Muckraker’s attention was drawn last weekend to a story in the Sunday Mail headed “Bulawayo poised for industrial revival”.
Government, we are told, had lined up a number of deals with friendly countries in Africa and Asia for resuscitation of industries in Bulawayo and acceleration of Zim Asset’s implementation.
It cited Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa as the author of these emollient remarks.
At a Zanu PF rally in Bulawayo Mnangagwa said government had prioritised key parastatals such as the Cold Storage Company and the National Railways of Zimbabwe.
As the government has systematically run such companies into the ground it will now be interesting to see how they “resuscitate” them. And the citizens of Bulawayo will have been surprised to learn that South Africa had offered to help draw water from the Zambezi which would benefit Zimbabwe beneficially and allow for completion of the Zambezi Water Project.
How extraordinary! Zanu PF has seized on a project that has been knocking around since 1912 and put it on the party’s agenda.
Then there is the beef from Argentina project .
“They should start getting it from us,” Mnangagwa declared.
“This region has a conducive environment for cattle ranching, he said, “and when we revive the beef industry it will come with a lot of downstream benefits.”
The word “If ” is prominent in all this. So is “when”.
It just goes to show how delusional these people are. Mnanagagwa announces a pending new onslaught on what are left of the white ranchers in Matabeleland with the one hand and a programme of confiscation with the other.
Bulawayo has been selected as a special economic zone, Mnangagwa declared. “Bulawayo was once the hub of industry,” he said. “But now most factories have closed because of sanctions.”
So it’s got nothing to do with Zanu PF’s partisan politics or plain bad administration. It’s all the fault of sanctions!
How convenient! If the truth be known it’s people like Mnangagwa who are pursuing Zanu PF’s damaging policies in the region. In the circumstances high-level French officials should wait until an improved political climate is evident before leaping in the dark.
The VP, as he is known, revealed that Zimbabwe had engaged India over rehabilitation of the local rail network and construction of new rail networks to increase exports via Mozambique ports.
We weren’t told why the government had previously been unable to rehabilitate the local rail system which had run perfectly well since the 1890s! Anybody out there remember trains running on time? (without any help from Mussolini) Or starched white linen in the sleeping compartments?
Among those attending the rally were Saviour Kasukuwere, Chris Mutsvangwa, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, Joshua Malinga and Absolom Sikhosana. Sounds as if the foxes have been put in charge of the chicken run!
Some were carried away by the scope of these projects. They want to fly.
“We are on the brink of flying,” VP Mnangagwa said. “Sanctions or no sanctions, no one will stand in our way. We are a sleeping giant.”
Yes, Zanu PF’s sleeping giant was on the front page of most newspapers last week. And it’s true. He was sleeping. In fact fast asleep. But sadly no evidence of the giant we were told about! Perhaps he was hiding from Nigerian journalists!
Someone must immediately bring to the attention of Vice-Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko that their penchant for a one-party state is the real cause of under-development, not only in Matabeleland, but in many parts in the peripheries of the country.
While they regard themselves as seasoned politicians, why do they fail to understand that the people of Tsholotsho have every right to elect candidates of their choice regardless of political affiliation?
Why wouldn’t they seek answers as to why Zanu PF has always lost in Matabeleland rather than trying to coerce voters into what they don’t believe in? It appears the two vice-presidents hardly understand the ethos of multiparty democracy and are shockingly stuck in authoritarian doctrines that maintain suppression of the will of the people.
If voting for Zanu PF is the essence of development, why is Zimbabwe immersed in economic dross while it’s ruling?
NewsDay on Monday quoted Mnangagwa as having said: “Why were you voting for those that are ruled (in apparent reference to MDC-T) and will never rule this country? Your complaints and problems will never be addressed by those that are ruled, but by the rulers?”
If this is true, should we be witnessing sewage outbursts in high-density residential suburbs, the closure of industries, emigration of dejected youths to foreign countries, dereliction of health services, poor education facilities, the flooding of cities with vendors, among a host of ills that clearly point to the ruling party’s governance failure?
Tsholotsho does not need Zanu PF to develop; it needs a government that fulfills its mandate to deliver to the people and not a regime well-known for looting, killing and abducting opponents.
Meanwhile the Southern Eye edition in NewsDay on Monday reported that the vice-presidents engaged in a cold war of superiority in which they dished out money to pupils at Mbiriya Primary School who competed in sprint races.
Mnangagwa donated US$500 while Mphoko pledged to build classroom blocks for the school.
Did they only realise they needed to contribute towards the welfare of suffering pupils because there was a rally to drum up support for Information minister Jonathan Moyo who is eyeing a seat in Tsholotsho North? The tug of war between the two is nonsensical, especially considering that those piecemeal solutions to a wider crisis are no panacea for development.
Politicians always appear when they seek to spruce up their doomed images, presenting themselves as gods before a confused electorate.
Will Tsholotsho villagers reap anything from the seniority of Mphoko or Mnangagwa? Aren’t there other better issues to fight over to revive the decimated economic sector?
This is but one problem of politicians who rise through machinations without the backing of the electorate.
Anyway does the elitist Mphoko now know anything to do with ordinary masses? Politicians must stop deriving pleasure from abusing schoolchildren.
What do those pupils get out of sweating to win US$50 or US$10? They should revisit Honourable MP by Gonzo H. Musengezi — don’t they fit well in that framework of greedy and selfish politicians who are detached from the needs of voters?