For decades, most of us – social justice activists, opposition political parties, writers, and Zimbabweans in general – had made it abundantly clear that the country’s economic, political, and social rot had been the fault of then president Robert Gabriel Mugabe-led government’s gross mismanagement, shameless corruption, and insatiable greed for power.
We never stopped making a lot of noise – in the process, literally risking life and limb, due to an intolerant and blood-thirsty ruthless regime – pointing out what exactly the Mugabe-led ZANU PF administration had been getting it all wrong, and missing the plot, as far as managing the affairs of state were concerned.
Did we not say his warped policies – from as far back as the 1990’s Economic Structural Adjustment Program (ESAP) – were ruining the lives and livelihoods of ordinary citizens, and would never achieve the stated objectives?
As a matter of fact, the devastation that we could foresee being caused by ESAP, was the main reason my otherwise previously non-political media writings (which I began in 1989, at the age of 16 years) suddenly took on an obvious political tone in 1991 (in the Lower Sixth form at Kwekwe High School) – as everyone who had eyes to see, could tell that the country was heading for disaster.
That is the same period that I also warned of iron and steel making giant, ZISCOSTEEL’s imminent demise – considering the grand looting that we were aware of, as Redcliff residents, and mismanagement that we could even smell from afar.
Yet, did those in ZANU PF and government listen?
No, not at all!
Instead, due to blind support for the ruling party, and the involvement of high-ranking government officials in the looting – I was actually threatened by the local leadership, who reminded me who was in charge, with grassroots supporters ridiculing me that, there was no way the country’s authorities would allow such a huge company (which was state-owned, and the backbone of the economy) to fall.
Well, it eventually did fall!
That was neither the first or last time that Zimbabweans authorities, under Mugabe, implemented what were clearly incomprehensible, inconsistent, and incoherent economic and political policies, as well as rampant corruption – that further drove the country closer and closer to the edge of collapse.
Yet – again, when alarm was raised by truly patriotic citizens – these were immediately and arrogantly dismissed as rantings of “unpatriotic elements”, who were bent on causing instability, civil unrest, and effect “illegal regime change”, at the behest of Western powers.
The ruling ZANU PF party, and its fanatical supporters stood by Mugabe and his cronies – never allowing any voice of dissention to be heard…and in most cases, being met with rabid and horrendous barbarity.
Even in the midst of the early 2000’s hyperinflationary environment – reaching insane levels of 79.6 billion per cent month-on-month, and 89.7 sextillion per cent year-on-year in mid-November 2008 – ZANU PF never saw anything amiss over Mugabe’s leadership…or, lack off.
Therefore, it was most puzzling and downright perplexing, when it was reported that ZANU PF’s spokesperson, Christopher Mutsvangwa – during a recent press conference in the capital Harare – decided to exonerate current president Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa of any liability for the economic mess the country finds itself in today, but rather opting to place all the blame squarely on Mugabe’s shoulders.
Well, well, well – is that not just touché!
So, after all these decades of stubbornly, and even violently, denying that the Mugabe-led regime were the authors of our unimaginable misery and unbearable poverty – via its unmitigated and unpardonable failures of governance – now that he has been ousted from power through a military coup d’etat in November 2017, ZANU PF wants us to believe they had a sudden epiphany, and now acknowledge what we had been saying all along?
Are we no longer “sellouts”, and “unpatriotic regime change agents” – which we were so often accused of, for saying exactly the same things about Mugabe, which ZANU PF is now saying – albeit, a few decades late?
Are we going to get an apology from ZANU PF for their unfounded and mischievous allegations against us – or, are we to expect more of the same?
In fact, we are already experiencing more of the same – since, when we accuse the Mnangagwa administration of widespread incompetence, mismanagement, and looting, which have further worsened our suffering and impoverishment – we are still being labelled “unpatriotic, sellout regime change agents”.
For how long does ZANU PF plan to deny the same truths that we have been telling for decades?
Are they waiting for Mnangagwa to vacate office for them to, again, suddenly have a “Damascene conversion” – in which, they will begin telling the nation that the oppression, pain, poverty we endured was all his fault?
Will they (one, five, ten years from now) repeat what we have been loudly and boldly saying today – that the main reason for Zimbabweans’ miserable livelihoods is a direct consequence of this so-called “new dispensation”, which has absolutely no idea what they are doing, and where they are taking the nation?
Will they finally acknowledge that the reintroduction of a useless currency, in the midst of an unsuitable economic environment, was the most foolish decision ever made by the Mnangagwa administration?
When all has been said and done, will ZANU PF finally admit that sanctions, economic saboteurs, or “illegal regime change agents” were never really the cause – but our own leaders?
© 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]Post published in: Featured
Think they will only listen if there is a jail term to save after failed charge will be treason