Things will get worse before they get better

HARARE - It is a terrible indictment on President Robert Mugabe and his warring Zanu PF that Zimbabwe, under their misrule of the past 36 long years, has more often than not resembled a fatal combination of the fabled Animal Farm and the ill-fated luxury ocean liner Titanic.

The Titanic, as many Daily News readers will know, was a disaster of epic proportions back in 1912, thanks to the hubris of its owners and managers, who caused the needless loss of more than 1 500 lives.

Sadly, this is exactly how Zanu PF leaders have behaved most of the time since 1980 — with the only difference being that our heartless overlords have been culpable for many, many more deaths directly and indirectly.

Penned by renowned author George Orwell and published at the end of World War II, the Animal Farm fable is a cautionary tale for democracy-deficient countries like Zimbabwe of the dangers of misplaced nationalism, the deifying of so-called liberators such as the many hyenas in Zanu PF, as well as the pitfalls of totalitarianism.

Indeed, although it sounds harsh and impolitic to say so, the stark reality of independent Zimbabwe is that average citizens are now shamefully and demonstrably poorer than they were during the time of Ian Smith’s racist, minority government. In fact, economic experts have pointed out that average incomes in 2016 are now lower than they were 50 years ago.

The corruption, thuggery and incompetence of our rulers boggle the mind.

We at the Daily News  wish we could write riveting and uplifting news everyday, highlighting the many advances that our country should be making, given how resource-rich we are, and the fact that there was once a time when we were viewed as the breadbasket of the region, or as the “Switzerland of Africa”, as the late Julius Mwalimu Nyerere is famously quoted as having said at the time of our independence.

But alas, the reality on the ground, the poverty of Zimbabweans and their escalating suffering leaves no room for the kind of “hear no evil and speak no evil” sunshine journalism that some of our competitors excel in.

After all, to do so would be to betray the beloved motherland and its wonderful people — while also sending the wrong message to the “comrade leaders” who are raping and pillaging the country like there is no tomorrow.

That Zimbabwe has been in deep doo-doo like forever, and that the centre is no longer holding in Zanu PF, is no longer really a subject for intelligent discussion in the country — with our panicking leaders now resorting to ever more repressive measures to stay in power.

As we once again report in our lead story today, the government is continuing with its savage clampdown against dissenting voices in the country, with hundreds of opposition members and pro-democracy activists having been arrested around the country by police this past weekend alone.

Worse still, rights groups and legal experts say we are now virtually operating under a state of emergency — amid further projections by analysts that things are set to get worse before they get better in the country.

It is very depressing.

Indeed, we also report elsewhere in today’s newspaper that one of the country’s biggest hospitals, Harare Central, has suspended all non-emergency surgeries indefinitely, citing a critical shortage of drugs — and laying bare how much things have fallen apart in Zimbabwe.

It doesn’t matter where one looks in our seemingly cursed country, it’s carnage everywhere, and the suffering of ordinary Zimbabweans is getting worse by the day — all thanks to the legendary ineptitude and misrule of our would-be liberators.

But as the Daily News has long predicted since it came back from its unjust and forced eight-year closure by the government just over five years ago, there is hope around the corner, particularly given Zanu PF’s ugly and seemingly unstoppable factional and succession wars.

Which can never be said to be a bad thing in the long-term, if Zimbabwe is ever to come right — even if in the short-term many people will be concerned by both the escalating level and brutal tone of the factionalism between the two major ruling party formations that now obtain.

In the long-term, Zanu PF’s inexorable weakening can only be good for the country’s nascent democracy, as was evidenced during the government of national unity era.

Then, the country’s fortunes improved, with the quality of life for most Zimbabweans going up tangibly after years of sliding backwards.

But as Zimbabweans become bolder about agitating for their rights, and as the end-game in Zanu PF approaches, the pertinent question of who exactly among the party’s senior officials still wants Mugabe as the leader of the former liberation movement and the country has become a pressing one, if one looks at the stampede in the brawling party to succeed him.

In the meantime, and dangerously so, almost every senior member of the ruling party has now at one time or the other been accused of “treason” and harbouring overweening ambition to succeed the increasingly frail nonagenarian.

Which all misses the point, as the sad reality is that Gushungo has been, and continues to be at the heart of Zimbabwe’s myriad crises, including the bizarre and patently false belief in some pockets of the party that the country would cease to exist if the nonagenarian were to leave the throne.

Yes, it doesn’t matter what issue one looks at, the president is and has been at the heart of it: with Zimbabweans enduring memories of him having to do with his ineptitude as a leader, the endemic corruption in the country that is synonymous with Zanu PF, Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina, record poverty and unemployment, as well as a million other things that have gone wrong since 1980.

    Comments (5)

    We must discover ourselves, first and foremost. Why were we subjected to slavery for 500yrs, colonised afterwards, most time by no more than a shipload of savages who themselves called us savages. The reason is on account of a techno-cultural developmental deficiency which we harbour up to this day. We need to bridge this gap. By learning from those that can innovate and solve local challenges. We need shun ugly names like Zimbabwe, which has this magical power to ruin the country as are the ruined and deserted dzimba-dzemabges. Call it Rhodesia, its real name, and ask for more white brethren from the Great White Queen. It may seem like a joke, yet even capital will flow in and even accumulate from within. Bridges surely are way better than the Berlin wall or the mooted Trump-Mexico barricade. Our inability to commonise this simplicity, in my opinion, is testimony to our said deficiency. We need universities that develop skills that serve the nation, as opposed to other nations. Suffer the children. It ain't Mugabe-ZANU alone; it's more of the generalty of primitive Africa

    maombo david - 20 September 2016

    shame belongs to the .......

    manyange charles - 20 September 2016

    @Maombo David: Mother f@@ker; did you just say that the name Zimbabwe is ugly and that we should revert to the name Rhodesia ??. I may oppose the current ruling party and their disgraceful 30 plus years in power but you, my ignorant friend, need psychiatric help or else a lethal injection. Take your pick

    TruthSaid - 20 September 2016

    We were colonised by British yes but now its this son of Malawi who's father came to our country & gave birth to the most dangerous, ignorant, stupid,selfish&evil son who now treats us like shit.If Mugabe was the real son of Zimbabwe he was going to feel sorry for us,,now he don't even care because his ancestors are in Malawi. He is not the son of our soil as he claim. Now Malawi will be rich in oil whilst our country Zimbabwe will be the most poor country ever.I don't know why the people of Zimbabwe are not raising that issue.Mugabe gave his brothers houses including IDs to make sure he will get support when the time like this comes.Zimbabweans are good people.Yes we find some of us being used but we are not as cowerd as this evil man who call himself son of our soil

    matsotsi - 20 September 2016

    Now we paying the price of our ignorance.The reason why Mugabe is not naming his successeser is because he wants to put his son before he die.Just watch&see.Remember we had that the son was being militarily trained in China.All what these idiots of ZANU are doing is being led blindly. By the time they will wake up it will be too late.Mugabe said no one knows the successer.He said its a revelation to be revealed,,which means himself, only himself knows&who that person will be.Do u think he trusts anyone in his party???????Who will be the best candidate?????????

    matsotsi - 20 September 2016

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