Editorial Comment

Satirical journalism isn’t only for laughs

VAR was, as usual, on duty at Old Trafford over Easter, where he helped superintend over a most enthralling EPL football match between the Red Devils and the Canaries.

In the end, the once mighty Red Devils squeaked past the gamely but rock bottom Canaries in their yellow jerseys, thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo’s stunning hat trick. But as the two teams went toe-to-toe, especially in the second half, the Video Assistant Referee wondered whether a group of fans at the match which appeared not to be familiar with the frenetic English Premiership even knew which of the teams on the pitch was the mighty Manchester United and the other the lowly Norwich City.

Wicked Twins
In the same vein, VAR doubts whether compatriots who may have visited Mars over the past three years would readily be able to distinguish between the Red Devils and the Canaries of local politics if they returned to our beloved teapot country today.

What with Varakashi and Mazizi engaging in zero sum game politics everywhere, including on Sosho. Just this past week, VAR watched with incredulity as Mazizi gatekeepers took an ominously Red Devils-like position around the Canaries’ seemingly never-coming congress to elect the substantive aides of the Yellow Submarine’s undisputed owner, Kid Power, ahead of the 2023 national elections.

Horror of all horrors, most Canaries actually believed, as they preached to all and sundry who were within earshot, that not having elected leaders is democratic, and that winning next year’s polls by any means necessary is completely justifiable! Which confirms that the more things are supposed to change, the more they remain the same — and that the Red Devils and the Canaries are, at their core, simply two sides of the same coin.

Damn Democracy
Err … aren’t open political contestations and elections the epitome of democracy, and the route by which the Canaries hope to escape relegation to the dustbin of political history, and perhaps even get into power in 2023?

Conversely, would it be okay then for the Red Devils to say that as elections may likely result in ugly divisions and chaos next year, therefore, the Man U of local politics has a divine right to continue running the country without subjecting the nation to the inconvenience of polls? Who would have ever thought that such utterances could be identified with the Canaries.

Cumulative extremism
As seen above, it’s a sad reality of Zim politics that fanatics on both sides of the divide, Varakashi and Mazizi, continue to radicalise each other. The predictable result of this political hysteria is deeply unsettling polarisation, which suggests that next year’s crucial polls could become the ugliest and most divisive in Zimbabwe’s history.

Anyone who thinks that crass radicalism is not spreading in the country lives in cloud cuckoo-land. VAR reckons that Zimbabwe is in fact once again in the kind of political death spiral that the country experienced in the mid-2000s, when cumulative extremism on all sides consumed everyone and everything in its wake. For a proper perspective on all this, just think about how toxic Zwitter has become and whether this increasingly normalised online barbarism may not soon lead to physical violence on the ground. Further, think about how Mazizi are aping and even overtaking the extremism and depravity of Varakashi on Sosho in terms of language vulgarity and even physical violence in some instances. It’s all very depressing.

Sick Gatekeepers
One of the major reasons for this terrible state of affairs is the emergence of phoney holders of title deeds of the liberation struggle and their cashvist equivalents who are patenting opposition politics.

Unfortunately, there is nowhere in history where there has been a truly happy ending in this kind of troubled environment. In this heavily polluted climate, it is little wonder that credible studies and independent political analysts — not the likes of Bishop WemaZizi (PhD Zinatha) who trade in snake oil cures — have shown that the majority of Zimbabweans don’t have much faith in political parties, and in fact would rather have inclusive national dialogue and another government of national unity (GNU) in the country at this point, as highlighted by the recent Afro barometer survey. But if one listens to the shrill rantings of Mazizi or Varakashi, especially on social media, one may be inclined to think that they represent the dominant views in the country. They don’t.

VAR is delighted that his boyhood local team, Bosso, defeated DeMbare in the Independence Cup last weekend — which reminded him of glorious football in the 1970s when he used to go to Barbourfields Stadium to watch the likes of Josiah Nxumalo, Tymon Mabaleka, Bruce Grobbelaar and Lawrence Phiri. — Azishe!

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