Humpty Dumpty’s great fall

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Opinion - Spec­trum Jo­ram Ny­athi

Strange as it might seem, it took African Amer­i­cans in the US, not na­tive Zim­bab­weans, to de­flate Mawarire’s bal­loon and bring him crash­ing down to Earth.

Pre­tend­ing that his life in Zim­babwe was ter­mi­nally en­dan­gered, Mawarire went to the US in­tend­ing to or­gan­ise the mother of all demon­stra­tions which would put Zim­babwe un­der the UN spot­light, if supine Sadc couldn’t do it in Mba­bane.

He wanted to achieve sin­gle­handed what the MDCs in their var­ie­gated shades and per­mu­ta­tions have failed to achieve since 2000 — bring­ing Zim­babwe un­der UN sanc­tions and pos­si­bly man­u­fac­tur­ing an al­ibi for a US-led mil­i­tary in­va­sion of the coun­try.

The venue and oc­ca­sion of course was the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly in New York this week, in the full glare of Amer­ica’s glob­alised me­dia arse­nal. There was a lot of an­tic­i­pa­tion and gloat­ing back home - Mawarire’s star was at its zenith.

En­ter the De­cem­ber 12 Move­ment As he was be­ing ser­e­naded by his white hosts, one doubts that Mawarire ever imag­ined that a ma­jor­ity of blacks were dis­gusted by his an­tics, that whites them­selves re­gard peo­ple like him with haughty con­tempt, for such can be used and dumped af­ter­wards.

When the mo­ment ar­rived for his star to shine, Mawarire found he only had a straw of 19 equally con­temptible black souls.

In bru­tal Zim­babwe he would have eas­ily blamed the po­lice for block­ing his fol­low­ers; in free Amer­ica democ­racy was at his full ser­vice.

Massed against them was a mul­ti­tude of African Amer­i­cans. Their bold plac­ards said it loudly: “Mu­gabe is right. Zim­babwe will never be a colony again.”

The “holy” pas­tor draped in a Zim­bab­wean flag was plead­ing for his coun­try to be re­colonised by white Amer­ica but was be­ing openly re­buked, and told that would never hap­pen.

Mawarire couldn’t find a man­hole to dive into, that is if he has any sense of shame. (But then he must per­se­vere. He has eaten the white man’s money and he must know that there is no free lunch in the white world, es­pe­cially for a mis­guided black man try­ing to sell his own birthright).

And per­se­ver­ing he is to jus­tify the filthy lucre he is get­ting. Mawarire boasted that he met Nige­rian bil­lion­aire Aliko Dan­gote, the man ex­plor­ing var­i­ous in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in Zim­babwe.

For a man who laments about the state of his coun­try’s econ­omy, nor­mal peo­ple would ex­pect him to try and per­suade the Nige­rian busi­ness­man to put a frac­tion of his for­tune into our econ­omy.

Not the “holy” pas­tor. He claims he told Dan­gote to keep away from Zim­babwe be­cause there, gov­ern­ment min­is­ters have an un­canny tal­ent for loot­ing in­vestors’ money.

Dan­gote must have been sur­prised, but then in a democ­racy every­one is al­lowed to ex­pose them­selves, which is how Mawarire got him­self no­ticed by the Amer­i­cans.

Ever so dili­gent, Mawarire vis­ited the World Bank on a sim­i­lar mis­sion, as if that in­sti­tu­tion needs per­suad­ing.

But there is logic to the pas­tor'’s mad­ness. He has a fam­ily to feed. If he can eat on the peo­ple’s be­half the bet­ter. Mawarire is be­ing spon­sored to den­i­grate his coun­try and has no qualms re­ceiv­ing money for it.

What he re­sents is any­body or in­sti­tu­tion with money giv­ing it to the pas­tor.

Mawarire is, how­ever, walk­ing a fa­mil­iar path. It has be­come the busi­ness of op­po­si­tion lead­ers to cam­paign against for­eign in­vest­ment in Zim­babwe while they are ready to re­ceive for­eign cash into their pock­ets.

They will fight land re­form and other black eco­nomic em­pow­er­ment poli­cies so long as they can get money to fund their po­lit­i­cal projects.

But Mawarire’s failed demon­stra­tion in New York has an im­por­tant les­son. Zim­bab­weans are a gullible peo­ple ready to be taken for a ride by even the shal­low­est pre­tenders.

To think that for more than a week the na­tion saw a phe­nom­e­non in Evan Mawarire and the me­dia swal­lowed his hum­bug hook, line and sinker with­out any­body tak­ing a step back to say we have been here be­fore: Baba Jukwa!

And this is worth re­peat­ing for the ben­e­fit of the op­po­si­tion. Elec­tions are not won on so­cial me­dia. So long as they con­tinue to be­lieve Zanu-PF is rig­ging elec­tions by mo­bil­is­ing its sup­port­ers to reg­is­ter in readi­ness to vote in the Zim­babwe. That re­duces the size of the cake for next elec­tions, they are doomed. Mawarire went to Amer­ica rid­ing on a crest of me­dia hero, be­liev­ing he would get a hero’s wel­come. He fell like Humpty Dumpty in the mid­dle of New York.

Evan Mawarire

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