No worries, Dear Leader.

We'll soon overcome the 'little trouble' in Zim

Karen Bliksem, Sunday Independent, 20 April 2008

It's time to confess. All these years I've been stirred, as well as shaken, by our revered leader, Thabo "In Denial" Mbeki.

So firm! So handsome! So sharp! So elegant! So zhoozsh! That quiet strength, which comes only from confidence! (Steady on, old girl: the machine has only so many exclamation marks - deputy editor.)

My memories go back to that wonderful moment in July 2003 when our shores were graced by the presence of duh leader of duh free world, George Dubya Bush. Bear with me a moment while my eyes mist over as I recall our not wholly welcome visitor meeting his distinguished host.

On the one side, Nortamericano guest in an ill-fitting sack suit that looked to have been picked, as an afterthought, by a ranch hand at a backstreet dry-goods store in Lubbock, Texas. Greeting him: our maximum leader, oh so snazzy in tailored pinstripes, striped shirt and power necktie, insouciant goatee to the fore. Guess who looked the head ranchero just then?

Since then my admiration has only intensified. Even as ill-intentioned commentators continue to infiltrate the word "crisis" into certain of our headlines, though without fazing Thabo El Superbo.
It started, did it not, with that minor health problem associated with carnal relations and showering. Malign western press lackeys suggested that having almost one-fifth of the population infected with so-called HIV constituted a "crisis".

Crisis? What crisis? Just a spot of Googling and some right-thinking Aids denialists, together with devoted back-up from Manto "Garlic" Tshabalala-Msimang, massaged the issue (almost) away.

Next, the alleged "crime crisis". (When I started in journalism, more years ago than I care to recall, I was told to splash the word "alleged" around whenever I was either too lazy to verify my claims, or when a mad axe murderer, whom everybody knew was an MAM, hadn't yet actually been convicted of MAMing.)

Crime crisis? What crime crisis? First deal with the figures … by not releasing them. Thus nix to complain about. Repeat-offender whingers, as el Presidente's trusty acolyte, minister of unsafety and insecurity Charles Nqakula likes to think of them, were urged to emigrate. Many did. Hence even less whingeing. QED, less crime.

True, some of those who took Charles's advice to buzz off had to be reminded by indefensible minister Mosiuoa (don't call me "Terror") Lekota that they shouldn't keep whingeing from abroad.

We don't hear any more about the "crisis of expectation" or the "crisis of delivery", at least not until some forgotten community riots or blocks a road in protest at its total neglect. Anyway, there's no such thing. With the right connections you can expect to get good contracts and soft loans, while if you live at the right (government) address you can expect to have fancy vehicles and other goodies delivered. Even if you temporarily exchange your (government) address for one at, say, Pollsmoor, you can expect goodie delivery to resume later.

So again: Crisis? What crisis of expectation or delivery? The Gravy Train is always on time.

Towards the end of last year, as the lights started going out all over, there were chatterings about a "power crisis".

What was I wibbling on about? Sorry, I rather lost my train of thought (and most of the text on my antique laptop) during a minor 12-hour unscheduled outage. Oh yes, power.

With what genuine humility did Our Leader confess to a minor share in collective responsibility for the decisions which brought about Eskom's hiccups.

So delicate, so nuanced were his words. They put me in mind of the "Jewel Voice Broadcast" - the radio announcement in which the Showa Emperor of Japan, Hirohito, subtly intimated on August 15 1945 to his recently nuked people that "the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage"; likewise that white flags must replace the Rising Sun.

That imperial rescript-writer was some wordsmith. Though I think he went a tad far by continuing: "We are keenly aware of the inmost feelings of all ye, Our subjects. However, it is according to the dictate of time and fate that We have resolved … [on] enduring the unendurable and suffering what is insufferable."

Spin-doctoring has its own imperatives. But let's hope Our Leader isn't forced to pay too much attention to "the inmost feelings" of HIS subjects. Especially when he's "enduring the unendurable" and walking hand in hand with noble freedom fighters to the north.

Yes, I refer to Our Leader's brief stopover in Harare before heading to the ill-conceived Lusaka meeting where some young SADC upstarts sought to critique the legitimate aspirations of Comrade Robert "Free and Fair Elections" Mugabe.

Not only did Our Leader outdo them in sartorial splendour, but he also put them right about that silly "Zimbabwe crisis". Far from punting a "perverse and immoral policy", as The Washington Post called it, Mbeki's anodyne words are dissipating the problem.

As dear departed Bob Marley sang at the Zimbabwe independence celebrations 28 years back: "No more internal power struggle/We come together to overcome the little trouble/Soon we'll find out who is the real revolutionary/'Cause I don't want my people to be contrary."

Those ungrateful few remaining Zimbabweans will stop being "contrary" when they realise - inevitably - how right Mbeki was. The "little trouble" will soon be sorted and Comrade Robert safely re-empowered as liberator-for-life.

BTW, where was the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission when we needed it, at Polokwane?


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