OUTSPOKEN son of the revered late veteran nationalist and Vice President Joshua Nkomo, Sibangilizwe, has said the way President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has pushed the country’s economy down the drain has undoubtedly left his father turning in his grave.
This comes as the country’s economic crisis continues to deepen, amid growing public disenchantment with the trajectory that Zimbabwe has taken, despite the hope that citizens had placed in Mnangagwa following the ouster of the late former president Robert Mugabe in 2017.
Political analysts have warned that Mnangagwa is fast running out of time to fix Zimbabwe through a broad-based national dialogue, which they say will help to extricate the country from the worsening rot.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily News on Sunday, Sibangilizwe said it was clear the nation was going nowhere under the current government.
“It is well known that uMdalawethu was a unifier, he believed in the happiness of every soul by building a united nation. Now we are seeing a divided nation along tribal and political lines.
“Our country is ever in a political mode, people are now fighting for a party name, we are ever in election mode. To make matters worse, those who are ruling us are ever seized with the politics of power at the expense of the economy and uniting the nation,” he said.
“We are really in a fix and heading nowhere. Factories are now ghost towns, unemployment levels have reached abnormal levels, everything is just upside down, this is why I am saying wherever he is, uMdalawethu uNkomo is turning in his grave. This is not what he fought for, this is not what he stood for, this is not what he always preached,” Sibangilizwe said.
The Nkomo family, through the Joshua Nkomo Foundation (JNF) this week commemorated 21 years after Nkomo’s death.
Nkomo, popularly known as Father Zimbabwe, died on July 1, 1999 and was buried at the National Heroes Acre on July 5 the same year.
Sibangilizwe said there was need for a complete overhaul of the current government system, which he said was the reason behind the country’s perpetual woes.
Zimbabwe is currently mired in the middle of a gigantic economic crisis which is stirring rising anger against the government.
To make matters worse, the country is fighting the double whammy of the deadly effects of the global coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and a regional drought that has left millions of people in the country facing starvation.
The late nationalist’s son added that the Unity Accord was a strategy to stop the Gukurahundi brutalities that were going on during the early to mid-1980s in Matabeleland and Midlands regions.
“The Unity Accord was a stop-gap measure to stop the killings, it was not a wedding during a good time but during sad times, it worked during that sad period to stop the killings. Unity will never come from parties but will only become real through the efforts of the general public.
“Somehow people have to come together but not under a political outfit as has been the case. Political party unity-led initiatives are not working. We saw that even with the GNU, it failed. Political party-led unity initiatives are only for political expediency, just like in the GNU where it worked for a while to calm people before the eating started and they forgot the people. The word unity is being abused for political expediency,” Sibangilizwe said.
Despite showing early signs of efforts to turn around the economy, which had suffered from years of corruption and mismanagement under the previous ruinous rule of Mugabe, Mnangagwa and his lieutenants are now finding the going tough.
“The truth is a complete overhaul of the system is critical at the moment. The system we have now is just a continuation of the … Mugabe and colonial era. Nothing has changed so far, only the faces have changed. Forty years on, Zimbabwe is still a troubled country,” Sibangilizwe said.
He further noted that it was unfortunate that soldiers were now a common feature in the day to day lives of civilians.
“We never used to see soldiers in the streets, like now. It’s clear the army is being abused for whatever gain it is.
“I have heard Tshinga Dube say there should be a Government of National Unity, yes I am in agreement with that but that government should also include non-political actors, because politicians alone do not have the interests of the people at heart,” he said.
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