Mugabe's Zanu PF needs to put people first

HARARE - Zanu PF meets this week in Masvingo for its Annual People’s Conference at a crucial time for  the country which is reeling from a cocktail of problems blamed on the liberation movement’s government’s inept policies.

Sadly, the country has no hope that this year’s gathering of Zanu PF supporters in Masvingo will bring a Christmas cheer to millions of impoverished ordinary Zimbabweans who can’t make ends meet as the economy continues to die.

It is really ironic that Zanu PF meets for the second time in Masvingo this year — a province ravaged by famine as a result of the El-Nino induced drought and neglect by the country’s leadership.

In February President Robert Mugabe and his colleagues held a feast to celebrate his 92nd birthday in the populous province and we were all struck, not by the sheer numbers that chose the hunger-stricken Masvingo to flaunt their wealth and sing praises for the Dear leader — but by a picture of a woman scrounging for crumbs from Mugabe’s high table in the aftermath of the birthday bash.

The script could be different this time but the actors are the same!

It is rather sad that predictably, nothing meaningful will come from this Masvingo gathering save for the all-too-familiar “... Mugabe for 2018 elections” mantra which makes this gathering pass off as a big joke — because at 92, Gushungo no longer represents value to Zimbabweans .

Zimbabweans expect Zanu PF for once, to look at the damage that it has caused to many people and show cause why it is in government.

These people have despairingly watched, yearly, the gatherings such as the one in Masvingo, come and go but without changing their lives.

It is so disconcerting that the ruling part appears clueless and so short of ideas to extricate the country from the crises that it has authored.

The succession and factional fights have taken top priority at the expense of building the country and delivering the promises made when Zanu PF won the disputed 2013 harmonised elections.

Masvingo conference should serve as a reminder to Mugabe and his brawling colleagues that Zimbabwe is bigger than their senseless bloodletting which has made it difficult for government to function cohesively.

Crucially, Zanu PF should be aware of the ruins that it has created in the lives of many Zimbabweans — including those in Masvingo from which the province derives its name.

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