Zim falls apart as centre collapses

HARARE - Zimbabwe is entering what the wily former manager of Manchester United Football Club, Alex Ferguson, used to refer to as “squeaky-bum time” when the going got really tough on the pitch — all thanks to President Robert Mugabe’s and Zanu PF’s continuing misrule.

That Zimbabwe once again finds itself on the brink politically and economically, and that the centre can no longer hold within Mugabe’s ruling party is not a matter of speculation or conjecture anymore — as developments of the past few months show clearly.

Indeed, it does not matter which way one looks, for those who choose to see, as the signs of Zanu PF-orchestrated anarchy are everywhere in our seemingly cursed country — bearing in mind the adage that there are none so blind as those who won't see.

Just consider this damning evidence.

Notwithstanding the pathetic spin in the State media, the economy is dying. The government is stone broke and cannot pay its obligations. Reputable big companies are collapsing like dominos. And the rate of job losses has reached catastrophic levels.

This is the reason why the prudent and refreshingly candid minister of Finance, Patrick Chinamasa, has openly admitted that the State needs an urgent civil service audit, that it can no longer afford to carry its wages and that it cannot consider the idea of paying a 13th cheque going forward.

This is also the reason why previously thriving big corporates such as leading banks and huge industrial concerns have shut shop completely over the past seven years, bleeding hundreds of thousands of desperately needed jobs in the process, as also readily admitted to by the government’s own Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat).

Economists have also revealed the horror fact that average incomes in Zimbabwe are now at their lowest levels in 60 years, with more than 76 percent of the country’s families now having to make do with less than $200 a month, well below the poverty datum line of more than $500.

This, in simple terms, means that poverty levels in Zimbabwe have reached shocking levels, amid indications that the situation will worsen this year and beyond, as Mugabe and his Zanu PF continue to demonstrate their gross incapacity to fix the country.

And the story is not any rosier on the political front.

Almost a year after the Daily News perceptively warned in a front page editorial that anarchy was looming both in the ruling party and the country generally, the chickens are truly coming home to roost.

It is now abundantly clear to all right-thinking Zimbabweans — and even the most fanatic Zanu PF apparatchiks as well — that Mugabe, indisposed by old age and failing health has lost the confidence of his long-standing senior party lieutenants as well as the control of the levers of power in the country, where everything is now a free-for-all.

The escalating level and brutal tone of factionalism and purges within his party, that has claimed the head of his former number two, Joice Mujuru, as well as her perceived supporters — who are all being accused of plotting to oust and kill him in stunning claims that have yet to be tested — is very worrying to say the least. And the mayhem continues unabated, to the detriment of all Zimbabweans and the country, which is now perilously close to being seen as a certified failed state.

So bad is the situation that even our most dependable friends and neighbours, the South Africans, have now publicly moved to put a distance between us and them owing to our crass and suicidal politics.

The take-no-prisoners secretary general of President Jacob Zuma’s ruling African National Congress, Gwede Mantashe, bluntly said earlier this week that the ANC did not share many of Zanu PF’s policies and ideological stances.

All this explains why many analysts think that the end is nigh for Mugabe and Zanu PF, which end will all be self-inflicted.

The worry is, will this end come peacefully given the tendency by the ruling party to resort to violence each time its power is threatened — bearing in mind how Mugabe’s supporters acted savagely in 2008 after he lost hands down to Morgan Tsvangirai in that year’s disputed presidential plebiscite?

Comments (1)

Well said. Our country has now truly gone to the dogs.

Khumalo - 16 April 2015

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