May Day: Mnangagwa gets a rude awakening

“This is clear sabotage. G40 wanted to send a message that Mnangagwa has no support and doesn’t command a huge following either in the party or civil service.”

Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa got a reality check on Monday when he addressed a virtually empty Rufaro Stadium at a government-arranged function to commemorate Workers’ Day.

The function, which had been advertised with screaming headlines such as All roads to Rufaro Stadium in the state-run media, was not only a damp squib, but also a major embarrassment as Mnangagwa’s voice echoed in the empty stands and reduced him to a situation like a comedian performing to himself.

Not even the offer of free food and music from the likes of popular musician Jah Prayzah could entice workers to come and listen to government’s usual drivel.

His loyalists were quick to blame the Generation 40 (G40) faction in Zanu PF for sabotaging the event to spite Mnangagwa, who is linked to the rival Team Lacoste group.

“This is clear sabotage. G40 wanted to send a message that Mnangagwa has no support and doesn’t command a huge following either in the party or civil service,” one Zanu PF official said on condition of anonymity.
Such claims, of course, are laughable.

The reason there were seemingly more government officials than workers at the commemorations is not because of factionalism. It is because the few remaining workers who are still formally employed will not waste their precious time and energy to go and listen to meaningless platitudes from overfed government officials who have made failure and deception their staple diet.

That the government expected workers to troop to Rufaro Stadium after having failed dismally to create the 2,2 million jobs they promised in 2013, shows just how out of touch they are with reality.

Priorities

The skewed priorities by government were once again brought to the fore when they failed to raise money to bring back 32 of the over 200 Zimbabwean women stranded in Kuwait.

That it took the intervention of controversial businessman Wicknell Chivayo, who paid for their airfares, is shameful and reflects the devastating consequences of impoverished leadership.

Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said government had no money to bring back the women stranded in Kuwait after falling victim of human trafficking, leaving Chivayo to pay US$58 000 from his own pocket for their airfares.

This is in stark contrast to the scramble by the same government to raise a whopping US$800 000 to host President Robert Mugabe’s 92nd birthday party in Masvingo earlier this year. This is the same government that spends millions of taxpayers’ money funding Mugabe’s wasteful foreign trips, but balk at paying for desperate women living in squald conditions in Kuwait.

The message that is communicated from this scandalous episode is that it is more important to feast at a birthday or for Mugabe to strut at various fora internationally than rescue Zimbabwean nationals in distress.

With such priorities, which Zimbabwe Women in Politics Alliance chairperson Lynnette Tendayi Mudehwe, whose organisation led a protest march at the Kuwaiti embassy earlier this month over the trafficked women, described as a bad joke; it is no wonder why the country is in such a sorry mess.

Chaos

Reports that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya sued the government over the compulsory acquisition of his farm clearly show how the chaotic land reform continues to be a circus, 16 years after the government embarked on the exercise.

That Lands minister Douglas Mombeshora admitted to have erred in the acquisition adds to the tragi-comedy.

The land reform, which was supposed to empower indigenous black Zimbabweans, is now disempowering them with even the governor of the central bank not being spared.

It is this confusion that has spawned the disaster in agriculture turning the country from being the breadbasket of Africa to a basket case. One just has to travel the length and breadth of the country to see how fertile ground that once produced various healthy crops has turned into a jungle of blackjacks to appreciate just how damaging the haphazard land reform has been.

As one reader aptly observed: “How did that mistake ever happen in the first place? Imagine if it could happen to a bigwig like the RBZ governor, what about other small people out there!”

Threats

If there was ever any evidence that Zanu PF is a bankrupt party in terms of not only finances, but of ideas as well, one needs to go no further than a meeting in Gutu where top Zanu PF officials and traditional leaders in Masvingo reportedly threatened to track down and kill all suspected MDC-T supporters who attended opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s campaign rally at Man’a Business Centre in Gutu South .

According to an audio recording broadcast by United States-based private radio station VOA on Wednesday last week, Masvingo traditional leaders identified as Chief Makore (real name Shonhe Muzenda Chihambakwe Makore) and headman Jestias Muzenda, Zanu PF official Joseph Musasiwa and youth leader Rabson Manzunzu, addressed villagers at Chaitemura shopping centre on Tuesday last week following Tsvangirai’s rally and threatened to unleash a terror campaign similar to the 2008 bloodbath which left at least 200 MDC-T supporters dead.

Musasiwa reportedly read out a list of over 30 villagers reported to have attended Tsvangirai’s rally and threatened to kill them before the 2018 plebiscite.

“The government does not buy bullets so that we shoot trees. I will shoot people, not trees,” Manzunzu threatens in the audio recording.

There you have it. Instead of selling its ideas aimed at improving the people’s livelihoods, they are issuing death threats for merely attending a meeting.

It is clear that these demagogues do not know the first thing about democracy. Where are the police when such a travesty and threat to fundamental huma rights takes place, one wonders?

That such threats are being made in 2016, two years before elections, is a clear indication that the country can forget about them being free and fair and that the law of the jungle continues to prevail in the country.

Corrupted guards

Who will police the police? This is the question we were left to ponder after revelations that the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) splurged US$5,5 million on luxury homes, top-of-the-range cars and executive furniture at a time when the commission has done very little to fight corruption. This has resulted in the suspension of four top managers for alleged misappropriation of funds.

It is a cause for great alarm and despondency when those who are supposed to fight corruption are also enmeshed in graft. This just shows that corruption in Zimbabwe is not only a scourge but a way of life.

This stems from the failure by Mugabe to address corruption, be it in the public service or the rot exposed by the Auditor-General Mildred Chiri and it has now cascaded down to other government departments.

It is this foul stench of corruption and impunity countrywide that has cost the country billions of dollars. This makes Mugabe’s claims that sanctions have ruined the economy sound ridiculous.

short and sweet..

 
 
National Pledge: Brainwashing technique

Education minister Lazarus Dokora finds himself once again in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons after introducing a “national pledge” in schools.

This is coming after his harebrained idea of putting money from all School Development Committees into one government account was strongly rejected.

The ministry introduced the National Pledge, which reportedly seeks to foster a spirit of patriotism among school-going children. The move has been met with serious resistance by parents and other stakeholders who have already taken the responsible minister, Dokora, to the High Court seeking its reversal.

Given the lack of textbooks in schools, among other attendant challenges, it is bewildering that Dokora focuses on useless pledges.

Before wasting time trying to brainwash school kids, government should probably fulfil its pledge — create the 2,2 million jobs it promised for school leavers and armies of unemployed youths!