The best illustration we could have had of delusional leadership in Zimbabwe came recently with two striking headings.
The first in the Daily News was a classic: “It’s not my fault,” President Robert Mugabe said of the economic meltdown which his policies have spawned.
On the same day, NewsDay had “Economy on rebound” — again the product of a leader who hasn’t a clue what’s going on outside the tinted windows of his Mercedes.
We wonder what the few workers left will make of Mugabe’s call for them to avoid fleeing into the diaspora and instead remain “steadfast” in their jobs and sacrifice for the country.
That is of course something he has declined to do. The last thing President Mugabe has considered is making a sacrifice for the country by stepping aside and letting somebody else have a go at repairing the broken fabric of the nation.
The Daily News drew attention to the deepening economic hardships that workers have had to endure in recent years. Mugabe’s attempt to blame it all on the British is dishonest to say the least.
Clearly workers do not share his view that they should not go to “hostile countries like Britain”. Workers seem to consider Britain and the United States as friends of Zimbabwe whatever he may think.
And what of South Africa? Is that friendly or not? The statistics would suggest it is. Mugabe said he would “come after those” who claim they are seeking asylum. What, all three million of them!
And is it really the British who want to pull the country down? Mugabe said some Zimbabweans were bent on sabotaging freedom fighters’ achievements in bringing Independence to Zimbabwe by telling lies.
We can imagine what the freedom fighters would make of this cheap propaganda; of what Zanu PF has become; of what the country has been reduced to.
If workers are not given their salaries they start complaining that the government is bad, Mugabe said.
That’s because things have never been this bad. Mugabe has given a hostage to fortune to those who want to say “things were better under Smith”! That is a pity.
“Let me assure our people that the country’s economy is on a recovery path,” Mugabe said. Government is going to employ several measures aimed at achieving desired results, he declared.
“Results?” What results have we been introduced to in the past? Since when did Zanu PF produce a successful programme of any sort?
Still on the delusional, what happened to the two million jobs Mugabe promised voters a year ago?
And just because Mugabe says the economy is recovering, that doesn’t mean Rugare Gumbo has to repeat the president’s fairytale.
This does raise the question as to who is writing his speeches. Somebody somewhere is being paid to mislead the public.
Also this week we had the claim from Patrick Chinamasa that the multi-currency regime was responsible for our predicament.
But don’t we recall Zanu PF claiming authorship of the multi-currency regime ahead of the election?
Every time it was mentioned, somebody in the ruling party would claim paternity! Why are some memories so short? Now it is “sanctions-induced” collapse of the dollar.
The reality of our current situation can be assessed by the ridiculous remarks made by Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi who according to the Herald told National Defence College students to be wary of “Western tricks”.
Presenting a paper on national defence policy to students at the college, Sekeramayi said “the major threat to Zimbabwe’s peaceful existence was the Western-sponsored regime change agenda in opposition to the successful land reform”.
Against the tide
NewsDay illustrated what he meant. They carried a front-page story headed “Farmer axed in new wave of farm invasions”.
The indigenous farmer was fighting for his life in a Masvingo hospital.
The objective of the regime change, Sekeramayi said, orchestrated by the West led by the UK and US, is economic destabilisation through illegal economic sanctions, psychological/information warfare, intrusive political interference, diplomatic isolation and socio-cultural intrusion.
Yes, he is right. Attacks on farmers are calculated to lead to diplomatic isolation. And gibberish about information warfare is unlikely to provide the sort of environment that investors need to guarantee stability.
It is amazing that a year after the new constitution came into being, dinosaur ministers can continue to spout the blandishments of the Cold War era and expect to be taken seriously.
Sekeramayi said the aim was to cause hardship among the population so that the resultant frustration would in time push the population into revolt against the government. Is that what is happening? Is it the British and Americans who are pushing the country into hardship?
It is a measure of the detachment of people like Sekeramayi who can claim in all seriousness that the country’s hardships stem from the machinations of the West. Is that what people on the street say? Has he asked them? Evidently not.
A reader by the way called us to say that countries that allow their officials to raid funds in banks are not likely to endear themselves to investors.
Separately from that, how can the Herald claim to be “unmasking” Morgan Tsvangirai’s visit to Britain when every other newspaper is carrying the story?
Tourism minister Walter Mzembi hopes the tourism sector will reap US$5 billion earnings by 2018.
Hopefully he knows the trick to inject insight among his rigid colleagues in government to fulfil the dream. He faces a mammoth task to convince war vets to cease violent land grabs and allay fears among potential visitors. By the way, how old do you have to be to be a war vet?