If only ZANU PF regime expended same resources and energy in improving citizens’ livelihoods as they did oppressing them!

So, ZANU PF is busy planning and plotting how to sabotage the forthcoming opposition Citizen Coalition for Change (CCC) by-elections campaign launch, slated for this weekend at Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield, Harare.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana

This, according to media reports, was what the ruling party’s Harare leadership have been burning the midnight oil scheming how to ensure that this rally did not take off the ground, or at least obstacles were put in place to hinder free commuting to the venue – based on leaked WhatsApp audio messages shared between members.

This would not be the first time, as CCC leader, Nelson Chamisa, and his fellow comrades, have been at the receiving end of numerous brutal attacks, and lawless repression – most recently, horrendous violence against their convoys during the campaign trail, numerous arrests of party leaders on spurious charges (vice president Tendai Biti reportedly seized, and later released without any charge by the police yesterday), and several allegations of abductions, beatings up, and downright murder.

We can even rewind to two years ago, when ZANU PF was widely believed to have been the architects (or, at least taken full advantage) of huge fallouts from the supreme court ruling declaring Chamisa as not the legitimate leader of the MDC Alliance – resulting in the mass recalling of his members of parliament (MPs) and ward councillors (despite the court ruling clearly stating that the verdict was moot and academic), as well as losing the party headquarters, and political party funding (amounting to billions of dollars) – all benefiting the MDC-T led by Douglas Mwonzora.

Furthermore, yesterday I came across a report alleging that ZANU PF activists in Umguza district, Matebeleland North province, requested school development committees (SDCs) to submit names of teachers who have not been reporting for duty since schools opened on February 7, 2022, citing incapacitation due to paltry unsustainable salaries.

The reasons for this request were not stated – yet, considering that this is a ruling party, which has absolutely nothing to do with teachers’ conditions of service, instead notorious for its barbaric tactics – the only plausible explanation would be another attempt at brazenly intimidating these hardworking professionals.

Not only that, but the ZANU PF regime has gone all out suspending en masse thousands of teachers who did not manage to attend work last week.

On top of this, a law was gazetted in 2021 by the government to ban health care professionals from striking for more than three consecutive days – under an amendment to the Health Services Act – which, effectively, stripped all nurses and doctors (who are earning slave wages, in spite of their unquestionable dedication throughout the COVID-19 pandemic) their fundamental and constitutional rights to collective job action.

As a matter of fact, the ruling establishment spared no effort in creating shadowy labour organizations – whose sole purpose have been to align themselves with their oppressors, in a disgraceful mold of “house slaves” or “Uncle Toms”.

What boggles the mind in all these incidences is why the ZANU PF ruling elite finds it prudent to expend so much resources and energy in devising machinations to decimate or impede the opposition, and destroying labour unions?

Quite frankly, if the same amount of time, money, and energy had been spent in formulating and implementing effective programs that improved the livelihoods of Zimbabweans, provided living wages to their workers, and genuinely fought corruption at every level – would there be any need for such dirty shameful schemes?

Had Zimbabweans been a happy people – why would the ruling party feel so insecure, and its grip on power threatened?

If workers had been living a dignified life worthy of any God-created human being – why would the ruling establishment have sleepless nights over heightened labour activism?

Going through what those in power have been scheming over just the past few years – it is cleat that so much effort and finances have been expended, which was clearly not any easy feat – so, just imagine what could have been achieved had these been spent in more useful pursuits, which were for the benefit of the wider population.

I am reminded of a former New York Times journalist, Jayson Thomas Blair – who had to resign, in utter disgrace, after it was discovered that most of his news reports had been works of fabrication and plagiarism.

As I watched a documentary on his shameful fall from grace, it was really shocking how he had to spend so much time, effort, and creativity in producing these fake stories – yet, it would have been much easier and cheaper had he simply traveled to where the events were unfolding, and covered them.

This is exactly what the ZANU PF regime has been doing for as long as the party has existed – as it has become part of its repulsive culture and DNA to habitually resort to underhand and crooked ways to survive, which are actually more taxing – instead of simply doing the right thing, and hopefully receive the support of the people.

Or, maybe, could it be that they have no clue whatsoever on what should be done to improve the livelihoods of the millions of Zimbabweans – no matter how much they wanted to, and tried?

© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, and social commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936 / +263733399640, or email: [email protected]

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