Home » Governance » The Truth Behind Amh Malema Fiasco [column]

THIS week’s instalment is a pot-pourri of sorts from the political jungle.

Politics is a dirty game, but so too the mystery that emanates from it. As Neil Armg says, “mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man’s desire to understand”. This writer is driven by these elements – mystery, wonder and desire.

Let’s start with mother Africa.

Yesterday, The Herald reported that the much-hyped presentation by South African politician and leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Julius Malema, had been called off.

Malema is a former member of the African National Congress Youth League. Sponsored by the Alpha Media Holdings’ “Game Changer” series, he was expected to speak at the Celebration Centre, although some of the full page aertisements in NewsDay for example also give the seminar series venue as the Harare International Conference Centre.

The Malema talk was not coming cheap – a whopping $100 to listen to someone say whatever they wanted to say about the ANC, President Jacob Zuma, Nkandla, xenophobia, black empowerment and their own lives.

This writer knows the nature of some of the seminar series in Zimbabwe: it is free entry. Those who might have started charging are probably asking for a nominal fee. Maybe AMH should borrow a leaf from Dr Ibbo Mandaza’s Sapes Trust because they have been in that business for a very long time.

The months of April and May are very busy for Zimbabweans. We have the school holidays, Independence Day celebrations, May Day celebrations, Harare International Festival of the Arts (Hifa) and the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF).

Over and above these, there was the Sadc Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government. This was a full diary, more so when you have to pay $100 to listen to a politician, but did not pay a dime to listen to the Sadc Heads of State and Government.

If the trend has been set in South Africa, it will take a while to be bought in other Sadc countries.

However, it was the newspaper aert that attracted this writer’s attention and in the process created mysteries and wonders.

AMH, publishers of NewsDay, the Zimbabwe Independent and the Standard, have never been known to subscribe to the political ideology that Malema and his EFF are known for – black empowerment.

In South Africa their sister paper is the Mail amp Guardian. Therein is the mystery because on February 6, the now defunct Sapa news agency reported that the ANC was accusing the Mail amp Guardian “of a rightwing agenda in the way it reports on the ruling party”.

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa remarked: “Because of its rightwing agenda against a democratic and progressive state it has compromised some of the basic journalistic ethics . . . (they) do everything possible to discredit the democratic state. Because of their rightwing political agenda they won’t accept anything official from government or the ANC,” he said.

One reader Pieter @PieterMTB001 tweeted: “ANC accuses Mamp of right wing agenda. Smells like a Zimbabwe in the making.”

Another mystery on the aert is that Malema is described as “South Africa’s youngest political power broker coming to Zimbabwe”. Apart from the brief history on his activities in the ANC, there is no mention in the aert on the Economic Economic Freedom Fighters, a political outfit he founded and leads to date, and a political party he was representing. So, if he is a “game changer”, which pedestal is he standing on? If they could print so much red in the aert, why leave out EFF?

There is no denying that Malema has a following even outside of South Africa, but you end up reading between the lines when a media house that has been going to town about Malema and his alleged relationship with Zanu-PF is suddenly his cheerleader.

You also read between the lines when AMH tried to bring Malema over to Zimbabwe, barely a week after the Sadc Extraordinary Summit, which was attended by South African President Jacob Zuma. What is the bigger picture – trying to upstage the South African president and the Sadc leader, President Mugabe?

One would have thought this particular “Game Changer” series would have been taken to Botswana, because it was the regime change agenda in Botswana that got Malema and other members of the ANC Youth League into trouble, eventually leading to their expulsion from the party.

When Britons vote to disunite

The British go to the polls today. Too much democracy brought in all manner of political players. Gone are the days when the electoral field was just for the Conservatives (Tories) and the Labour parties. For those that follow the former coloniser’s 2015 poll, the truth is that they might not have an outright winner, and that it will end up with a hung parliament and a government of national unity, again.

The major problem is that the British want to remain British, although there are signs that the election might disunite the kingdom.

And, that royal baby! How could she decide to come at such a crucial time – five days before the election date? Will Her Royal Highness Princess of Cambridge (Charlotte Elizabeth Diana) be the game changer since all politicians tongue-twisted themselves at the weekend tweeting and congratulating her parents Prince William and Kate Middleton?

This election also proved the old adage: free speech for me and not for thee. Some British newspapers openly endorsed the party of their choice: mainly Tory andor Labour. This is hypocrisy at its highest level considering that the same media takes issue at Zimbabwe’s public media’s pro-Zanu-PF stance.

When a father wants his daughter to marry

Disagreements, factions andor party squabbles are not limited to the Zimbabwean political landscape. In fact, there is so much of that now, making it look like there is a rethink of how politics should be played.

In this instance, it is a family and political affair, and one newspaper called it a family nuclear war.

Their political ideology is not admirable, but former leader of France’s far-right Front National party Jean-Marie Le Pen is so angry with his daughter and current party president, Marine Le Pen. So acrimonious are the feelings that the father wants his daughter to marry as soon as possible so that she assumes another name.

A Guardian (UK) report of April 8 states: “In an unprecedented attack on her father that marks her first move to cut him out of the party he founded, Marine Le Pen issued a scathing Press release warning that the 86-year-old would be prevented from standing in regional elections in the south of France.

“Jean-Marie Le Pen seems to have descended into a strategy somewhere between scorched earth and political suicide,” she said. “His status as honorary president does not give him the right to hijack the Front National with vulgar provocations seemingly designed to damage me, but which unfortunately hit the whole movement.”

The father hit back this Tuesday saying he “does not recognise any ties” to Marine who “betrays me in such a scandalous fashion” after being suspended from the party he founded.

The 86-year-old father said on Monday night: “If such moral principles should preside over France, it would be scandalous given my betrayal … I am ashamed that the president of the Front National has my name and I hope she loses it as soon as possible.”

The angry father said: “I was hoping that the president of the National Front would get married as quickly as possible so as to change her name, because I’m ashamed that she has the same surname as me.”

This is stretching party squabbles to the limit. Whatever happened to the commandment: “Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long … ?”

Hillary Clinton: Forever a public figure

When you speak about Hillary Clinton, whose eyes are set on becoming the first United States woman president, you have to always refer to her as “former this”, and “former that”.

Her life in public life dates back to 1979 when she was the First Lady of Arkansas state. That is 36 years ago, and more than the years Zimbabwe has been independent.

From being the Governor’s wife for more than a decade, she became US First Lady in 1993 to 2001. After a stint as First Lady, she became US Senator for New York from 2001 to 2009.

When her bid to the presidency failed in 2008, she was appointed Secretary of State in the Obama administration, and retired in 2013.

Now, the 67-year old “former this” and “former that” is gunning for the big one, and the whole family, granddaughter included are on the campaign trail.

If she clinches the 2016 vote, and serves the first four-year term, it means that she would have been living on tax- payers’ money for 42 years. We acknowledge her work as a private legal practitioner, but the fact remains that the United States cannot tell other countries that their leaders have served for long periods when evidence is there that they are doing the same, in a different manner.

Source : The Herald