HomeAnalysisMuckracker: Dignity. What dignity for the long-suffering Zim workers?

Muckracker: Dignity. What dignity for the long-suffering Zim workers?

MUCKRAKER

This week, it was proposed by parliament that the country’s owner be summoned to the National Assembly to explain why he is allowing corruption in the country.

“Parliament must move a motion to summon President Emmerson Mnangagwa to the National Assembly to answer questions about rampant corruption in his government, which were flagged by Auditor-General Mildred Chiri in her 2020 report,” according to Temba Mliswa.

“The president is presiding over a dysfunctional government, a corrupt government,” Mliswa said.

It must have been a double shock for Mnangagwa. First, the very idea that he must explain to elected representatives why his government is corrupt is a huge surprise.

Since when is a Zimbabwean president accountable to anyone?

Second, it must have been a shock to be lectured on corruption by Temba, of all people!

What dignity?

In a May Day speech this week, Mnangagwa came out to praise workers for their role in the booming economy.

“Your dignity as workers, your value, wages and salaries must be commensurate with the resultant improving macro-economic fundamentals,” he said.

He then thanked those working in the informal sector and those in the Diaspora, which he managed to do without asking why those two groups were there in the first place.

He promised that he would ensure that “the improving macro-economic fundamentals translate to a dignified life for workers”.

With rising inflation figures, an exchange rate in free-fall and falling incomes, it is hard to see which “improving macro-economic fundamentals” he has been given by his advisors. More likely, he was just given a speech from another country to read.

After all, it must have been a shock to him to learn that there are still workers in the country, given how hard he has worked over the past few years to destroy the economy.

Momentous time

There was massive news this week, out of the mega deals briefcase.

It was announced that assembly kits for buses had finally arrived from China.

“Kits for the assembly of 21 buses arrived in Zimbabwe yesterday from China, as Harare moves to reduce the forex import bill and create more jobs through assembling buses locally,” reported the Herald, a leading authority in the business of fact-based and credible journalism.

With these 21 buses, all these people using the public transport crisis as an example of government’s failures will be put to shame and finally silenced.

According to the headline, the 21 buses herald — pardon the pun — the arrival of the world-class public transport system we were promised in 2018.

As the President said in his May Day speech: “During peak hours, workers must be the transported with the greatest of ease.”

Who are we not to demand national celebrations for the arrival of bits and pieces of 21 buses? We deserve a national public holiday to mark this momentous day.

Ambulances

There was reason for more celebrations, after it was announced that the country will soon get 100 new ambulances.

“Each province is set to receive between eight to 10 ambulances once they have been all kitted,” we were told, amid much heavy breathing and excitement.

According to the media, which must be tired of reporting all these massive government successes, the Ministry of Health had 282 ambulances in 2018. Out of those 282 ambulances, 134 were working while 148 were rusting away.

Muckraker read that the World Health Organisation recommends an ambulance to population ratio of one ambulance for every 50 000 people.

We should be just grateful that our owners have found it in their hearts to set aside a few dollars from their 4X4 budget to throw a few ambulances our way. What would we do without our selfless, generous leaders?

More deceptions

Those who have been making noise saying government has broken its promises must be finishing the week with egg on their faces.

The Minister of Dodgy Public Service, Paul Mavima, said while we were promised free education every year under the New Deception, we must now expect it next year, just in time for elections.

“I am glad to announce that now the President has committed to that, starting in 2023, there is going to be free primary education, so all those who are going to go into public schools will not be required to pay basic tuition fees, and the state will continue to support those who are vulnerable with things like uniforms, examinations fees and stationery.”

Who are we not to believe that this promise will be fulfilled this time? Did the government even lie to us?

Expert on Zim

In the United Kingdom, a Lord James Oates has stood up in their parliament to declare that one faction of the opposition is better than another.

He has endorsed Nelson Chamisa’s CCC as the legitimate opposition, while calling Douglas Mwonzora’s MDC Alliance as “Zanu PF’s puppet opposition faction”. Lord Oates once taught in Zimbabwe, which, in the tradition of Western politicians, makes one a leading expert on all things Africa.

All this, of course, made Chris Mutsvangwa, the garrulous Zanu PF mouthpiece, angrier than usual.

“They now arbitrate and abate fights within that opposition movement,” Mutsvangwa said at a press conference.

Of course, choosing which opposition party is legitimate and which one is not, is not the job of distant British lords in tweed jackets. That is Zanu PF’s job.

We must be grateful

According to Mutsvangwa, we must all be grateful for what Zanu PF has done for us.

“This is a constitution begat of a military struggle which gave them the democracy which they have. Had it not been for Zipra and Zanla, which waged a war, many of them would have been cattle herders, hunting birds with catapults,” he said.

Surely, after many of us spent the better part of last week expending all our energies on either chasing after or tending to a herd of goats in Murehwa, Mutsvangwa should be really proud of us.

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