By Reason Razao
As the 2022 curtain comes down, a ray of new dawn is glimmering on the 2023 horizon, a year that promises so much yet seemingly unpredictable and terrifying.
The 22nd year of the 3rd millennium will go down in the history of Zimbabwe as one of the most remembered 365 days in on the Gregorian calendar.
There was drama, tragedy, bizarre incidents, awkward policies, new birth, crime, corruption, reunions and savouring of ties.
Mjolo gone wrong Part 1
One of the major upsets in the circle of socialites and celebrities was the tragedy that befell comedienne, Mai Titi after she was swindled money by lover and spouse, Tinashe Maphosa, after their US$100,000 wedding and marriage was built on credit.
Like fresh cream cake left under the scorching savanna sun, the marriage soon crumbled after the couple failed to pay for the services rendered at their wedding.
The two later turned knives at each other, with Maphosa slapping Mai Tt with a US$250,000 defamation lawsuit while the comedienne filed for divorce.
Maphosa and wife tied the knot in the United Kingdom in November last year, before a glamorous wedding in Zimbabwe April 2022.
The wedding was attended by high level personalities, including popular South African musician Kelly Khumalo, who performed at the colourful event leading to the short-lived marriage.
The wedding reportedly left Mai Titi neck-deep in debt before she later asked for more time to settle her debts.
Soon after the wedding, Mai Titi claimed that Maphosa was a criminal, who had stolen US$30,000 from her and disappeared.
On the other hand, Mai Titi’s rival, Tyra Chikocho aka Madam Boss, had her fair share of marital problems after her husband impregnated another woman.
Tragedy of our lives
2022 had one of the heartbreaking moments.
The Zimbabwean rendition of Romeo and Juliet, the tragedy of a love story that ended in the demise of Ximex Mall dealer, popularly known as Boss Pango and his longtime girlfriend Samantha Dzapata.
Boss Pango, who, according to close associates, got his nickname after a botched attempt to sell a Pangolin, sadly took the life of Dzapata before he committed suicide.
It was a sad classic case of infatuation that drove him to the extremes of not bearing to see the person he loved the most love another.
Levels of hypocrisy
Another event that swept the social media and had debates raging back and forth was the Levels and Shashl debacle.
The music hit producer, Tafadzwa Kadzimwe, better known for his stage name, Levels, and the rich daughter of controversial Health minister Obadiah Moyo.
The metamorphosis relationship that transformed like a butterfly in a cocoon from being a producer, to a lover, to an enemy then to colleagues again following the leaking of nude images by suspected thieves who are said to have stolen Levels’ gadget.
It was debated to have been a case of revenge after the prophecy by Shadaya came to pass that Shashl would leave Levels and the relationship would eventually die.
After days of speculations and nerve wrecking actions, the two seemed to have resolved the matter amicably, deciding to put everything behind them and get back into the studio to make another hit.
The case of innocent until proven guilty
In every epoch, there is that one incident that sends chills down the spines of a nation as most try to grapple and make sense of the events that would have unfolded.
In 2022 a nine year-old girl became the youngest mother in Zimbabwe after giving birth to a baby in an unheard-of incident that landed her father in hot soup.
At least for some time, the judge, jury and executors on social media had castigated the father, calling for his head. This, however, was seemingly justified, given the child had informed the men and women in blue that his parent used to tell her that a spirit would come and violate her at night.
Every clue pointed to her father as the culprit.
Thanks to the Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) test that revealed that the father of the said baby turned out to be a thirteen year old cousin.
The house of Horror
The last quarter of the year brought the shocker of a lifetime. Something that one would never even imagine could happen in real life, its always fantasised in horror movies where a tormented spirit may haunt a homestead to death.
Such was the case in Chitungwiza where Gogo Mahlahla hid her son in a ceiling for more than 14 years whilst the corpse of her late husband decomposed in her bedroom.
His remains had to be scrapped off the floor.
According to the neighbours, Gogo Mahlahla’s son, Grant, was last seen more than a decade ago and she would tell neighbours that her son was living in the UK.
In a world of sad bizarre stories, this story would have topped the chat.
In the political arena, 2022 had very little progress and development in terms of tolerance.
The birth of CCC opposition party led by Nelson Chamisa saw violence rearing its ugly head with the yellow brand’s first appearance in Midlands resulting in the tragic death of their cadre, Boneni Ncube.
The events in Kwekwe were signs of what was to come barely months later as another CCC member, Moreblessing Ali, was butchered in Nyatsime and her body dumped in an open well.
Resultantly, her family lawyer, Job Sikhala, was arrested for allegedly seeking justice and the apprehension of the perpetrators.
Sadly, Sikhala has been in jail for over half a year and there seems to be no end to his persecution.
Egg on the face
Since its formation at the turn of the century, MDC had, till early this year, dominated opposition politics.
The party had kept the ruling Zanu PF on its toes.
Power wrangles coupled with mistrust and mediocrity eventually caught up with the MDC as they gunnered zero parliamentary and council seats in the March by elections.
One of the biggest rude awakenings to the change in Zimbabwe’s political terrain, all thanks to Douglas Mwonzora’s incompetence and intolerant attitude towards friends and foes.
The formation of the CCC was the final nail in the coffin of the fractured, disunity, perplexed, chaotic, disoriented, senile MDC.
Return of the errant son
There is truth in the phrase ‘Ukabuda muZanu PF, unosvava seshizha rabva pana mai varo’ as this year marked the return of Jonathan Moyo back to Zanu PF.
Like former Zanu PF youth leader, Kudzai Chipanga, Moyo, who skipped the country in huff and puff soon after the commencement of Operation Restore Legacy, wore an ‘apolo-jersey’ as he penned a letter asking for forgiveness from fellow party members.
Some say it’s cold out there, and Moyo has been away from home for five years and with a seemingly weak opposition to remove Zanu PF from power, the good professor saw it fit to apologise or risk another half a decade in the wilderness.
For ED fever
The Post Covid-19 era saw the rise of a new type of fever. For ED fever.
On this, the writer will try to recollect the For ED movements.
Teachers for ED, Driving Schools for ED, Mapostori for ED, Single mothers for ED, Ama 2K for ED, Widows for ED, PEOPLE with disabilities (PWDs) for ED, Miners for ED, Young Women for ED, Students for ED, the list goes on.
Zimbabwe remains a home of ever changing economic policies.
In May the country was forced to make an embarrasing U-turn and lift its ban on bank lending, days after government froze loans in a move it said was meant to stop speculation against a rapidly devaluing local currency.
Government said at the time it had started investigating unnamed speculators for taking out Zimbabwe dollar bank loans to buy foreign currency on the black market, driving the local currency’s value lower.
Gold coins and record interest rates
Zimbabwe saw the launch and use of its first ever gold coins, a measure that stabilised the exchange rate but brought no relief to the already struggling masses.
In June, the central bank instigated measures that made RBZ’s interest rates the highest in the world.
A litany of corrupt activities were exposed in 2022 and among them was a tender awarded to a company called Blinart Investments P/L by Parliament for the supply of 173 laptops priced at US$9,200 each, translating to US$1,6 million.
The exorbitant tender for the laptops was later rejected by the treasury.
In one of the scandals of the decade, a company called Geogenix BV, an investor identified by the local government ministry to construct a 22MW power plant at the site, was given its full ownership on commencement of the deal.
The agreement compels Harare City Council to pay a daily US$22 000 bill to dump waste at Pomona, where Geogenix BV would be operating from.
The figure will be doubled after 12 months and the deal will last for the next 30 years.
A total of US$344 million was earmarked for investment into the new feature that was fast tracked by cabinet and given priority status.
Delish Nguwaya, once named in the 2019 US$60 million scandal was again the front man in this scandal.