Vendors who rely on commission per newspapers sold daily are happy as sales surge.
“The Herald is hardly sold out here due to its bias but since Friday it is a hot cake. Readers know that such foreign news is hardly doctored as propaganda. People are buying all newspapers.” says a vendor Jonas Mataga in Karoi town.
His face is beaming with confidence that the controversy surrounding Col Gaddafi’sdeath will continue for more days to come. A local resident Rodgers Kabatamuswe says it is over a decade that Col Gaddafi passed through the farming town on his way from Zambia by road.
He passed through on 12 July 2001. ”We had a chance to see him here though his securitywas a menace to us” he says.
A local man Rex Chigoma had his video camera confisticated by his security as he made a ten minute stop over with a convoy of more than 30 cars in the town. He was using an open bus waving to mainly school children chanting Gaddafi, Gaddafi.
Residents waited for nearly three hours as he rested two kilometers out of town making their rituals in pitched tent. Soldiers were deployed along Chirundu-Harare highway.
After attending Organisation of African Unity summit in Zambia, Gaddaffi offered to come by road in solidarity with Zanu-PF’s Government controversial land reform.
When he arrived in Karoi he made life difficult for then provincial Governor bulky Peter Chanetsa as he could hardly cope with his energetic speed.
Zimbabwe was going through its early stages of economic crisis due to land reform while the country was running dry.
During his stop over Col Gaddafi said whites must compensate. “We want them to pay.
Europe must not deny us payment. Africa for Africans, land is our birth right” Though he supported land reform, Col Gaddafi dumped Zimbabwe at the time of need as few countries stood by her to open lines of credit for fuel supplies.
Hardly few months after his visit here, Col Gaddafi was to make a truce with France by releasing suspects of Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people on 21 December in 1988 of PanAm flight.
He was fighting to have sanctions imposed on him lifted. As a double agent, Zimbabwe was left licking its wounds as Libya demanded cash payment upfront for fuel though her friend’s coffers were dry.
As everything come to an end, Karoi town hosted the man feared, loved, hated, respected or condemned even in death. Col Gaddafi will be a matyre in other parts of the world but he knew who to speak to, when, where and how.
His 42 year rule was survival tactic of any politician. Even in death, he will remain a newsmaker for days, months, years even decades to come.