Good Day Mr President:Cyprian M Ndawana
DEAR President Emmerson Mnangagwa,
Your Excellency, may I please draw your attention to nationwide despondency? Methinks if the voice of the people is by and large the voice of God, you could have heard the outcry by now. Citizenry are despairing, weighed down by going through the mill merely to survive.
Echos of cries following the recent hundred-fold fare hike by the State-run bus company, Zupco are still audible. Effected on the backdrop of the coronavirus-induced hardships, the damn increase is biting.
Consequently, debate over your Presidency is raging. Citizens are regretting their hasty estimation of your suitability. Comparisons with your predecessor, the late former President Robert Mugabe are no longer made in hushed voices or in whispers.
Given the dissonance between your ideals and the reality on the ground, the upper-middle income society has regressed far afield, well beyond 2030. Amid the worsening socioeconomic meltdown, there is consensus that your means are destined for a dead-end.
Public opinion has it that a well-meaning guardian of State affairs would not be brazen-faced amid gross impairment of the quality of life for the general public. As I see it, prioritisation of the erection of a statue of Mbuya Nehanda ahead of rehabilitation of dilapidated infrastructure is an irksome leadership decision.
Ordinarily, a conscientious leader ought to have invested in the welfare of the living than in the commemoration of the dead. Your Excellency, you deny it at your peril that the country is in a crisis. Meanwhile, it is every citizen’s responsibility to keep a beady eye on you.
Life has become difficult. Nationals are worse off than they were during Mugabe’s reign. Civil servants are earning servant salaries. Prospects of a reversal of fortunes are diminishing by the day. Misery so far wrought on citizenry by your leadership has no likelihood of culminating in meaningful gains.
Sentiments that your ideals have proven to be futile and irrelevant to man and beast, are fast gaining ground. Those who stated that you lacked probity are being vindicated. Obviously, they knew a thing or two about you that was all along concealed to us, the man in the streets.
Most probably, in a bid to hit the ground running, you laboured literally than figuratively, hence you are lost in the labyrinth, as Alice was in Wonderland. Inevitably, you are so disoriented that you cannot recognise that the country you lead is in crisis.
Your Excellency, it is unfortunate that leadership theatrics are happening in quick succession. No sooner does one ends than the next starts. Methinks there is no precedence to the debacle that is unravelling, neither is there a hint of the emerging of the proverbial silver lining.
There has been nervous apprehension since the Global Compensation Agreement (GCA) you signed with displaced white former commercial farmers. Also, your sneaky strategy in dealing with the Gukurahundi atrocities is as deceitful as Judah’s kiss.
Judging by the ifs and buts that are being advanced in both cases, indications are that government was stealthy in its apparently botched approach. It lacked sincerity, strategy and adequate prior engagement with stakeholders.
Methinks the dispute sparked by the compensation agreement could have been minimised had there been transparency in the negotiation process. It reflects negatively on the Presidency given that even senior party officials suspect that it is disguised land reform reversal.
Admittedly, the commercial farms takeover was inherently contentious from the onset. It is of immense public interest and it ranks high on the list of dark chapters of the country. It has manifold ramifications which warranted deliberations to be made in the public domain.
Amid the questioning of the efficacy of the compensation agreement, your suitability is also being interrogated. Apparently, you are not faring well. With the party torn asunder, little wonder, some are convinced that it is time the curtain came down on your leadership.
Your Excellency, I implore you to look critically at the spirit and letter of this agreement. Although it is said to be a perfectly constitutional matter, it is the stealthy manner in which it was done that raises stench. There is a void of utmost good faith.
As I see it, the commercial farmers’ compensation and Gukurahundi issue are grave matters that deserved a state of the nation address prior to entering into an agreement to resolve them. It was important to make profound apologies and admissions to the wrongs that need to be rectified.
Essentially, the official commission report on the massacres should have been released into the public domain. It is naive to envisage lasting restitution when the report, which is an important historical document, continues to be locked away from public scrutiny.
Besides these two dark occurrences, there are many others which are crying out for logical conclusions. There can never be a well and truly new dispensation when disappearances of citizens do not get resolved. It is improbable that they vanished into thin air.
Be that as it may, the state of the economy is ample proof that the country is immersed in crisis. It clearly shows that government and the ruling party are in an unholy alliance to wilfully deny the crisis. It is calamitous that they have a jaundiced perspective.
Even as neighbouring countries hold their breaths in anticipation of an influx of refugees, you nonetheless persist in denial. Yet, the crisis is indeed real. With the citizenry immersely in poverty, it is the hallmark of leadership ineptitude to bury one’s head in the sand.
While you claim that Zimbabwe is open for business, the door is in fact locked from inside.
It constitutes a crisis that you inherited a party and government that are prone to arguments and fights. As I see it, the prevailing pugnacious inclinations of the regime are an inheritance bequeathed by Mugabe.
Hence, the said second republic is always at loggerheads.
He ruled by subjugation. His desire to fight led government to commit the Gukurahundi atrocities and engage in illicit commercial farm takeovers which you are endeavouring to correct. It was his intention to establish a one-party State by use of the bullet and not the ballot.
If ever there was one thing the African National Council delegation of South Africa never expected, it was the disdain and arrogance they were subjected to. Obviously, they were not expecting a leisurely walk down the park, but at least camaraderie courtesy.
Yet, that was not to be. It counted for nought that the delegation was here following agreement with your counterpart, President Cyril Ramaphosa. Nonetheless, it was malicious that ridicule was poured on the visitors.
Frankly, the remarks by party gurus were reminiscent of the Mugabe era. Methinks the brickbats that were thrown at the ANC delegation, in the full glare of the international community, were a debacle that scares away investors. It was self-harming by all means.
Granted, the air could not have been pure and sweet for the delegation. Your Excellency, Zimbabwe cannot be open for business given that the ruling elite is blatantly invidious. Its cold and callous indifference to the travail of citizenry is a crisis, pure and simple.