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Opinion / Columnist

Mnangagwa now more paranoic and desperate

24 May 2019 at 07:40hrs | Views
A REGIME failing to provide its citizens with basic necessities is unsurprisingly afraid of itself and those who differ with its lopsided policies.

The arrest of four civil society activists this week on allegations of plotting to overthrow the government is the latest sign of a jittery, insecure and desperate administration. This follows an article published in The Herald last week claiming that activists and a journalist from our sister paper NewsDay were being trained in Prague, Czech Republic, to topple the government through peaceful demonstrations.

Interestingly, The Herald, through its story, insinuates the government of Zimbabwe is oppressive, hence deserves to be booted out of power.

It is not only perplexing, but also disturbing that Zanu-PF, which romped to victory in last year's general elections, is already painstakingly in defensive drive, barely a year after President Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared the winner of the widely contested polls.

With all the good work the great leader of the nation is doing in making sure that Zimbabwe becomes an upper middle-income economy by 2030, he should surely be relishing in the comfort zone after all the praise he receives from state media propaganda mouthpieces.

The nation is always bombarded with messages that Zanu-PF, through Mnangagwa's astute mentorship, is doing wonders to revive the moribund economy which Mugabe "single-handedly" devastated for the past 37 years until his removal in November 2107. Would anyone, therefore, be reckless enough to attend a summit with such an incriminating agenda?

Intolerance

Muckraker is not amused by the government's decision to tailor-make stories of mercenaries bent on distabilising peace prevailing in the "Second Republic".

Mnangagwa, indisputably a brilliant student, borrowing from his predecessor's intolerance and suppression of dissent, aptly understands that a hungry nation is ungovernable. The best he can do to silence critics is to unleash the wrath of the law (in the time being) and psychologically terrorise those he perceives to be his "enemies".

In the art of tyranny, any citizen who does not subscribe to the toxic elements of the status quo is deemed rebellious. The use of courts and the police to settle political scores - rarely benefitting ordinary masses - but ruling party stalwarts, becomes a common feature.

Instead, Mnangagwa is primarily interested in cementing his grip on power, but not paying attention to the welfare of the people who have for far too long been subjected to hyperinflation, food scarcity, impoverishment, shortage of drugs, archaic service delivery, unemployment, among a host of other ills emanating from poor governance.

Hegemony

Zanu-PF has shown, since coming into power in 1980, that it is absolutely opposed to anything that threatens its hegemony. This is despite its dismal failure to stand up to the marauding effects of price increases decimating the basic livelihoods of workers who are now earning close to nothing as a result of the galloping exchange rate between the RTGS$ and the United States dollar.

The allegations of regime change training simply remind us of the treason charges against Zipra commanders Lookout Masuku and Dumiso Dabengwa in 1983, former MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai in 2003. It has always been Zanu-PF's modus vivendi to incarcerate and intimidate opponents.

Ironically, the one-sided approach to issues exposes the ruling party's impartiality and undemocratic tendencies.

The state and its Trojan horses (propaganda parrots, especially at Herald House and Pockets Hill) hardly accord the much-deserved attention to government's pogroms during the Gukurahundi massacre, where an estimated 20 000 innocent citizens, including pregnant women and children, perished at the hands of the North Korean-trained 5 Brigade in the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces in the 1980s.

Zanu-PF also trivialises the massacre of MDC activists since 2000, as well as the disappearance of journalist Itai Dzamara (2015). And in August last year and January this year, the army shot and killed unarmed protestors, while others were raped, but that remains no story to tell for the ruling regime.

Human rights abuses are escalating, while the king is merely pre-occupied with preserving his lion-skin decorated throne! Could it be the fear that after the 2017 coup, the revolutionary spirit lingers on?

‘Jerry Can'

Joram "Jerry Can" Gumbo is gone, but his departure couldn't be that modest. The crisis, which he left unresolved, has taken a nosedive, with Zera this week announcing a massive rise of fuel prices. His replacement, Fortune Chasi, famed by some as a hardworker, was thrown into the deep end. At least Gumbo can take time to refresh or even take a rest, monitoring and evaluating fairytale mega-deals constantly being signed between government and investors from outer space.

He happily joins the legendary league of ministers without portfolio, or maybe former Psychomotor minister Josiah Hungwe, whose term came to a halt while he was still trying to grasp the mandate of his ministry.

Chasi faces a mammoth task in his quest to bring sanity to the debt-ridden Energy Ministry. Apart from the fuel fiasco, there is also massive load-shedding affecting industries and household consumers.

This week's rise in prices was matched by a seemingly ad hoc government-sponsored subsidy scheme, which saw Zupco buses drastically reducing fares by 50%.

Could these be the fruits of the 2% tax system introduced by Finance minister Mthuli Ncube? Muckraker wonders if the move is sustainable, considering government is struggling to settle its debt arrears with the international financial institutions. What sounds bizarre, though, is that cutting transport costs alone cannot perform the miracle of resurrecting an economic corpse.

A sensible government cannot pride itself in cheaply transporting hungry, if not angry workers, without addressing price distortions. History has also shown that heavily subsidised parastatals in this country will eventually fold, for instance, Zupco itself, which had disappeared from the public scene for several years due to mismanagement.

Safety nets and populism work in a sound economy, in conformity with all other facets of life, not confined to transport fares.

Rhumba star Mutodi should stay out of MDC issues

Information Deputy minister Energy Mutodi (no doubt the rhumba star, doesn't hesitate to showcase his Ndombolo mentality every time he opens his mouth) has been vocal, telling the nation that MDC leader Nelson Chamisa is illegitimate following a High Court ruling nullifying his succession of Morgan Tsvangirai.

In an interview with NewsDay this week, he said: "Chamisa has been ruled illegitimate and we are saying he must step down. What we are saying is, the opposition may be there, but it has to stick to its democratic principles, it has to stick to the expectations of Zimbabweans so that it can contribute meaningfully to the success of Zimbabwe.

As it stands, the MDC has actually deviated from its democratic principles and we urge it to actually go back to the principles that were left behind by Morgan Tsvangirai."

Suprisingly, Mutodi has decided to become the MDC think-tank, whose capacity is yet to be known. Zanu-PF has suddenly granted itself powers to certify those it sees ideal to be opposition material.

In addition, Mutodi wants the MDC to stick to the democratic principles in memory of Tsvangirai whom they maimed, arrested and tortured on top of calling him derogatory names.

He would be well advised to tell his boss Mnangagwa, who was catapulted into power through guns and tanks, about the importance of constitutionalism before wading into the whys and wherefores of opposition politics.

But it also begs many questions when a ruling party directs operations of the opposition party.

Of course, it's common with bootlickers like the NCA and MDC-T, among the merry band of opportunists masquerading as opposition parties participating in the Political Actors Dialogue.

By meddling in internal MDC affairs and sponsoring a smoke-and-mirrors charade of bogus political party dialogue, Zanu-PF is betraying its shocking level of desperation.

Source - the independent
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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