How our enterprising troops are eating, courtesy of Gideon Gono
It was early afternoon at New Donnington Farm, in Norton, Zimbabwe, last Thursday. Farm manager Philip Musvuuri was going about his duties when a large white Chinese-made truck pulled up in a cloud of dust. He was not particularly alarmed. New Donnington Farm is one of several owned by the erratic Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Gideon Gono. So unusual events are almost routine.
As the truck came to a halt six armed Zimbabwe Army troops piled out. They told Philip they wanted his chickens. All 175 of them. And they emphasised their need for the chickens by waving loaded rifles under his nose.
The troops explained that they were hungry. And despite government promises, despite loudly-proclaimed pay rises (of which no sign yet), and despite rations of elephant meat, they were getting hungrier by the minute.
So, they argued, it was only fair that they take Governor Gono's chckens, because it was Governor Gono who's financial mismanagement had led to the military starving in their barracks.
And over and above all that, they fancied chicken for supper.
Soon Gono's entire flourishing flock were secured in the truck. The soldiers declined to pay the bill, estimated at US$787.50. Instead they climbed back on board. And the truck disappeared in another cloud of dust, this time augmented by feathers.
Subsequently Philip related the incident to the Norton police, who in turn informed Chinhoyi police, and a vigorous search has been mounted. But hopes of actually retrieving any of Gono's chickens are rapidly diminishing. Soldiers' appetites being what they are.
As Zimbabwe descends into further chaos and confusion, many commentators, including your own Moses Moyo, are confidently predicting that for our leaders, the chickens are coming home to roost. Not so in the case of Gideon Gono. His chickens are never coming home.