The Sunday Mail
If you have so much as spent some time in the village, as Bishop Lazi did/does, you would probably be familiar with this quaint creepy crawly creature that absolutely loves crap.
It is born in crap, lives in crap and feeds on crap.
In fact, its whole life revolves around crap.
In Shona, they call it chitutandove (literally translated as crap gatherer), while in Ndebele they refer to it as inkuba-bulongo.
You are most likely to cross paths with the dung beetle at or near the cattle kraal or goat pen either rolling crap into a ball or carting it away using its legs.
Entomologists consider dung beetles as some of the world’s strongest creatures, as they can roll or pull crap that is more than 1 000 times their own body weight.
For Bishop Lazarus, this awesome capability has more to do with the dung beetle’s hopeless love for crap than anything else.
Well, the crapish ball is later on munched or used to lay eggs, whereafter the hatchlings survive through feeding off the solid waste surrounding them.
Tjo! Nature is naturally fascinating.
But, try as they might, our people have failed to understand this creature and its odd cravings, and rather use the word “chituta” to derisively refer to people with a natural affinity for crap.
And we seem to have quite many of them in our teapot-shaped Republic.
They harvest, feed off and revel in the country’s ephemeral misfortunes, challenges and tribulations, which they always seek to convert into political capital to boost their waning and sagging fortunes.
Oftentimes, where many see light, they see darkness; where many see hope, they see hopelessness; where many see progress, they see regression; where many see truth, they see lies; and where many see a boom, they see gloom.
It is hardly surprising, because they are a species with a natural proclivity for crap.
In 2 Timothy 3:1-9, the sacred book tells us: “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.
“People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God — having a form of godliness, but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
“They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.”
Of course, the folly of such men and women is to religiously cling on every negative thing and wish it to be true.
They lose sight and are incapable of seeing the bigger picture.
Earlier this year, we saw them celebrating the price madness that was threatening to spiral out of control in our shops, but this inevitably did not last, as the powers that be firmly stamped their authority.
Last year, they even came up with an ill-advised hashtag to unfollow ED on Twitter, but his followership has since grown from 565 000 followers then to more than a million now.
Of late, they have been revelling in the power cuts that are currently being experienced as a result of low water levels in Kariba Dam, hoping that this will make the ruling ZANU PF Government unpopular enough to lose power in 2023.
It is as myopic and it is desperate.
By the time elections are held, it is highly likely Zimbabwe will be energy secure.
You do not have to be a prophet to know that by that time Kariba would have filled up sufficiently to allow it to churn out more than 1 000MW, sinking the hopes of those who seek to wring political fortunes from it, while two new units at Hwange — Unit 7 and Unit 8 — would be injecting 600MW into the grid, pushing its cumulative output to close to another 1 000MW.
Add all this to contributions from small thermals and independent power producers, including mining companies such as Caledonia that are cutting back demand from the grid by switching to renewable energy, and it is not hard to see why Zimbabwe will be in good shape next year.
Only the foolish and unwise would seek enduring and lasting political fortunes from challenges that are as ephemeral as morning dew.
China’s Steve Jobs
But, even as cynics and pessimists were preaching the gospel of doom and gloom last week, Chinese billionaire Xiang Guangda was at State House in Harare, making a commitment to invest in a local power plant.
If only they knew who this consequential man is, they would have paid more attention than they did.
Xiang, who is also nicknamed Big Shot, is referred around the world as the Steve Jobs of the metals industry.
He is the founder of Tsingshan Holdings, which is the biggest steel producer in the world, accounting for more than a quarter of global output.
Over the past few years, he has been increasing his foothold on Zimbabwe.
He will probably soon be the biggest player in both mining and manufacturing in the country in the next few years.
He has already made his play in mining, where Dinson Colliery, a coal mining concern, is in the process of constructing a 300 000-tonne coke oven battery in Hwange, while ferrochrome smelter Afrochine — also a subsidiary of Tsingshan — has since put up five furnaces.
Most tellingly, Xiang’s biggest local investment, the US$1 billion steel plant in Manhize, Chivhu, is inching closer to completion.
What some, especially naysayers, might have missed is the fact that the signing of the addendum to the memorandum of understanding between the Government and Tsingshan last week represents expansion of the scope of projects the global conglomerate will implement in Zimbabwe.
The Bishop is made to believe that the new deal also allows the investor to build a 600MW power plant.
This is not ideal talk; it will certainly come to pass, especially coming from a self-made billionaire from China’s Zhejiang province, who built a massive industrial complex out of a vast wilderness that did not have electricity, water, houses and roads in Indonesia.
The same thing is going to happen in Manhize.
This is why Bishop Lazi says the country’s current power challenges, as with many other challenges, are ephemeral.
ED, the silent and smooth operator, has been making big moves behind the scenes over the past few years.
Had it not been for the Covid-19 pandemic, which put the expansion project at Hwange off-track, the 600MW from new units would have materialised by now, and we would have been in better shape.
There are many other power projects in Hwange, which include thermal plants by Localise Western Areas (600MW), Zambezi Gas (750MW), Jinan (600MW) and ZZEE (450MW), at various stages of business development.
And, of course, some might be blissfully unaware of the planned big-ticket
renewable energy project by United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s Skypower Global, which intends to build a 500MW solar plant in Zimbabwe.
Judging by its big-pocketed investors, it is fair to say this is not a fat pie in the sky like the Wicknell Chivayo kind of project. Kikikiki.
Those who are betting on ED to fail have another thing coming.
As the Bible says, their folly will be clear from everyone to see.
They should know by now that ED makes big moves.
The future is bright; in the case, literally.
By their nature, those who love crap, will always be surrounded by crap and are full of it.