Opinion & Analysis

Satirical journalism isn’t only for laughs

VAR cannot understand why State officials seemingly keep setting up President Emmerson Mnangagwa for failure by making him take personal responsibility for government decisions.

Not for the first time, Mnangagwa announced a new raft of tough policy measures last weekend meant to restore macro-economic stability in the country.

This was injudicious, especially understanding why economics is sometimes referred to as the dismal science.

Ordinarily, one would expect the Finance minister or other competent authorities to make such announcements, which would then allow the Head of State room to later shore up the new policies — and sometimes to walk back on aspects of the measures if need be — upon further reflection of the issues at play by the powers that be.

Think back dear readers to the deadly riots which erupted in the country in January 2019, following massive hikes in the price of fuel imposed by the government, and which were also announced by ED ahead of his trip to Eastern Europe then.

As everyone in the country knows (perhaps except our heads-in-the-sand government officials) several people were left dead, including a policeman, by the end of the three-day mass protests.

Surely, lessons should have been learnt from that grim episode, including why the State president should generally not take personal charge of announcing new economic measures.

As it is, government officials have opened up ED to ridicule, with excitable key board warriors now claiming that ED made last Saturday’s announcements hastily and in a panic to try and forestall Monday’s failed stay-away calls. Aah!


What is it with the growing and inexplicable anti-China sentiment in some small circles of our society — especially among those who would like to be seen as do-gooder activists?

For those who are too young to know or are wont to follow every wandering spirit on social media, please know that the Chinese have been faithful friends of Zimbabwe for a long time, including when our beloved teapot country was labouring under the yoke of colonialism and white minority rule.

China, as under-developed as it was then in those days, lent both moral and material support to our liberation struggle, including training the likes of the revered late Zanla commander, Josiah Magama Tongogara — at a time when wealthier nations would not lift a finger to assist us.

Today, the country is our only meaningful source of new foreign investment, which is helping to generate and to sustain thousands of badly-needed jobs in Zimbabwe. And then there is the aid that Beijing regularly extends to Harare.

Which all begs the question about who, indeed, is driving this agenda, and to whose benefit.

Surely, if there are some misbehaving Chinese businesspeople locally, these can be dealt with via the law, rather than scandalising a whole community and this friendly economic giant to our detriment. Is it that hard to understand?

The Wailer

There are a few slow people in Zimbabwe who possess PhDs who are seemingly intent on discrediting academia and demonstrating that having such significant post-graduate degrees does not necessarily reflect high intelligence.

Take the example of the wannabe media guru and political commentator now derisively known in some circles as Mukoma Dougie Wailer for his decidedly creepy obsession with, and embarrassing hourly insults of one Simboti on social media.

Even learned colleagues and other associates of the muttonhead — who is apparently an ex-journalist who may even have worked for the Daily News at some point in his life (horror of horrors!) — have confided to VAR how much his thoughtless social media postings of all manner, and desperation to be seen as smart, mortify them.

I mean, it’s one thing to engage in regular banter with politicians and other people, but entirely another matter to comment on things you don’t know much about, including the media, and to wake up at 4am and sleep well after midnight every day of the week denigrating people who, by all indications, don’t even appear to care much about the vacuous rants that are unworthy of someone who is desperate to be seen as intelligent.

Is there not even one person in this world — a close friend or relative — who is kind enough to tell Mukoma Dougie Wailer that he is increasingly looking like the proverbial madman with a whistle, and not a respectable academic with a PhD?

VAR shall one day properly spotlight this dullard, to provide readers with interesting tidbits and insights about him. You will enjoy the expose.

Until next week, Azishe!