Acting President Emmerson Mnangangwa hit the right note in a meeting with businesspeople as reported in the media, stating that Zimbabwe must focus on attracting foreign direct investment as well as relax a plethora of badly written, badly implemented empowerment laws, that has so far led to poverty and not prosperity. I say it is the right note because so far we remain caught up in the post-Zanu PF congress political issues and confusion.
By Rashweat Mukundu
That is the dismissal of ministers, name-calling, defending those appointed as VPs and ministers among other non-essentials that could wait for another day if at all.
The promise was that after congress Zanu PF would roll its sleeves and focus on the economy and the State media, cheerleaders of the party, made so much headlines to that effect.
The pronouncements by Mngangwa on the need for policy shift, dialogue with international financiers should therefore have made headline news and not so much the dismissal of ministers from government. This is probably a key story as we want to see leaders make good on what they say rather than cheap talk.
The continued focus on Zanu PF will, however, not put food on our tables, but rather an attempt to keen us locked in the debates on power politics instead of imperative national developmental issues. There is need for Zanu PF to demonstrate its capacity to lead apart from making slogans and chasing each other left, right and centre.
It is for this reason that the State media can surely afford to ignore former Vice-President Joice Mujuru, former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa, and opposition leaders including Dumiso Dabengwa among many others and simply focus on the story of the day which is the economy.
It is becoming clear that Zanu PF and the State media have no appetite for the stories of the people of Zimbabwe especially the ever deteriorating economic conditions, largely a result of policy inconsistencies, a government machinery working at cross-purposes, and corruption among many other things. The story of citizens is one of suffering with no hope.
It is for this reason that Zanu PF and the State media would rather feed us day in and day out on the goings on in Zanu PF and outside, who has been fired, who has appealed to whom and who is to be arrested for corruption.
It surely is a good story to tell us that Mujuru has been arrested on allegations of corruption and the she will be appearing in court on such and such a date, nothing of that sort has happened. Instead what we have are speculative stories on what the police are doing.
Even Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri was non-committal skipping the names of the so-called former political heavyweights that the police are investigating.
The other diversionary stories are the whole hullabaloo on the past of the new VP Phekezelela Mphoko, who opposition leaders accuse of an opaque past.
Again there is nothing to defend nor to occupy acres of media space in that regard as the VP can surely speak for himself and his past will not by any stretch of imagination, change our future fortunes.
So this determined approach of diversion till 2018 must stop and Zanu PF must stick to its word and promise to make the economy work.
Citizens of Zimbabwe are literally surviving on their own with little if any help from the Zanu PF government. In hospitals one has to buy medicines, syringes and in instances bring water for the sick. In schools parents are building and paying teachers. Economically as many are surviving in the informal sector.
Citizens want Zanu PF to focus on the very basics as Mngangwa stated, make life simpler by doing away with unnecessary bureaucracy in the conduct of business.
If Zanu PF can only allow government business to be transparent, policies to be clear and predictable then Zimbabwe would be far better, not so much on the capacities of Zanu PF but on the basis of the ingenuity and hard work of citizens of this country.
For this reason Zanu PF must define a new narrative that of sorting the economic mess and get citizens to debate and talk about that not about 2018 nor who will be fired and arrested.
If the police have evidence of crimes committed, that does not need newspaper headlines to prompt them to action. They simply must do their job.
The tendency by Zanu PF to create a siege mentality in society, by hoisting Zanu PF stories as the only game in town, secondly by foolishly maintaining the line that the world owes us a living when all we do is corruption must stop.
People don’t eat ill-defined ideological posturing that even the movers don’t believe in. Zanu PF must lead as the party that won elections, it must stop looking for excuses while at the same time gold and diamonds are being carted away by the same people.
By its own admission Zanu PF has been stalling progress on many fronts due to infighting and policy inconsistencies. As the President said in firing the latest batch of ministers and deputies, most are incompetent, performed below par and spent as much time in corrupt deals and politicking. Who appointed them and who was supervising them we ask?
And can this person please do better in appointing competent people and taking time to supervise them. It is clear that no matter what Zanu PF thinks, competent leaders are needed in the party, to tackle the economic challenges head-on.
As many citizens don’t really care who is at State House, but care about food on the table, and ability to look after their families. Being a politician, minister et cetera is not surely the all and all of life.
In this regard, all Zanu PF can do is put the requisite policies in place, and let Zimbabwe work and allow Zimbabweans to work for themselves.