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A Nation Chasing Rats While the House Burns


Luke-ing The Beast in the Eye
It was legendary Nigerian author and playwright, Chinua Achebe who intimated to us the West African proverb that states that a man does not chase rats when his house is on fire.
As Zimbabweans wallow under the ignominy of a gargantuan governance crisis spawned by an insidious, corrupt and illegitimate government, the citizenry has sought sanctuary in lewd sex news involving the country’s well-heeled political elite that has gone viral on the social media.
The world over, autocratic regimes love flying false kites—those kites that they may invariably throw into the sky, deliberately and for a reason. In the savannah winds that are synonymous with Africa, such kites often soar yonder–into the high sky above to become so much of a spectacle that for a moment, a despondent people may forget their earthly surroundings to gaze on the fleeting kite above them.
In Achebe’s phrase, this means that a villager may sometimes forget about the serious business of dousing the flames of his burning house to concentrate instead on chasing the rats fleeing the incendiary flames.
The import of these teachings is that people should keep their eyes on the ball and not be distracted or swayed by needless and unnecessary sideshows.
In our case, this means we must never allow cheap narratives that may invariably clog the national discourse to sway us from the key issue of Mnangagwa and his murderous, repressive regime.
First it was Themba Mliswa and Susan Mutami’s romantic fallout; a soapie that stole away a repressed people’s attention. That a troubled and hungry people suffering under a global pandemic for which their clueless government has no cogent plan could afford to peer into the dirty pants of a couple that is falling out can only be tragic. The focus must always be on this regime
_Mutami_ is a Shona word which literally means a migrant. The online hours Zimbabweans have spent discussing the Themba/Susan nasty fall-out can run into days, if not weeks. The sideshow has made a whole nation to migrate from the mammoth crisis engulfing the nation to these sexual trysts that are now dominating discussion in the family lounges. Almost every national has become a _mutami_ , nay a migrant settling elsewhere other than the pulse of the national challenges facing us.
Given Themba’s affinity for controversy, his close relationship with Mnangagwa as well as the reported involvement of the State Security minister and the country’s intelligence unit in this whole sordid saga, the Susan Mutami sex revelations could all be a State ploy to distract a despondent citizenry from the key issues affecting them. And Themba, a Zanu PF apologist and a Mnangagwa psychophant, may well be part of this whole plot to provide the nation with a distraction.
Indeed, it could be that the “system” has flown a false kite to make us gaze into the sky while forgetting about the ants biting our toes on the forsaken anthills where we are currently rooted. The kite in the sky could as well be a red herring; a sideshow from these biting ants around us!

A State-sanctioned aberration from our tortuous moment!
The other sideshow has been the issue of the doddering, septuagenarian vice President, Kembo “Morehard” Mohadi who has taken to doping in order to enhance his adulterous sexual escapades with his junior. A whole nation has now heard how Mohadi has taken to doping in order to stiffen a floundering physical capability.
It’s unfortunate this geriatric lot that is (mis) running our national affairs can’t dope its performance in government. It is indeed sad that in the arena of governance, a whole nation is stuck with a weary and dismal performance deficit.
Tough luck, Cde “Morehard” Mohadi and your scarfed, clueless boss. Your performance in government can’t be enhanced, even herbally by a tasteless concoction of two or more cups!
The other day, the same Mohadi was chasing his wife with an axe. A whole Vice President chasing a woman with an axe. Presumably, the esteemed VP had a whole assortment of traditional weapons including a catapult and a short assegai while chasing his former wife Tambudzani!
The Assegai crew!
Mohadi’s reputation, just like that of Constantine and Emmerson, has already hit rock-bottom and it definitely can’t fall any further. Given that we are talking of a presidium whose reputation and esteem is wallowing on the canvass, the planted sex stories may well have been a deliberate leakage to keep a restive nation at bay. The logic could be that the weather-beaten citizenry is better off discussing Mohadi’s weary bedroom antics than focus on the important business of preparing a robust response to the national crisis. Rather than focus on preparing for action, the regime might have reasoned that Zimbabweans might as well discuss the doped escapades of one of a disesteemed trio that has steered this nation to the precipice!
Yes, these could all be deliberate distractions to have a whole nation discussing sex instead of sacks. Yes, the sacks of food handouts that the nation is waiting for—food that must be doled out as part of the requisite safety nets to a crisis-weary citizenry whose plight has been worsened by this global pandemic.
It’s a theory yes but who knows? You just can’t put anything past this securocratic lot!
Fellow Zimbabweans, we are spending too much time discussing these planted sex distractions instead of plotting about the most robust way to deal with this murderous, blood-soaked regime.

Granted, there are times when troubled souls need to escape from a dispiriting moment. Mohadi, Mliswa and Susan Mutami may have been deserved commercial breaks, a hilarious hiatus in the collective sordid story of our daily grind in these tough times. It is indeed true that comical breaks may be carthatic and may be psychologically therapeutic in sad times. But they must remain that—temporary breaks— so that we quickly revert our collective energies to this decrepit, illegitimate regime that has dismally failed to deal with the grievous challenges facing the nation.
Given the monumental challenges we face, we cannot be talking about the wrinkled scrotums of geriatrics or the cleavages of harlots and their multiple partners. For God’s sake, we have a huge governance crisis that recently manifest itself through the appalling Grade 7 results. And those poor primary school results may be a harbinger of further disturbing statistics in the Ordinary and Advanced level results that are coming soon.
For me, the Grade 7 results are the report sheet of the government, which has chosen to blame everyone except itself.
Our national roads are a disaster. The economy is a disaster. The mood across the spectrum including in the civil service reflects a national disaster of huge proportions. Strained relations with our SADC neighbours, with the rest of Africa, with Europe and the United States are reflective of a huge governance disaster. Yet all the citizenry is doing is to discuss planted sideshows in the names of Mohadi, Susan Mutami and that Zanu PF apologist Themba Mliswa.
My point is: Let us as a nation forget the needless sideshows and focus our eyes on the ball.
And by the ball I mean the serious crisis facing us as a people and certainly not Kembo Mohadi’s wrinkled and flaccid twin-set.
The elephant in the living room is the corrupt, militarised but clueless and illegitimate regime that has brought a whole nation to these plumbing depths. This is no time for us to be engaging in animated conversations about Themba and Kembo’s sperm count as well as Susan’s exaggerated cleavage.
Forget about all of them—-the Thembas, the Susans and the Kembo’s of this world. To focus on them is to go after rodents when a whole house is on fire; a nation mired in a huge crisis.
Let’s “Luke” the beast in the eye.
It’s Mnangagwa stupid!
_Luke_ _Tamborinyoka_ _is_ _the_ _Deputy_ _Secretary_ _for_ _Presidential_ _Affairs_ _in_ _the_ _MDC_ _Alliance_ _led_ _by_ _Advocate_ _Nelson_ _Chamisa_ . _You_ _can_ _interact_ _with_ _him_ _on_ _his_ _Facebook_ _page_ _or_ _on_ _the_ _twitter_ _handle_ @ _luke_tambo_

Robert Tapfumaneyi