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Zimbabwe: The Blame Game

Tendai R. Mwanaka, Randi Kaarhus

Publication Year: 2013

The Blame Game is a cycle of creative non-fiction pieces, pulling the readers through the politics of modern day Zimbabwe. Like in any game, there are players in this game, opposing each other. The game is told through the eyes of one of the players, thus it is subjective. It centres on truthfully trying to find who to blame for Zimbabweís problems, and how to undo all these problems. Finding who to blame should be the beginning for the search of solutions. It encourages talking to each other, maybe about the wrongs we have done to each other, and genuinely trying to embrace and forgive each other. In trying to undo the problems in Zimbabwe, it also offers insight or solutions on a larger platform ñ Africa: particularly South Africa; that it might learn from other African countries that have imploded before it, how to solve its own problems.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title page

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p. 2-2

Copyright page

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p. 3-3


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pp. iii-5

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1. The Prologue

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pp. 1-4

Zimbabwe: The Blame Game is a collection of what I might term interlinked creative non-fiction pieces on Zimbabwe. It straddles different types of non-fiction writing like the journalistic, academic, and general non-fiction types, but always with a creative twist. Why an overly creative non-fiction book? ...

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2. Silence

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pp. 5-8

For some years I have been a great desert of silence, green silence, screaming silence, painful silence; building extensions into my own heart, making many divisions (departments, ministries and organisations) of silence. I had been logging silence ...

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3. Zimbabwe’s Political Mine-Fields

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pp. 9-23

There are three regions that I would like to think constitute the political minefields of modern day Zimbabwe. In this piece, I am not trying to say all the other regions I don’t mention here were not important in shaping modern day Zimbabwe but I am looking at the most decisive ...

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4. Rantings of A Raving Pen: The Land Vs Freedom Game

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pp. 25-35

Don’t suppose this game is only played in undemocratic societies... It is so wrong to assume that. It is the land versus freedom game that I am talking of! It’s always an apology, a favourite story, a heartfelt confession...I would have to start that way. Even in a society where there are “three legs of the ...

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5. Farm Invasion Episode

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pp. 37-54

"An 8 year old Zimbabwean girl has been mauled by two lions that were supposed to protect her from war veterans intent on claiming her family’s farm” The Star, 29 September 2008. An earlier Rapport newspaper report had stated that one of the lions had spotted Courtney Sparrow through a window ...

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6. Undated Journals: Two Weeks Before 27 June 2008

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pp. 55-62

Mugabe and his campaign machine are doing sharp. They are preaching for this 51per cent idea, sharper like a magpie. The whole country seems to have bought into this. These seem to be the rules... There are no basic commodities in the shops, but at the black market with prices so exorbitantly high. There are queues all over the ...

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7. Laughings Of The Mad Dog

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pp. 63-75

Ok, I stop it! It could happen in those far-off strange lands but surely not in our beautiful green island. They should simply keep their cold wastelands to their own minds or to themselves. We will keep our own warm beautiful island garden. No, no, no. Never ever here, no, it will never happen here. “Not in our lifetimes, no.” ...

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8. This Could Be Why Tsvangirai Had To Withdraw

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pp. 77-79

In the first election in March 2008 he had defeated Mugabe by 47per cent against 43per cent so there had to be a run-of, since nobody had got the constitutionally 50 per cent plus one vote needed to form a government. These results were what we were told by ZEC (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission), an organisation that ...

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9. 27 June 2008

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pp. 81-82

When I arrived at the voting station at Zengeza 7 primary school for the ward seven, where I was a registered voter; I was told I had to first go to a ZANUPF village headman. I was told this by a gang of ZANUPF youths stationed at the gates to the school. I asked them whether they were village ...

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10. Coconut Republic

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pp. 83-85

COCONUT .n. 1 The large brown seed of a tropical palm, consisting of a woody husk lined with edible white flesh and containing a clear liquid. 2, the white flesh of a coconutorigin Spanish and Portuguese Coco- “grinning face”… Paperback Oxford English Dictionary. ...

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11. The Blame Game

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pp. 87-95

This essay deals with historical issues and I suppose I can be allowed to be a hanging judge, not with the noose but with a pen. In this essay I am going to re-assign the blame back to where it belongs. Historically, the white Zimbabweans have to blame; especially the colonialist for colonial Zimbabwe was such that the ...

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12. The Point Of Contention: The Police

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pp. 97-103

I want to write about Jestina Mukoko for I had known her years back and, liked her reading news on the national television and radio. It was days when ZBC was a little bit professional, when there was no need to access satellite broadcasting by Zimbabweans. It was the days of Obert ...

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13. World’s “Best” Central Banker

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pp. 105-109

Eventually, when Gideon Gono, the Reserve Bank governor, was beaten all systems out by the Zimbabwean dollar’s fickleness he recommended that the Rand be informally adopted alongside the Zimbabwean dollar. But he said that he never wrote the 105 page document that had these recommendations; that ...

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14. There Is No Cholera in Zimbabwe

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pp. 111-116

"Harare is sitting on a cholera time bomb, as the deadly disease, which has claimed the lives of more than 20 people in the capital’s satellite town of Chitungwiza recently, is spreading fast” Stanley Gama, The Saturday Star, 4 October 2008. This is the title paragraph of a story I had read in October ...

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15. South Africa vs. The United Nations

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pp. 117-120

Lawrence Caromba, of the Centre for International Political Studies, at the University of Pretoria, feels that South Africa’s tenure at the Security Council has been a “foreign policy disaster.” He feels that instead of advancing its multilaterism goals, it has bloated its human rights copy book by voting for dictators like Mugabe and ...

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16. Chinese Imperialism for Political Protection?

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pp. 121-122

China-Africa trade has surged by an average 30per cent a year this decade, soaring to nearly $107 billion dollars in 2008 and Chinese companies have pledged tens of billions to Africa in loans, and investments to secure raw materials for its burning bright economy. You can talk of interest in the Zambian copper belt, the ...

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17. Wona Katerere

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pp. 123-127

I really love to be me; Wona Katerere. The first child of the governor of Harare province, what a catch! I demand to be sent to the best schools in the country. I always choose huge schools like the Franciscan convent. ...

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18. Hunger Strike

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pp. 129-131

"In 1981, Northern Ireland’s Bobby Sands used the nonviolent tactic of the hunger strike successfully to evoke public interest and support.” The Star, Jan 22 2009. He was supporting the Northern Ireland independence from Britain. I remember growing up hearing ...

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19. Undoing Mugabe

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pp. 133-147

The way he treated Matabeleland people in the 1980’s saw the seeds of distrust. Even when he had stifled Nkomo enough, into agreeing on the power sharing government in 1987, the people in Matebeleland still remained with unhealed scars and wounds. ...

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20. A Recipe on How to Create a Holocaust

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pp. 149-152

W.H.O: There are over 778 people who have died of cholera and over 15 000 have been infected by the beginning of December 2008. ...

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21. An Unfinished Circle

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pp. 153-155

The people who owned the hand, the hand that took hold of a pen with a suffocating strong intention of making known what it wanted known, believed in and lived for. It is a pen that had the power to inscribe words of great profundity by drawing upon the piece of ...

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22. Doors

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pp. 157-158

It’s like you have been walking, moving. It seems in a maze of rooms, getting through passages, doors. You don’t see any windows. You don’t know whether it is darkness or light that surrounds you. It sometimes seems you were walking in a road, a strip road, a path but with doors. You didn’t know where you were ...

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23. Mother’s Body

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pp. 159-163

Children fashion out whimsicalities like “what ifs?” to deal with their existential dilemmas, and its two kinds of people who fix us to the earth: the indefatigable and the drawn-off. It’s the children who fix us to a place. We are unlike children so we can’t fix ourselves to a place. ...

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24. First Impressions: A Letter from South Africa

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pp. 165-168

When I came into South Africa, by the beginning of April 2008, I could see some tell-tale signs; that the country was firmly on the downward trend. I kept wondering, for some time and, having this sense that South Africa could be going ...

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25. There Is No Xenophobia in South Africa

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pp. 169-173

News of foreigners, in South Africa being killed by the South Africans, i.e., black South Africans killing black Africans, which some writer referred to as Negrophobia for better terminology, started filtering through to Zimbabwe where I had returned to on 11 May 2008 ...

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26. Exile

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pp. 175-178

We are like a migrant blackbird. We are an alien traveller looking for grains, sun and the sand of rivers. Like the blackbird, we complain about the sad shadows; wind, rain, mountains, rivers, insecure nights, even of our own shouts. We are always wishing we had the power ...

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27. Malemania

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pp. 179-183

What is the meaning of this word, Malemania? Malema; there is a certain Julius Malema in South Africa who was the president of the ANC youth league. From this surname, was coined the word, Malemania. This explanation would give some idea as to how this character behaves or carries out his ...

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28. Doing South Africa

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pp. 185-198

Former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo who led the Africa alliance observer’s mission in KZN (KwaZulu Natal) province in the last general elections, in 2009, declared the election as free and fair. He also gave sage wisdom to president Zuma, saying that he was now ...

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29. Post-Power Sharing Deal Rhetoric

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pp. 199-202

In Zimbabwe we need a dream and hope. Obama and the new administration, please help…. Desperate, The Citizen, 21 January 2009. ...

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30. Mugabe Is Still The Problem

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pp. 203-211

"The man who stole the election is still calling the shots at the negotiating table, and is allowed to engage in acts of brinkmanship as he did this week when he threatened to pull out of talks and announce his own cabinet that would exclude the MDC. But the most importantly, Mugabe has three MPs from the ...

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31. The Portrait Of

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pp. 213-216

When I recall of my early childhood, way back in the 1970s, Mugabe was already in my world of things. Then, he was a saviour, trying to liberate us from the oppressive yoke of the colonialists. At home, he was always on the radio. We didn’t have a television set. ...

Back cover

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p. 224-224

E-ISBN-13: 9789956790074
Print-ISBN-13: 9789956728916

Page Count: 222
Publication Year: 2013