HomeOpinion & AnalysisStop punishing the poor, Cde President

Stop punishing the poor, Cde President

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BY  MOSES MATENGA

GOOD day Mr President,

It has been a long winter so far Cde President and it’s promising to be much longer than we anticipated.

Hoping I find you well Cde President.

I recognise that you have been all over the show of late, officially opening this or that in a desperate attempt to showcase the good your government is doing.

While you have been doing that, including you personally having to officially open every small stretch of a rehabilitated road in some parts of the country, events of the last few weeks raise a stink.

Under your watch Cde President, your administration has been vigorously demolishing structures you deem illegal in Harare, Chitungwiza and Goromonzi.

I am sure you have come across videos or pictures of tears and agony with many lamenting over the government’s insatiable appetite to destroy and not to build.

You have officially, albeit unwittingly, earned the “anti-people” tag and those who embraced your ascendancy to the throne following the November 2017 military coup hoping it would be the much-awaited break from the previous regime’s warlike stance, now feel cheated.

Millions of victims of the demolitions reminiscent of the infamous 2005 Operation Murambatsvina are people with no jobs, but who are in the informal sector trying to eke out an honest living.

They are in the informal sector because your promises for jobs have come to naught.

Many have been retrenched and the few who remain in the government employ are perennially incapacitated to execute their duties.

Cde President, you have been conspicuous by your silence on such a big tragedy that has effectively condemned your citizens into abject poverty by way of demolishing their livelihoods.

Your silence has left us with many questions than answers, and also laid bare the failure of your administration.

It is the discord within your administration that is now worrying on the issue of demolitions.

Your party secretary for administration Obert Mpofu announced that Zanu PF had summoned two ministers — July Moyo (Local Government) and Daniel Garwe (National Housing) and ordered a halt to the demolitions after the Melfort disaster in Goromonzi, but two days later, the demolitions resumed, with Glen View 8 home industry complex being razed down.

It is, indeed, a reflection of chaos in government and the party where there is no order in doing things.

In fact, the demolitions continue despite a High Court order stopping them and that mirrors badly on your leadership Cde President.

It is such contempt of a High Court ruling by your government that has led to this unholy crusade by the provincial development co-ordinator (PDC) Tafadzwa Muguti that gives Zimbabwe a bad global image.

By the way, your appointment of Muguti and other PDCs across the country’s 10 provinces is under fierce challenge as it is deemed unconstitutional and it is another legal ghost that will likely haunt you soon.

It brings back memories of a country that does not care an inch about the rule of law.

Again Cde President, it is the wanton disregard of the Constitution by your regime that is perturbing.

The Justice Tendai Uchena Land Audit report exposed who the gods of illegal structures are and it is now a common secret that those fat cats are your subordinates in the Cabinet and the Zanu PF politburo who did that for votes.

Others did that for money and self-aggrandisement, but since they are your Cdes, the recommendations in the Uchena report have not been followed.

Why target the poor when we all know the rot is in your midst?

You promised to be a listening President as you walked into State House via a military coup, but indications are that it was just a promise typical of politicians in the silly season of hunting for votes.

It is the mess your government created and you now want to punish the people, yet want to ignore the Uchena land audit report that fingered bigwigs in your party in the “land for a vote” campaign.

For your regime to shift the blame to the MDC Alliance when it is the government demolishing people’s houses exposes your insincerity as a government in dealing with critical issues.

It is my sincere hope Cde President that you take a position on the issue of demolitions knowing fully well that their impact is beyond politicking, that they are affecting real lives.

  • Moses Matenga is a Harare-based journalist. He writes here in his personal capacity.

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