Who the hell is Simba Makoni?

Peas, pods, etcNot only am I unconvinced, I’m highly sceptical. Watching, listening to and analysing Simba Makoni, I can’t help but notice that the man’s arrogance is tempered by a nagging lack of enthusiasm.

He seems to expect – nay, deserve – support for being the first high-ranking party figure to openly defy and challenge Uncle. “First” is, to borrow from American political commentary, an Untruth, but moving on. He’s trying to sell himself as an Independent-thinking, high-minded man of the people.

A few issues though. Where has he been all this time? I recall a few years ago (I stand to be corrected) when Uncle sacked him from Cabinet, there were murmurs of a heroic stand, an historic Simba Makoni breakaway fracturing the Party in two. That didn’t materialise, and I can’t be convinced that he’s been trying to change it from the Inside. Until now, of course. He’s made his Heroic Stand. oh-kay.

Just how far away is he, ideologically and policy-wise, from traditional Party positions? Because, ruinous policies aside, and not even counting the state of the economy, is it too far-fetched to posit that he’s been Inside all through this? From 1980, as I’ve heard it. So what’s changed now? What is he offering us, except the same old?

As far as “alleged” human-rights abuses by Uncle, what is his position on this? Besides dodging the question on eTv’s 3rd Degree last night, I don’t hear him speaking on issues of such national importance as the Gukurahundi “massacres” of the 1980s. What’s his position?

Also, for his famed ability to form a united government from both Zanu-PF and MDC ranks, is it unfair to point out that elements from the Party might actually be implicated not just in these famed “abuses”, but in corrupt practices and rampant profiteering, which have helped to put our country where it is now? Is that what we want?

Maybe it’s just me. I guess I’ve grown immune to charismatic charlatans and oily tricksters; snake-oil salesmen whose mandate is either to advance shady Grand Schemes (like vote-splitting or false legitimisation), or take advantage of perceived Moderacy to further their own agendas and cement their positions in Zimbabwe’s future, while conveniently masking their pasts in a system that has failed (and failed dismally) to consider the dreams and aspirations of all Zimbabweans, the Borrowdale Class aside.

Besides, how the feck do you launch a campaign website (indeed ANY website) with so much coming soon in important policy sections. That hints at incompetence. Evidence here, here and here.

We’ll see who the April Fool is. Hey, it could be me.

75 Replies to “Who the hell is Simba Makoni?”

  1. Hear! Hear! Could not have said it better myself. But the problem with this election is that the choices are so abysmal. It’s like being asked which of your limbs you would prefer to have lopped off. Each choice carries cargo loads of excess baggage. And I have been reading that 1)in some urban areas a vote will have to be cast every 9 seconds coz of how few polling stations there are 2)it could take a week for results to be released, you can imagine how much cooking of books will be happening there.

  2. i am convinced he is the real deal and we have a true statesman in the making here. he did show evidence of standing up to bob, and pushing for the right things in zanu. if we just floated our exchange rate it would solve a large part of our woes. he pushed for that change hard enough to lose his job over it.

    he is also being very strong for not being drawn into negative historical stuff, or slating the opposition. how better could he answer those questions? for the most part i’d say we aren’t interested in retribution so much as solutions. also if he threatens retribution then there is more chance of fighting/violence/resistance to change from zanu.

    i also love that he is focused on the positive, and firmly believe that thoughts become things (read/watch ‘the secret’)

  3. So this is the Obamafication of Zimbabwean politics, you think Slackie?

    Unfortunately he appears to have neither the appealnor the skills to pull it off.

  4. One argument that has been advanced is: what is one thing that Simba has put his hand to that has been an overwhelming success? He cant even muster enough supporters to form a cohesive governing unit. And if there is something we definitely need more of is the same old tired faces being recycled in various portfolios. Not. For all his faults, pre-hubristic Morgan transformed the ZCTU into a major force to be reckoned with, evidenced by the formation of the Chinos-led ZFTU, or whatever they call themselves in their efforts at obfuscating the issues.

    aside: the Obamafication of zim politics is the last thing we need. That brother is long on rhetoric, short on action, and we definitely a man of action in these circumstances. And another emerging problem with Barack is that his appeal across the divide is waning. According to their polls, more Barack ‘supporters’ would be willing to switch their vote to Hillary than the reverse. You dont want people vacillating crunch time. That is when spoilers like Ralph Nader gain precedence. And then you have the whole Florida debacle ensue.

  5. Wait … long on rhetoric and short on action? Wow, talk about regurgitating Clinton talking points, darling. What does that even MEAN? Short on action? He’s a first-term Senator, and he’s done as much “acting” as can be done in such a short time.

    How about all the “action” he’s seen in his life, and in the Illinois State senate? And wait a minute, how is Hillary long on action? Look, jetting around the world as First Lady, arranging the furniture and parking a desk in the West Wing (in the VP’s office nogal) doesn’t make her Pres material, lol.

    Besides, maybe if she hadn’t run around the world for so long her randy husband wouldn’t have screwed everything in sight. Just a thought.

    Back to the topic …

  6. And also, in what “circumstances” do “we need a man of action”? What, in war on two fronts? In eternal fear of all being killed by the Terrorists? In a sliding economy, with the US (and its dollar) rapidl losing prestige on the world stage?

    I should think what “we need” is a man of reason, of considered thought, of higher principles, a man who can rise above the petty old-guard BS attacks and ride on a wave of intellect, rather than miscued bravado.

    Et tu, Eleanor?

  7. We know that Dubya was not the real seat of power.

    And I know you didnt just try to justify Bill’s philandering roving eye ways.

    Barack’s message of hope and change doesnt wash, its like trying to go into a convent and declaring that you are not Catholic.

  8. Morgan has a good base, established structures, and a lot of support. In my opinion.

    No, we all know Bill was an arse. Is Mrs Bill any different?

    I think you have Barack’s message wrong; he’s saying there’s a better way of doing things, where it’s not about who’s got bigger balls than the Arabs, where you’re not Soft on Terrorism if you engage with your so-called Agressors, where the rest of the world isn’t pissed off not just at America as The Great Satan, but at simple American citizens, complicit or not.

    Personally, I support the higher path; and it doesn’t look like it’s just me. Look, I believe he’s secured the nomination. As for November … I think the right-wing Noise Machine is in for a shock.

    Closer to home, what odds a run-off? Between the usual suspects, forget the Mafikizolo (I think).

  9. I can see you fellas have gone way down into the subject as to forget its contents. Forgive my ignorance for I am reminded that that’s how intellects converse, talk about everything from nothing.
    Brother Joe brought about a very interesting subject for discussion and its only unfortunate that he is not getting the sought of answers that he is looking for. The most true answer to the question in its raw form is Simba is Simba Makoni and he is for the people. Why?

    It amazes me how people can originate an opinion easily out of guided questionnaires as manufactured by the media. It is amazing how some people may try to define Simba Makoni on the basis of what he did not say and according to them, was supposed to say. It is amazing how some people may be so short sighted and blinkered into accepting condemnation of Uncle B and his club as the barometer on which political expedience can ONLY be achieved. That is naive.
    My understanding of politics is solely from the terraces but I do not doubt what I conceive to be noble, intelligent and guided politics. Politics is not about name calling, ranting and raving as has become the politics of our nation (thanks to the masters of the game). It’ not meant to be a physical battle, neither is it meant to be a battle of vitriolic supremacy. It rather is and should always be a battle of the minds, an ideological contest, nothing more nothing less.
    It is unfortunate that we have been subjected to the ills of politics for too long to draw lines but nonetheless that does not belittle the greatness and appropriateness of the formula and approach that Simba ushers in- keep it up!
    I found it very interesting (negatively though) to watch one zim old man doing his traditional rounds and delivering his usual withered speech of (vanoda kutengesa nyika) and wondered who if we may ask honestly has for the past eight years has been trading our brothers and sisters souls for pieces of silver. You tell me.

  10. Okay, but where’s the policy? Where’s the positioning? Where are his guidelines?

    I am yet to have one person give me a reason WHY I should vote for Simba Makoni, even amongst his shrillest heralds. I hear no values, no plans, no guidelines nor even a hint at what a government according to Simba would be composed of.

    Why do you say he is for the people? How is he for the people, when he’s been part of a system for so long that has so trodden these so-called “people”? Are you implying that he’s been a dissenting voice, a calming presence or an oracle of reason in the highest levels of Party discussions on the state of our nation?

    Is this the image he’s bringing to the table? Hmmm. Scepticism. Where’s the meat and vegetables of Simba Makoni? All I’ve heard are airpies and suncrushes.

  11. Incidentally, when I said that we need a man of action in these circumstances, I was referring to the Zimbabwe situation. Coz extraordinary situations require extraordinary measures to deal with them, I dont see any of our current lot bringing that to the table. The opposition lost a lot of support through its naivete and constant dithering. You look at the SADC-initiated talks, how could they possibly have expected a different outcome. What has the great unk done in the last 28 years that would give them any hope of him seeing reason and adopting a less obdurate stance.

    As for Simba, well more power to his elbow. But again its the story of the very muddy waters in which he is wading. We want to know who or what he is bringing to the table. This business of people whispering and muttering darkly in corridors is of no use to us if we want an open and honest discourse. Ngavabude pachena tinyatsovawongorora. Nekuti unozonzwa kuti wakavhotera ivo makudo akarehwa na vaMuzenda iwe uchifunga kuti munhu. Asi zvimwe zvimwe hazvo but gudo pamberi pa Chinos pureaze.

  12. what do you really want Joe and Eleanor? have you looked at his site http://www.simbamakoni.com? read some of his policies and i am sure you will be answered. after that then take a look at MDC’s website http://www.mdc.co.zw and compare the two on what they are offering to the people. it is high time we remove fear from the people, we have peace and unity. i know that lives were lost during Gukurahundi, but a lot has changed since then. a shona person can get married to a ndebele. but people want to bring this topic as a way of trying to put Mugabe in prison or to have his head just like what happened to Saddam Hussein. After his execution there is still chaos in Iraq, it is even worse than it was. in short war or revenge is not the anwser. like what simba is saying, if Mugabe is guilty of any crimes (of which he is) then proper channels will be followed to bring the old man to justice.

    Morgan is power hungry just like Mugabe, and if Morgan wins we are going to face the same problems we facing right now. this is the reason why he was beaten because of his big mouth. uttering words of violence bla bla. of which that is what people want to hear from Simba. that’s not going to happen. he is going to stick to his policy “i am motivated by positives”. so let us all be positive and do the right thing. VIVA MAKONI

  13. As mentioned in the original post, my friend. The Simbamakoni.com website is very LIGHT on policy, which is a majr problem. You can’t talk about sunshine and roses without saying HOW the sun will shine and the roses bloom. Fair go, though.

    As for Morgan … “this is the reason why he was beaten because of his big mouth”. Oh yes, take the high road, let us all be positive, but your VERY OWN WORDS sound hauntingly familiar to me ….


  14. I am with JB on this one: there are a lot of intangibles in his policy statements, words like ‘affirm, improve, restore, ensure, revive’. That is all fair and good. But as they say, the devil is in the detail and with how light his policy is on details, he must be almost saintly. Compare and contrast:

    “An MDC government will focus on improving the quality of education through capacity building through strengthening of and teaching science and mathematics, the use of Information, communication and technology, infrastructure development funding education and insistence on relevant of curriculum.”

    “Restore government commitment to universal primary school education, affordable and good quality secondary and tertiary education in order to build up skills base”. (Simba Makoni)

    Granted both could do with a bit more padding and some fleshing out, but that is what you hire good personnel for. You need someone who is ready to step in and govern immediately. Simba doesnt have that. If he is genuine about trying to blend Zanu/MDC elements in his coalition government, it could be months in a state of limbo. Nero probably fiddled for a shorter period.

  15. yes. let us be positive in the sense that we think and act positively. the big message from Makoni is that of unity. i don’t think you got the chance to browse through the whole site. or you are just looking for something else. i don’t know.
    it is not lighon polict because everyone knows exactly the problems we have in Zim. he is therefore, saying we need a committee (that will be formed by all people from both factions, hence the importants of unity) that will look at the resources we have and solve the problems one by one. the other thing is he is clear as to the role the government should play in economic development. and that role is to provide a stable platform for economic players so that they can dance with no disturbances hence the importants of removing fear.
    a stabe platform is a good social infrastructure, health, education, transport etc. you can go on and on. to me it’s HEAVY on policy. VIVA Makoni

  16. RE 10: Hey, I declared I wasn’t Catholic and still tried to get into St Dominic’s for high school. No prizes for guessing if I got in. Bastards!!! No offence to those sympathetic to St Dominic’s or Catholicism. Although i would be interested to know how you felt about the movie Dogma, an excellent flick that taught me all I need to know about Christianity.

  17. I am beginning to like this debate though i am not for what it might mean to our fellow brothers and sisters avo vanopangwa mazano awa ivi vasina avo. in as much as we are all objective in our own senses and spheres we must not underestimate the power of the internet in opinion formation. i wish bro simba could pluck one or two of this through his informants. i also hope that none of here is playing a devil’s advocate for it is as important to represent our real selves on such a public forum as it is for bro simba to flesh his site.
    we both would agree that we love and like people for different reasons and in this instance in my case it is the lack of blame on the person other than his previous associations and mean site that i like him. it is the hope, ultimate hope, in change that i see a possibility presented to the nation that i like simba. there is no doubt that we both like to see a good change and simba will bring just that.


  18. In English they have a saying: a man is known by the company he keeps. And yet another, you sleep with dogs you must expect to get fleas, or something to that effect. Simba finds himself in both invidious positions.

  19. Oh wait, so Ed you like Simba Makoni because we can’t BLAME him for anything? Hahaha.

    Wait, here’s somethin I can blame him for; being a Party functionary all this time, throughout every blight that has afflicted our land.

    Does that count??

    As for ‘look’, you’re overreaching. The point, the idea, is to flesh out your entire agenda so that you can appeal to the voters, and in Simba’s case, a mafikizolo who’s trying to entice voters away from both major players, policy and information is the most important part.

    And he fails on that count. True/False?

  20. And by the way Ed, the problem with our political discourse in Zimbabwe is THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH people willing or brave enough to play devil’s advocate. That’s how you foster a culture of sacred cows, people who can’t be questioned (or pointed at, even), people whose supporters can’t espouse anypolicy points, but engage in basic sloganeering.

    I weep for my country.

  21. When a people have been deprived for so long they can only ask for so much and when they have been deprived for this long they can only deny so much. We got to a point where what matters seems to be what is not rather than what will be. The agenda is simple and so straight is the jacket. Do away with the political chestnuts and give way to new blood.
    No matter the new blood is from a rival club you should remember it does not make them as bad nor as good as their predecessor. Neither will the same club remain the same for it is in the nature of the leader’s dictates that the image and contact of the club is perceived.
    Simba brings home a new beginning as emblazoned by his emblem that will shine and deliver a new aura to not only the political landscape of the country but across the entire socio-political divide. His presence does not bring answers to the people but rather allow people to implement what they know best, which is what we want.
    Ichooo == chii chacho
    Pasi na == nani wacho
    Simba kuvanhu == WAONA MANJE.

    so viva simba

  22. My friend, we’ve been down this road. The MDC project has shown us that there is no future in demanding change for change’s sake.

    I think the Zimbabwean people are more intelligent than that. Give them credit, you can’t come along saying ‘vote for me because I’m not A or B’ … recent history shows us you can only go so far with that tactic.

    Say something concrete, for Christ’s sake. Yes, you want a leadership change, fine. How about policy? Mentality?

  23. It comes back again to what Rumsfeld said about the absence of evidence. Just because there is nothing that we can actively pin on him doesnt mean that there is nothing there. The MDC are right to describe him as old wine in a new bottle, because he has done nothing to show that on matters of policy he is any different, because he doesnt have any policy with which to compare him. I must admit that initially I was quite excited by the prospect of him, but his motives have never been truly revealed or explained. And that worries me. You know that Bob and Morgan are in it for the power, what are his motives, coz they sure aren’t altruistic. What scares me though about the MDC is how their reactions have been so Zanu-like in respect to the Makoni candidacy. The apple not falling far from the tree.

  24. Is it just my messed up settings or has the Zimbabwe Independent changed its web page display. All I have is this drab beige page that is really difficult to read. ‘change for change’s sake’ do I hear the gallery say?

  25. Since I dont get the hard copy, did they redesign that too? More pertinently can they still produce hard copies? While I am conducting the inquisition, did they give a reason for the redesign? Is it only me who finds it less than an improvement? Everything just blends into one big greige whirl of a mess.

    As for DOCTOR Ken Mufuka, well, please bring on the anti-nausea tablets and a sizeable receptacle while I upend the contents of my stomach.

  26. It would have been nice if the English sides were kept away from each other, gees its not like we dont see enough of them in the regular season. But Liverpool tends to do better on the big stage. So here is hoping that their engines will still be firing.

  27. heh ed dream on we rule europe.. we just cant get it right in england tho…

    GUNNERS!!!! ARE GOIN DOWN!!!!!! 😈

  28. Talk about a screwed up draw.

    Hmmmm, Roma? That team is on a high, so others should not throw stones whilst trying to remove logs from their eyes and prop up the glass houses, eh

  29. Eleanor and Joe Black should start a new organisation.. Persimists Anonymous. My gosh!!

  30. Me I just want to know, what kind of tricks was she pulling at a 1000 a pop. Coz that is like 41 000 000 000 zim kwacha at last week’s exchange rate. That is one high class whore right there.

    They should legalise Mary J before legalising prostitution. well, that’s what I think anyway. Nobody gets exploited in that supply chain.

    As for being part of pessimists anonymous, there is nothing anonymous about my pessimism. My glass is half empty and I am proud, it means I have been swigging away merrily at it while the rest of you just nurse yours.

  31. IMO the man is doing something to make a change and improve this country, which is more than most of us. i think everyone should take a look at themselves and see how they can help improve the dire situation we all collectively find outselves in.

  32. Oh you think he’s doing this out of some higher calling? Where was he when EVERYONE else received their higher callings in 1998m Slackie?

    What has he been doing? For whom? Cos people have been ‘doing something to make a change’ for ten years now, and I don’t recall any heroic tales of Simba Makoni doing it for the people.

    Thought food, I reckon.

    Liverpool. Stormers. Life is good again.

  33. Please let us remember that Simba is not the first to challenge Zanu from within. The names Tekere, Zvobgo, Mavhaire, Dongo come to mind. And as far as I know, other than Dongo, they have all meekly returned to the gravy train fold, cowed and slavishly eager to please. People keep bleating about how he opposed Bob from within the ranks, but where is the record for this. His dissenting voice wasnt even heard at the congress where the great unk outmanouevred them all. People use his call for devaluation as a measure of his competency, well, he only called for it, he didnt actually get it put through. And for all his high-faluting statements, at least Gdn Gn was able to implement devaluation, albeit limited and by a different name. And another thing, Simba has refused to distance himself from the party, he has always maintained that he is still a Zanu man, its the party that has expelled him. If he were to win, what is to stop him from going back to the party that is drenched by the brush of failure. Its up to you to vote for who you want but voting based on emotions does you and your candidate a disservice.

  34. You can say that again,honestly how do they expect us to get just a little bit high let alone get sloshed.This is not fair,maybe its the opposition`s strategy to get the masses worked up and vote against the ruling establishment.

    To think this whole weekend i haven`t tasted beer!Something must be done!!!!

  35. Persimists, realist, its the same thing to me.

    I think uncle Bob has managed to turn most Zimbos into miserable, negative old sods that we fail to see the positive even if it smacks us right in the face…. (anyone remember the Joe Thomas’ visit and the outcry that it would NEVER happen???)

    Come now people!

  36. The best thing for me is that most of the internectuals won’t be voting in the elections, because they are non-resident. Why do I say that,well they have this assumption that Simba is the new messiah. They think that he is a credible alternative to mudhara, when the truth is he is Zanu PF by another name and that rose stinks. He has refused to be expelled from the party, he goes on about leadership change not regime change. His majority support comes from former Zanu PF stalwarts – Dabengwa, Chung, Tekere, Mandaza et aliter. Furthermore, those said to back him in the party – Mujuru and Kaukonde are doing it out of concern for their pockets. How will he form a government?

  37. Oh yesI can’t help but notice all the hype and hyperbole on Facebook, Zimonline and all … coming from those outside. Young professionals, students and intellectuals.

    They seem to have formed a constituency of Simbathisers (thank you, thank you very much, I’m here all week). Come back and see him for yourselves 🙂

  38. Notice how I haven’t said a word. I know absolutely nothing except that people are screwed, which ever way they go.

  39. And now they have decided to resume deportations from the UK. The hypocrisy of that decision is overwhelming.

  40. Ya, dzokai. All those shrill cries about the politics of the country blah blah … come and feel the burn.

    *NB – No I’m not celebrating the upcoming deportations, neither am I hating on out noble Diasporans. I’m just talking sheet. lol

  41. Pity though they weren’t deported soon enough to get their names on the voters roll to vote.

  42. King Kev should just go hang

    Bet most of them were on the voters roll,if only they can be deported like yesterday…..

  43. Well it seems that not only Jesus can bring the dead back to life. The great unk is a God’s chosen representative on earth after all, what with all those dead people appearing on voters rolls. And you know how with their gratitude they will know where to mark their ghoulish X.

  44. If ever evidence was needed of how confused the ICC is, then this is it. We are of course still waiting on the forensic report from KPMG about ZC. And pigs will fly.

  45. As the old cliche goes.. time will tell.

    And as the other cliche goes, I will leave the politics to the politicians.

  46. He’s lying obviously, surely NO-ONE can be that ignorant. He’s a 37-year-old man, surely he doesn’t spend all his time with forties and big-booty hoes?

    He’s playing politics I think, lol.

    Langeveldt is a fool. You don’t refuse a national callup, whatever your motives. It will bite him in the bottom, mark me.

  47. JB u must be a coward why blaming SM for throwing his hat into the game, if u so claim that yo MT is so popular just leave it to concerned voters. The elections have kum & gone we haven’t seen your MORE MORE u were promising us.Moreso why do you call for a stay-away you aren’t participating, you are busy hiding in the peaceful neighbours.Please wake from this sleep foreigners can not solve our differences, tell MT to come & confront his fellow brothers. Let me tell you why i salute SM, its because he challenged bob and if hate him for that then u are just like toothless CHINHOS.
    SIMBA KUVANHU, JB u hv heard me go & protect the people u wre giving your Tshirts who are being killed by ZANU PF idiots like MANYIKA E, rather than enjoying yoselves in foreign hotels whilist fogetting those you claim to have given you the outright SO CALLED VICTORY. who will vote for you if they are displaced by zhanu? think again.while it makes sense asking for support from outside it doesn’t mean impose a self exile on your self as the consequences will be tough as seen by WA MURII. why was he supporting bob at the stake of zimbos, he just wanted to continue looting our wealth. sorry for he learnt the hard way, u cannot support zhanu and get away with it NDEYE ROPA.
    WISH YOU THE BEST IN THE SO CALLED RUN-OFF please tell MT to participate if ZEC IS NOLONGER MANAGED BY ZHANU otherwise we do not want to hear the same chorus like we are hearing now.

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