If ZANU PF “old guard” clinging to power due to pathetic pensions, why aren’t they fiercely pushing for govt to provide decent wages to workers and retirees?

In this gravely depressing Zimbabwe economic, political, and social environment, one always welcomes some stress- releasing events, that make us laugh and forget our misery - no wonder most Zimbabweans' creativity in creating comic sketches and stunts, in order to temporarily forget their problems.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana

 

However, when I came across a recent statement by ruling ZANU PF Politburo member, Tshinga Dube – alleging that, the main reason behind his party’s so-called “old guard” being so reluctant in stepping down from their lofty positions of power, was largely due pathetic and paltry pensions prevailing in the country, which would not adequately provide for the comfortable lifestyles they were accustomed to – truly caught me off guard.

I did not know whether to laugh – as it surely had all the hallmarks an elaborate jest, that we have all become too familiar with in Zimbabwe, in order to let off steam – or, to be thoroughly incensed, as a result of the apparent grossly insincere and disingenuous nature of this claim, whose only intent appeared to be an insult on our intelligence, as a nation.

Considering that Dube is hardly known for his humorous side, I am inclined to go with the latter.

How else would one characterize such a comment – except as a clear affront to our reasoning capabilities as Zimbabweans?

To begin with, unless these old guard were throwing all that opulent wealth they amassed – fairly, or fraudulently – down the toilet, they, honestly, have no need for a pension at all, since they should have invested their riches, thereby set for a comfortable retirement, as well as a life of luxury for their children, and their children’s children.

Furthermore, I find the whole, “we are not leaving power because of poor pensions” cry a bit too ridiculous from another angle.

Who on earth has ever entered politics, or retained a tight grip on power, purely for the financial rewards?

In fact, who has ever sought political office purely out of the goodness of their heart, as a sure way of uplifting the livelihoods of the ordinary people?

Anyone who still believes that those in politics, and running for office, are there for the improvement of the wellbeing and welfare of the ordinary man,  woman, or child in the street, should either stop smoking whatever they are smoking, or get their heads examined – since, politicians are motivated by one thing, and one thing alone…POWER!

Seriously, why would someone who merely wants to be a simple “good Samaritan” – whose only motive is to just help his or her fellow citizens live a better life – resorts to all sorts of trickery, lies, and even vote rigging and brutal violence, to either attain, or retain office?

However, power corrupts, and is addictive and destructive – worse than the worst illicit drugs known to humankind.

That is the major reason why this ZANU PF old guard is not, and will never, be leaving the corridors of power any time soon – without the intervention of the masses themselves, whose lives they have callously ruined and turned into a living nightmare.

In fact, I have more hope in a seemingly hopeless “mutoriro” (crystal methamphetamine) addict, quiting the life-threatening and highly addictive drug – than a ZANU PF politician voluntarily retiring from holding the reigns of power.

Is it then any wonder why there has never been a smooth, democratic, and amicable transfer of power in ZANU PF – as the incumbent (Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa) ousted his predecessor (Robert Gabriel Mugabe) in a military coup d’etat in 2017, who himself had toppled the founding president of the party (Ndabanan’i Sithole) in 1975?

It is all about POWER – and, certainly not the welfare of the people, or the fear of unsustainable pensions.

As to be expected, the current leader has no peaceful sleep, as he is constantly haunted by ghosts of people plotting in every corner, to forcefully remove him from office.

If the allegations by Dube were to be taken seriously, then, surely, these old guard big wigs, could simply use their powers to push government into providing workers and retirees a decent and comfortable lifestyle that they deserve.

We all know that in Zimbabwe/ZANU PF politics – which is founded on the Chinese tyrannical model – there is really no separation between the ruling party and the state, and in fact, the former is considered superior to the latter.

Under such a set up, the ZANU PF Politburo (comprised of this old guard) has the power and authority to demand that the government, through its finance minister Mthuli Ncube, reasonably increases its workers’ and pensioners’ salaries and benefits.

Most certainly, how is an ordinary worker and pensioner expected to survive on the meager and insulting packages that they are currently receiving – with an average medical doctor getting somewhere around US$200, and a retiree about US$60 per month?

We do not accept any excuses by the old guard in their continued lust and obsession for power – as they have clearly failed the country – but, demand that they leave office and enjoy their largely ill-gotten wealth (hopefully in peace), whilst leaving the reigns of power to those who know what they are doing.

@ Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and political commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263733399640, or email: [email protected]

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