“There is nothing historic about Mnangagwa’s hypocritical use of a US$20 note to buy food at a time when he is advocating the use of electronic transactions and when ordinary Zimbabweans are queueing in vain to get access to cash. On the contrary, it is the showcasing of impoverished leadership.”
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has preached ad nauseam about the need to have a peaceful campaign as the country counts down to the July 30 elections.
However, the septuagenarian leader’s message has not cascaded down to his party Zanu PF, if the events at the weekend are anything to go by. Soldiers and the national service youth militia, known as “Green Bombers”, had a torrid time trying to control the restless crowd at Bindura’s Chipadze Stadium.
Scores of people began leaving when Mnangagwa was midway through his speech at a campaign rally held on Saturday. Some of the youths, armed with logs, tried to stop the people, but were eventually overwhelmed by the sheer numbers. Several people were reportedly injured in the melee as they fled the marauding militia and soldiers. This was after the embarrassing scenes on Friday at another Mnangagwa rally, where scores of people streamed out of the rally venue, leaving senior party officials with egg on the face.
“As the President was addressing the people, some truck drivers started to spread messages that they were leaving the rally,” Zanu PF candidate for Gokwe-Mapfungautsi and politburo me-mber Victor Matemadanda blustered as he ignored the real reasons why people walked out on Mnangagwa.
This provides unassailable evidence that people are tired of being told about imaginary US$16 billion investments and empty slogans of “Zimbabwe is open for business” when there is very little to show for it.
It is nothing short of disgraceful that people are being forced to stay to listen to such drivel especially at a time when Mnangagwa has preached about promoting freedom of expression in newspaper adverts. The unedifying scenes have shown that in the case of Cde Ngwena, charity does not begin at home!
The silly season is hitting a peak as election day draws nearer as evidenced by the ridiculous outbursts we are subjected to.
From MDC-T deputy president Elias Mudzuri’s remarks that the opposition party’s late founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai had visited him in his dreams and gave him the thumbs up, to Mnangagwa’s comparison of Zanu PF’s incompetent government with heavenly leadership, the desperation for votes has reached fever pitch.
However, The Herald had probably the most preposterous article this week when it reported that Mnangagwa’s recent stop-over to buy food at a Chicken Inn outlet in Chegutu has left a lasting impression. That Chegutu West House of Assembly candidate Dexter Nduna would have us believe that Mnangagwa’s urge to fulfill a gastronomical need was a “historic thing he has done for the people of Chegutu” is utterly laughable.
The only thing historic about Nduna’s remarks is the level he has stooped to in a badly executed assignment to brownnose Mnangagwa. Aspiring councillor Tatenda Gwinji was not about to be outdone by the bootlicking Nduna. “It was unheard of in Zimbabwe that a President stands in a queue to buy food and, as a nation, we are more than blessed to have a leader like President Mnangagwa,” Gwiji enthused.
It beggars belief that these are the benchmarks used to gauge Mnangagwa’s leadership at a time the economy remains in the doldrums since he came to power on the back of military tanks in November last year. There is nothing historic about Mnangagwa’s hypocritical use of a US$20 note to buy food at a time when he is advocating the use of electronic transactions and when ordinary Zimbabweans are queueing in vain to get access to cash. On the contrary, it is the showcasing of impoverished leadership.
The scandal over a defective voters’ roll — amid revelations of 250 000 ghost voters and dodgy polling stations which will cater for as few as two voters — continues to show Zanu PF’s obsession with the dark arts when it comes to elections.
“One of the key concerns that have emerged is the existence of both double registrants and the high possibility of ghost voters in the roll. Both scenarios were, ordinarily, not expected given that the Electoral Commission used the most sophisticated BVR (biometric voter registration) system to capture voters’ data.
At the time of writing, the number of red-flagged entries basing on all techniques used stood at 250 000,” read part of the findings by experts in a report shown to our sister paper NewsDay. That ghost voters can be found even on a BVR voters’ roll speaks to the depth of Machiavellian tactics in Zanu PF’s bag of tricks. Public suspicion of a massive dirty tricks project have been heightened by Zanu PF’s inexplicable access to registered voters’ constituency-linked phone numbers. The party was caught with its hands in the cookie jar after it dispatched text messages soliciting for votes.
Unsurprisingly, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) officials have claimed their hands are clean, but nobody believes their lame excuses. As custodians of the voters’ roll they cannot feign innocence nor shirk responsibility.
The buck stops with Zec. As a result of this sloppiness, the election management body cannot claim to be a victim when the opposition accuses it of jumping into bed with Zanu PF.
Mnangagwa last week launched the Empower Bank, whose mandate is availing loans to the youth.
This comes after the recent launch of the Women’s Bank. “I had the honour to inaugurate Empower Bank, Zimbabwe’s first youth empowerment bank. A truly blessed initiative,” Mnangagwa tweeted.
The responses to his tweet showed that not all shared his excitement. “US$12 million to a youth empowerment bank and US$200 million for billboards and T-shirts. What a focussed president,” was one sarcastic tweet. “President, are you not embarrassed that at this rate of opening banks, we shall soon have more banks than cash?” asked another.
The marathon opening of banks in the midst of a liquidity crisis and severe cash shortage is baffling. Given what happened when government availed loans to youths, whereby the facility had to be stopped after a default rate of more than 70%, the disdain to the launch of new banks is understandable. It will take more than Mnangagwa warning against loan defaults on a podium to prevent a repeat of when youths used such loans to buy cars and paying lobola instead of setting up business ventures. Considering that the leadership is more or less the same to that which was there when this happened, Muckraker is not holding his breath that this will change.
“We must shun corruption. Whoever is practising it must be extracted from us and be thrown away so we concentrate on rebuilding our country. We have many resources with the important one being human resources.”
These were the words of Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga at a rally in Harare’s Mabelreign suburb recently.
It reminded Muckracker of a recent confession by one deputy chief secretary in the president’s office by the name Ray Ndhlukula that they had awarded Chiwenga’s wife Marry a multi-million dollar contract of public funds without going to tender, a classic case of corruption. Can Chiwenga tell us what to do about such naked corruption — or is he preaching a gospel of “do as I say, not as I do”? The mind boggles.
Chiwenga seems ignorant of the truism that one should not throw stones in glass houses. To have such hypocrisy from the so-called new dispensation truly demonstrates that a leopard never changes its spots.
Bigwigs plunder in the name of land reform
The chaos of land reform is still inflicting damage on the economy 18 years after government embarked on the programme ostensibly to address racially-skewed land ownership.
However, the objectives of the exercise have since been deserted, as it has become a platform for plunder and settling scores.
This is illustrated by High Court judge Justice Hlekani Mwayera’s order for Colonel Never Makuyana to vacate former Zanu PF Manicaland youth leader Mubuso Chinguno’s Chipinge West farm. Makuyana invaded the 100-hectare farm in June this year with the help of armed soldiers, taking advantage of the absence of Chinguno who had fled the country following last November’s “soft coup” on former president Robert Mugabe. In 2016, Reserve Bank governor John Mangudya had to go to court to protect his farm from invaders. Farm invasions are continuing unabated.
We have even seen rag-tag mobs invading privately owned mines. The so-called new dispensation is a huge farce.