From the traditional leaders’ complaints of abuse by Zanu PF and low allowances that are paid erratically to Shabanie Mine’s former mine workers that are struggling to survive, there is an emerging pattern in this tour that almost everyone and every sector has a grievance against Zanu PF and this government.
The community leaders representing the church, vendors’ unions, traditional leaders, teachers and even ordinary villagers all told heart-rending stories that testify to national collapse that only a new government can address.
Traditional leaders who spoke to President Tsvangirai had grievances to do with low allowances that were always in arrears but the same government always abused them to politicise food aid and to frog march people to vote for Zanu PF.
The teachers, like all civil servants, have their own well known grievances but they said they took great exception to the new curriculum foisted on them without consultation. They said it was ironic that under the new curriculum, they were expected to teach ICTs and computers even at schools without electricity.
Collapsed infrastructure, poor safety nets particularly for the old and the infirm are some of the concerns that continue to be raised in rural areas and Mberengwa was no exception.
The people, particularly, the traditional leaders, thanked President Tsvangirai for coming to listen and consult them especially on a new governance framework post Mugabe.
In Zvishavane, just like at Zisco in Redcliff, President Tsvangirai came face to face with the debilitating social effects of ghost mining towns. Former Shabanie mine workers are still owed their money and the impact has been huge.
The MDC leader and the community leaders shared strategic information on the mooted alliance of opposition parties and how the next election will be won.
President Tsvangirai said all he was seeing and hearing during his tour was a sordid tell of collapse. He said everyone had grievances against Zanu PF and the people had an opportunity in the next election to vote for a new government that would address their grievances.
Tomorrow, President Tsvangirai will meet community leaders in Shurugwi, Vungu and Chiwundura communal lands.
Presidential Spokesperson and Director of Communications
Movement for Democratic Change