Arrest monsters on the run

Foreign currency dealers wait for customers in Bulawayo last week. Government must quickly introduce blitzkrieg measures that will put the monsters, or mischief-makers, in leg chains permanently to immobilise them

Stephen Mpofu
Monsters on the loose are rampaging through Zimbabwean society, trampling underfoot the confidence in Government by both the gullible and rational-minded citizens of our country all the while defaming some of them with impunity.

False news, other aliased “fake news” by American president Donald Trump and described by National University of Science and Technology communicologist Felix Moyo as “the first monster” is published by word of mouth, by newspapers or electronically.

In the US Mr Trump is right now at daggers drawn with journalists there allegedly for spreading false news and with thousands of kilometres away across the Atlantic Ocean Tanzanian president Mr John Magufuli banning two newspapers for specified periods, allegedly for spreading false news — a trend that has recently caught on in Zimbabwe — courtesy of social media users some of whom are apparently ignorant of the law of libel or defamation and in the process assassinate innocent characters of their subjects.

Machiavellians take a huge kick out of creating panic stations in society, and fake news agents such as users of social media recently triggered panic buying and hoarding of consumer goods by falsely claiming that prices of the commodities had risen sharply or run out of stock.

In such frenzied buying scenarios customers often spend the bulk of cash reserved for other purposes on the affected commodities, and this results in shortages of some essential goods in the home or in business when the cash kept for them is exhausted.

To stabilise the rather chaotic situation, the Government has said it would allocate additional funds to buy raw materials badly needed for the production of essential commodities such as cooking oil and the like, in addition to other necessary measures to bring commerce and industry back to even keel.

But be that as it may, the mischief makers running riot will find ways of destabilising our society unless the Government quickly introduces such blitzkrieg measures as will put the monsters, or mischief-makers in leg chains permanently to immobilise them.

With eyes now focused on the harmonised elections next year — who knows — opponents or rivals of the Zanu-PF government might team up with the foreign proponents of regime change in our country to introduce other evil deeds intended to make the public at large revolt against the Government at the polls.

There might even be worst case scenarios reserved by the enemies of the Government to disrupt the elections or to paint such a repulsive picture of the voting process as to make the election result repugnant and rejected as has happened in Kenya where a stalemate exits over a presidential re-run scheduled for next month.

A stable, national political scenario should be viewed by all Zimbabweans as the most important guarantee for peace, stability and unimpeded social and economic development for our nation.

But yearnings for the reincarnation of old tribal fiefdoms or kingdoms as has been heard of late, as well as leaders of one political family driven by power hunger or factionalism or tribalism teaming up with sharp axes raised against fellow party leaders from other regions, instead of linking arms against common adversity, will not guarantee a permanent, brave new future in our country for generations to come.

Unity in tribal or linguistic diversity is the only panacea for all evil machanisations and a guarantor for a permanent unitary state of Zimbabwe.

Countries now in turmoil elsewhere in Africa — with South Sudan where a million people have fled their native country for refuge in other states as a result of people worshipping their tribal origins instead of unity — should serve as an example of and a warning to Zimbabweans against any drunkenness on power and power for its own sake and at all costs as that situation breeds internecine violence and total instability in a country.

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