Prisoners of Truth – Merchants of Falsehoods

Everyday knowledge has been captured by the experts – it has been doctored, massaged, glossed, produced, re-produced and re-packaged. In the process ‘everyday knowledge’ has been emptied of its true meaning and value. Such is a tragedy of our times! If Franzt Fanon was around he would have talked about the Wretched of the Earth. In the past weeks the Zimbabwean media landscape has been awash with self-opinionated analysis on the unfolding political events. To this end, a large hectare in the media space has been accorded to the so called experts. Consequently, what we have witnessed is the sowing of the seeds of confusion, falsification of facts and reality. As such, lies have multiplied, germinated and the society has reaped a bumper harvest of falsified projections on the future of Zimbabwe. Such is a tragedy of our times!

The past weeks (post 31 July 2013) has been characterised with myopia, cynicism, insincerity, ingenuity, misinformation, disinformation and a lot of unsubstantiated, unfounded and unqualified fallacies. One can be of the general view that, the so called analysis on the Zimbabwean future and the unfolding events in the recent past is at variance with the hard reality of our times. The tragedy of our times is that we have left the political and economic discourse in the hands of a few elite the so called ‘experts’. As such these self-acclaimed experts have influenced public opinion through a single narrativisation. Lest we forget Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s the Danger of a Single Story!

We have indeed witnessed a renewed interest amongst a cabal of organic intellectuals on the Zimbabwean case. It seems everyone has suddenly become an expert and specialist on Zimbabwean issues, more particularly on analysing Zimbabwe’s political developments and her perceived future economic trajectory. I have watched in pain from the sidelines as the so called analyst and experts has reduced the Zimbabwean debate to a bookish academic exercise peppered with excellent theorisation. These intellectuals conveniently chose in most cases to be blind to the reality of our times. Regrettably, most of them end up glossing the reality for personal individualistic ends; they often choose a particular selective narrative which in most cases is regrettably fraught and riddled with factual inaccuracies. This has engendered (led to) a culmination of a persistent dearth of balanced analysis. What’s left for the ordinary Citizen? Alas, what these self-acclaimed experts forget to realise is the fact that Zimbabwean issues do not require one to be a professor of Robotics and Mechatronics neither a professor in Political Science. Even a villager in Silobela in Lower Gweru knows about the words ‘crisis’, ‘democracy’, ‘good governance’ – hence can articulate the unfolding political trends.

The problem we have had in the past weeks is that we have left our academic titles to speak more than us – which in fact, is a criminal libel against reality. The tragedy of our times is that everyone wants to be said to have said something – whether sensible or not is something else! After reading Derrida, Amartya Sen, Karl Marx, Max Weber, Giddens, Bourdieu, Immanuel Kant, Franzt Fanon, Plato, Thucydides, Aristotle, Mamdani, Leftwich, Galbraith and the so called father of international law Hugo Grotius et al we have suddenly pretended to be experts. Put simply, no one has a monopoly on knowledge on the Zimbabwean issue both in the political and economic realm. Otherwise we are nurturing a culture of falsehoods, misrepresentation, misinformation and disinformation being peddled under the guise of expert analysis. The merchants and preachers of such falsehoods are non-other than the half-baked political novices who masquerade as ‘experts’ or analysts.

I am not surprised, when you read Plato, Claude Ake, Huntington, Fukuyama, Polanyi and Anthony Giddens you start to think you are the smartest guy around -you think the rest are stupid.It’s so tempting a feeling!!!


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