Broken pledges: Zanu PF govt’s biggest weakness
FROM time immemorial, Zimbabweans have been subjected to numerous promises, many of which have remained pipe dreams.
This has especially happened in the run-up to elections the country has held to date, but worsened after 1990 when the formation of the late Edgar Tekere’s now-defunct Zimbabwe Unity Movement (Zum) led to the southern African nation’s taste of opposition politics. Zanu PF and PF Zapu had signed the Unity Accord in 1987.
The emergence of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in 1999 further awakened Zanu PF from its slumber and so did the outcome of the 2002 referendum on the Constitution. After assuming unfettered control of the levers of State at independence in 1980 and — seemingly — seeing the naivety and gullibility of the bulk of the population, who admittedly had not seen anything wrong with the systematic and well-choreographed plunder of State resources that soon became apparent, the leadership thought they had the people tethered to them.
Promises made at independence, especially on land, were yet to be fulfilled, pushing groups like war veterans — who felt government was reneging on its pledge to address the contentious question — to invade white-owned farms at the turn of the millennium.
Although citizens expected bliss when the war ended, the new leadership’s true colours soon clearly showed. They preached socialism at political rallies but secretly, started plundering State enterprises like Ziscosteel, the National Railways of Zimbabwe, the Cold Storage Company, the Grain Marketing Board, among others, for personal gain.
On the other hand, the majority continued to live on the periphery of main economic activity while the chefs lived affluent lifestyles largely financed by proceeds from unbridled and institutionalised greed.
The short-lived government of national unity (GNU) of February 2009 to July 2013 showed Zimbabweans that the country still could afford them a decent life. The GNU, brokered by former South African president Thabo Mbeki, brought together hitherto foes — Zanu PF leader Robert Mugabe and founding MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai (both late) in a stability-inducing administration.
However, Zanu PF continued to promise more and Zimbabweans were once again hoodwinked in 2013 by pledges of jobs and access to business opportunities, things that never materialised although citizens voted the ruling party into power on the strength of these. Today, nothing has changed as the country is going round in circles, searching for an enemy right in our midst.