HomeAnalysisZanu PF suddenly remembers starving masses of Bikita

Zanu PF suddenly remembers starving masses of Bikita

Chidyausiku’s wailing reveals a deepening crisis, a sign that there is pandemonium and turmoil in government.

FACTIONAL fights within the moribund Zanu PF have gone another notch up, just when you thought that was not possible.

Twitter: @MuckrakerZim

Over the weekend we were treated to yet another round of barbs between Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo and Herald columnist Nathaniel Manheru, widely believed to be President Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson and Information secretary George Charamba.

Charamba, in his latest instalment, told Moyo to stay out of the debate over the veteran ruler’s succession, saying he had already lost the fight, adding he should stick to what he knows best: academic research.

Moyo responded by tweeting “What a useful statement from a useful idiot with a useful message from his useless Stalinist handlers who are ignorant of the magic of elections”.

When grown men behave like infants fighting over a toy, they may provide free entertainment to an impoverished and distressed population, but such squabbling does not help the country overcome the man-made catastrophe caused by the gluttonous ruling party.

With unemployment at 95% and graduates turning to street vending to eke out a living, companies closing left, right and centre amid the continued hemorrhaging of jobs, it is a shame that all we read about are endless fights and suspensions in Zanu PF.

It is a damning indictment that Zanu PF has mastered the art of bickering, having failed miserably to create the 2,2 million jobs it promised in its 2013 election manifetso.

Never has a two-thirds majority been such a horrendous waste as that attained by Zanu PF in 2013.

The country’s economy would no doubt have completely recovered had the efforts invested in factional bickering been directed to resuscitate the country’s economy which is in the doldrums.

The fights, prompted by a frenzied scramble to succeed the ailing President Robert Mugabe, do not only show that the centre can no longer hold, but also that there might not be any centre to talk of anymore.

Data debacle

The ugly standoff between mobile operator Econet Wireless and the Information Communication Technology minister Supa Mandiwanzira over the setting of a floor price by industry regulator Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Potraz) made for interesting reading.

The increase in tariffs by Econet, after Potraz had given the nod for a floor price, torched a public storm as the hike threatened to bring letter writing back into vogue before Mandiwanzira, who is on holiday, was forced to order the reversal of the floor price.

Mandiwanzira, in reversing the decision, accused Econet of “gluttonous corporate greed”.

Econet hit back at Mandiwanzira for “inconsistency and duplicity”, an attack the minister called “highly political and defamatory.”

One cannot help feeling that had there been no strident public outcry the extortionate prices would still be in force today.

Government would have benefitted in curbing the use of social media which senior officials are clearly uncomfortable with while the mobile networks would have made a fortune as a result of the increased prices.

Indeed Mandiwanzira had initially pointed out that he would only address the issue at the end of the month, showing a lack of urgency in addressing the matter.

Even if Econet feels hard done by, the extortionate pricing is in stark contrast to its move last year demanding that all its suppliers reduce their charges by 15% as part of price correction in the market.

To demand that others reduce their prices while the telecoms giant increases its prices 25-fold reeks of the worst form of hypocrisy.

When all is said and done, neither government nor Econet come out of this sordid episode smelling of roses.
Chidyausiku exposure

We have learnt that chief justice Godfrey Chidyausiku has no plans to turn a hundred years old or “kumhanyira pazana” while in office like his boss Mugabe. He is retiring. But not with a whimper as his white predecessors did when they were hounded out of office at the beginning of chaotic land reform in 2000.

Chidyausiku, who returned to work end of October after being dramatically shunted into early retirement by a cunning cabal a few months earlier, called out Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa who also superintends the ministry of Justice, accusing as yet-to-be-identified people in the Office of the President and Cabinet of writing a fraudulent executive order to halt interviews for his successor.

Chidyausiku’s wailing reveals a deepening crisis, a sign that there is pandemonium and turmoil in government.

It also shows someone somewhere is trying to do the Great Bob’s job while the inimitable one is sleeping or globetrotting.

The latest revelation shows the shameful disregard of the country’s laws with amendments being crafted even before laws have been aligned to the new constitution promulgated only in 2013.

It is nothing short of a monumental scandal.

Property anxiety

The meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Mugabe in Beijing last week has been lauded in the state media as the best thing since sliced bread.

However, behind the clichéd platitudes of working together are signs that the relationship between the two countries is not hunky dory.

China’s acting ambassador to Zimbabwe Zhao Baogang told this paper last week that although relations between the two countries are “very strong”, China had concerns over the government’s policy inconsistencies “particularly in the mining sector”.

He was, of course, referring to government’s move to force all diamond miners in Chiadzwa to cease operations last year.

The companies, among them Chinese firm Anjin, were forcibly evicted without securing their equipment.

The Chinese, Mugabe’s much-vaunted “all-weather friend”, witnessed first-hand the government’s disregard for property rights.

By treating the Chinese mining companies so callously, Government has shown that it can at least be consistent in one respect: being inconsistent.

Members only

“Members only… it’s a private party …” are lyrics of the song Members Only by Bobby Blue Bland whose real name is Robert Calvin.

We were reminded of the song after Human Rights Watch placed Mugabe’s government among the despots on the continent for the period January and October 2016.

The report, released last week, noted that last year the government disregarded the rights stipulated by the country’s new constitution and resisted calls for reform.

That Mugabe is lumped together with Gambian tinpot dictator Yahya Jammeh, who has disgracefully refused to hand over power after being defeated in elections last month, speaks volumes of Mugabe’s democracy deficit in 2016.

Zanu PF will not reform itself out of power

For decades the people of the semi-arid district of Bikita have struggled with hunger and famine. But the imprisonment of their MP Munyaradzi Kereke for raping a little girl seems to have been a good omen and has necessitated yet another by-election.

The rains are falling and central government (read Zanu PF) seems to have remembered the people of Bikita still exist. “We have received more fertiliser than we need or we have ever been given since the dawn of independence,” a villager revealed. Free food is raining on Bikita like manna from heaven. Zanu PF will do anything and everything to cling to power. The more things change the more they remain the same.

Morgan Tsvangirai and lately Joice Mujuru have been pleading for electoral reforms. But while they moan and groan incessantly, Zanu PF continues to use its incumbency to brazenly buy votes in what could turn out to be a hotly contested Bikita West by-election which will be held tomorrow. A leopard does not change its spots.

Zanu PF will not reform itself out of power and, the earlier opposition parties get this, the better as the country gears towards the 2018 general election. And in 2018 things are not going to change, Zanu PF will use everything at its disposal to win again by fair means or foul. Opposition parties will scream blue murder afterwards but life will go on. A change of tact would serve them better. There is no less stupidity than doing the same thing all the time and expecting different results! It’s also known as insanity.

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