Yesterday must rank as one of the most embarrassing days in Zimbabwe’s history, after one of the government properties was auctioned in South Africa following litigation by AfriForum on behalf of 78 white former farmers who lost their farms during the land reform programme.
If government officials and the ruling party had any shame, they would all hang their heads in embarrassment at making history for all the wrong reasons.
What we are likely to get from government officials beginning today is a false sense of bravado and the predictable accusations of racism against AfriForum and the white former farmers.
Unfortunately for them, the buck stops with the government and Zanu PF and no form of diversionary tactics will sway the public from realising what a bungling and blundering bunch we have leading us.
For years the government has excelled at passing responsibility for its failures, blaming everything on the opposition, the West and sanctions, but such scapegoating cannot go unchecked and the authorities must be held to account.
In a normal country, someone would have resigned for bringing shame on our country by allowing government property to be auctioned in such a manner, but this is Zimbabwe, where resignations are unheard of and failure and mediocrity often go unpunished.
This incident is quite similar to one where the Belgians held onto Zimbabwe’s diamond revenue following similar litigation and if this did not serve as a warning to government that more such lawsuits were on the way, then nothing will.
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While the government will probably ignore this auction, the reality is it may be the beginning of an avalanche of similar lawsuits and attachments of property in other foreign countries. We believe this does not bode well for the country.
If the ruling party politicians are as patriotic as they want us to believe, the mere threat of the auctioning of government property should have jolted them into action. They should have found ways of blocking the auction.
This vindicates our prognosis of the Zimbabwe crisis: Our leaders are either out of touch with reality or they do not care about the country.
Without belabouring the point, no amount of propaganda can mask government’s shortcomings, yet we are guaranteed this is all we shall get from the authorities in the coming few days.
The time for sloganeering is long over, the next general election is a full three years from now. So instead of concentrating on power struggles within the party, the ruling Zanu PF must be seen to be working, yet this auction is an example of inept leadership.
Zanu PF must be advised that it is spending too much of its time and energies on wrong issues, while the country is on fatal autopilot.
The succession issue is important and must be dealt with. However, this does not mean Zanu PF and the government must ignore national issues.
We urge the government to set its priorities right so we do not have to experience this kind of humiliation in the near future.