What is there to celebrate?

HARARE - It is utterly disgraceful that President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party had the gall yesterday not just to “celebrate” their disputed victory in last year’s harmonised elections, but also to do this at State House of all places.

Surely, if Zanu PF had anything worthy to celebrate, and many Zimbabweans will dispute such a possibility furiously, then it would have been more appropriate for such “celebrations” to be held at the party headquarters in Harare, rather than at State House, which is funded and looked after by the fiscus.

Let’s decode things properly, for the benefit of those who are slow to grasp the nub of important debates such as this one: State House is a national asset, not a Zanu PF property.

To that extent, it is patently improper for a political party to commandeer and misuse such a national asset, including the resources from the fiscus that keep it oiled, for the dubious benefit of partisan interests.

Indeed, are our leaders now so heartless and numbed to ordinary people’s misery that they would abuse State House to “celebrate” their evidently hollow victory in such a brazen and obscene way, while 95 percent of Zimbabweans are wallowing in abject poverty primarily caused by Zanu PF misrule and corruption?

Let us recap their election promises, just in case the kleptocracy that lords it over us has forgotten its naked lies.

Zanu PF promised Zimbabweans two million jobs, 250 000 low income housing units, 310 public schools and 300 clinics after the elections, among other things — all of which were going to be bankrolled by their underwhelming economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset).

The result, exactly one year down the road, is zip. Yes, nada — as in zilch or zero!

In fact, economic analysts say tens of thousands of badly-needed jobs have been lost between July last year and June 2014, as fatally-stressed companies either retrench staff or stampede to their graves.

The government itself can no longer sustain its expenditure bill, as manifested in pay dates for civil servants being shifted every month; while living standards for most Zimbabweans have plummeted precipitously and noticeably since the days of the government of national unity.

No wonder why most Zimbabweans no longer cherish the country’s “independence” — no matter how much this may rankle with our touchy political leaders — as the incontrovertible truth is that our “freedom” has wholly lost both its meaning and direction.

This is also what has been leading many Zimbabweans to ask what it is, indeed, that those gallant sons and daughters of this once proud nation died and sacrificed their lives for, as they battled white minority rule, because the majority of this country’s citizens are today worse off — indisputably and by any measure — than they were before April 18, 1980.

And as we have noted before, one just needs to consider the following revealing tidbits to get a clearer picture of both the scale of incompetence, corruption and the disdain with which our self-serving rulers hold fellow Zimbabweans.

When Mugabe and Zanu PF assumed power in 1980, Zimbabwe was, staggeringly, ahead of South Africa on most socio-economic indicators, and we had a higher GDP per capita than China! Not only that, our now buried currency, inherited from sanctions-ravaged Rhodesia — and we mean real, not slap-on-the-wrist targeted restrictions — was worth twice the value of the much vaunted US dollar!

Today, our GDP per capita is one of the lowest in the world, with at least 95 percent of our people living in abject poverty.

And notwithstanding the hopelessly contrived “positive” narrative around our chaotic land reforms of the past 15 years, Zimbabwe today is donor-dependent, on the very “evil” West that our leaders denigrate all the time. And we now import virtually everything that we consume.

Yet until the late 1980s, we produced most of what we ate and our farmers employed 350 000 people on their own. Juxtapose this against our new “cellphone farmers” — most of them clueless, shockingly lazy and undeserving multi-farm beneficiaries of Zanu PF’s disastrous fast-track land reforms — who very often don’t have a single person on a regular and fair payroll!

Comments (2)

It is an understatement to say that this country has truly gone to the dogs!

Khumalo - 1 August 2014

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