Million-man march sheer waste of time

TENS of thousands of Zanu PF supporters bussed from the country’s 10 provinces on Wednesday marched into Harare’s City Centre and converged opposite Harare Show Grounds, dubbed “Freedom Square” by MDC-T loyalists. They braved the chilly weather and waited for hours to be addressed by President Robert Mugabe.

Candid Comment,Faith zaba
fzaba@zimind.co.zw

They listened intently as Mugabe spoke for almost two hours, while millions others watched on the country’s state television, ZBC, the live coverage of the “million-man march” organised by the Zanu PF national Youth League in solidarity with the “iconic leadership” of the president, hoping his speech would contain solutions to the economic crisis engulfing the country .

But instead his speech was like a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. If anything, his speech exhibited the traits of narcissism, as he went on and on about himself.

He chronicled his history — how he became Zanu PF’s leader and harped on about his tenure as African Union chairman.

On calls for him to step down, Mugabe said: “Ko ndinoenda kupiko (where do you want me to go) VaMugabe says no, you go hang, hang yourselves”.

He, however, completely failed to respond to key issues raised by the youths and Bishop Trevor Manhanga who had said the country’s enemies are unemployment, the economic meltdown, poverty and hunger, urging Zanu PF to stop the factional fights and start focusing on solutions to the crisis.

Just like the war veterans, the youths showed that there is also growing discontent within Zanu PF itself.

Zanu PF national Youth League chairperson Kudzanai Chipanga castigated government for misplaced priorities.

He said the youths are concerned about the economy, calling on government to open opportunities for the youths.

“Some senior party members are in competition of exchanging top-of-the-range vehicles like they are changing shoes.

That tendency by the ministers and chief executives must stop,” he said.

Chipanga also castigated corruption and ministers who abuse state resources, but then totally lost the plot by imploring Mugabe to die in office.

But at the end of it all, the Zanu PF supporters trooped back to their buses, some parked as far as five kilometres at various assembly points exhausted, hungry and angry, extremely frustrated.

The country is still facing a debilitating cash crisis, which has seen thousands sleeping in the freezing weather outside banks, one of the highest unemployment rates of 90%, and rampant corruption.

It would have made sense if the march was against corruption, joblessness, retrenchments, company closures and poverty, instead of in support of a failed leader who has, through misrule, brought the country to its knees.

What was even more insulting was his wife, Grace’s declaration that Mugabe should continue to rule even from his grave.

If anything, Wednesday’s expensive circus brought to the fore Mugabe’s tragic ambition to rule till death at the expense of the country’s well-being. How unpatriotic can a leader be?