Put people first, please

HARARE - Today, the Zanu PF politburo meets and we hope President Robert Mugabe and his colleagues discuss something meaningful to extricate Zimbabweans from the current turmoil.

Apart from social unrest, Zimbabwe is being stalked by hunger with people in rural areas hardest-hit.

Still, hunger is also very much pronounced in urban areas where people are for the most part unemployed and live on the fringes of the economy.

And there is basically no economy to talk about as evidenced by a choking stock exchange and the failure by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) to meet its revenue collections target.

All in all, our country is on the deathbed and we would hope that Mugabe, who last week ironically said that the ruling party’s constitution precedes the country’s Constitution — which is supposed to be supreme — shows us he doesn’t have Zimbabwe at heart.

We hope Mugabe and his hangers-on, divided as they are, reflect on the long banks queues that are back to haunt long-suffering Zimbabweans.

We hope Mugabe and his bickering lieutenants for once focus on the suffering masses and not to expend their energy on power retention, never mind the cost.

It is public knowledge that at least five million Zimbabweans are in urgent need of food aid, 90 percent of the population is unemployed and companies have closed with the few that are still operational operating below capacity. But as sad and grim as the raw statistics are, Mugabe has never called for an urgent State of the Nation Address to proffer solutions as is done in progressive countries.

Zimbabwe is in a crisis, and the Zanu PF politburo, the party’s highest decision-making body outside congress, has a duty to offer pragmatic solutions and not to just trade succession allegations.

Yes, it is critical for any organisation to have a succession plan but it does not mean that the lives of the suffering masses revolve around that issue.

We urge Mugabe to stop focusing on his faction-riddled party but to remember why many sons and daughters of this nation in distress went to war.

The war was waged in order to free the masses, who remain shackled as evidenced by the ongoing arrest of war veterans’ leaders, the war was fought not for a select few but for the broad masses who are still to get to the promised land of milk and honey.

We hope Mugabe takes time to reflect hard on whether at 92, in the twilight of his long political career, the only legacy he wants to leave is that of purges and purges.

Zimbabweans deserve better and may today’s politburo meeting break with the past and put people first.

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