Isn’t continued belief and celebration of ZANU PF regime promises akin to madness!

As I am penning this piece, our suburb of Redcliff has not had any electricity for approximately the past twelve hours – having been thrown into eerie darkness in the wee hours of the morning, reportedly due to an attempted theft of power cables by a gang of heartless robbers, who fortunately were disturbed whilst still in the act, thereby fleeing the scene, and leaving behind their equipment.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana

However, they had already inflicted some considerable damage, such that, the power utility’s hard-working technicians are still struggling to restore electricity to our neighborhood.

Be that is it may, as these able ZESA engineers and technicians are busy in their efforts in repairing the damaged cables, there is a recurring phenomenon that I am finding rather interesting.

Power in our homes and offices is returning intermittently, particularly, the lighting – whereas, everything else largely remains gone – an issue, from my own primitive and inane understanding of the functionality of electricity, is on account of the repair work in progress.

Nonetheless, the first time this occurred in the morning, I was very excited since there were quite a number of tasks whose accomplishment required electricity – only to be thoroughly disappointed after power went out again, only a minute or so afterward.

Several minutes later, the same thing happened again – and, for the second time, I was conned into believing that power had finally been restored, and could get straight into the work requiring attention.

However, as with the previous incidence, I was left with a gnawing sense of having been let down – as power went out again, only after a minute or two.

As this occurrence repeated itself, naturally my mind ceased being excited – since, it had become accustomed to the recurring cycle of power coming and then going – such that, as the day progressed, eventually, this no longer registered at all in my brain.

I was amazed at how the mind was designed and created in such a brilliant way that – should something that appeared promising, and incited much excitement at first, did not materialize as expected – the brain would naturally numb itself to the particular occurrence, and cease to even register whenever it happened again.

It was clear to me that, should the mind fail to put such safeguards in place, then an individual who continued to be excited over something that had already proven unlikely to happen – would undoubtedly be characterized as insane.

As I pondered on those captivating thoughts, it made me wonder what that meant for certain quarters of Zimbabwean society that continued believing unfulfilled promises made by the ZANU PF government – which have been so unashamedly broken over and over again for the past 42 years, since taking over power at the country’s independence from Britain.

Were we not been assured free health and education for all by the 2000?

After having dismally failed on this, has the so-called “new dispensation” not repeatedly regurgitated the same “free education next year” drivel since the coup d’état of November 2017 – when fierce ZANU PF factional infighting ended up roping in the military?

How many times have civil servants been reassured that their salaries would be “increased” to their pre-October 2018 levels of around US$540 a month – with both the finance and public service ministers having the audacity of even proffering dates – yet, these phenomenal employees’ earnings remain stagnant at nearly a third of their contractually-obligated remuneration, if not worse

Can anyone remember the countless times Zimbabweans have been promised a higher standard of living – through, numerous economic revival programs, whose number I have understandably lost count, with all manner of weird and wonderful names, such as ESAP, ZIMASSET, ZIMPREST, and now NDS1 – but, not even one of these lofty programs coming anywhere near fulfilling even a quarter of the expected outcomes?

Oh yes, and the houses – what so ever happened to the 1.5 million homes promised to be built between 20018 and 2023 – with only a few months to go?

Can anyone, please, show me just a thousand of these!

How many times have inflation targets not been met – certainly not by the acceptable margins of error, but by huge discrepancies which showed that these were nothing more than brazen lies?

Let me not even start with the resuscitation of major companies – most of whom, such as the fallen state-owned iron and steel giant (ZISCOSTEEL), were looted and mismanaged into oblivion – nonetheless, the directly affected communities still await this miracle to take place.

This is not to mention incessant reports of investors flooding the country – after being “wooed by the new dispensation’s charm offensive”, through its much-touted “engagement and reengagement policy” – this despite, no meaningful business operations setting up shop in Zimbabwe, except for scandalous deals with shady characters, which disadvantage the ordinary citizenry, than improve our livelihoods.

Who can forget the questionable lucerne growing project in Chiredzi, which threatened to displace numerous families of Chilonga from their ancestral lands – or, villagers from Marange/Chiadzwa who have been facing untold suffering and poverty after being evicted to make way for multi-billion dollar diamond mining, from which they have benefited nothing but pain?

And then, we have the most recent unashamedly scandalous US$400 million Pomona dumpsite deal – whereby, residents of the capital Harare will have to fork out a staggering average US$22,000 per day for 30 years, just to have their waste dumped – in a city that is already been cash-strapped, and failing to provide the most basic services, such as safe potable water.

Besides, these unscrupulous deals, the only other “investment” Zimbabweans are supposed to hail are mere trips to the country by business people from other countries, or visitors to Zimbabwe’s stand at the Dubai Expo, or meetings with the president by foreign dignitaries – a vast majority of which, have resulted in practically zero real tangible investment at all.

Not to mention, the endless “ground-breaking ceremonies” – that, still today, are nothing more than mere open grounds!

Is this the type of “Zimbabwe is open for business” that our government expects us to celebrate?

Notwithstanding all these clear signs of a ruling elite that is, either unable or unwilling, to do what is expected of them, we still witness some people actually jumping with exhilaration every time a new promise is made by the government of Zimbabwe – with most of these being a mere copy and paste of old unfulfilled ones!

Of course, as to be expected by most of us, when nothing comes out of these promises – the ruling establishment always has a ready excuse at hand – “sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe”, as well as shadowy “saboteurs”…both old and tired rhetoric, which have since long lost their luster.

Why promise what you know you are unable, or have no capacity, to fulfill?

Even if this sanctions ruse were real – why make lofty promises, knowing fully well that there are measures in place to scuttle them?

Yet, in spite of all this, there are always those ready and willing to be deceived – always at the ready to praise, laud, hail, commend, and congratulate the government for its “visionary leadership”.

How else can such a shocking phenomenon be described?

I go back to my thoughts this morning, as electricity came and went repeatedly – would I not have been mad had I jumped in ebullience every time this occurred – in spite of knowing fully well that this had been the norm since the early hours of the day, and power hardly staying on for more than a minute?

Would the natural and normal reaction not been for the mind to numb itself to such promises, thereby not triggering any excited response anymore – but, simply watch and see what transpires?

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

Post published in: Featured

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *