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Mnangagwa's leave, a pitstop to nowhere

02 Jan 2021 at 10:21hrs | Views
Now that we have seen the edited versions of people's lives across social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram during Christmas and New Year festivities,  its back to the basics, the daily grind of life in a world largely bewildered by coronavirus.

Zimbabwean schools won't be opening in time - more time for kids to bask in the sun. Not many can afford online education facilities.

The high and mighty continue to make news when afflicted by coronavirus yet hundreds of  peasants die quietly in ramshackle facilities from other maladies.

For too many people at Christmas, there were rather gross visuals of families skinning goats in far-flung rural areas.

There were close up photos of braai parties at remote growth points. Others showed long-forgotten parents and loved ones seemingly happy to see well-fed sons and daughters from the diaspora.
In another scene, a toothless, emaciated mother and father in a threadbare overall could not hide their joy embracing a pot-bellied son from Johannesburg. The contrast was worlds apart with the standard of life lived striking.

Diaspora folks! Please let's look back from whence we come. Inasmuch as life outside is tough, life in Zimbabwe is by far a tall order and in most instances a small monthly remittance back home to loved ones is a game changer. Diaspora remittances are life savers. The situation has gone to another level in the 'New Republic' that never was.

It is quite disheartening when a third of a nation's populace survives outside its borders for economic reasons.

Now, it is an open secret that South Africa and Botswana are second home to millions of Zimbabweans. Apparently, it goes without saying the governing ANC party in South Africa had been extra caring to desperate Zimbabweans.

Millions have been reduced to mere visitors to their homeland every December or simply after a couple of years away.

The benevolence of SADC countries to the misrule and endless economic blunders of Zanu- PF across the Limpopo over the years is incredible.

 At another level, Zimbabwe owes South Africa. It takes a real gentleman to ceaselessly feed a neighbour' s children without recourse. It is again emotionally draining when the same neighbour plays clever and claims moral high ground dictating rules of engagement. Zimbabwe is doing thus on many fronts.

Remember the high level ANC- delegation to Zimbabwe led by Ace Magashule at which Zanu-PF hawks came out preening like peacocks. Efforts to find a lasting solution to Zimbabwe' s leadership diseases came to naught.

It is only reasonable and sensible to be cautious when South Africa raises issues such as crime and unemployment levels within its borders emanating from humongous immigration figures of Zimbabweans.

Over the festive season, i particularly liked the part when SA Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi indicated the Zimbabwean government operatives should not cry for high level meetings to resolve Beitbridge border congestion instead of fixing their country so that people don't cross crocodile- infested Limpopo into South Africa in search of food.

That was a brute punch! Motsoaledi shot from the hip disregarding diplomatic etiquette! The protracted circus by Harare authorities blamed unendingly on Western sanctions cannot be allowed to continue. There comes a time when the truth has to be said.

Honestly despite South Africa being the economic  powerhouse of Africa, it certainly cannot be blamed for how it conducts it's travel arrangements and how it monitors it's borders.

Instead of cowering and backing off with tails between legs, Zim officials tweeted and casually commented chiding South Africans for the chaos at the border in statements tantamount to hacking off the hand that feeds.

In true economic sense, the Zimbabwe of today will be a shell without South Africa to the rescue. The manufacturing industry is almost dead with Zimbabwe' s import bill surpassing exports.

Motsoaledi even hinted truckers out of South Africa take time on the border as the verification process considers compliance with SARS, migration and port health authorities.

From Zimbabwe, he said trucks are largely empty meaning nothing major comes from there except warm bodies running away from hunger, poverty and political instability.

Zimbabwe is notorious for a mottled human rights record with state security apparatus such as the army, police and the dreaded secret service used for political ends by the ruling elite especially to quash dissent.

It is only tragic 2021 starts with President Munangagwa on leave. In our midst, there are two sickly men  left in charge of national affairs, both terribly afflicted with marital problems- incorrigible bachelors in the twilight of their lives who cannot run their bedrooms affairs properly let alone be entrusted with the lives of millions of citizens. It's a soapie series folks!

I would say the President begrudgingly deserve to be off duty.  

Here is a man who behaved like a cowboy on a high horse running up and down across town for minor errands that could be delegated to subordinates.

Shumba  stole the show everywhere- street cleaning, feeding fish in a pond at a POLAD rendezvous at his Sherwood farm in Kwekwe alongside Madam Khupe.

Ah, that woman is a piece of work both figuratively and in political speak.

The highlight was when he recently went down to Chivi full entourage in tow to commission a water tap. The cameras love him or vice versa? He gotta rest, 2020 was quite a marathon for him.

Here is to hoping he comes back rejuvenated with a clue how to deal with the mess that is Zimbabwe.

When he pops highly-priced whisky bottles from international forays, it should dawn on him how to deal with 'criminals' around him.

Among other things, I have heard he partakes alcohol seasonally and my guess is he can only do it off duty. The devil's juice is known to shake up brain cells. I can only hope he comes out with a clue. The leadership he is dishing now is a dog's breakfast.

The economy needs mending. The President has been in the trenches for decades as an understudy of Mugabe. When the time comes, we don't want to remember him as a man from Midlands who desecrated and defecated on a generation of dreams. He had a lot of goodwill at inauguration.

Mugabe had flaws. Each man has. But corruption, political persecution of opponents and a dead economy would be the President' s own petard. He can do better. And like in Formula 1 races, pit stops are to recalibrate, regrease and refuel with a goal to win, President Munangagwa' s annual leave should be thus in case he comes out full steam ahead to nowhere.

Josiah Mucharowana is a media graduate in Pretoria and writes in his personal capacity; Feedback;, +27 84 587 4121

Source - Josiah Mucharowana in Pretoria
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