Zimbabweans forever imprisoned by Zanu-PF

OPINION – A trip down memory lane back to the announcement of election results in 1980 brings to mind scenes of jubilation, excitement, euphoria and a great feeling of liberation. The guns of war had been silenced after a long and protracted liberation war.\r\n

Great sacrifices had been made by all. The racist white regime had been voted out of office and for the first time there was to be a black-led government in office. No one would blame the "povo" for having high expectations of the Zanu-PF regime. Their mandate was not only political but also economic and social emancipation for the majority.

It is now 31 years with Zanu-PF at the helm of power in Zimbabwe.One cannot help but question if the expectations of the black majority back in 1980 have been fulfilled or if it has been " a harvest of thorns", a bitter-sweet experience. As a neutral I am convinced that not much has changed for the better for the majority. Yes, there was initial progress in the health and education sectors on the basis of massive international aid. Sadly, almost everything has stagnated or moved backwards except for those feeding from the Zanu-PF gravy-train while the majority, like the biblical Lazurus, wait for whatever crumbs fall from the chefs hightable.

The sad truth is that the majority of Zimbabweans still live in Dambudzo Marechera,s "house of hunger" while the chefs and their chosen few loot, plunder and accumulate massive riches. The majority of Zimbabwe,s 13million people are struggling to make ends meet either within the country or in the diaspora. About 4million Zimbabweans are having to put aside their dignity, pride as well as educational qualifiactions to undertake embarrasing menial jobs in South Africa Canada, America as well as UK.

This is merely to make ends meet as well as support kith and keen back in Zimbabwe.It is a massive loss of brain power for the country but these people have no other choice. The Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) recently estimated that the country is sitting on 2.8 billion tonnes of platinum, 26billion tonnes of coal, 30 billion tonnes of iron ore,16.5 million tonnes of diamonds as well as 13million tonnes of gold.

These are massive God-given riches that in the right hands could be used to turn around the economy, end massive unemployment, poverty, disease and turn Zimbabwe into one of the most prosperous countries on the African continent. With Zanu-PF in power we could as well forget these ambitious dreams. These resources are for them to loot, plunder, enrich themselves and are another reason for them to rule until " the donkeys have grown horns". The case of the land-reform aswell as the diamonds is ample evidence that these resources are for the chefs as well as their kith and kin. The rest of the Zimbabweans in Mbare, Epworth, Tafara, Mabvuku, Highfield and the rest of Zimbabwe do not count except when their votes are needed!

The povo can only watch , wonder and wish at media reports of multiple farm ownership, massive asset ownership, and diamond looting are reported.Much of what the regime members own goes unreported for fear of the media backlash. The country is gripped with tension amidst milititarisation ahead of expected 2011 elections, intolerance of anyother views other those that are pro-Zanu-PF, corruption, and the refusal to let any other person be in power other those with liberation -war credentials.

The economy is in dire -straits characterised by stagnation, capital flight as well as 95% unemployment levels despite the fully-stocked shelves in supermarkets! The one-sided media promotes a lot of political posturing and grand-standing. A recent example is coverage of the December 2010 annual congress at Mary Mount Teachers College in Mutare. To an outsider this congress paints a picture of progress, of a few troublesome Zimbabweans out to rock the boat while the majority live in success and happiness.

This is far from the reality in Zimbabwe. The 2 year government of national unity has brought about relative economic and political stability but the country remains burdened by bad governance, rampant corruption, flouting of the rule of law, denial of the basic freedoms of assembly,speech,association and inability to choose a government of their own choice. As expected elections loom around the corner citizens live in fear of the expected violence that has always been associated with Zimbabwean elections. Despite the fact that the constitution provides for change of government through free and fair elections the Zanu-PF regime views regime change as evil and as an idea propagated by the West. The current stalemate in Ivory Coast comes to mind and is even quoted by Ggabgo as he refuses to vacate office.

Zanu-PF Legacy

The party that played a crucial role in the liberation war now has a legacy of greed, putting itself ahead of national interests,intolerance, rigging elections, rampant corruption, taking Zimbabweans for granted, suppression of basic freedoms, hooliganism and violence, ammending the constitution wherever they see it fit, authoritarian leadership, losing touch with the people (except at election times), holding onto power at any cost , running the economy to the ground as well as failing to identify a successor to the 86 year old president who has ruled eversince 1980. The party will forever be haunted by the ghosts of Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina, Hakudzokwi and Mavhotera Papi.

As in George Orwell’s Animal Farm where the sheep believe in " four legs good,two legs bad" anyone who dares to think differently from Zanu-PF is branded the enemy, sell-out, neo-colonialist, puppet of the West. It appears as if in return for its role in the liberation-war ZANU-PF mistakenly believes that that it has the mandate to rule foever, holding us prisoners while its members loot and plunder the economy. The majority of Zimbabweans are tired and regret ever-voting Zanu-PF into power or having all those expectations back in 1980.