HomeAnalysisMass stayaway must be a wake up call for Mugabe

Mass stayaway must be a wake up call for Mugabe

As chiefs we feel we should be on the payroll of the commission since we provide a service to the commission. We must be on the JSC payroll. Magistrates gets thousands of dollars and we are getting US$5 as court fees, which is not fair.

THE largely successful countrywide stayaway on Wednesday was instructive. It was remarkable that this was the first ever stayaway that was not organised by a political party or trade union. The boycott led by a social movement involving various civic groups is indicative of the anger of the country’s citizens to Zanu PF’s misrule which continues to plummet to new lows. That this was organised mainly on social media with no access whatsoever to local broadcast channels should be a wake up call to the 92 year old President Robert Mugabe and his incompetent government that it is no longer business as usual. The boycott was successful despite threats to social media users by Zanu PF officials and telecoms regulator Potraz. Even assurances from police spokesperson, Charity Charamba, that they will enable the public to go about their daily chores fell on deaf ears. Even efforts by government, who have shown time without number that they are allergic to democracy, to stop the stayaway by blocking messaging app Whatsapp failed dismally. The explanation to this is not rocket science. The country’s economic situation has worsened considerably since Zanu PF was voted back into office on the back of failed promises to create 2,2 million jobs in 2013 and people are furious. Delusional Zanu PF demagogues, in apparent shock, even tried to take consolation that it was business as usual in the countryside! The less said about that absurd observation the better. The message from Wednesday’s stayaway is crystal clear. Mugabe and his government must shape up or ship out.


Third force

The state media has been awash with reports of the involvement of a Third Force in the demonstrations that rocked Beitbridge on Friday last week over government’s restrictions on imports. The country’s busiest border post was forced to shut down for the first time ever following ugly street protests during which angry citizens burnt tyres and destroyed transport infrastructure. “What do you want to achieve by burning infrastructure and private property? These criminals are not even from Beitbridge. Since time immemorial, that’s not how we solve grievances in the town. We suspect a third hand was involved in all that chaos,” State Security minister Kembo Mohadi said.

This of, course, is utter nonsense even by the standards of deranged conspiracy theorists. The demonstrations are the culmination of the growing anger and frustration due to government’s dismal failure to govern as evidenced by 90% unemployment, cash shortages and the looting of diamonds worth billions as revealed by President Mugabe, among a list of other indicators of disastrous failure. It is not the “hand of Western Countries” as Zanu PF apparatchiks are keen to point out, that have led to these demos. To suggest that Zimbabweans need the West to point out to them that they are suffering as a result of the incompetence of Mugabe and his government is an insult to our people’s inteligence. Instead of blaming others, Mugabe and his useless ministers should own up to the mess and resign. It is long overdue. And as one reader pointed out: “The third force here is poverty!”

Shallow launch

While the exasperation over government’s failure is understandable, there are ways how one should express their angst. Acie Lumumba’s vulgar rant at Mugabe is definitely not one of them. “So, here is the red line (that nobody can ever cross): Mr President Robert Gabriel Mugabe, f*@k you. I have drawn the line. Our kids are in trouble. It’s a red line I know, and my name is Lumumba. I say it three times so that you won’t forget it,” Lumumba said at the launch of his party Viva Zimbabwe on Thursday last week. His attack against Mugabe generated excitement because it was unprecedented, but it was in bad taste. Granted Mugabe is a calamitous failure, but he is an old grandpa and a head of state even if he has been stealing elections. So he deserves some bit of respect. Frustrated Zimbabweans are looking for parties that can proffer solutions to the economic crisis and viable alternatives not who can hurl insults better. Insulting Mugabe will not help anything at all besides poisoning the politics.

Crass Chimene

We have always known that Zanu PF has more than its fair share of crass and thoughtless individuals. Manicaland resident minister Mandi Chimene is an embodiment of all that is ugly about the party and goes a long way to explain why it is so widely reviled. Over the weekend she was celebrating the news that MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai is suffering from colon cancer. “Tsvangirai is suffering with cancer; it’s payback time for wishing President Robert Mugabe to die, but Mugabe does not have cancer. Who are we to questions God’s will? Why opposing our President who is 92 years old? l would even sacrifice for my president by giving him my 20 years and l will die,’’ Chimene told Zanu PF supporters in Mutare. It is frightening to think that such political morons govern us. With people like Chimene forming part of government, it is not surprising why the country is such an economic disaster. Her remarks clearly show that not only is she heartless, but she is also behaving like a brainless bimbo. Chimene even had the temerity of calling Tsvangirai ugly. Irony writ large. Does she have a mirror? A case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Oversized egos

The demand by chiefs to be placed on the Judicial Services Commission payroll arguing that they handle matters of importance just like magistrates and judges is simply preposterous and the clearest sign that Zimbabwe is now a Banana Republic.

Zimbabwe Council of Chiefs president Fortune Charumbira made this bizarre request during a seminar on the Law and Procedure in Local Courts in Gweru this week.

“As chiefs we feel we should be on the payroll of the commission since we provide a service to the commission. We must be on the JSC payroll. Magistrates gets thousands of dollars and we are getting US$5 as court fees, which is not fair,” Charumbira bristled.

What seems to have escaped Charumbira is that judicial officers spent years studying Law before they get “thousands of dollars”. Surely he cannot expect chiefs to be at par with magistrates just because they preside over cases that include bickering villagers over goats that have strayed into one’s maize field.

What makes this even more reprehensible is that taxpayers will be expected to fund this madness should, God help us, chiefs be put on the payroll. That chiefs want to further deplete government’s coffers, which are already in a sorry state, shows that Charumbira and company are living on another planet divorced from reality on the ground

Succession debacle

Mugabe was for the umpteenth time this past weekend dealing with dousing factional fires after the majority of Zanu PF parliamentarians in Masvingo complained against the conduct of Psychmotor minister Josiah Hungwe and Masvingo resident minister Shuvai Mahofa.

If Zanu PF put as much effort in fixing the economy as they do in fighting each other for power, the country’s GDP would be streets ahead of other African countries.

The continued fights make a mockery of Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa’s comment on the BBC programme Hardtalk this week where he said that Mugabe should set the trajectory for the country. Even the most daft Zanu PF member now knows Mugabe is no longer fit to govern.

short and sweet…

LOCAL government minister Saviour Kasukuwere must have been dreaming or hallucinating when he declared that government will take over all closed companies, claiming the shutdowns were part of an orchestrated bid to sabotage the Zanu PF regime. Government is not only broke to take over the companies, but it does not have the capacity to do so.

Most companies have either downsized or completely closed shop as the country shows no sign of recovery from an economic crisis that has lasted more than a decade. Kasukuwere’s wishes to take over those companies is absurd as state enterprises such as National Railways of Zimbabwe are also struggling to stay afloat and as such are retrenching. If government wishes to revive companies it should first resuscitate all ailing state enterprises.

Industry is collapsing simply because government has failed to introduce policies which can turn-around and transform the economy. So Kasukuwere must have been hallucinating purple snakes!

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