often say a little prayer, “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they say.”
Look at Iraq now: by last week, more than 300 people had been killed in clashes with security forces in ongoing protests over worsening living conditions. It is worse now than it was under Saddam Hussein.
When Saddam fell, or was felled, just as what happened to Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi, he had managed to achieve incredible milestones in education, infrastructure and general well-being of his people.
But now, Baghdad is a wasteland and cemetery of the “living dead”.
And do not forget that Iraq is an oil producer. The same forces that pay for these sexed-up documents are the same benefactors that unashamedly sponsor stunts to besmirch our country. Nxa!
It’s the resources, stupid!
Well, students of history will tell you that from the Stone Age, Berlin Conference, colonisation to globalisation, conflict among men is always about resources.
Exploitation of resources materially translates to power, and this is why countries with the most resources are the ones targeted the most. Ask Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro, whose country has the world’s largest oil deposits, or former Bolivian leader Evo Morales, who claims he was ousted because his country has rich lithium deposits; in fact, 15 percent of the world’s known lithium resources.
Imagine, we have all these minerals — oil and gas, platinum, chrome, coal, diamonds . . . — and many more.
It is, however, unfortunate that locals are often the co-authors of their own demise.
They think that short-term handouts from foreign benefactors among us will be their ticket to success. It will not!
As Bishop Lazi often says, you cannot succeed when your country fails, and you cannot fail when your country succeeds.
We sink or swim together.
But, mari inechitema. It is the root of all evil.
Matthew 6:19-21 counsels thus: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
We owe it to posterity to leave this country in better shape and circumstances than we found it.
This obviously cannot be done by selling out.