Opinion & Analysis

Satirical journalism isn’t only for laughs

Could history be about to repeat itself within Zim’s seemingly cursed opposition? Do local politicians even ever learn?

And are long-suffering Zimbabweans now finally speaking through self-appointed political leaders of the democracy-phobic Mazizi Sect?

These two key questions have exercised VAR’s mind over the past few weeks as the debate has continued to rage over the Chinhu Changu Cult’s strident refusal to improve its internal governance framework.

Painful history

Many will deny this, but we have all seen this playbook before. Indeed, think back to 2005, 2014 and 2018. The dominant opposition outfit then was called the Chinja Express.

In 2005, a deficiency of internal democracy, not too dissimilar to that confronting the Cult today, ended up with the promising Chinja train suffering its first major derailment.

This resulted in the intellectually gifted British pedagogue and his unrepentant Selous Scout toady, among others, abandoning ship — all to the ultimate detriment of the Change agenda, as was later to become self evident in the disputed 2008 general elections.

In 2014, and following the disastrous 2013 polls for the party in which an incompetent would-be advisor played a starring negative role, another democracy deficit within the tent saw one Copperhead being worked out of the top leadership of the movement.

VAR remembers this year very well because the Daily News — arguably still a little naive then to the venal world of politics — fought tooth and nail to get the discarded Viper to be accommodated. This is a fascinating story for another day.

Needless to say, and as history has recorded, the fallout from the Chinja Express’ mortifying loss of the 2013 elections, coupled with a shrinking internal democratic space at the time, witnessed a second major and almost fatal bleeding of the movement.

The tragedy of 2018

Then the much-loved founding father of the Chinja Express departed this world on Valentines Day, of all days. May his gentle soul rest in eternal peace.

Instead of remedying the democratic insufficiencies that had stalled the train previously, these were accentuated for the benefit of the Copperhead.

Thank God no one was burnt alive in that muddy hut in Humanikwa, as the orgy of non-democratic skits reached farcical and primitive levels.

The end result of this madness was a predictable, self-inflicted and complete decimation of the Chinja Express — which saw Copperhead ending up with absolutely nothing.

All this captures the indisputable cumulative reasons why the Cult today has one owner, no members, no offices, no money and no real party in the strictest sense.

It is also the reason why the vast majority of the Cult’s present interim leaders were at one point or the other accused of being sellouts or CIOs.

It will end in tears

And so, we touch down in the beloved teapot country in April 2022 — which has not progressed an inch from the opposition Never-Never Land of 2005, 2014 and 2018.

The big ideas today in the Cult’s Shangri-la, as advocated by its coterie of self-serving gatekeepers, include much-abused words like “captured”, “enablers” and “Zanupf infiltrators”.

In this make-believe world, what the ruling Zanu PF is accused of doing badly on the democracy front is what the Mazizi Choir will defend to the death when it comes to the Cult’s own affairs.

And here, the word democracy takes an entirely new Cult meaning (code for “by any means necessary”) — even if this means running an effective dictatorship, hijacking funerals and burning people in huts in the name of democracy.

No wonder that discarded ruling party campaigners, now accommodated as woke Cult publicists — and taking advantage of this confusion that can only end badly — are now even talking about “handing” Madam TalkZanu a constituency in Nkayi that the opposition lost in 2018!

It’s a tragedy.

Revisionist History

Going by Mazizi’s own pronouncements, all elections in Zimbabwe are rigged, including internal opposition polls and for positions in burial societies.

This, apparently, is the main reason why the Cult won’t have a constitution and a congress — because both will be rigged. This is not a joke.

VAR is willing to bet with his last bond note that not even the hideously unfunny Comic Pastor can come up with such dead jokes and skits!

Let’s just follow this staggering revisionist history to its logical conclusion. This perverted line of thinking means that all the opposition’s past elections were rigged by someone.

It also means that all past local and parliametary elections, including the ones won by the opposition, were rigged by people within the opposition or by Zanu PF agents.

It all boggles the mind.

With this revelation, what opposition supporter will be motivated to vote in the looming 2023 elections? 

— Azishe!