After million-man march, what next?

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Robert Mugabe

Zanu PF yesterday held its much-awaited million-man march, but the question after President Robert Mugabe’s elaborate show of bravado is what next.

NewsDay Comment

march 10

As has become the norm at Zanu PF functions, the event was full of sound and fury and very little substance.

At a time when the economy is on the brink, Mugabe instead chose to show that he still commands support, ignoring the harsh realities that people in his party and the country are facing.

Instead of displaying leadership, Mugabe and his wife, Grace, chose the selfish topic of his continued stay in power, as if oblivious of the circumstances that Zimbabwe finds itself in.

We did not expect much from Mugabe’s speech, but Zimbabweans should be wary of leaders who fidget while the country is burning.

Mugabe received a huge mandate to rule the country in 2013, no matter how disputed, and with the million-man march, he thinks he has proven that he is popular, now Zimbabweans expect he roll up his sleeves and works for the country.

If Zanu PF are indifferent to the rising wave of discontent, then they are lying to themselves, as the million-man march will not make people automatically love the party and its leader.

Mugabe should be reminded that about a decade ago, a similar march was held to prove his popularity, but come elections, the MDC-T sent his Zanu PF party to the cleaners, delivering the President’s first electoral defeat.

This march will not do much for Mugabe’s political fortunes, because Zimbabweans now see beyond the rhetoric and want solutions to their problems.

Others are appalled that Mugabe and his party spent so much on a one-day event, yet the country is desperately short of cash to even pay public workers and other obligations.

Mugabe and his supporters will no doubt be patting each other’s backs following yesterday’s march, but many Zimbabweans may justifiably feel the event was hollow, devoid of substance and uncalled for.

Thousands of the people who gathered at what is called Robert Mugabe Square yesterday are probably back in the homes now, and their situation has not improved the slightest bit, with little hope of any improvement anytime soon.

Today, people will return to their banks to find they cannot withdraw their money, most taps across the capital will not have running water and the roads will continue being in a state of disrepair.

Instead of this elaborate shadowboxing, which the million-man march was, Mugabe should be working on solving the country’s problems or at least delegating to someone with a clue on how this dire situation can be improved.

Zimbabwe is desperate for servant leadership, sadly Mugabe and Zanu PF have not provided that and instead of working for the people, they are only concerned about their longevity in power, at whatever cost.