SOME very wise and quite enlightened person once said: “Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy more tunnel.”
And in our troubled times, politicians in Zimbabwe are proving the aptness of this adage. A case in point are manoeuvres being made in earnest by the ruling Zanu PF party to mobilise thousands of its supporters to come to Harare for what they call an anti-sanctions march.
One of the party’s key support bases, Mashonaland East has already pledged some 20 000 people for the event after they were offered 25 buses and 8 000 litres of fuel.
If this is only one province pledging this, it means the party is expecting no less than 200 000 people to come to Harare from the country’s 10 provinces. If the other provinces are given the same amount of fuel, it means the party will doll out a jaw-dropping 80 000 litres just for the anti-sanctions march.
Given the dire state of our economy and the well-spelt out reasons why the southern African nation is under sanctions, many may be amazed at the thinking of those in the ruling party.
But for the Zanu PF apparatchiks, that the sanctions they want to march against were a result of excessive human rights abuses perpetrated by the late former President Robert Mugabe’s regime does not ring in their ears at all. They would rather “buy more tunnel” than to break from their former leader’s abhorred past human rights record.
That Zanu PF is blatantly refusing to take heed to the international community’s concerns regarding the country’s blemished human rights record speaks volumes of the party’s dreams for the trouble nation.
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The party, which boasts that it cares about this country and its people, would rather burn 80 000 litres of fuel on an otherwise lost cause than donate the fuel to the country’s ailing health delivery system, which, for instance, is struggling to procure enough drugs for thousands of people living with HIV.
The country’s hospitals are barely affording fuel to run generators to sustain operations at a time rolling power cuts are rendering the institutions death zones, yet the ruling party can afford to burn 80 000 litres of fuel chasing the wind. This is very sad indeed, to say the least, that politicians being politicians hardly see reality.