Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

In a normal country, both ZANU PF and CCC/MDC would be history!

17 Jan 2023 at 19:12hrs | Views
It is bewildering listening to ZANU PF mouthpieces condemning the opposition (CCC and MDC) for running down once plush urban areas into disgusting shanty towns - thereafter, suggesting that residents vote for the ruling party in future elections.

On the other hand, I find it utterly laughable hearing the CCC or MDC castigating the ZANU PF regime for destroying a thriving ‘Jewel of Africa', and reducing it into a disgraceful basket case - as such, campaigning hard for Zimbabweans to elect into power the opposition.

It is all akin to watching some B-grade sitcom, or maybe those unbelievably ridiculous telenovelas!

I end up asking myself, "Where do these political parties even get the audacity to criticize each other"?

Surely, are they not made from the same cloth -  all having failed dismally in their mandates to govern - consequently, turning the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans into a living nightmare?

Whom, amongst these political outfits, can sincerely stand on any moral high ground, in holding the other accountable for causing untold pain and suffering - leaving millions of the country's citizens wondering what sin they had committed, or whether they were a cursed nation?

What is even more disturbing in all this circus - which, would have been rib cracking hilarious, had real lives not been at the center - is that, none of these parties are willing to own up to their failures, rather opting to point the blaming finger at the other.

Let us start with opposition-dominated urban authorities.

Why should the CCC or MDC duck responsibility when residents are perennially at the risk of archaic diseases as cholera and dysentery - as a direct result of council officials choosing to loot the little income flowing into the coffers, for their own self-aggrandizement - whilst, residents go for months or years without consistent reliable potable water flowing in their homes?

Whose fault is it when senior officials, both elected and central government-appointed, would rather enter into dubious illicit deals (most involving the sale, leasing or exchange of land) - which end up benefiting only those in office, with such luxuries as posh cars, latest high-end mobile phones and laptops being the most favored - yet, municipal clinics going without basic necessities, refuse remaining uncollected, sewer water flowing in all directions, with street lighting unrepaired, and roads looking like scenes of landmine explosions?

These are not mere accusations, but there are numerous cases investigated by reputable institutions, as the Auditor General, and reliable media houses as News Hawks - exposing grand corruption, irregularities, and underhand activities in local authorities, implicating both elected opposition councilors/mayors, and management appointed by government.

My own town of Redcliff, and the capital city of Harare easily come to mind.

Could the millions of dollars misappropriated through these sinister deals not have gone a very long way in improving the dignity and quality of livelihood for urban dwellers in Zimbabwe?

On the side of the ruling party-run central government - the story is not different.

Ever since the advent of our country's independence in 1980 - the Zimbabwe economy has largely been on a downward spiral - leading to decades of unimaginable impoverishment and suffering, with millions abandoned to a life of scrounging for survival.

In a country endowed with over 40 identified mineral resources, a highly-learned population, and having been inherited from colonial rule as one of the most prosperous on the African continent - one would have naturally expected its citizens to be some of the world's wealthiest.

Nevertheless, the story is a sorrowful one!

Here we witness over half the population (about 7 million) living in what the UN defines as extreme poverty (on less than US$1.90 a day), with a third of the few fortunate enough to be gainfully employed, earning far below the poverty datum line.

We have millions of the unemployed forced into street vending, artisanal gold mining, prostitution, and any other means of putting food on the table - yet, seldom enough for anything else, such as buying one's own house, or even a decent motor vehicle.

This is exactly the reason an estimated three million Zimbabweans were left with not choice, but to migrate to other countries - where, sadly, they are unwelcome and treated horribly.

There is nothing more heartrending than hearing cries from readers, who send me messages or emails chronicling how they have had to endure the harrowing pain of watching loved ones slowly dying in unbearable agony - as a result of the lack of radiotherapy machines in the country to treat cancer patients.

We have near daily reports of health care facilities lacking such basics as antibiotics,  antiseptic, pain killers, protective gloves, and anesthetic - with the subsequent failure by the majority of Zimbabweans in accessing medical assistance that they desperately require.

Our children are learning under shameful terrible conditions, which are not conducive for any meaningful education - leading to appalling examination results in mostly rural schools, which lack even the most basic science and technology facilities.

Nevertheless, the county is losing an average US$1.5 billion worth of gold to smuggling - with virtually no one ever being held to account, due to their political links.

In the past 15 years that Zimbabwe has been mining diamonds - over US$25 billion in revenue reportedly never made it into state coffers, accordingly to renowned economist Eddie Cross - on account of questionable dealings.

Right now, with the discovery of lithium - highly-connected individuals, in cahoots with largely Chinese companies - are allegedly busy illegally exporting raw ore, with negligible benefit to the country's economy.

I could go on and on - but, I believe the point has already been made.

The million dollar question, then, becomes - "How come these political parties, responsible for our indescribable poverty and suffering remain the most popular, still boasting of such huge following"?

That, regrettably, is something for which I have no answer.

It is the greatest mystery of Zimbabwe!

In a normal country, the ruling ZANU PF and opposition CCC or MDC would have long been history by now - cast in the dustbin of failed political entities.

But, not in Zimbabwe!

In what may be described as stranger than fiction - these are actually the most popular parties, sharing millions of fanatical supporters between them.

Possibly, the answer to the earlier pressing question lies in the word, ‘fanatical'!

The tragedy of Zimbabwe is that we are a nation of fanatics, who support their chosen political parties and leaders to hysterical levels - such that, are totally unwilling to see and admit what is right in front of them.

In spite of the undeniable unmitigated failures by their parties in fulfilling their governance mandates - we still have the misfortune of witnessing those who choose to ‘see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil', as they blindly continue to loyally stand with their leaders.

In fact, the two camps would rather apportion blame to each other - either faulting supposed ‘government interference in local authorities', or unproven so-called ‘economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, invited by the opposition'.

Is there, then, any wonder we are not going anywhere as a country - when we, as a people, are not ready to face the truth of our situation?

When the impoverished, marginalized and oppressed become the number one defenders of their oppressors - then, this becomes a huge problem.

To make matters worse, these are the same people willing to beat up or even kill those they perceive as rivals!

Unfortunately, the blunt truth is that, our suffering and poverty will not be leaving our homes any time soon - and, may actually worsen!

As long as Zimbabweans do not wake up and smell the coffee - and face the reality, no matter how painful it may be, that our chosen political parties and leaders are the real cause of our misery - nothing will improve for us.

 - Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice advocate, writer, researcher, and social commentator. Please feel free to WhatsApp or Call: +263715667700 | +263782283975, or email:

Source - Tendai Ruben Mbofana
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.
More on: #ZANU-PF, #CCC, #MDC