Opinion & Analysis

Satirical journalism isn’t only for laughs

THE Video Assistant Referee is very happy that he makes an honest living from observing, analysing and pronouncing on concrete, verifiable facts on football pitches around the world.

Just as well, because VAR wouldn’t survive one day in some circles of the political and media worlds, for example, which often attract the worst of the Mafioso to their ranks everywhere around the globe.

One of the most disgusting faults of politicians and Pharisaic journalists — and there are plenty of them in Zim — is their hypocrisy, which is why they almost always say one thing and do the opposite.

Take World Press Freedom Day, for example, which was commemorated earlier this week.

Boy, you should have listened to the nauseating and sanctimonious sermons that were delivered locally and globally on the day by all kinds of dubious characters. Please pass the sick bag.

Whose Freedom?

I mean, don’t tell VAR dear readers that you don’t know that the freedom of the media and journalists in Zim counts only when they don’t tell it like it is, without any fear or favour?

If you don’t believe me, write the unvanished truth — as the Daily News does day in and day out  — about the Red Devils or the Canaries (yes, even more the latter these days) and see how their self-righteous sycophants will react.

Internationally, the leaders of the developed world also preached splendid words about World Press Freedom Day and how much they support strong independent media around the globe.

If only they meant a word of this.

Julian Assange

As VAR writes this, a proper investigative journalist, Julian Assange, remains locked up in a high security prison in the United Kingdom (yes, as in Britain), fighting extradition to the United States of America for the crime of practicing independent journalism.

Late last month, a British judge formally approved the extradition of Assange to the US to face spying charges — which could see him receiving a staggering sentence of up to 175 years in jail if this succeeds and he is convicted thereafter.

Yet, the WikiLeaks documents that he is being persecuted for, on America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, showed very credibly that the US military may have committed terrible war crimes there — and for which no one has been held accountable up to today.

And so, the question arises: Who in the world really cares and stands up for free speech, journalism and democracy?

Jamal Khashoggi

The story of Jamal Khashoggi, who was a columnist for the Washington Post and was mudered in October 2018 at the Saudi consulate in Turkey is particularly sad and blood-curdling.

Khashoggi was not only killed for practicing journalism, his body is believed to have been dismembered by a bone saw, and his remains have never been found.

The Masters of The Universe, the big powers who dictate to the rest of the world and are quick to sanction anyone that they don’t like, have done absolutely nothing about this horror.

It’s most sickening.


VAR knows that we the distinguished members of Ezikamagebhula have had our fair share of troubles over the past eight decades of our club’s glorious existence, but the ones that have been visiting CAPS United over the past few years are particularly sad.

For the young Zim football fans who may not know this, Makepekepe are a club with a substantial history and pedigree.

Granted that the club’s painful unravelling is symptomatic of the seemingly inexorable demise of Zim football generally, but that still does not make CAPS United’s travails any less sad.

Some of the soccer greats who played for this once mighty club included the incomparable and late Stanley “Sinyo” Ndunduma, the imperial Stanford “Stix” Mutizwa, the late and mercurial Joel “Headmaster” Shambo, and the deadliest hitman in VAR’s books to have worn a number nine football jersey in post-independent Zimbabwe, Shacky “Mr Goals” Tauro.

This group conquered everyone and everything in its wake in the early to mid 1980s, including VAR’s Bosso and the once untouchable Glamour Boys.

I loved and hated them in equal measure at the time, for their inimitable football then, and as a proud and unflinching Tshilamoya life member.

Now this esteemed institution is in the hands of Farai Jere. No disrespect to this effable gentleman. But he clearly doesn’t have the capacity and the means to run the club.

Overwhelmed by the responsibility of owning the club, Jere this week moved to fire six senior players following their understandable industrial action over wages, which threatened Caps’ home league game against Cranborne Bullets last Sunday.

If Makepekepe stakeholders are not careful, this once great club will be history. Things are that bad.