Of Coffee With Smoke And Mirrors

If you were having coffee with me, I would invite you to my tangled web with a flourish, I have always had a soft spot for the theatrics magic and illusion, you know, now you see it, now you don’t… look very carefully, because this is where the magic happens.

Coffee with smoke and mirrors

Growing up, I had this beginner’s book on magic tricks and one of the first chapters in the book taught you that the secret to pulling off a successful trick was misdirection, shift the attention of the audience from where the actual trick happens by waving your hands about and saying the magic words. I could make a coin disappear from my hand through my elbow and make it reappear in an empty match box…. That was a pretty cool trick.

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that the second part of the Al Jazeera documentary on the Gold Mafia is titled Smoke and Mirrors. Al Jazeera’s Investigative unit exposed some of the alleged players dealing in illicit gold trade in Southern Africa, in the episode which aired on Thursday the 30th of March 2023.

Gold Mafia

The South African banking system was revealed as a vehicle for some dodgy transactions and probably raised a lot of alarm bells for the South African Reserve Bank which had already been placed on a ‘grey list’ by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for falling short of certain international standards for the combating of money laundering and other serious financial crimes.

Within hours of the documentary airing, South African officials had already issued a communication that they were looking into the allegations. Meanwhile, in our teapot-shaped country no official communication had been released until the 4th of April when the Ministry Of Information finally released a press statement on their position.

Government takes note of a documentary titled "Gold Mafia",
currently being serialised by an international broadcasting channel
which purports to expose a network of alleged money laundering and
gold smuggling in Zimbabwe,
Government takes the allegations raised in the documentary seriously,
and has directed relevant organs to institute investigations into the
issues raised therein. Any person found to have engaged in acts of
corruption, fraud or any form of crime, will face the full wrath of the
Government takes this opportunity to re-affirm its commitment to
upholding local and international laws, including laws relating to
financial transactions, the trade of gold and other precious minerals.
Boastful behaviour and name-dropping by some personalities featured
in the documentary, seeking personal gain and glory, should never be
taken as an enunciation of Government Policy.
Government remains seized with the matter and the nation will be
kept apprised of any new developments.
Zimbabwe Press Statement on Gold Mafia – Ministry Of Information

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that according to a news report on Nehanda Radio, our anticorruption committee ZACC, in 2021 alone, gobbled up a budget of 33,3 Million US dollars and no convictions to show for it…

Nehanda Radio
With no single conviction ZACC used 33.3 million to fight corruption

So you might understand people being skeptical of The Zimbabwe Anti-corruption Commission. Althought, to their credit, just last week ZACC arrested Clerk of Parliament for Criminal Abuse of Duty as a Public Officer. The arrest is said to be related to the procurement of grossly over priced laptops… remember the scandalous laptops that cost USD$9000 each? But of course people are more concerned with the eyes on the prize, if anything will come out of the Gold Mafia investiagtions.

Speaking about eyes, on prize, I saw a news headline about Donald Trump holding the dubious title of being first former US president to face criminal charges. Do pardon my ignorance, but from my flawed view of the world, I would say there world has more pressing issues to deal with than paying hush-money to adult entertainers, for example mass shootings, climate change, AI takeover that also require the same amount of energy to deal with. But what do I know? I live in a country where the government has just announced that it is going to build high rise buildings in rural areas.

"The Government is on the drive to modernise most rural areas through construction of high rise buildings which is a phenomenon in the rural district councils."
-National Housing and Social Amenities Minister.

First thing that came to mind is what electricity would power these high rise buildings, I cant imagine elderly folk going up the flight of stairs to get to their apartments coming from a long day at the fields. The electricity situation is still rather terrible with an average of 18 hour power cuts despite the celebrations that Hwange Unit 7 is now online.

Looking at the latest power generation statistics we should be experiencing some reduced loadshedding but noooo… same ol’ same ol‘. Which means someone is not telling the complete truth. Either there is an outright lie on the electricity generation figures or maybe there is an electricity mafia that is enjoying first preference to electricity supply. Word on the street is that there are some mines, residences and corporations that have constant electrical supply. Until I see an official load shedding schedule I might be inclined to believe that there’s some rather obscure dealings in our electricity supply and distribution.

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that I am currently hooked to a TV show called Rabbit Hole starring Keifer Sutherland, a particular demographic might remember him as Jack Bauer of the 24 fame. The plot of the series seems to hint at current world social-economic and political standings, how the flow of information can be manipulated to deliver specific outcomes…

How do you know what you think you know? My favourite social media platform is being used by its “new” owner as a personal meme platform. Can you imagine, changing the Twitter Bird logo to the Doge Meme… just for just?

Buy Twitter 
change bird logo to a doge

Compliments of the Easter Season, any plans?  What’s going on in your neck of the woods?


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    1. Thank you, its a blend of about 4 Images, started of as a photo of coffee cup and then posterised with photoshop and blended with 2 layers of smokey images and… there was supposed to be a smoke and mirror effect but instead of reflecting accidentally created a refracting distortion …


      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m having fun watching Twitter proceedings. Quite interesting and entertaining. The annoyance this causes is noteworthy.
    As far as Trump is concerned – I don’t think these charges would come to light if he wasn’t running for president. A lot going on there.
    I’m amazed that your government even addresses the TV show. It reminds me of leaders decrying various attacks. Because what else can you do? They’re not going to come out and say: “Yes, you got us. We are corrupted.” They can deny it or keep quiet. I would have picked the latter, but hey.


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