Zanu PF loses plot on parastatals


ZANU PF never ceases to amaze to a point that many of us end up wondering whether it really understands what it means or entails to be a ruling party. At every turn it increasingly makes it super difficult for sceptics or even believers to have faith that the party will ever be able to help this country out of its debilitating socio-economic quagmire.

The ruling party has reportedly written to parastatals asking them to buy exhibition space at its planned congress later this month. The exhibition spaces demarcated at 3mx3m and 6mx3m are costing US$3 000 and US$6 000, respectively, or the equivalent in local currency.

And given the hordes of parastatals numbering over 100 the party could potentially raise well over US$500 000 from exhibition space proceeds.

The reason for this point of departure is that, if this is indeed true, these parastatals largely depend on the taxpayers’ money and whatever extra they raise through other means should benefit the taxpayers; and for the ruling party to then be seen to be salivating over the parastatals’ meagre financial resources is ridiculous, if not scandalous.

To all intents, constructions and purposes, Zanu PF should be offering spaces for free to the parastatals to showcase themselves because this is one of those very good and rare opportunities for the party in government to show off to the world the wonders that it has done through the parastatals.

 But lo and behold the party has decided to squander this chance, especially going into elections next year, by virtually sucking the financial life out of the parastatals.

It is, undoubtedly resourceful for Zanu PF to think of selling exhibition space, but it is quite outrageous for the ruling party to be seen to be fattening its coffers with money from organisations it is supposed to be leading.

This is an embarrassment, if truth be told. The ruling party has completely lost the plot on parastatals.

We would have expected the party to ask the many investors who have flocked into the country since the inception of the new dispensation in 2018 to support its congress by buying the exhibition space. Given the number of foreign investors we have been told have been landing in the country, it raises eyebrows why the ruling party is stooping so low to the point of begging from parastatals we all know are struggling big time.

Honestly speaking, how can anyone expect such parastatals as Zesa Holdings, the National Railways of Zimbabwe, Air Zimbabwe and even ZiscoSteel — which still exists by the way — to buy exhibition space? If these are among the country’s major parastatals and are hardly making ends meet, what more of the smaller ones?

Maybe Zanu PF knows better than we do that these parastatals are actually making big bucks, which could be true given that most of their financial books are in shambles and have been playing cat and mouse with the auditor general.

Whatever the case, it remains piteous for Zanu PF to expect money from these shells of organisations operating well beyond red, moreso with the party having been in government for the past 42 years. We would have thought that all those years would have made the party wiser to help it avoid acting this foolish to the detriment of its reputation.

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