The writing is on the wall

Gazing into 2014 and beyond, there are two things that I don’t like: a government that seems to have no clue about what should be done to pull the country out of the doldrums and an emasculated opposition. This is a hazardous combination, fatal in fact.

Tawanda Majoni
Tawanda Majoni

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa, in December, after some fits and starts, presented to Parliament a $4.2 billion budget. I am not convinced Treasury will any time soon find that kind of money, and therein lies problem Number One. Simply put, government is as broke as a graveyard rat and a broke government is bad news.

The writing is on the wall for all to see. The government struggled to pay civil servants their salaries and bonuses last year. State-run universities and tertiary colleges employees went for Christmas without their salaries and there are already belt-tightening measures, like the withdrawal of skills retention allowances to selected civil service workers.

The Zanu (PF) initiated economic blueprint (sounds like a red one to me), Zim Asset, is telling us a whole range of lies about where our economic problems are coming from, choosing to bury the head in the sand and blame everything on sanctions and ignoring mis-governance, corruption and bad politics. That means we will be using a dysfunctional compass to find our way through the malaise.

Add to that the fact that companies are folding like daffodils in the desert and thousands of breadwinners are being sent packing, not to mention the fact that there is no money in the banks and one or two of these financial institutions will certainly close shop this year.

In other words, Team Zanu, which claims it won a resounding victory in the July 31 general elections and proceeded to form a winners-take-all government, is finding the game tough. It seems someone shot the ball through the net and it got deflated. Because there is no opponent to play with, Team Zanu is playing a mock game.

Zimbabwe cannot afford mock games at the moment; we need something competitive and real. The opposition looks as deflated as the ball that Zanu (PF) punctured and is limping outside the pitch.

Morgan Tsvangirai, on whom many spectators had pinned their hopes to score for Zimbabwe, is a captain in disarray. Instead of giving the pep talk to his team from the dressing room and cheering the crowds on the sidelines, he has slid back into the bedroom and is busy mudslinging with his (former) wife, Elizabeth. Like the Zanu (PF) government, he seems to have no clue how he is going to untangle himself from the dirty linen he is reeling under, courtesy of his love gaffes.

To make matters worse, his Secretary General, Tendai Biti, seems to have sold his soul to Zanu (PF). I will never understand how he thought he could fight for Gideon Gono in court and survive the debilitating politics that goes with that. There is no way in which a senior MDC official can defend a Zanu (PF) personality mired in a corruption saga and get acquitted in the public court.

From where I stand, Biti has sold out and could possibly have hammered out a deal in which he would further fracture his party, possibly to jump ship and form a splinter movement. I will be forgiven for suspecting that Biti has received funding from Zanu (PF) to break away from Tsvangirai and weaken the opposition movement. Even if my guess were wrong, I don’t see how Biti could stand before a crowd and claim that he is a fighter for democracy and good governance when he has chosen to soil himself by legally representing a man who propped up the very regime that many blame for their woes using all sorts of methods outside the Bible.

Needless to say, Welshman Ncube looks lost, Dumiso Dabengwa is too broke for ideas to turn Zapu into a vibrant formation, and Simba Makoni can only bark from the terraces. I would have wanted to give Lovemore Madhuku’s NCA a chance, but my problem is that there is nothing much to justify that.

The net effect is the Zimbabwean opposition, in its current form, is dead. This is sad because it means that there will hardly be anyone to shoot the ball straight into Zanu (PF)’s face. No-one will stand up to make the current government deliver – and who doesn’t know what Zanu (PF) can do when left alone? – To comment on this article, please contact [email protected]

Post published in: Analysis
  1. Clare Thornton

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