HARARE – Zimbabweans — anxiously awaiting the outcome of the talks between President Robert Mugabe and the army — have found humour in the unfolding political drama in the country.
Finding banter in everything is how the long-suffering citizens have been getting through every crisis — hunger, turmoil, cash shortages — that has rocked the country.
Since the wee hours of Wednesday when the army, led by Commander Constantino Chiwenga, announced through Major General Sibusiso Moyo, that they were “intervening to avert a crisis”, Zimbabweans have managed their increasing anxiety by coining all sorts of jokes.
Through the days, and as the wait continues, people have created a meme out of a collage of Mr Bean pictures as he waited by the roadside, one of him with his hands on his waist looking around, another of him looking at his watch, the third one of him sitting down and the other of him lying flat on the grass. The collage was then captioned “Tichiri takango mirira (we are still waiting)”.
“Ngavaite gaa gaa vapedze matalks avo, takutogara online kunge mapegs apa tichipedza data. (Can they move fast, we are now staying online like clothes pegs…it’s wasting our data bundles,” one joke went.
“Kusvika ndanzwa gamba (SB Moyo) iri richitaura (until I hear SB Moyo speak), I won’t believe any other news ndaneta nema sources,” others said.
Refusing the region’s intervention, the Zimbabweans also joked that Sadc was that relative who wanted to get involved in someone’s affairs when they see them progressing in life.
“Sadc is like a relative that never cared about you when you were growing up, but now that wakuda kuroorwa ndivo vakunyora list yegrocery (you want to get married they want to write the grocery list).
Others wrote: “I have just realised something: The international community is confused about whether this is a coup or not. In fact, it is not a coup. It is a “Bond Coup” — it has a 1:1 value with a coup but can only be used in Zimbabwe.”
Others went on to say: “When Mnangagwa was fired, it was SK Moyo who made the announcement, when Zanu PF accused Chiwenga of treason, it was SK Moyo, when the defence forces took over or made their interventions it was SB Moyo, what is wrong with us Moyos.”
The internet also went crazy over Zanu PF youth secretary Kudzanai Chipanga’s apology to the military and to Chiwenga.
It was not much of Chipanga’s words that made people laugh their lungs out, but the over-sized unfashionable jersey that he was wearing.
People went on to do a #chipangachallenge, taking pictures of themselves in jerseys and holding pieces of paper.
Social media comedians even went on to make videos of themselves making apologies in the famous jersey.
The jersey is now being called the humility jersey “verb: kupfeka juzi (wearing the jersey)… to be humble “ndokupfekedza juzi mufana”.
Another joke said: “The last time Zimbabwe made international headlines was because of Cecil the lion and now we have made headlines because of a crocodile, meaning we are an animal kingdom.”
Some jokingly said “the only coup in Zimbabwe is Koo”as they jokingly referred to “Koo” baked beans.
Others said: “Our coup is more peaceful than elections; we should change our constitution to have coups every five years instead”, while some posted a map of Zimbabwe with a “closed for renovations” sign on it.