This yearâ€™s celebrations come days after the countryâ€™s biggest opposition party, MDC-T, held a well-attended march against poverty and corruption. Dubbed the â€˜mother of all marchesâ€™, the demonstration saw thousands of party supporters and activists marching through the streets of Harare calling on â€œold and clueless Mugabeâ€ to resign.
Critics said the meaninglessness of this yearâ€™s event was symbolised by the fact that while Zimbabweans were being forced to pay for basics such as oxygen and blood at the countryâ€™s hospitals, Mugabeâ€™s daughter, Bona, was away having chosen to deliver her first baby in the Far East instead of at a local institution.
Critics are accusing the countryâ€™s founding leader of running down a country he inherited from white rulers with a sound economy, in the process rendering the celebrations meaningless.
The palpable economic ruin is best seen in the large army of vendors seen in most urban centres, massive job losses, recurrent company closures, collapsing public infrastructure, the plunder of public resources by the powerful and an ever ballooning population of economic refugees leaving the country every day.
Coupled with that, Mugabeâ€™s government has done a lot to keep memories of the countryâ€™s erstwhile white rulers fresh in citizens’ minds with forced disappearances, killings of government critics and the maintaining a gamut of oppressive laws in its statute books to suppress competition.
Ousted Vice President Joice Mujuru feels the triumph registered by indigenous people against the oppressive colonial government during the liberation war has all gone to waste.
â€œThirty six year after independence, we celebrate a revolution that has lost its glow and direction,â€ said the one time ally to President Mugabe, who now leads the Zimbabwe People First (ZmPF).
Mujuru, in her statement to mark Independence Day, said the current Zanu PF implosion has exposed her former and once powerful party to ruin.
â€œThe ruthless monster (Zanu PF) has run out of ideas and is now devouring its own children.
â€œThese are telltale signs of a dying regime that shall never again win a national democratic election.â€
Under Mugabeâ€™s rule, Mujuru said, the Zimbabwean economy was now a far cry from the one inherited from the Rhodesian government by the veteran leader on the nation’s behalf.
â€œOver the past 36 years, that economy has been run down.
â€œNinety percent of all factories have been forced to shut down due to bad policies and rampant corruption especially in high places.â€
Zimbabweâ€™s first female Vice President said the countryâ€™s mining sector, which was good cover for the mainstay agriculture, has also been condemned to ruin through mine closures and the plunder of mining revenue by elites.
Peopleâ€™s Democratic Party secretary general Godern Moyo says independence under the current oppressive system was a misnomer.
â€œItâ€™s a ritual that has lost its lustre,â€ Moyo told NewZimbabwe.com.
â€œWhile there is cause to keep it on our calendar, the whole concept of independence in Zimbabwe is being challenged in both theory and practice.â€
The former state firms minister said 1980 merely gave Zimbabwe juridical independence but left its intended beneficiaries â€œchained to hunger and starvationâ€.
â€œIndependence in Zimbabwe is enjoyed by a small political class who replaced a small white supremacist class in 1980,â€ Moyo said.
â€œWhile white colonialism ended in 1980, Zimbabwe was hijacked by black colonialists in the form of G40 (Generation 40), Lacoste and other such Zanu PF fragments which are currently engaged in a looting spree of the state resources.
â€œWe need a second independence that will usher in democracy, prosperity and set Zimbabwe on a new era of human development, human excellence and human dignity.â€
G40 and Lacoste refer to two Zanu PF camps fronted by the First Lady Grace Mugabe and Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, which are both battling for Zanu PF control ahead of the 92 year old leader’s much anticipated end to his political career.
In a weekend statement, Professor Lovemore Madhukuâ€™s NCA party said there was no independence to celebrate with massive joblessness, dictatorship and the social inequalities brought by the Mugabe regime.
Post published in: Featured