Zanu PF's 89-year-old candidate?

HARARE - My maternal grandmother died a few years ago in her 90s.

A few months before her death, she had heard what she called a familiar voice on ZBC TV, the voice of President Robert Mugabe; she was astonished to hear that the man was still in power.

For many fortunate to have relatives in their 80s and above, the awareness of what old age means cannot be disputed.

These are people who would rather spend a lot of time sleeping, complaining of nagging aches, are forgetful and love sweets — all the same affable and make good company.

In many families, it is failure of immense proportions to leave your old suffering, uncared for, more so to leave them to do the running around on family issues and what more national issues.

This will be the height of disrespect.

It is a huge surprise therefore, that at the time Zimbabwe is talking of another election in 2013, Zanu PF still has the guts to field Mugabe as its candidate at 89.

Mugabe has equally shown enthusiasm to represent his party, declaring as long as the people want him, he will remain in politics.

 One is left wondering if there is nothing else that President Mugabe wants to devote his time and life to apart from being marooned at state house. More interestingly does the President have any respect for his colleagues in the party.

Mugabe has already stated  his fears that Zanu PF would disintegrate should he retire from active politics, and the party itself has as much surrendered to the fact that only one individual glues the party together, regardless of his record, capacity to lead and contribution to national development.
 
 The senior leadership in Zanu PF has all but told the people of Zimbabwe of their incapacity and leadership deficiencies by allowing themselves to be led by this old man, who under normal circumstances would rather be resting at home.

This leadership failure is exposed even further if one looks at how Zanu PF senior leadership falls over each other to sing praise songs to Mugabe as if they are singing to God.
 
The fact that Mugabe will be a candidate at 89 in 2013 clearly shows a party bereft of ideas and more importantly a party that is in comatose waiting for death to come.

For all his exploits as an orator and educationist, political events of the past decade have shown Mugabe as a failure determined to hold on to power at the expense of the achievements he has made since 1980.

The much-vaunted education sector is now a shadow of its former self. There are as many dilapidated schools from primary to universities that only speak of the undoing of the good work of Mugabe.

Over 4 million Zimbabweans are scrapping a living in foreign lands, and Zanu PF has the guts to abandon them and deny them the right to participate in elections.

It takes as many days to apply for a national ID let alone a passport, 32 years after independence.
 
Zimbabwe has been turned into a supermarket for foreign products as millions of young people have given up looking for jobs.

Almost all city centres are now clothing shops selling cheap Chinese and South African products.

Those close to Mugabe buy mansions in SA and live large on corruption.

All this is happening under the nose of Mugabe.

This is not surprising because at 88, noth can be expected from Mugabe.

It is those close to him who ought to be ashamed of still being led by an 88-year-old and fielding him as a candidate in a national election.

If this is the best that Zanu PF can produce then we wonder what his juniors are capable of.  So we wait for 2013 and history will again be made, when one party fields an 89 year old as its Presidential candidate.

Should the old man win, he will celebrate his first anniversary in office at 90. God help us.  - David Mutomba

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