Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Politics is a Process, Not an Event
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail
JULY 30, 2017

WHAT an exciting week? The media had a feast. Zimbabweans being Zimbabweans went into overdrive — rumours, speculation, conclusions, theories and lies.

Winston Churchill was so spot on when he said: “Politics is almost as exciting as war, and quite as dangerous. In war you can only be killed once, but in politics many times.”

Some people died several times over the past few days. So many deaths. So many funerals. My apologies dear congregants, I couldn’t attend any of the funerals.

Allow me to take a detour. There is some hard truths to be told. A few weeks ago, I broke the news that that grand opposition coalition iya hakuchina.

Today I come to you again with more news. The MDC-T has already conceded defeat to President Mugabe in the 2018 elections.

Their fight now is to try and stop Zanu-PF from winning two-thirds majority in Parliament.

In case you think Bishop Lazarus dzarasa. I am not making the news.

Tsvangirai’s former advisor and law professor, Alex Magaisa is the one who is telling this bitter truth. Under the headline, “Zanu-PF must not get two-thirds majority in 2018,” Magaisa advised the MDC-T that; “That is why a key battleground in next year’s elections is over the two thirds parliamentary majority.”

Put simply, Magaisa was telling the MDC-T that makadyiwa kare in 2018, chishingai kuti musarakashwe zvekuti Zanu-PF iwane two-thirds majority.

This is the reality, but then MDC-T zvimiti ndonye munzeve. Regaika tione.

Talking of two thirds majority, there are those who have been saying elections can’t be held early next year, hehe Constitution this and Constitution that. The opposition is actually believing these fake constitutional experts.

Well, what happened in Parliament last week should tell the opposition that elections will be held pangodira Gushungo.

Against the wishes of the opposition, the Constitutional Amendment Bill (Number One) sailed through the National Assembly. VeMDC-T vakapupa mafuro pamuromo kuramba the Bill, but that Bill was passed.

Zanu-PF, iyoyo Zanu-PF iri kunzi ine mafactions ganged up against the opposition and the Bill was passed with 182 votes. This was despite the fact that the Bill was all along said to be a Vice President Mnangagwa Bill. That’s Zanu-PF for you.

Now, if Gushungo decides that he wants elections in January, February or March, there is nothing that the opposition can do about it. If only the opposition could read what the Presidential Youth Interface Rallies are all about. But then zvimiti ndonye muzheve. Don’t say Bishop Lazarus didn’t warn you.

Now back to the exciting deep waters of the past week. Regai ndiite zvemagwaro kwazvo. Mark 4 vs 39 says; “And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”

Hey dear congregants, please calm down. “Peace! Be Still!” Musamhanye vanhu VaMwari. Stop making those wild and weird conclusions. The First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe just asked President Mugabe to appoint his successor when the time comes. On his part, the President told the military to stay out of politics. Just these two positions, zvotoita as if nyika yakuguma.

Of course, the media had a field day. You suddenly realise that Zanu-PF is indeed the only game in town. The MDC-T couldn’t resist the Zanu-PF midas touch as they commented on the goings on in the revolutionary party.

The scribes went to town and back. But then hold on dear congregants. Don’t we know that politics is a process and not an event? Someone said: “Art, freedom and creativity will change society faster than politics.”

Reading some of the stories and theories, you would think the President had fired the whole army. You would think the First Lady had told the President to appoint a successor tomorrow.

Imbomirai kumedza mutsenge nyaya iyi.

Why are you dear congregants misinterpreting and cooking theories from the statements that were made by the President and the First Lady? Stop distorting clear statements. And stop pulling and pushing other people in your cooked up theories.

Why are some people pretending to be more President Mugabes? Why are some people pretending to be more Amai Mugabes? Kuziva zvakataurwa kudarika akataura. Imi vanhu itai mushe mhani.

Now as you focused on creating and cooking theories, you missed an important story. After the First Lady, Dr Grace Mugabe raised concern, as the Secretary for Women’s Affairs, that the party should revert to its resolutions that one Vice President’s position be reserved for women, the President said the following:

“I want to accept that we made a mistake because we had agreed that one of the three top positions in Government must go to a woman.

“It started during Mai Mujuru’s period and that’s where we went wrong by putting a man in that position. I think it was Cde Mnangagwa.

“We can correct that either directly in the constitution at congress or another way is to accept that change, why don’t we look at the constitution.

“A constitution is made to serve the people and not the people to serve a constitution . . .

“We can look at other ways of doing it, but I would want you to consider that perhaps we leave that position as it is or if you insist we change it. But I was thinking that other countries have more than two. Why can’t we have three deputies and correct this position that way?

“Think about it. Two choices, one to revert to our position of two VPs and one being a lady, but another of adding another position of a VP and we have three VPs and one woman. Think of those mere suggestions when we go to Congress as you like, but think it out and we discuss at Congress, but certainly we have offended you and I must apologise for that.”

Now dear congregants, you don’t think this was a big story? Thinking about having a third deputy? Instead of looking to the future, you decided to stew yourself in the politics of the present? Kwanzi toita madeputy three here nhai imi vanhu? Let’s debate that. I am cool with it anytime.

Let’s not appear like we still living in the Magic Bullet Theory days when the media was all powerful. In fact, there was never a time when the media was all powerful. At the same time, let’s not fall victim to the agenda setting role of the media, where the media is described as having a powerful influence on the people.

Scholars tell us that agenda-setting is the creation of public awareness and concern of salient issues by the news media. Two basis assumptions underlie most research on agenda-setting: the first being that the media do not reflect reality; they filter and shape it and the second is that media concentrate on a few issues and subjects, leading the public to perceive those issues as more important than other issues.

If the media does not reflect reality, why then should we let the media to tell us what issues are important?

Let’s leave the media focusing on what pushes their sales and what excites their shareholders.

Let’s leave the media focusing on “President anointing his successor” and the “military staying out of politics.”

Let’s look ahead and see whether we should have three deputies.

That suggestion by the President says a lot. It’s unfortunate that many have been blinkered by factionalism and succession.

Just a reminder. “When you’re happy, you enjoy the music. But when you’re sad, you understand the lyrics.”

Bishop is out!

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