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Letter from America: Why we must pray for the ‘Philistines’ and Sipho Malunga


“Wake up,” a voice said to me in the middle of the night. “Write!” The voice continued to give me instructions. “Master,” I said, “my eyes are weak, my hands tremble, and my mind is blank. What shall I write?”

I was visiting Dubai in order to witness the world exposition and was temporarily in the emirate of Sharjah. I drove around to the large fortress like jailhouse of Sharjah which is a tourist attraction. The Arabs believe that there are some people who are totally corrupt and that to bring them before a magistrate is to waste people’s time. All that is necessary is to identify them (three witnesses) remove them from the community and lock them up. There is no air condition and temperatures reach 130 degrees Fahrenheit. A corrupt person has reached the point where he cannot distinguish right from wrong.

That is the situation we have reached in Zimbabwe. Philosophers call it a state of anomie. It is a state of total corruption. Total corruption brings about total confusion. The ruler of such a state must clear the plate completely and begin afresh.

Two examples will suffice. At the height of Gideon Gono’s inflation in 2008, a Masvingo brother, a Gwitira approached me. He wanted a loan of $500 000 in favour of a house. A week later, he requested another similar amount. Unknown to us, and my attorneys, he sold the house two more times.

It took me five years to gain occupation. Listen carefully my brothers, the arguments of a totally confused man. He said that he was a stalwart Zanu PF operative. Secondly, I Ken Mufuka was wealthier than he was. Surprisingly, this argument found some supporters even among my relatives. They pleaded with me to let the matter pass. “Zvinhu zveZanu.” They said. After five years, a magistrate ruled against him, but he refused to hand over the title deeds. The same three arguments were repeated.

At that time the judiciary was not yet compromised to the extent it is today. Meanwhile, Gwitira had collected the rent for five years. For me, though I prevailed, it was a Pyrrhic victory.

The second example is that of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. Surely, it is illegal for any entity in Zimbabwe to sell or dispose of goods in a foreign currency, namely the US dollar. The Zimbabwe dollar is legal tender.

Zimra (Zimbabwe’s tax authority) is collecting taxes in US dollars. Watch the thousands of truck drivers at Beitbridge stranded as they enter Zimbabwe. First the US$200 per private car is exorbitant. The second level of US$340 that applies to truck drivers is beyond reach. Under such circumstances, the nearest available currency would be the Zuid Afrika Rand (ZAR). Please imagine the shenanigans a truck driver must go through to acquire
US dollars. The driver’s mission is to drive his truck to Malawi.

The same Zimra is charging Zimbabwe businessmen levies in US dollars. One can ask. Who makes these stupid regulations?

Further, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube has warned that businesses that flout the legal tender law (Which is the legal tender?) must be held accountable. A receipt from Brother Raj Modi’s business in Bulawayo shows a parallel price. Modi is the Deputy-minister of Trade. Who is going to arrest him?

In a state of anomie, simple things are not simple, what you see is not what you see. Last week Patrick Chinamasa tried to convince the world that a fire that gutted his palatial house in the choice neighbourhood of Borrowdale was “an act of God”.

It is interesting that when it suits them the Philistines call upon the name of God.

But South African professor Joost Fontein’s research on “accidental fires” in Zimbabwe will compel the reader to doubt Chinamasa’s assertion.

On the 20th of August 2011, the tyrant Robert Mugabe’s oration at Solomon Mujuru’s funeral gives us a background to these accidental fires.

Fontein writes that the “failure of the state to secure forensic evidence properly, the contested role of the state appointed pathologist, the unresolved mysteries of the fire itself and the obscurities of Mujuru’s remains” makes it difficult to reach closure.

Chinamasa can believe what he wants to believe, but I, Ken Mufuka, grandson of the Rainbird, will keep my thoughts to myself. I hope his wife takes my wisdom rather than of her husband and find a safe place to repose at night. Because of Chinamasa’s history in the destruction of Mutumwa Mawere’s Shabani-Mashaba mines, and his callous speech about the attack on Nelson Chamisa’s life, I find myself in reluctant prayer for his salvation.

We must pray for these Philistines. They are totally confused.

The issue here is that among the Philistines, what is, is not what is, what we see is not what is. Therefore, the righteous are tormented. This is the background to Siphosami Malunga’s case.

Malunga’s dream

Sidney Malunga ( Sipho’s father) was a little older than me in 1984. In view of his relentless attacks on nascent corruption in Mugabe’s government, whenever the Zipras met, we joked about whether he had escaped another “assisted car accident”.

Indeed, to our great sorrow, Sidney died from a car accident in 1994.

Sipho (meaning gift), followed his father’s footsteps in serving his country. Having worked at the United Nations, in Afghanistan and in New York, in outfits that deal with open and democratic societies, his dream, as indeed was my dream, was to return home and die in his own paramountcy.

Sipho heads the Open Society outfit, an international donor organisation suspected of helping fund non-governmental organisations in Zimbabwe. These NGOs are considered a threat by the Zimbabwe government. Attempts have been made to delist them.

While Sipho’s horticultural project at Esikadeni Farm is a game-changer in Bulawayo and its environs, a pseudo intellectual, Dumisani Madzivanyati and his co-conspirator, CIO operative Reason Mpofu have come up with unreasonable and unintellectual arguments to disown a brother.

Like Gwitira, Brother Reason says that he has a reason to seize a brother’s farm because he is a Zanu PF stalwart. In another argument, the two intellectual prostitutes say they will take the law unto themselves. Thirdly, they say Sipho is a front for whites. The fact that Judge Martin Makonese was not impressed by Reason’s unreasonable, and professor Madzivanyati’s unintellectual arguments does not matter. These brothers are operating in the twilight zone of anomie.

“The respondent and all persons claiming ownership through him shall remove themselves and all such persons within 24 hours…from the farm…collectively known as Esikadeni Farm.” The learned judge told the two sluggards.  But the order fell on deaf ears. The two are blamed for disconnecting some irrigation structures and a large crop of tomatoes has gone to waste.

Zimbabwe has a stand at the World Trade Exposition in Dubai. It wants to attract foreign investment. These brothers are totally out of this world. They need our prayers and a new beginning.

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