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SADC Summit exposes Mnangagwa regime incompetence

17 May 2024 at 17:17hrs | Views
There is usually nothing out of the ordinary when countries hosting major international events spruce up their existing infrastructure or even construct completely new ones.

As a matter of fact, that is common practice the world over.

This trend has been more prominent in global sporting events, such as the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics.

Various countries bestowed the honor to host these massive events have spared not effort in renovating their existing facilities and erecting totally new elaborate magnificent ones as an addition.

This is all meant to impress and mesmerize the world whilst at the same time placing the respective country amongst the most prestigious on the planet.

It is an undeniable badge of honor.

Zimbabwe is slated to host its own major event in August this year - the SADC Heads of State Summit - where leaders of the 16-member regional body will grace the capital Harare.

As to be expected, the President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa government is leaving nothing to chance in ensuring that the event is a phenomenal success.

However, there is something evidently peculiar about these preparations.

Whereas other nations, as already stated, may renovate and improve existing already-functional infrastructure or construct new ones (merely as an addition) - the case of Zimbabwe is somehow different.

Our situation is a bit bizarre, if not somewhat embarrassing.

It would appear as though the SADC Summit has caught the government with its pants down!

Whilst normal countries would simply need to spruce up already functional and relatively decent infrastructure - Zimbabwe, on the other hand, has to start from scratch.

The Mnangagwa administration is now scampering to construct some of the most basic infrastructure such as roads.

Of late, even the presidium has been forced to superintend over the basic task of constructing a road, particularly from the international airport to various places these SADC heads of state will visit or converge.

In fact, the road to the new parliament building in Mount Hampden was non-existent.

This may be understandable considering that the building was only built by the Chinese and handed over to the Zimbabwe government a few years ago.

Nonetheless, there is really no excuse as to why our roads throughout the country, including those in the capital Harare, are in such a deplorable state.

It is most humiliating looking at pictures of how our towns and cities appeared decades ago, especially during the colonial era, as compared to today's eyesores.

Most roads, even those constructed during the phenomenal development of the 1980s, have laid in total neglect for the past three decades.

This utter disgrace is not limited to our roads.

As Zimbabwe prepares to host these SADC heads of state, one wonders whether there will be reliable water and electricity supply wherever they will be stationed.

Who can forget the 2022 Meikles Hotel notice for guests to ask for a bucket of hot water for bathing - on account of a ZESA power outage!

This is the same hotel slated to accommodate the visiting heads of state!

Zimbabwe has been gripped by a power crisis for the greater part of the past twenty-something years.  

Even now, most areas in the country are going for over twelve hours each day without electricity.

This is all because, as with the country's roads, the government has never bothered maintaining and upgrading our electricity generation equipment for decades.

We still rely on antiquated colonial era generators for the bulk of our power supply - with the few still operational woefully failing to meet demand.

Although the reason for Meikles Hotel's water issues was a prolonged power outage, water shortages in Zimbabwe are as terrible, if not worse, than the electricity crisis.

I would not be surprised at all if these SADC heads of state are not only to be greeted by power outages (which they may be spared from through generators), but also have to be content with borehole water.  

This is due to the fact that most of our towns and cities in Zimbabwe (Harare included), have not have had any potable water in years, at worst, or going for days and weeks at a time, at best.  

I am sure the Mnangagwa administration is busy running around ensuring that there will be sufficient water and electricity for these visiting delegates.

What can be more embarrassing than this?

Granted, as mentored earlier, countries the world over work flat out in preparation for hosting major international events.  

Nevertheless, they focus more on better accommodation and conference facilities - merely as an improvement to good ones already in place.

They do not scrambled to construct roads where only potholes or no roads at all existed.

They will not be busy putting in place measures to ensure there will be water and electricity in the midst of massive shortages.

That would just be humiliating!

So, as these heads of state, during the SADC Summit, travel seemingly seamlessly along beautiful roads and enjoy uninterrupted water and power supply, I challenge them to visit Mbare, Chitungwiza, or Highfield.

There, they will experience the real Zimbabwe!

The truth is that the manner in which Mnangagwa is rushing around in readiness for this event has exposed his government's unmitigated failures.

It has exposed a government that can not even provide its citizens adequate water and electricity as well as decent roads.

‚óŹ Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice advocate and writer. Please feel free to WhatsApp or Call: +263715667700 | +263782283975, or email:, or visit website:  

Source - Tendai Ruben Mbofana
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