The Sunday Mail
What a couple of weeks of diplomatic intrigue.
Epoch making, maybe.
Hallelujah! Praise be to the living God!
We had desperately reckless American diplomats abandoning their airy and commodious residences to squeeze into a tiny house in Chitungwiza, which, barring the out-of-place leather sofas, could have easily passed as any ghetto shebeen.
But pampered and well-manicured white tourists, especially among an invariable sea of ashen-looking nosy and noisy residents, are likely to stick out like an ostrich among pigeons. And they did.
It gets worse as the mere sight of these unusual visitors almost always triggers an obligatory strident cacophony from the seemingly ubiquitous young street loafers, who don’t get to see white men and white women that often, especially in their reeking MDC-mismanaged neighbourhoods.
And all these liaisons between a hostile foreign power and a senior member of the opposition party happening on the eve of what we were told were “regime-changing protests” is perhaps the worst manual on how to inconspicuously meddle while hoping to escape culpability.
This reminded Bishop Lazi of a real-life comic episode which happened some time ago in Egoli, South Africa, involving the former Eskom boss, Brian Molefe.
After being intensely quizzed on why he had visited Saxonwold (Johannesburg) compound to see the notorious Gupta brothers — Atul, Ajay and Rajesh — who were infamous for corrupting senior SA government officials and civil servants in exchange for choicest contracts and tenders, the cornered Molefe said he had just passed by a shebeen in the area. Yeah, right!
Obviously US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Brian Nichols will definitely need a much more believable alibi when he is questioned about his questionable diplomatic jaunt to Chitungwiza.
But more on that later.
In the past week, we also saw the plum seeds of ED’s Herculean diplomatic drive, as African leaders formed a symbolic laager to sonorously call for the removal of sanctions, which have had deleterious effects on the entire region.
Nowhere are the effects of the two-decade-old sanctions more keenly felt than in South Africa, whose prisons currently teem with Zimbabwean convicts, themselves the human shrapnel of tepid economic performance back home.
An unhealthy Harare, apart from putting an onerous burden and strain on social services in neighbouring countries, is also cancerous to trade in the region by virtue of its strategic positioning on the North-South and East-West corridors.
But the setback presented by the regional anti-corruption lobby, which is increasingly gaining traction, and the outing of the US diplomats’ mischievous escapades, was definitely something that hostile forces couldn’t possibly stomach.
And they responded in the best way they know how — through the blaster of a joint press statement by Western embassies criticising the decision by police to prohibit planned demonstrations by the MDC.
The joint statement by the EU member states and the unashamed US was as condescending as it was patronising. Stripped to its bare essentials, the August 20 statement, without an iota of evidence, accuses Government of “intimidation, harassment and physical attacks” of hooligans disguised as human rights defenders.
It subtly crucifies the High Court for deciding to uphold the police’s prohibition order blocking the planned demonstrations, notwithstanding 16 recent graves wrought by the August 2018 and January 2019 violence from the same putschists.
Argh! Has it come to this: sworn constitutionalists and supposed purists of the rule of law criticising a regulatory order confirmed by a High Court?
Why are they overly concerned with the rights of those who want to demonstrate — purportedly under the guise of freedom of assembly, association and expression, or any such gobbledygook — while ignoring the rights of those still nursing sutured, serrated and weeping wounds from the recent orgies of violence?
Have these Excellencies, so besotted with human rights, ever lent an ear or a measly penny to those still counting losses and smarting from the recent violence, which destroyed their businesses and sources of livelihood? Is it not Mr Government who is picking up the tab? Hypocrites!
But no sooner had the ink on the statement of these meddlesome Excellencies dried than we began discovering wholesale abductions, all played out to an excitable Twitter audience.
Dear reader, it all happens on Twitter.
Can the State be so lame as to kidnap a struggling comedian — an insignificant political quantity in any case — and inexplicably senselessly beat her to a pulp? Why? And to what end?
By the way, Bishop is curious to know what happened to those women who we were dutifully told were raped by soldiers in January.
Does anyone still know?
Curse of the fig tree
Bishop Lazi told you last week that the young Chamisa was in great peril.
He cannot even fathom the forces — blessed with heavy doses of pure brawn than brain — that now surround him.
Job Sikhala, former leader of MDC 99; Tendai Biti, ex-MDC Renewal president; Welshman Ncube, former president of another MDC faction — all former renegades, all former seniors to Chamisa and all known to nurse vaulting political ambitions.
More dangerously, through every passing day, they get increasingly disillusioned by what they view as a lily-livered, jelly-kneed and spineless quasi-psychotic young political prima donna. Kikikikiki.
But what’s worse is that pastor Chamisa ends up cutting deals with “the Devil” in order to assert his independence within the party and create an entity that is modelled in his own image.
We saw this when he jumped into bed with Grace Mugabe and her G40 crew — who carried the added baggage of the old man — before the elections last year. And we are now seeing him cutting deals with people who have convinced him that ED won’t last until 2023.
Together they have become the third hand.
However, as we have come to know over the years, allying with hostile forces always comes with a curse.
But it is not only Chamisa, but the whole MDC enterprise, which now stands today as the cursed fig tree.
Mark 11: 12-14 is quite instructive.
“The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, ‘May no one ever eat fruit from you again.’ And his disciples heard him say it.”
MDC is like the biblical tree that doesn’t give fruit to succour the ordinary Zimbabwean.
Which takes us back to the symbolic visit by the American diplomats to Job Sikhala’s house.
After reports of the meeting began circulating, they were met with incredulity by MDC supporters, but as the images began populating social media, it gradually began to sink in.
It was deja vu for the MDC all over again, especially after that 1999 video of a chubby, grinning Tsvangirai — may his dear soul rest in eternal peace — receiving bucket-loads of cash from white farmers.
From that moment on, the MDC’s fate was sealed.
How do you think ex-combatants, who put their lives and their family’s lives on the line to bring independence, would react to someone who wants to wilfully hand back the same to the former colonisers? It’s a no-brainer.
As the Bishop said before, Chamisa, who had the opportunity to re-invent the MDC ideologically and materially, squandered that opportunity and pandered to his own premature and misplaced personal ambitious. Had the MDC been a truly home-bred opposition party it could have been a viable and putative competitor for State power.
But not anymore. And now, fully conscious that he does not measure up for the highest office, he has again begun to associate with anti-ED forces — who the Bishop will not name for now — with the fervent hope, again misplaced, that he will be catapulted to power.
That’s why he is growing unabashedly cocky, albeit in a guarded way.
I have heard some people ask the Bishop: “If ED and the State know of the third hand, why are they not acting decisively?”
To be honest, Bishop Lazi doesn’t know, but he will hazard to guess that they want the hand to reach out a little further in order to eventually give the cancerous tentacles a hefty and clean cut with a butcher’s cleaver.
But what he knows is that the MDC plans are now dead in the water. In fact, they are unravelling.
They are what our forefathers called “juzi raTizirai: rekuti uku riri kurukwa, uku riri kurudunuka”, which simply describes a plan that unravels as quickly as it is put together.