For sometime it remained foggy in the minds of Zimbabweans whether or not the government that took over from former despot, Robert Mugabe, would deliver and make life better for the long-suffering generality of Zimbabweans.
By Learnmore Zuze
Emmerson Mnangagwa who came into power following the epic fall of Mugabe was in the eyes of many, a man from whom much was expected. Zimbabweans desired a 360 degrees shift from anything linked to ‘Mugabeism.’
Mugabe had become the embodiment of how not to run a country. He was the personification of failure.
‘Mugabeism’ is an apt term that captures Mugabe’s brand of politics. And ‘Mugabeism’ actually has many facets, key among them intolerance of divergent views. In essence, this is the key attribute of ‘Mugabeism.’
Under this brand of politics, people had to lose their rational powers of thought and follow Mugabe religiously. Difference in perception was criminalised under Mugabeism; in fact it was criminal to differ with him.,
While Mnangagwa can be congratulated for shunning the near-deity status accorded to Mugabe, there is one fundamental aspect of Mugabeism that is showing strongly in his rule.
This ‘Mugabeic’ trait is so clear and so obvious to the point of being an embarrassment. The trait is this: openly lying to the masses in order to win votes. The trait involves clear deceptive promises to the electorate.
Mnangagwa would have won the respect of many, including myself if he became truthful to the masses. Going by the Zanu PF manifesto unveiled last Friday one cannot help, but clearly see the footprints of Mugabe’s way of doing business.
The manifesto smacks of promises very similar in nature to those of Mugabe; the promises are not feasible and betray a palpable desire to simply win votes.
It is logical to conclude that such promises will be discarded as soon as a Zanu PF victory is announced.
People had expected some changes in the economy since Mugabe’s resignation last November, which saw Mnangagwa taking office, but five months down the line, nothing significant has changed.
Mnangagwa has been pushing for economic reforms through engaging Western countries, claiming the “new dispensation” is aimed at improving the people’s lives.
Under Mugabe, we all heard of the sick electoral promise of 2,2 million jobs, which was in essence a lie to gain votes.
No meaningful follow up was made soon after Mugabe romped to a dubious victory that fateful 2013.
Under Mugabe, there was an avalanche of mega China and Russia deals. We were told these “all-weather” friends were pouring in millions into the economy. But true to the statement that the economy can’t be rigged, nothing materialised. It was evident that Zimbabwe had no future under Mugabe; the man had to cheat his way to power in every election.
What is worrying now is that ED seems to have taken a cue from this fatalistic Mugabeism philosophy.
This brand of politics is now too cheap to use to the enlightened Zimbabweans. The citizenry is now way too smart for cheap politicking of 2,2 million jobs and ridiculous housing units for people as given in the manifesto.
People are rather impressed by a depressing truth than an exciting lie.
It was incumbent for the manifesto to be realistic, but its not pragmatic and rather has traces of Mugabeism.
Mnangagwa can only fall into a political pit by thinking Zimbabweans are simpletons, who will swallow ludicrous promises.
Zanu PF needed to bring up clear and simplified policy alternatives than mere promises.
When Mnangagwa came in they talked much about foreign direct investment and fighting corruption, but what is happening is an increase in cases of corruption and continued cash crisis.
While Zanu PF seeks to extend its 38-year rule with another five-year term, the past five years have gone by since the 2013 election and its 2,2 million new jobs promise has not yet been achieved, together with a host of “mega deals” with Russians and the Chinese signed over the years.
For the past 38 years that Zanu PF has been in power, it has been accused of running down the economy, with at least over 90% of the country’s population driven into the informal sector.
The health sector is also in shambles, with no medicine and sufficient equipment and civil servants are disgruntled over the conditions of service. Teachers have also threatened to down their tools when schools open.
The Zanu PF manifesto betrays a party simply interested in votes. Nothing much is coming in the way of change.
Learnmore Zuze is a law officer and writes in his own capacity. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org