HomeEditorial CommentZanu PF indaba: Opulence on display in the land of the poor

Zanu PF indaba: Opulence on display in the land of the poor

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THE much-hyped Zanu PF national conference has come and gone, wasting millions in scarce resources and as anticipated amid a lot of hot air.

As the party in government, Zanu PF was expected to use the five-day indaba to address the elephant in the room: the flailing economy underpinned by the free-falling Zimbabwe dollar.

All Zimbabweans got was a display of wealth in the form of new fuel gulping SUVs and designer suits and nothing else. What Zanu PF managed to showcase about President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s party was its opulence in a sea of poverty and very much telling Zimbabweans looking from outside and those far from the top table that we are pretty much on our own.

Everything of importance was simply ignored: the worsening plight of civil servants; the hungry and livid war veterans; the stressed and jobless youths; women and people with disabilities.

The only thing that mattered, as if it was really necessary given that the country is about two years from an election, was the endorsement of Mnangagwa as the sole Zanu PF presidential candidate for the 2023 elections, if they are ever held.

Fresh from his endorsement, Mnangagwa flew to Glasgow, in the United Kingdom, we hear with a bloated entourage most of whom are hangers-on with nothing or very little to contribute to the main agenda of the visit.

The hangers-on are all paid in the scarce United States dollars from impoverished taxpayers who expected better things from the Zanu PF indaba.

What the indaba simply made clear is that Zanu PF is now a rich men’s club: the cars on parade, the hybrid set up for virtual connections in all the 10 provinces, the food and the fashion on display told it all.

The millions, which the acting Zanu PF spokesperson Mike Bimha told journalists were provided by some grateful companies and individuals, were spent to discuss how the party would retain its stranglehold on the country.

Resolutions of the conference also focused on the party’s strategy to win the 2023 elections — again we must add, if they are held — and this was surprising as the focus now should be on fulfilling promises made in the 2018 campaign manifesto.

Nothing significant has been achieved by the Mnangagwa administration in terms of job creation, provision of healthcare, education and other deliverables, but the focus is already on hooking another term for those close to the centre of power.

In a country plagued with poverty and grief, Mnangagwa and his party tried to paint a picture of a booming economy: the “fastest growing economy in Africa” in his own words.

It appears Mnangagwa has repeated this lie to himself often enough to actually believe it to be true.

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