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It's easier to topple your mentor than run a country, isn't it Mr. President?

31 Mar 2024 at 16:20hrs | Views
So, this where it has all come to?

Those of us in urban areas now live without water and electricity!

We are no longer any different from our compatriots in rural Zimbabwe.

I may be wrong on that one.

Those in rural areas at least now have bush pumps near their homes, Blair toilets that do not need water, and home 'appliances' (if I call them that) designed to function without electricity.

Furthermore, most of the fireplaces nowadays are eco-friendly such that they do not require any firewood but can cook efficiently using only small sticks.

Yet, we, on the other hand, have to endure walking miles to the nearest water source (a communal borehole) and toilets that emit an unbearable odor due to a lack of regular flushing.

In all this, the country is grappling an ancient disease as cholera – which was last heard of in modern nations decades, if not centuries, ago.

In my small town of Redcliff, we have gone for three years without any potable water.

In the same vein, we are forced to use firewood for cooking, which is posing a grave danger to our environment.

As I am writing this, we are sitting in the dark, having just finished cooking supper on a fire, in what is supposed to be an urban area.

We are now using our phone torches for lighting –  in the process, this is depleting batteries that we should be saving in case electricity does not return soon.

We are now in the 14th hour since power went off early this morning at 06:00 hrs on the dot.

Welcome to President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa's Zimbabwe!

Before I began writing this article, I had an awful thought.

I was tempted to write a piece asking why he just doesn't demolish all suburban houses and build mud-huts instead.

Why not, since Zimbabwe is now one big rural area?

There is no denying that Mnangagwa has dismally failed to run a modern-day state.

I could not help myself thinking of how it was so easy for Mnangagwa and his military comrades to topple then authoritarian ruler Robert Gabriel Mugabe in a coup d'état in November 2017.

It was so seamless and implemented with almost surgical precision.

However, these are the same people who are failing to provide the most basic of needs to the citizenry.

They can not give us electricity and potable water.

We have to somehow make do with infrastructure constructed during the colonial era – which, by some strange logic, is still expected to be delivering today.

They can not stabilize the local currency, which has been on an accelerated free fall, losing a shocking 250 percent of its value in just the past three months.

The Zimbabwe dollar is currently trading at 1:21 000 in supermarkets and 1:32 000 at the parallel market rate.

In fact, the FPL (Food Poverty Line) for the month of February 2024 skyrocketed by an unbelievable 62.2 percent, according to the ZimStats (Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency).

This means that one person in Zimbabwe now needs ZW$701,237 to buy the most basic food a month.

In a country where very few people are earning anything near that amount this translates to increased hunger for the ordinary citizen.

With a crippling  El Nino induced drought on the offering, there is no telling how Zimbabweans will survive.

As we speak, over 5.4 million people are in dire need of food assistance this month alone, according to statistics by the WFP (World Food Program).

As if this was not terrible enough, our public hospitals and schools lack the bare minimum expected for any form of treatment or learning.

So, my question is: What is Mnangagwa and his regime actually good at?

The country is falling apart under his watch – yet he had no problems ousting his mentor from power.

Are we to say they are only good at undoing things but can not actually build anything?

I do not know what to think anymore.

This has gone out of hand.

We can not continue to live like this.

Something has to give.

I rest my case.

● Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice advocate and writer. Please feel free to WhatsApp or Call: +263715667700 | +263782284975, or email:, or visit website:  

Source - Tendai Ruben Mbofana
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