INSOFAR as all the promises that government has made to Matabeleland, it is clear that it is not sincere given its failure to honour most of them.From 1980, it was clear that the population of Bulawayo would grow naturally and also as a result of socio-economic factors such as rural to urban migration. The government should have planned to increase the water delivery capacity of the city. It never did that. Instead, it just remembers the issue towards elections or whenever government officials go to Bulawayo.
There are always two things that the Zanu PF officials talk about when they go to Bulawayo or Matabeleland in general.They talk about Gukurahundi and water. They know that these are the most contentious issues which people in the region die to have resolved or addressed.
They speak like they will bring solutions tomorrow when they know very well that they are only using the issues as a bait to get into the hearts of the people of Matabeleland.
Whenever the late former President Robert Mugabe visited Bulawayo, he spoke about Gukurahundi, marginalisation, water problems, but after leaving the area, he would forget altogether to deploy the resources to address the challenges.
Now we have a new President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was in Bulawayo on Friday to meet the Matabeleland Collective, a consortium of civic society organisations in the region, to discuss Gukurahundi and marginalisation.
He promised to launch a programme for the issuance of identity documents to Gukurahundi victims and also to intervene in the water problems bedevilling the city.
But it’s known that Mnangagwa has been in government and top decision-making positions in Zanu PF since independence and during all that time he didn’t use his influence to resolve the water and Gukurahundi issues in the region.
People of Matabeleland have since realised that most of the promises made by Zanu PF politicians are mere political gimmicks to hoodwink the gullible ones and win votes. There is absolutely no genuineness in what Zanu PF officials say.
In a show of discontent, the people of Bulawayo have continued to vote for the opposition since the birth of the MDC party in 1999, which is a sign that they have had enough of Zanu PF’s empty promises.
People are fed up with this kind of attitude and it’s time government gets things done. If Mnangagwa still wants to at least maintain the little remaining relations with Matabeleland, he should not make empty promises about resolving the water crisis and Gukurahundi issue.If ever he makes a promise, he should walk the talk.