Sliding a nation with great potential backwards

Candid Comment:gumisai nyoni
gnyoni@zimind.co.zw

REFUSING to acknowledge that there is a crisis in Zimbabwe when, in fact, it is escalating, is a crisis in itself.

Perpetual rebuffing of various stakeholders across the political divide trying to knock sense into Zanu PF that instability is fast brewing, will terribly serve as a stark reminder that denialism is the worst form of governance.

Since assuming power through a military coup in 2017 that toppled the late former president Robert Mugabe, President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the so-called new dispensation have dismally failed to deliver on promises they have made. Infrastructure is in dereliction, while service delivery is in intensive care. Most workers’ meagre earnings are making their livelihoods impossible. In addition, government has resorted to intimidation of political opponents and journalists, while corruption continues unabated. The arrest of journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and opposition politician Jacob Ngarivhume (all granted bail on Tuesday), attest to Zanu PF’s determination to thwart dissent.

Statements by press secretary in the Office of the President, George Charamba, that South Africa was too young a democracy to assist any country in the region to attain political stability aptly indicate opportunists benefitting from the Zanu PF gravy train are either detached from endemic pauperisation of the masses or are too arrogant to pay attention to issues that may derail their looting spree. It should be noted that growing old does not mean one automatically becomes wise. There are plenty of old people whose cerebral faculties are no different from that of a toddler.

While Zimbabwe gained Independence 14 years before South Africa, the latter has embraced electoral democracy, and to date has had five presidents. On the contrary, its older northern neighbour was stuck with one president for 37 years. And sadly, elections in this country are a fruitless box-ticking exercise tainted by perennial allegations of rigging and lack of transparency.

The Catholic Bishops of Zimbabwe recently issued a pastoral letter condemning human rights abuses in the country, marked by abductions and torture of perceived enemies of the State. The European Union and the United States have also adopted a similar position, but unsurprisingly Zanu PF always reacts with vitriol, ironically justifying tyranny.

The nation continues to bask in the glory of blueprints and meaningless mega-deals that do not transform the suffering of ordinary citizens into decent livelihoods. With this skewed approach to governance taking precedence over pragmatism, Zanu PF is sinking further the already haemorrhaging economy into the abyss.

For the country to move forward, the ruling party should abandon its defensive attitude and embrace inclusivity. To salvage the deteriorating status quo, dialogue with MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa to establish an inclusive government is quintessential. Detrimental denialism is taking a country with great potential backwards.