Ego­is­tic Moyo hoist by own petard

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Leader & Comment -

“You do not know me,” said tor­toise. “I am a changed man. I have learned that a man who makes trou­ble for oth­ers makes trou­ble for him­self.”

This snip­pet is from cel­e­brated Nige­rian au­thor Chinua Achebe’s best-sell­ing novel: “Things Fall Apart” where the writer tells how folk­lore ex­plains how the tor­toise got its shells.

There is also the story on con­tam­i­na­tion, with the say­ing that it is easy for one bad ap­ple to spoil the whole box.

It is un­for­tu­nate that in the midst of a bumper har­vest, a feat last ex­pe­ri­enced by our farm­ers years ago, in­stead of all of us con­cen­trat­ing on what this good har­vest means and map­ping the way for­ward, we are seized with neg­a­tive sen­ti­ments com­ing from de­trac­tors of the Gov­ern­ment and pri­vate sec­tor-driven Com­mand Agri­cul­ture Pro­gramme; de­trac­tors who think they have the best minds. How sad and pa­thetic too. Like the tor­toise who fooled all birds that had as­sisted him with their feath­ers, in or­der for him to at­tend a feast in the skies, and ended up get­ting all the food be­cause of his as­sumed name “All of You”, these peo­ple are do­ing the same at the ex­pense of the na­tional in­ter­est — think­ing for all of us. When we say it is well, they say the con­trary. It is now public knowl­edge that not only does Higher and Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion, Science and Tech­nol­ogy Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Pro­fes­sor Jonathan Moyo have too many mis­giv­ings about Gov­ern­ment pro­grammes such as Com­mand Agri­cul­ture, but his at­ti­tude to this and oth­ers is a nega­tion of re­spon­si­bil­i­ties be­queathed to him as a Cabi­net Min­is­ter and Polit­buro mem­ber in the rul­ing Zanu-PF party.

He has man­aged to fool those drawn to his tweets, all meant to seek the at­ten­tion he lost when he was re­as­signed from the In­for­ma­tion, Me­dia and Broad­cast­ing Ser­vices Min­istry. But this is not the United States where a dark horse Don­ald Trump be­came the na­tional and global talk­ing point be­cause of his freak­ish use of the so­cial me­dia plat­form, Twit­ter.

We con­tinue to won­der why he re­mains un­touch­able when he con­tin­u­ally ig­nores Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe’s call to stop dis­cussing party and Gov­ern­ment is­sues on so­cial me­dia.

One does not have to be an Al­bert Ein­stein to see that the story is larger than we see, and its agenda does not bode well for the rul­ing Zanu-PF party and Gov­ern­ment.

It is an agenda whose mo­tive can be ex­trap­o­lated from the ob­ses­sive love and pro­tec­tion of the First Fam­ily.

We are also not that fool­ish when some­one wants to be the king-maker, but un­der the layer of that talk, it is quite ev­i­dent that this is an in­di­vid­ual carv­ing out a niche for him­self.

But, like Okonkwo, the main pro­tag­o­nist in Achebe’s novel, you also see that be­low this bravado is noth­ing, but fear and pride, the very el­e­ments that caused his down­fall. Okonkwo was manly, but he had a proud heart that looked down on oth­ers, in­clud­ing his own fa­ther.

A gen­tle re­minder: Com­mand Agri­cul­ture is one of the few pro­grammes in re­cent years to steer the turnaround of the econ­omy, and make the 2013 elec­tion prom­ises a re­al­ity.

Be­ing the devil in the de­tail will not de­rail it, be­cause peo­ple are poised to move on, just as they were with the land re­form pro­gramme.

Some lo­cal lead­ers have since taken Zim-As­set and pro­grammes like Com­mand Agri­cul­ture to the peo­ple so that they are im­ple­mented at house­hold level, and the me­dia has the re­spon­si­bil­ity to in­form and ed­u­cate the peo­ple on what is hap­pen­ing on the ground.

The me­dia (both public and pri­vately-owned) can ill-af­ford to con­cen­trate its mea­gre re­sources on one in­di­vid­ual.

Zim­bab­weans might think that this is a Zanu-PF prob­lem, but we must ask our­selves: Is this how we thank the Lord for the bless­ings the na­tion got in 2017?

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