When criticising Evan Mawarire becomes a crime
Isdore Guvamombe : Reflections
BACK in the village in the land of milk, honey and dust or Guruve, we know of teaser bulls — those small bullocks that fret and strut on the stage — beating the bushes and anthills with their green horns, mooing, spattering dung and spoiling for a fight but disappear when the real fight breaks. Ostensibly, it becomes a matter of the big bulls. The teaser bulls disappear after curtain-raising and urging others to fight. They mobilise for a fight but run away when things get hot. Karitundundu, the ageless village autochthon of wisdom and knowledge calls them dagga boys — what with their muddied faces?Such is the mould of Pastor Evan Mawarire. Back in the village, real men are not in the habit of hugging hyenas to make peace. When you hug a hyena two things happen; one the hyena is filthy dirty and will soil you and two, the hyena will maul you silly.
Last week I dived into the murky waters of religion and politics. I signposted the fate of thoughtless plunge into politics by Mawarire and the implications thereof, to his own persona and character and hey, his flock came out spitting venom, in a very unChristian way. No one proffered a prayer, it was name calling the villager. But you see, I am not scared! I remain unmoved. Steadfast!
That I am not Christian and that I am apolitical helps me. Also, that I believe in one undiluted God, also gives me the strength and courage to say what Mawarire’s flock does not want to hear. I hope their ears are not for decoration.
Over the more than two decades in journalism, this villager has developed an inbuilt set of shock absorbers, the size of those of a front-end loader. So, it helps.
Zimbabwe has the highest level of literacy by all standards but for one reason or the other, our people do not seem to be good readers, or if they read, they cannot comprehend. You get an impression that our people are educated but not learned. You get the impression that most people who pretend to be Christians are actually not.
This villager has been called names and everything for writing a letter to Mawarire. I am not sure how many Evan Mawarires there are, but seriously, judging from comments I got from them, the Man of God is surrounded by real village idiots, the type that will urinate in the communal well, where the rest, including their own families drink.
No wonder why Mawarire thoughtlessly plunged into the deep water of political grandstanding. With followers like those, does Mawarire need enemies?
This villager, the son of a peasant is not in the habit of chickening out of any confrontation, direct or indirect. The villager said it last week, he is saying it now and he will say it again, and again that Mawarire, started what he could not finish. He is a coward attention seeker, who got away with his case on technicality. At law, he still has a case to answer. This is what his supporters do not want to hear.
If you are close to Mawarire, ask him why he ran away. Tell him the villager says he has a case to answer. Ask him if he does not know that he has a case to answer. It is not a figment of the villager’s mind. Never! Do village elders with cotton-tuft hair not say a man who brings home a maggots-infested log, must never be surprised when lizards start visiting him?
It is unfortunate that Mawarire did not seem to understand the difference between religion and religiosity, the art and the execution of the belief. Neither did he seem to understand the difference between Christianity and Churchianity, worse still, the difference between Christianity and politics.
Politics is not for the weak and sheepish. It is not for the cowards. It is real rough turf. It is about developing a set of shock absorbers. By running away, the pastor showed he was standing of jelly legs, he did not know what he was going into until he found himself deep in it.
His supporters overrated him. They did not understand that he was a project, handled left right and centre by other forces. They blindly followed. Now he has shown his real character by running away and abandoning his sheep.
Hired activists, those thugs of no fixed abode, the slanderous ghostly figures who own nothing but a pair of jeans, a T-shirt and hard boots, always ululate in such instances, for, in the vent of violence and looting, they lose nothing.
Until next time, let me retreat to the village — the only remaining repository of knowledge and wisdom — Guruve!