A Response to Muponda’s Smoke and Mirrors

OPINION – I am totally surprised that the editors of The Zimbabwe Mail newspaper published Gilbert Muponda's rambling, error-riddled and disjointed piece.

Clearly this was a piece put together without any serious forethought or modicum of effort to do basic background research – so much for the much-advertised Gilbert Muponda Research Institute.  Publishing it is an insult to the readership of said cyber newspaper.  That is what the facts say, just the facts, sir.

Firstly, as the owner of a whole raft of cyberspace newspapers, one would think that Gilbert Muponda would by now know that the letter purportedly written by Gideon Gono has since been exposed as a fake.  According to reports, Morgan Tsvangirai has never received the letter nor has Gideon Gono acknowledged writing such a letter.  If anything, Gono is on recording distancing himself from the letter that has received a lot of unnecessary bandwidth.  Furthermore, it is reported that Gono is so livid about the letter that he has gone to Robert Mugabe so that the authorship of the letter can be verified and subsequently exonerate Gono from it scurrilous contents – George Charamba is the suspected culprit.

Secondly, Gilbert Muponda has at his disposal paid scribes and, I assume, real journalists who he could dispatch to engage in real investigative journalism.  What we have, instead, is a man too preoccupied with flummery.  Any visitor to the Muponda-owned Zimbabwe Daily cyber newspaper will witness the on-going disintegration of a once mighty news fountain into a sexually racy paper.  If truth be said, it is not a paper at all; it is more like a substandard Hugh Hefner’s rag.

Thirdly, Gilbert Muponda is fond of churning out half-baked opinion editorials, the most vapid and meretricious op-eds this side of Emperor Nero.  To show his lack of spine, he will not let readers respond to his tropes.  This is a tacit acceptance on his part that he is a man of limited thinking skills beyond what he learnt – probably by rote – from his economics textbooks.  As a matter of fact, one respondent called him out by pointing out that his economic editorials were nothing but chunks lifted roots, trunk and branch from basic economics books then patched together.  This is the man who is desperately trying to piggy-back his grievance on a fabricated affray between Gono and Tendai Biti.  Muponda makes his case with stunning certitude saying, and I quote; “[T]he Governor is clearly threatening Minister Biti with arrest.”  How Muponda draws such a clear-cut conclusion despite evidence pointing to the contrary is beyond me.

Finally, on the issue of Gono’s branding of Muponda’s business practices as verging on the criminal, Mr Muponda need not waste time trying to make his case in public fora.  He faces charges of illegal, nay, criminal financial activities not very dissimilar from what Butau faced.  Like Butau, Muponda fled from the wrath of Zimbabwean law under the pretence of fleeing from political persecution by the Mugabe Regime.  Butau went back home as soon as the environment was temperate enough.  Guess what, he went to court to answer the charges levelled against him by Gono.  He was acquitted.  Muponda masquerades as a political refuge.  Clearly he is not.  Muponda is a fugitive wanted for financial crimes.  Why not go home and face the charges like Butau?  If he is innocent, as he protests, and I think the man doth protesth too much, let him have his day in court.  Taking Butau’s case as a precedent, Zimbabwean jurisprudence affords Mr Muponda the platform.

Let me categorically state that I am not a fun of Gideon Gono.  However, I am not one to say because Gono has said and done evil things so everything he does is evil and every charge he makes is malevolent.  It is apparent that Muponda is attempting to seek exoneration in the public court by exploiting Gono’s notoriety and insinuating that Gono’s charges against him are evil political mechanizations and, therefore, have no legal merit.  We call such obfuscations smoke and mirrors.  Such a line of defense will not work even in a village court.