(Written 19 Mar 2010)
Dear All,
I think a new phrase should be added to the political lexicon. The ‘zuma manuva’.
It is a political manoeuvre couched in insincere smiling and eye contact, delivered at the moment when the person being manoeuvred is told by their leader that their “request will be met”… in a way that it won’t.
For instance, a poor person goes to the leader to ask for money for something or other. The leader has absolutely no idea as to whether the money should be handed over, or even whether there is any money available. No matter, because at just the right time the leader pulls the ‘zuma manuva’. He smiles, makes eye contact with the victim, and says “we can look into that.” The poor guy leaves the presence of the leader convinced that the money is on its way; the leader is immediately distracted by the low-cut blouse of the woman delivering the tea.
An example of the ‘zuma manuva’ was when Zuma told taxi drivers in Gauteng about a year ago that their gripes about the BRT system would be accommodated. Another is the moment, also about a year ago, when the rioting inhabitants of Balfour thought their service delivery problems would be resolved.
The very latest one happened yesterday when the ‘vuma manuva’ was pulled on Morgan Changerai (MDC leader in Zimbabwe). I wonder how long it will take dear Morgan to work out that he has been duped once again?