When I was in high school, we had a hard-boiled male sexist teacher who hated woman of all ages with a burning passion. What irritated me most about him is the way he would go to town about how he was the most open-minded and fairest individual on earth, “not a drop of sexist blood in my veins”, he would say.
Reading Tafadzwa Chigwende’s (MDC-T Oxford Branch Youth Chairman) complain against BBC HardTalk presenter, Steven Sucker, reminded me of my sexist high school teacher.
“It is our sincere belief that journalists should be allowed to do their work without fear or favour but we also equally believe that in doing so they should be fair, transparent and free of bias,” started off Tafadzwa.
“1. Right from the onset it appeared Mr Sucker was bent on belittling Mr Chamisa by adopting an overbearing posture and insinuating that he was lacking in basic human decency and compassion by “seizing” the interim leadership of the MDC even before its late leader Morgan Tsvangirai had been buried. As far as we are concerned this issue had been dealt with within the party structures.”
Tafadzwa is entitle to his/her opinion as to what constitutes an “overbearing posture” what is objectionable is he/she should be complaining about such subjective issues!
Of course, there was nothing honourable in the way Chamisa seized power following Tsvangirai’s death. It is not clear here is whether Tafadzwa sees nothing wrong with what Chamisa did or is objecting to BBC bring this up since the issue was “dealt with within the party structures”. Either way, there is really no basis for complaining.
Chamisa argued that he seized power to “bring stability” in the party and Mr Sucker was right to point out that his brought more chaos and confusion instead. MDC members have been defensive on this point but more out of their usual dirty habit of burying their heads in the sand whenever they are confronted with facts, realities and home truths they do not like.
A bullet train travelling at 800 km/hour on Zimbabwe’s dilapidated railway network is “beyond nonsense”, as Mr Sucker rightly said. Tafadzwa is complaining here because he/she believed this nonsense and, like the shallow minded person he/she is, expected everyone else to do the same.
There was really nothing in the HardTalk programme for Tafadzwa to complain about. People like him think that by admitting up front their undying support for freedom of expression, free press, etc. they are thereafter free to wield their unlimited powers to stifle freedom of expression to the extent of proscribing what posture a journalist interviewing MDC leaders can have, what issues they can bring up, what adjectives they can use, etc., etc.
“It is therefore our wish that the BBC should rectify this as a matter of urgency by apologising to the whole wide MDC membership and call for another fair and open interview with our President based on facts not hearsay, gossip and conjecture,” concluded Tafadzwa.
“This is so that the organisation’s image is not seen in an unfavourable view by the general membership of our party and all right-thinking Zimbabweans who have suffered under the ZANU-PF regime with poor governance and service delivery and currently struggling with acute cash shortages, poor health delivery, corruption and other ills associated with poor governance.”
Tafadzwa is right on one point – no right-thinking Zimbabweans were impressed by Chamisa’s pathetic performance.
Steven Sucker was right in say many people, both Zimbabweans and none Zimbabweans, view President Mnangagwa and his coup thugs as a wiser alternative to Chamisa and his MDC Alliance. Give Zanu PF’s 38 years of total economic ruins, vote rigging and brutal political oppression; that speaks volumes of just how utterly useless these people view MDC to be.
The HardTalk programme should have been a wake-up call on all MDC members and leaders alike to demand greater openness and democratic competition at all levels within the party as the cure to the party’s perpetual problem of mediocre leaders. But, judging from Tafadzwa’s complain, the party is doing the exact opposite; bury its head in the sand and blame BBC, in this case, for the party’s lack of competent leaders!
“Mr Sucker was at pains to paint our President as immature, irresponsible and unwise to be a leader!” said Tafadzwa. No, Tafadzwa Chamisa IS immature, irresponsible and unwise and the sooner blind MDC followers like you wake-up to that reality the sooner the nation will have competent leaders who will finally expose Zanu PF leaders like Mnangagwa for the corrupt, vote rigging and murderous thugs they are!