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Mnangagwa's hundred days, much ado about nothing

28 Feb 2018 at 09:37hrs | Views
The phrase a Hundred Days was made famous by Franklin Delano Roosevelt on his ascention to the American presidential throne. He promised a new deal for the people of America. Indeed he changed the face of America and to date he remains one  the country's most successful and best loved presidents. The Inclusive government of 2008-2013 also embarked on such a programme with moderate success. But Mnangagwa's version is a pathetic failure and an insult to the visionary leaders who first  coined and used it. Like what Shakespeare  said Mnangagwa's version of a hundred days are "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." Clearly, Mnangagwa and  ZanuPf have  failed. Many people who had given Mnangagwa the benefit of the doubt are now becoming disillusioned.  No significant change has occurred. As Zimbabweans these were our expectations;

1. That corruption would be tackled with more vigour.

It was acknowledged even during the Mugabe days that corruption had become endemic in the country. Mugabe himself acknowledged that over fifteen billion American dollars' worth of diamonds  was unaccounted for from Chiadzwa. Reports of corruption were everywhere.
Zimbabweans expected that by this time many people would have been made accountable and some stolen loot would have been accounted for.
But of the "criminals surrounding the president" only three have so far been arrested and of these only one was in government.
So is it this one criminal who brought the country to its knees? By no means.
Perhaps we should have taken them literally, they were only targeting criminals surrounding the president. Those surrounding them would be allowed to go free. Politics of patronage had once again taken root. Those under the protection of the leader are immune from facing the results of their actions. This is a sad sign of things to come.

2. THAT THE COST OF LIVING WOULD GO DOWN.

The  hundred days after Mnangagwa's take over are practically over. Despite all the promises, we are seeing no change on the ground. Prices of food and other commodities are still high. There is still no money in the banks. This is another promise unfulfilled.

3. THAT REPRESSIVE LEGISLATION WOULD BE DONE AWAY WITH.

POSA and AIPPA are still in force. The Law and Order Codification (Reform) Act and other repressive pieces of legislation are still on the lawbooks. No intention to change these pieces of legislation has ever been demonstrated. Mnangagwa has ushered in nothing new.

4. THAT THERE WOULD BE MORE JOBS CREATED.

Mnangagwa emphasised this point three times during his inauguration speech. But here we are and there is nothing to show for it. I was talking to graduates from the country's tertiary institutions who were bitter that while enrolment and study at these institutions was expensive there are no jobs in the end. We still ask Mnangagwa; where are the jobs?

5. THAT THERE WOULD BE MEDICINES IN OUR HOSPITALS.

This is a dangerous time to be ill. Hospitals are waiting rooms of death. There are no medicines in those institutions. Most of them are reference centres for pharmacies that charge exorbitant prices beyond the reach of the average person, a clear sign that Mnangagwa is a failure.

6. THAT VIOLENCE WOULD CEASE

One of Mnangagwa's trusted former generals was quoted as having said that violence would be visited on the opposition during the coming elections. No official refutal of this statement has been isssued by the party. Stories of people being intimidated and forced to surrender their voter' slips to ZanuPf officials have been reported. Just a few days back Madam Mujuru was attacked while going about her lawful political business. This is a sad harbinger of what is to come.
We cannot afford to take more chances. A few days ago police shot and killed innocent people along Seke Road. This reminds us of the worst days under Robert Mugabe. There is no change. The Mnangagwa regime must go.

7. THAT ROAD ACCIDENTS WOULD CEASE

The carnage on our roads is continuing. This is due to bad roads and sometimes poor street lighting. Corruption that I alluded to earlier on may  also be playing a part. Unroadworthy vehicles are still on the road perhaps due to the fact that they may be owned by chefs or bribes are being paid to the police. In the meantime innocent lives continue to be lost. The short of it all is that road accidents are on the increase and we expected Mnangagwa to have done something about it. Those expectations have been disappointed.

8. THAT TRADITIONAL LEADERS WOULD NOW BE APOLITICAL.

Traditional leaders have a history of being abused by oppressive regimes. Mugabe abused them in his time. Now we see Mnangagwa openly bribing them to buy their support after introducing himself to them not only as head of state and government but also as president of ZanuPf. This was apparently to show these leaders where exactly their bread was buttered. Now we have stories of some traditional leaders forcing people to surrender their voters' slips. This is unacceptable and a clear sign that nothing has changed.

9. THAT WAR VETERANS WOULD AT LAST BE APOLITICAL.

War veterans are a national asset.  Our parents fed them, our brothers reconnoitred for them and our sisters washed and ironed their clothes for them. Yes, they fought under the ZanuPf banner but that was for a national and not a partisan cause. Even the ZanuPf party itself has changed. Now there are many people outside it, for example Amai Mujuru, who were involved with it as there are many within who were not. So ZanuPf has no right to claim a monopoly of the struggle or the veterans.
In the past war veterans have been used to assault, kill main or in cases rape for ZanuPf. Their role as freedom fighters had completely been reversed as they fought against the very freedom they claim to have fought for.
Despite, their apparent damascene moment when the leadershp of the War Veterans a few months ago said that the former fighters would no longer be partisan we are yet to see proof of that. Just the other day Victor Matemadanda implored war veterans to join the structures of ZanuPf and ensure the party wins in the next elections. We all shudder to think how they will do so, for the last time they ensured that Zanupf won their efforts cost many innocent Zimbabweans dearly.  Matemadanda's statement therefore dented all hope that anything has changed. Mnangagwa failed to change anything in this regard.

10. THAT THE AIRWAVES WOULD BE FREE AT LAST.

Press freedom was promised but it is still an alchemist's dream. Like in the past the airwaves are a monopoly of ZanuPf and its chief propaganda weapon. Nothing has changed. Today the airwaves are still not free and the state media still report news from a ZanuPf perspective. With a few months to go before election time we have no reason to hope for reasonable change. Yes, we know that paid advertisements from all political parties get flighted at election time but ZanuPf already have a headstart ahead of the rest since the manner of  reporting by state media is a de facto campaign for ZanuPf. May it be remembered that ZBC inspectors demand licence fees from everyone with a receiver despite their political affiliation. Therefore all Zimbabweans have a right to fair and unbalanced news coverage. Under the circumstances this is just impossible.

11. THAT SERVICE DELIVERY WOULD IMPROVE.

There are cases of cholera reported in Chegutu with some fatalities. This is clearly a result of poor refuse and sewer management. In most of our towns there is filth in the streets. Our taps squirt poison in the form of contaminated water. Potholes mar the surface of our roads resulting in wear and tear on our tyres, causing accidents. This is a serious situation which needs to be arrested but under this present government this may prove impossible.

12. THAT INDEPENDENT COMMISSIONS WOULD HAVE THEIR FREEDOM.

An example is the Anti-corruption Commission, a white elephant with nothing to show to justify its use of taxpayer's money. It has not arrested anybody and yet everyone knows that corruption is endermic in the country. The commission seems to have no power because the corrupt people are in government and therefore untouchable. In the Mnangagwa government no meaningful change can ever be realised.

13. THAT DEVOLUTION WOULD AT LAST BE EFFECTED.

Devolution is enshrined in our constitution.  We expected Mnangagwa to be seen to make a move in that direction. We know ZanuPf does not want devolution because it dilutes their power and reduces their chances of looting. Our expectations have been dented. They cannot be fulfilled under the Mnangagwa regime.

14. THAT ZEC WOULD BE DEMILITARIZED AND INDEPENDENT AND  SOLDIERS WOULD REMAIN IN THEIR BARRACKS DURING ELECTION TIME.

  The recent disclosure that 78 out of 97 ZEC personnel have a military history  is frightening. Granted, soldiers are citizens like anyone else and have a right to finding alternative employment after retirement but that figure raises a lot of questions considering the ratio of educated professional among military men to other professions. Furthermore, one asks why this number only in ZEC and not in other departments. This begs many answers.
  The last time the military got involved was a disaster. Eitole Silaigwana, George Chiweshe, Henry Muchena and Douglas Nyikayaramba were serving and retired soldiers who once worked with ZEC. As we know all those elections were a disaster. In 2008 the military spearheaded ZanuPf campaigns which were marred with violence. Today we are all shocked to read that ZanuPf has deployed more than 3000 solidiers to campaign for it in the elections and we know how soldiers campaign. This gives us little hope that the elections will be free and fair giving the lie to Mnangagwa's assertion that they will be. We also are  aware that Rita Makarau resigned from the organisation under mysterious circumstances. With ZEC under such strings we can never have confidence that our elections will be free and fair. It is mainly in this regard that we feel safe to conclude Mnangagwa is just the flipside of the coin called Mugabe.

5. THAT CLOSURE WOULD BE BROUGHT TO THE DITAI ZAMARA CASE AND OTHER DISAPPEARANCES AND MYSTERIOUS DEATHS.

Where is Parson Dzamara? With the supposed dawn of a new era we expected closure to the whole thing. His family is asking, where is he? The country and the world are asking; where is he? Mnangagwa and his administration are not seen to be making extra effort to locate him. We still ask, where is Patrick Nabanyama, who killed Cain Nkala? Such mysteries call for a commission of enquiry, something which we expected Mnangagwa to have launched by now. Nothing has happened. Mugabe and Mnangagwa are clearly two sides of the same coin.

6. THAT THERE WOULD BE CLOSURE TO THE GUKURAHUNDI KILLINGS, ABDUCTIONS AND TORTURES.

ZanuPf has overseen a lot of violence. We have blamed most of it on Mugabe but we know that he was not alone. We expected Mnangagwa to bring closure into the whole affair by launching an enquiry into it. Please note that the Poles are still calling for the Russia to account for the murders of Katyn that happend over seventy years ago. To suggest that the survivors of Gukurahundi and their keen can simply forget about it would be absurd. We hoped Mnangagwa would go one better than his boss and do more than just admitting that it was, "a time of madness." We hoped for a full enqury into the whole genocidal operation together with rehabilitation of the traumatised and any affected in one way or another.

17. THAT THERE WOULD BE AN ACCOUNTING FOR THE 27 JUNE ELECTION MADNESS.

There were a lot of killings in the run up to the June 27 elections. We were hoping that by now we should have known who caused it and why. We need to know how many died and who is looking after the survivours. Who killed Beta Chokururama, Tonderai Ndira, Joshua Bakacheza, Cain Nyevhe and Godfrey Kauzani? Where are their widows and their children and who is looking after them? We hoped soft spoken Mnangagwa would do something about  it.

After reading the above we are left wondering if it was worth it for the people to march for Mugabe's ouster on that day that already seems so very far away. The disillusionment is justified. Take note of the following:

1.We  have Mnangagwa the man ,Mnangagwa the party person and Mnangagwa the product and architect of a military coup. In each we have no reason to hope. Mnangagwa himself is known as the crocodile, an unpleasant sly creature that lurks under the surface of the water s ready o pounce on unwary animals coming to drink. He is the cold, calculating executor of ZanuPf's most unsavoury schemes especially those aimed at perpetuating ZanuPf's rule at all costs. His past has too many skeletons in its dark cupboards. He cannot be trusted.

2.Secondly Mnangagwa leads a blemished party. The optimistic ones among us will give him the benefit of the doubt. But as a party man his hands are tied.  His power rests on the shoulders of many people who will definitely be affected should he try to chart an independent path.

.The military element that catapulted him into power has its own skeletons to hide. It is a known fact that the soldiers had a controlling stake in the diamond mining operations at Chiadzwa. The diamonds that performed a disappearing act most likely passed through the hands of military men.  It is upon the support of those military men that Mnangagwa's power rests.
Whichever way one looks at it Mnangagwa's regime does not offer us hope. We cannot gamble with our lives by giving him another five year term.

4. Let us not be revisionist. ZanuPf cannot be reformed. It must  be removed. We need a new era in our country. That era cannot dawn under ZanuPf.  We need a new start.

45 The PDP led by Madam Lucia Matibenga with its partners in the PRC whose presidential candidate is Dr. Amai Joice Teurai Ropa Mujuru promises such a new start. The freedom train has arrived. Jump into it.

Nqobizitha Dumakude Khumalo.
PDP Deputy National Spokesperson.

Source - Nqobizitha Dumakude Khumalo.
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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