The Sunday Mail
GROWING up in the village, one would always bump into dung beetles near the cattle kraal.
Well, in fact, anywhere you found crap.
You see, dung beetles, which are called zvitutandove or isigiqathuvi in Shona and Ndebele, respectively, absolutely love crap, especially when it is hot and steamy.
Those who have studied bugs actually believe there are three types of these curious creatures: The ones that harvest crap and roll it into smooth little balls that can be tempting to pick up before you realise they would have been fashioned out of pooh.
The beetles use the little balls as both a food source and breeding chambers.
And then there are two other species that either bury the dung or live in the dung heap.
So they treasure, eat and live in crap – hell, their whole lives revolve around foul excrement.
They even fight to get the freshest dump.
But, clearly, there is nothing good about dung, excrement, poop, crap or doo-doo, or whatever you might want to call it.
It is a curse, unless of course it appears to you in a dream, according to some traditional beliefs. Kikikiki.
In Ezekiel 4:10-15, God ordered His prophet to eat food that had been prepared using fuel from human excrement to try to symbolise the extent to which the people of Israel had sinned through their disgusting and vile behaviour.
Even this was too much for the prophet and he duly respectfully objected, to which God acceded. Kikikiki.
“’Weigh out 20 shekels of food to eat each day and eat it at set times.
Also measure out a sixth of a hin of water and drink it at set times. Eat the food as you would a loaf of barley bread; bake it in the sight of the people, using human excrement for fuel.’
The Lord said, ‘In this way the people of Israel will eat defiled food among the nations where I will drive them’.”
“Then I said, ‘Not so, Sovereign Lord! I have never defiled myself. From my youth until now I have never eaten anything found dead or torn by wild animals. No impure meat has ever entered my mouth’.”
“’Very well,’ he said, ‘I will let you bake your bread over cow dung instead of human excrement’.”
There is nothing anyone can do about nature and oftentimes real life imitates it.
We actually have people among us who revel in crap: They talk crap, actively hunt for crap and are always thinking about crap.
They have this uncanny ability to see something foul in every situation, and when they smell something foul, they take it, roll it into neat little balls that they use to feed their egos and prejudices.
You just have to go on social media to see them crawl from every nook and cranny.
When vaccines are acquired at a time when the whole world is scrambling to get their hands on the life-saving antidotes for the coronavirus, they find a reason to get angry.
When roads are spruced-up even after decades of neglect from some of their own, they get angry.
When new buses are bought to make it convenient for the commuting public, they get angry.
When dams are built to deliver water even to suburbs that have been parched for decades, they get angry.
When irrigation infrastructure is revamped and more land is put under production to make the country food secure after years of financially draining imports, they still get furious.
You might probably have missed how Tendai Biti, the certified archbishop of anger, reacted when ED commissioned new buses last week meant to boost Zupco’s fleet as part of a phased approach to establish an orderly and decent mass public transport system.
“Legitimate presidents elsewhere are commissioning modern spublic (sic) transport systems anchored in (supposed to be on) metros & railway.
Check out Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Morocco, Algeria, Nigeria (missing comma) to name a few. In this day day (weird repetition) & age (sic) who does this?” thundered the MDC-A vice president on Twitter.
Well, this is quite rich coming from a man who once occupied the most powerful post in Zimbabwe as Treasury chief, yet failed to do anything meaningful during his tenure from 2009 to 2013.
During his time as Finance Minister, Zimbabwe couldn’t even produce enough maize to feed herself, only managing 650 000 tonnes, 1 million tonnes, 1,01 million tonnes, 999 000 tonnes and 857 000 tonnes in embarrassing succession during the five-year period.
It was only after he left office that there was a significant bump in production to 1,5 million tonnes in 2014.
It has to be remembered that the country needs about 1,8 million tonnes annually for human consumption.
For context, this year the country is expecting about 2,7 million tonnes, which is the highest grain output in 36 years.
It was also the same case with wheat.
When Biti began handling the national purse, the country was producing a measly 48 000 tonnes and when he left office, production of the key ingredient used to make bread – often a metaphor for food security – had dwindled to a mortifying 39 000 tonnes.
Again, for perspective, the national annual wheat and flour requirement is about 350 000 tonnes. And do you know how much wheat we are expecting this year?
About 300 000 tonnes, which could be the highest output of the cereal in 23 years.
Now juxtapose Biti’s era with the current epoch.
You be the judge!
Maybe Bishop Lazi is being too harsh on him, but have you asked yourself what projects he successfully completed during his time as a Cabinet Minister?
Which roads did he build? How many dams did he construct? How many irrigation schemes did he restore?
How many clinics and schools did he build?
Can he be so gracious to enlighten us on how much money he allocated for capital projects. Argh!!! He was busy enjoying himself during the Inclusive Government.
And what has ED done in the last three years he has been at the helm?
Well, the Bishop will not say anything for fear of running out of space and pages.
Those who are planning to come and vote in 2023, particularly from South Africa, will be able to see for themselves the surreal majestic infrastructure that will great them on the Zimbabwe side of the border, including the incredible road they will use on their way to Harare. Kikikiki.
And, all things being equal, those who live in Bulawayo would probably have a continuous and reliable supply of potable water from Gwayi-Shangani Dam, a dream the all-powerful colonial settlers had but couldn’t achieve.
So, if history is to be fair with Biti, it will immortalise him as a bureaucrat who presided over the egregious abuse of the US dollar through obscene and excessive consumption and, without any meaningful capital controls, industrial-scale externalisation of foreign currency, which eventually began to manifest in US-dollar cash shortages.
The Bishop actually knows of a number of West African chaps who set up camp in Zimbabwe to buy US$100 notes for onward transmission to their countries.
They even stayed in lavish hotels.
All this inadvertently resulted in the creation of a surrogate monetary creature that was called the bond note to cover the gap.
Biti and his merry band of excitable followers now want to take over the reins.
To do what exactly that they couldn’t do in their five inglorious years in Government.
This is why they are so fretful and anxious about progress that is being made by ED.
With every success that he makes, the crap that the opposition, which is not tethered on any recognisable ideology, uses to besmirch Government for political capital naturally falls away. You cannot possibly make manna out of crap. It is that simple.
Listen to the Bishop and listen to him well: ED, through devolution and life-changing developmental projects around the country, has already consolidated his strongholds and is now eating into urban constituencies as he determinedly forges with his inclusive agenda. He still has two more solid years to flesh out his vision, which now looms large over the horizon.
He who has ears, let him hear and he who has eyes, let him see.