President Robert Mugabe’s detachment from the reality on the ground was laid bare at his rally in Mutare on Tuesday.
By the MuckRaker
Instead of telling the residents of Manicaland about policies his government would enact to improve their plight, Mugabe excoriated them for voting for the MDC-T in the last elections. And in typical Mugabe style it was never Zanu PF’s fault; the people had “lost their way”.
Mugabe’s rather dreary speech failed to liven up even a captive crowd. That’s how bad it has become these days.
The memory lapses and forgetting people’s names, dates and events is not helping either. At the launch of Zanu PF’s manifesto in Highfield, Mugabe mixed up the date the National Democratic Party, which preceded Zapu, was formed in 1961. He also referred to the late nationalist-cum-medical practitioner Dr Edward Pswarayi as Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
The hero of the day for Zanu PF turned out to be master of ceremonies Cde Supa Mandiwanzira whose waxing lyrical would have made Webster Shamu proud. At least Mandiwanzira has stopped pretending to be impartial.
Not to be outdone, Didymus Mutasa made an ode to Mugabe at the rally in which he said ndinokudai chaizvo (I love you with all my heart).
Ironically the love poem came soon after Mugabe had attacked gays!
Yet another chance
Zanu PF is making hay over a poster of Tendai Biti looking at a copy of their manifesto.
“Our manifesto has excited everyone,” the caption reads.
But look more carefully. Morgan Tsvangirai is having a good laugh over the naivety of the document.
Of course politicians are inclined to make extravagant claims at election time. But none quite match President Mugabe’s claim that Zanu PF will “quickly reverse” the stagnation experienced by Bulawayo during the tenure of the inclusive government.
“People have suffered enough,” he declared in Lupane. “We want to give them a government that will correct the wrongs done in the last five years.”
If he is able to correct the wrongs of the past five years, why hasn’t he done so already?
Was he paralysed during the tenure of the inclusive government, unable to do anything useful?
Mutumwa Mawere recently weighed in on Mugabe’s propensity to blame others for his government’s failures on the newly-formed 1st TV.
“How can you blame a passenger (Tsvangirai) for an accident unless President Mugabe can claim he was disturbed from driving the car?” queried Mawere.
Meanwhile, Zanu PF Politburo member Naison Ndlovu urged the electorate to demonstrate their “gratitude” to President Mugabe in the upcoming general elections. We are sure voters will have a present for him on July 31.
Then there was the “specialist treatment” Dr Chimedza was suddenly offering in Gutu South last weekend.
Chimedza said the “quest to ensure access to health for ordinary people” had always been his passion.
Since when? As Zimpapers chair, we always thought the quest to ensure the public media remained partisan had been his passion.
And why are colleagues in the medical sector only now being mobilised to serve the poor? What has he and his party been doing over the past five years?
“My main wish is to make sure that ordinary people of Zimbabwe, even in remote corners of the country, have access to medical facilities and I will continue to fight to make that a reality one day,” he claimed. But when is “one day”? Will poor villagers have to wait for another five years before relief comes?
And how professional is it to get involved in Zanu PF’s election campaign? Should doctors who have taken the Hippocratic oath lend themselves to promises of this sort to win votes for a political party?
Zanu PF (mis)rule
Tsvangirai was also making promises although his were not medical. He promised to roll out a housing programme to improve the welfare of rural folk.
“Most people still live in poor houses reminiscent of those of our ancestors such as Ambuya Nehanda,” he said.
But why has nobody said anything about the victims of Murambatsvina? Instead we hear of populist measures designed to win urban votes.
So first Zanu PF boots out urban residents, then it tells those that remain they needn’t pay rates any more. Exactly how do you run a city along these lines?
Telling it like it is
What a breath of fresh air Lindiwe Zulu has been. She tells it like it is and there is not much chance of President Mugabe silencing her.
She is the sort of person we need right now. One of ZTV’s talking heads, Dr Charity Manyeruke, says Zulu is a mafikizolo who needs to be schooled in politics.
So who’s the mafikizolo here? How many Zimbabweans know Zulu was an Umkhonto weSizwe cadre in the 1970s? What contribution did Manyeruke make to the struggle for independence, or any of that gang of stooges who advertise their foolishness on television on a daily basis?
The Herald says her language would make a truck driver green with envy. What language is that? Who goes around calling their critics a street-woman?
The private media should hang their heads in shame, the Herald’s editor pontificates. What nonsense! Zulu is fighting for a democratic Zimbabwe, the same as most people in this country. Who does the lickspittle Herald stand for?
A cabal of redundant nationalists clinging to power with nothing to offer the electorate except more of the same? Their message is “We promise to do what we haven’t done in 33 years.” And of course they have been doing their best to avoid democratic change and progress.
Blame the messenger
If Lindiwe Zulu reminds Mugabe and his henchmen of what they pledged to do in 2008 then that is precisely what she should be doing.
Don’t we all know things are not looking good on the ground? Shouldn’t she have stated the obvious?
Zulu need not worry. She enjoys the confidence of all progressive Zimbabweans who want change.
And as a trusted confidante of President Zuma she has little to fear from Mugabe’s tirades. We are sure the president knows the aphorism about stones and glass houses!
Our Mother Theresa
Meanwhile, we note with interest that Grace Mugabe is referring to herself as “mother of the nation”.
“I pledge to provide regularly so that you do not starve,” she told an audience in Gwanda.
“Matabeleland South should not starve when I, the mother of the nation, am here.”
“I have brought food for you,” she announced.
Is it permitted for candidates to court voters with promises of food? Isn’t this covered by Section 136 of the Electoral Act? And should Grace be calling herself “mother of the nation”?
It is surely up to the people to confer such affection upon the president’s wife. Not for her to confer it upon herself.
Waiting for Godot
Yet another “man of God” has emerged from the woodwork claiming President Mugabe is a “God chosen leader for Zimbabwe”.
Following in the ignoble footsteps of Obadiah Msindo and Johannes Ndanga, Reverend Sam Malunga said “prophetic utterances” and “spiritual revelation” showed him Mugabe had been chosen by God. Mugabe’s leadership is not limited by time, Malunga claimed, but is a “calling from God”.
Malunga’s Tehillar Christian Network sounds suspiciously similar to another Zanu PF “church”, Destiny for Afrika Network. Clearly there are no limits to Zanu PF duplicity before elections.