Zanu PF lives on lies

LONDON - When a government habitually suppresses organised expressions of discontent, it seeks to portray that life is all good.

Demonstrations tend to not only embarrass governments but also arouse the fear that such events may galvanise broader consciousness on the subjects of the protests.

Almost always thus, when a protest is organised, the police, acting on behalf of Zanu PF, have to manufacture some pretext to stop it.

The whole purpose of suppressing such public expression is to create this false impression that life is all good.

These falsified portrayals are also disseminated through speech, text and pliant media.

Zimbabwe celebrates, perhaps “commemorates” is more appropriate, its independence next weekend. Already some false impressions have been brazenly expressed.

Last week, Saviour Kasukuwere, Zanu PF’s political commissar, told the State media that Zimbabwe had done well since 1980.

It takes some temerity to make such a bald claim.

Later, a hash tag “#sofarsogood” emerged on Twitter.

Information minister Jonathan Moyo’s job is to do public relations for the Zanu PF regime; the reason he opened a Twitter account recently. Like State media, his mission includes defending the indefensible.

But as he learnt from reactions to this hash tag, some things are just beyond spin.

You can spin the causes of economic meltdown but you cannot spin the lived experiences of people.

When people had good schools, hospitals, roads, regular electricity, water, jobs 35 years ago, it takes some audacity to claim that life has been “good” so far given the current conditions.

While other developing nations have made progress, we have in fact regressed into pre-modern times.

We have reverted more to firewood for heat. The urban landscape is now dotted with boreholes, not as a luxury but as the main source of water. Our rural girls resort to dung for sanitary wear. Prisoners use Bible pages for toilet paper.

More than 4 500 companies have closed since 2011, with 55 000 people thrown onto the streets. Unemployment is hovering around 80 percent.

This is not a record that any sensible government can be proud of. By suggesting that life has been good so far, Zanu PF is living a big lie.

In South Africa last week, President Robert Mugabe gave a rather puzzling riposte to a white journalist who had asked him a question.

“I don’t want to see a white face,” he retorted.

Mugabe harbours intense hatred for white people because of history and possibly his isolation in recent years.

Such racist sentiments are, however, unhelpful to a country that is trying to attract investment.

When a head of State says he doesn’t want to see a white face, the message he sends is that whites are not welcome in his country.

One cannot argue he was only referring to this particular white face. His message went beyond the journalist, to a whole race.

Indeed, there are wealthy blacks.

But given the racial wealth distribution, the reality is that white hands hold most of the capital we need for investment and job-creation.

Patrick Chinamasa, Walter Chidhakwa and Walter Mzembi, who have been working considerably hard to lure investors, know this.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Zimbabwe remains at about only $400 million annually compared to South Africa’s $10 billion.

In efforts to increase the FDI inflows, these ministers have been meeting “white faces” of late.

Moyo may fashion some defence for Mugabe, but these ministers know that their leader’s remarks are quite damaging.

Mugabe is essentially undoing their hard work.

The problem is none of them, some known to kneel and even weep before him, can face up to the demigod they created, no matter how harmful to the national cause he becomes.

The idea that life has been good so far is ridiculously dishonest and out of touch.

Society will feel good when, apart from full enjoyment of citizens’ rights, the country enjoys economic development.

The latter can happen if Zanu PF promotes consistent and positive messages about the country.

    Comments (8)

    hear hear, conrad

    jojo - 14 April 2015

    we are led by a clueless bunch, smith gave mugabe a jewel of africa and he plundered it. now we are in the stone age.

    eddie - 14 April 2015

    Defination of Stupid Knowing the truth Seeing the truth But still believing the lies We have a bunch of stupid people masquarading as ministers.

    SOBER SENSE - 14 April 2015

    Vanhu ve MDC ne Daily news munedambudziko. You want to blame Zanu for all your failures . Lose elections Zanu rigged , fail to get people to demonstrate - Zanu stopped people from attending . You fail to give solutions to your problems of splitting your party Zanu . Tsangirai is calling an all stakeholders conference to try and get solutions to the Zimbabwean problems , so for all along he wanted to rule without knowing what to do ? Munotinyadzisa kwazvo . If you really want to rule you better join Zanu PF .

    Hayibo! - 14 April 2015

    Unfortunately for Mugabe is that the people he scolds and ruthlessly dislike have nothing to lose. It is him who will have sleepless nights about the bleeding economy, the factional fights and his declining health

    pride - 14 April 2015

    @haibo if you are living the lies that zanu and its cohorts are living better zip up. You can't even spell Tsvangirai correctly. just go on living your lies like them. ndiwe urikutingwaudza

    pride - 14 April 2015

    Writing about Zimbabwe while in the comfort of London! Shame on you.

    godfrey gudo - 15 April 2015

    @gudo, what abt nick mangwana (zpf) London, reason wafawarova - Australia writing for herald?

    poppy - 16 April 2015

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