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Mnangagwa thrives on being an 'arsonist fireman'

26 Jun 2023 at 01:49hrs | Views
So, President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa wants to be celebrated for finally awarding Zanu founding leader Ndabaningi Sithole national hero status.

Why would the same people who ostracised, vilified and even savagely persecuted the founder of their party want to be congratulated for finally recognising him?

Was he not even arrested and charged with treason in independent Zimbabwe by the same individuals who want to be praised today for honouring him?

Is the current leadership not the one that labelled Sithole a "sellout" for negotiating an internal settlement with Rhodesia Prime Minister Ian Douglas Smith in 1978, resulting in the establishment of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia?

Was this not the reason they denied him national hero status, in the first place?

As a matter fact, did they not work together in unconstitutionally removing Sithole from the leadership of Zanu in 1976, replacing him with Robert Gabriel Mugabe — on the pretext that he had betrayed the liberation struggle by renouncing it while in prison, in exchange for his freedom?

So, what has changed today?

In a nutshell, we have a government that has absolutely nothing to offer the nation and thrives on seeking glory and praise for solving self-created problems.

This is what is called "arsonist fireman" or "firefighter arsonist" which, in most cases, is directly linked to the "hero syndrome".

Tragically, such a phenomenon is what has characterised the Zanu-PF regime.

In fact, each time one listens to Mnangagwa, or any of his top officials speak, this syndrome is apparent.

What are the "success stories" for which this administration wants to be glorified?

Let us start with the Saturday  donation of an ambulance and some medical provisions at a clinic in Chipinge (Sithole's home) — as Mnangagwa sought to curry favour with that community for finally recognising his immense contribution to the liberation struggle.

Why does Zimbabwe find itself in this humiliating position, in which its healthcare institutions are poorly equipped, 43 years after independence, to the extent of requiring donations?

We witness similar instances in our education sector where most schools either lack the most basic learning materials and at times, there are no schools to talk about at all.

When Mnangagwa's government builds a classroom block, donates books, laptops or even food or opens a laboratory — it is portrayed as an act of "visionary leadership."

Surely, where is the heroism and visionary leadership in putting out a fire, which the "firefighter" started?

This is the same situation when it comes to the so-called road rehabilitation programme.

How did our roads, most of which were constructed during the colonial era,  reach such an embarrassing state of ruin, in the first place?

Did we not have one of the best road networks on the continent — even rivalling neighbouring South Africa yet, it now resembles a scene from a war zone?

What were we to expect when our roads had largely been neglected by the government for the past four decades?

What did we think would happen when there was no significant investment in the construction of new modern roads since independence?

How does a country endowed with over 60 precious minerals with 40 already being exploited and marketed, including gold, diamonds, chrome, platinum and lithium find itself in such a predicament?

This similarly applies to the handouts and "free" agricultural inputs that are given to rural folk.

Why are these men and women still eking out an existence from subsistence farming, on usually dry and infertile land  instead of graduating to commercial agriculture, while having large and fertile tracts of land?

Is this not because the ruling elite awarded themselves numerous farms during the land reform programme, with some like Mugabe's daughter, Bona, possessing 21 — with the majority of Zimbabweans remaining in squalor, and in perennial need of assistance?

Half the population lives in extreme poverty, with three quarters earning below the poverty datum — unable to afford the basic commodities in the face of soaring inflation (the highest in the world).

Yet those in power live in opulence, with some most vocal against the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the US.

Do they (particularly Chris and Monica Mutsvangwa) not regularly boast, right in our faces, of their ability to charter private jets for holidays in the US and other Western States? Ironically they never fly to China, Russia or Belarus?

Was the whole world not shocked by the stunning revelations of Al Jazeera's Gold Mafia documentary?

Did we not hear of massive gold smuggling and money laundering     in which high-profile people, including Mnangagwa and his family, were implicated by ambassador-at-large Uebert Angel?

Nonetheless, Mnangagwa has absolutely no qualms giving handouts and agricultural inputs to the poverty-stricken population to be perceived as a hero.

Would we need handouts and free agricultural inputs if our mineral wealth had not been stolen to benefit only a few?

In actual fact, are some of these rural communities not located above vast mineral reserves, which are, instead, exploited, right in front of them, with no benefit to communities?

Four decades after independence, Zimbabweans should have been some of the richest people in the world  enjoying a very high standard of living.

Who would have needed donations, handouts, or free agricultural inputs in such a country?

In conclusion, who is the author of the misery we find ourselves in as a nation?

Who has burnt our once prosperous country to the ground — largely through rampant corruption and looting of resources?

How then do the same "arsonists" portray themselves as "firefighters'"coming to our rescue?

Sadly, by keeping the citizenry impoverished and perpetually dependent on the government, they hope to keep the nation indebted to the ruling elite.

There is nothing as terrifying to an abuser as the abused individual becoming empowered.

Mnangagwa is fully aware that an economically empowered population will have no problem rejecting him, as they will not be afraid of losing donations and handouts.

Zimbabweans have to be wary of a regime that thrives on authoring their pain and suffering — and want to be perceived as heroes.

This is not particularly surprising since this is natural for a government that has nothing to offer.

Quite frankly, without handing out donations, Mnangagwa would have absolutely no successes to talk about.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice advocate and writer. Please feel free to WhatsApp or Call: +263715667700/+263782283975, or email: , or visit website: He writes here in his personal capacity.

Source - newsday
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