Mnangagwa regime victim of its own lies and broken promises!

Some people - having been understandably shocked as to how my marriage managed to stay strong even through the most difficult of times - often ask me how we did it.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana


As if in a jocular manner, but actually being dead serious – I always respond, “I was an open book with my then fiancé, letting her know exactly who and what she was getting herself into, and most importantly never built castles in the air by making lofty promises”.

In other words, she never entered the marriage with any dreams and expectations that I had sowed in her head – in so doing, even when we reached our lowest point, it was not as if she did not expect it, therefore not reacting in shock or disappointment.

The problem with most marriages that fail is that, the suitor pretended to be someone he was not, thereby planting ideas and visions in the one he was courting – which he either already knew were unattainable, or he failed to achieve for whatever reason along the way – thereby, leaving his partner with a deep sense of dissatisfaction, betrayal and even resentment.

Such feelings are to be understood, since winning someone’s affections and heart in that way, is akin to getting something under false pretense.

That is where cracks in the majority of marriages begin.

This is exactly what I perceive as the genesis of the untold anger and disappointment the people of Zimbabwe feel about their government and leadership.

I remember a year or so ago, when the #HowFar mantra went viral – as Zimbabweans from all walks of life demanded to know what became of the numerous promises that were made by the Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa administration, and why most of them never saw the light of day.

That is the root cause of the gnawing sense of dissatisfaction we have towards the ruling establishment – resulting in our loathing of a leadership that is in the infuriating habit of making promises that they cannot keep – whilst having duped the population into believing them, and raising hopes that are later cruelly and painfully dashed.

Imagine Mnangagwa erecting huge billboards loudly and boldly proclaiming the immediate resuscitation of the fallen state-owned iron and steel making giant ZISCOSTEEL – which collapsed spectacularly in 2008, under the unbearable weight of massive looting and mismanagement at the hands of both the country’s ruling elite and the politically-aligned company executives – should he be elected into office in the 2018 presidential elections.

Yet, in spite of ‘winning’ a term in office – nearly five years later, and a few months before another presidential election – ZISCOSTEEL is still as pile of junk that it was when he made the promise, and still a comfortable home of Redcliff’s various troops of baboons and monkeys.

It is now a place more suitable for filming wildlife documentaries, than an African industrial giant where 1 million tonnes of steel per year were once produced, whilst employing over 8,000 workers.

This translated into sustaining an entire flourishing town of over 40,000 men, women and children, blessed with wonderful schools, vibrant health care facilities, decent housing for all employees and their families, all major banks and supermarkets readily available, and top-class recreational infrastructure.

Today, the town I was born, bred, and still reside, is a sorry sight – characterized by largely impoverished residents surviving on who-knows-what, infrastructure falling apart and on the verge of dilapidation, prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse, and lacking potable water for nearly a year.

As such, when Mnangagwa issues his lofty promises, surely how does he think Redcliff residents will feel?

Are we not to be exceedingly excited, with our hopes suddenly rekindled, as we look forward to the good times returning to our small town?

However, as if waking up from a beautiful dream, only to find yourself in the reality of poverty and pain – or, an expectant couple tragically losing their unborn baby to an unexpected miscarriage – these promises are never fulfilled and our joy hurtfully crashed.

In so doing, how does Mnangagwa think the majority of Redcliff residents feel about him and his government?

Does he seriously expect to get their votes in next year’s presidential elections?

That is the tragedy of the Zimbabwe regime.

I genuinely believe that most of the revulsion they experience from the people of this country is not necessarily due to the intolerable poverty and suffering alone – although, that is of course, a major factor – but, the unfulfilled promises, that had raised hopes in so many people, who had had enough of their daily struggles.

There is nothing more wicked and cold-hearted that this.

Is it, then, any wonder the Mnangagwa government is swiftly losing credibility in the eyes of ordinary Zimbabweans – as we no longer trust them in their endless declarations of so-called ‘mega deals’?

What ‘mega deals’ when they are failing to fulfill what they assured the citizenry five years ago?

Why not firstly, construct the 1.5 million houses within five years, create the tens of thousands of jobs, ensure decent salaries for all workers, stabilize the economy, and strength the local currency?

Surely, commissioning one or two companies here and there can never pass as ‘mega deals’!

Keeping the local currency at ZW$800 to US$1 is hardly stabilizing the economy!

And, having two thirds of workers earning under the poverty datum line can never be described as ‘earning decent salaries’.

In fact, each time Mnangagwa returns from a foreign visit, we are told of ‘lucrative multi-billion dollar investment deals’ – with hardly any seeing the light of day.

What happened to the promised ‘zero tolerance to corruption’ – yet, we continue to witness the so-called ‘big fish’ implicated in massive looting of multi-millions in state resources being treated with kid gloves, and never held answerable for their horrendous crimes – with some never spending more than a night behind bars, swiftly awarded bail, and that will be the end anyone hears of these cases?

What about the opening up of democratic space, and expansion of political freedoms – yet, the brutal clamping down on activists appears to have actually risen and worsened under the so-called ‘new dispensation’ – as even honorable opposition members of parliament (MPs) are either arrested on trumped-up charges, or savagely beaten up, whilst their party effectively banned from staging any constitutionally enshrined peaceful demonstrations, and facing tremendous difficulties in holding rallies?

As a matter fact, according to the Sivio Institute, a paltry 13 out of 235 promises by the Mnangagwa regime ever came to pass!

Why, then, should any one be particularly perturbed when the people of Zimbabwe are not only disappointment with the ruling establishment, but also thoroughly dissatisfied, betrayed and angry?

In other words, Mnangagwa ‘won’ elections under false pretense!

It would have been much better, as I did, never to have made any promises in the first place – and, live each day without some planted expectations, that may never be fulfilled.

Actually, it becomes so much more exciting when every good thing comes as a big unexpected surprise!

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

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