Zanu PF’s ‘Bhora Mugedhi’: Did voters score own goal?

via Zanu PF’s ‘Bhora Mugedhi’: Did voters score own goal? Everson Mushava April 21, 2014 in NewsDay

ZIMBABWEANS were pampered with promises in last year’s general elections as political parties, particularly President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF and the MDC-T led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai jostled for votes.

Supporters were promised heaven and earth, with most of the promises focusing on reviving the country’s economy so that Zimbabweans could have food on the table. The last general election was a contest of economic blueprints purportedly targeted at improving the livelihoods of the many impoverished Zimbabweans.

Tsvangirai, who was targeting the youth vote, was brandishing his Job creation, Upliftment, Capital Investment and Ecology (JUICE) economic revival plan that was anchored on reviving industry and creation of over one million jobs.

FLASHBACK

Mugabe_TsvangiraiXcollage

Zanu PF rolled its campaign on indigenisation, job creation and black empowerment. Under the “bhora mugedhi” election campaign, the revolutionary party implied that Zimbabweans would score “a winning goal” by voting for it.

But just nine months after Mugabe’s resounding victory, Zimbabweans have awakened to the reality of a biting economy. The country is faced with a myriad of problems ranging from a collapsing industry to a stinging cash squeeze. The over 2 million jobs promised are still a pipe dream.

While the struggling masses are groping for answers from Mugabe, the corrupt-ridden ruling party seems clueless on how to turn around the country’s free-falling economy.

Things are getting worse and time seems to be ticking away for Mugabe, who turned 90 this year, while the hope for a better life for most of the struggling Zimbabweans is dwindling faster than it was conceived.

The prevailing situation has left people wondering whether by voting for “bhora mugedhi”, they did not score an own goal.

MUGABE’S PROMISES

Mugabe promised to inject about $7,3 billion in liquidity through the indigenisation of about 1 138 companies across the country’s 14 key sectors of the economy.

This would enable, according to the blueprint, Zanu PF to generate 2,265 million jobs in the next five years and reduce the unemployment rate which statistics say is hovering above 85%.

Zanu PF also promised to build 250 000 low-income housing units for the million homeless Zimbabweans, 1 250 public houses and create 2 500 shell factories, flea and vendor market stands. The revolutionary party also promised to build 310 clinics and 300 schools.

But contrary to this, it seems the party has even rehashed its widely condemned Operation Murambatsvina, through eviction of residents in Chitungwiza and some areas scattered all over the country.

There are no signs that the government will provide residential stands soon, as even evidenced by an increase of squatter camps in Harare and the rest of the cities.

Mugabe promised an improvement in the supply of utility services such as clean water and electricity. He said his government would also increase salaries for civil servants to above the Poverty Datum Line of $511 per month.

While government employees have started receiving their salary increase this month, the salaries remain a pittance as most civil servants have received between $35- $50 for an increment.

STATE OF ECONOMY IN TATTERS

The economic situation stabilised during the five-year coalition government between Zanu PF and the two MDCs. Goods once again became available on the country’s supermarket shelves that had been empty for more than a decade due to Mugabe’s bad economic policies.

Both parties claimed ownership of the transformation of the country’s economy during the inclusive government tenure, but observers say Zimbabwe’s fortunes could have been a lot better had it not been for the haggling in government by the two giant parties.

Mugabe’s party always blamed everything bad on Tsvangirai’s party, accusing former Finance minister Tendai Biti of sabotaging Zanu PF populist policies by denying them funding, particularly in the agricultural sector.

The war vets, the biggest beneficiaries of the 2000 land reform besieged Biti’s offices several times demanding funding and labelling him a traitor who had crippled the agricultural sector and decimated the country’s food security.

The MDC-T secretary-general on the other hand repeatedly accused Zanu PF of siphoning diamond revenue, to build a war chest and deny the economy of the much needed capital injection.

It was always a war of words between the two and to most people, elections to usher in a single face government was the only way to transform the country’s flagging fortunes.

But alas, nine months after Mugabe’s electoral victory, his party has proved to be a needle pricking most Zimbabweans’ hearts.

 

Bhora Mugedhi? Joseph Chinotimba  kicks of an imaginary ball before getting the parliament. File Picture by Aaron Ufumeli

Bhora Mugedhi? Joseph Chinotimba kicks of an imaginary ball before getting the parliament. File Picture by Aaron Ufumeli

Ironically some in Zanu PF are still throwing victory parties, and some have even started openly saying they are already preparing for the 2018 poll as if it’s only a year away.

Companies are closing down and according to statistics by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, close to 10 000 jobs have been lost as close to 100 companies have closed shop. The situation has continued to take a nose dive.

Just last week, the Registrar of Companies struck off more than 176 companies off the register. More than 634 companies are set to be de-registered in the next three months as, according to Section 320 of the Companies Act (Chapter 24:03), the companies have failed to either take off or have stopped business for a long time.

Mugabe’s government has struggled to deal with widespread corruption that has seen only a few well-connected people benefit from the country’s struggling economy while the rest are relegated to abject poverty. Zanu PF has failed to improve on its international relations. Lines of credit to generate the much needed foreign direct investment have remained elusive and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority is struggling to meet revenue targets as companies are closing down, depriving the economy of taxes.

The party’s economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset) has been lauded as the panacea to the country’s economic woes, but lack of funding has hampered its success. ZimAsset is clear on what needs to be done for revival of the economy, but remains mum on the how or where the funding will come from.

In early February, acting director of fiscal policy and advisory services Jonah Mushayi told a Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) workshop on ZimAsset that the policy needed $27 billion for it to be actualised. The budget is almost seven times the country’s National Budget of $4,1 billion announced by Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa last year. Chinamasa had, prior to presenting the budget, traversed the globe looking for funds, but had returned home empty handed.

Foreign Affairs deputy minister Christopher Mutsvangwa last month said Zimbabwe’s inability to honour its foreign debt was haunting it as no country was at liberty to release funds.

Former Economic Planning minister Tapiwa Mashakada said government’s failure to recognise the importance of foreign direct investment (FDI) was the biggest flaw of ZimAsset.

“The programme is digging its own grave. It does not want to acknowledge FDI. FDI is downplayed as indigenisation is blown out of proportion,” Mashakada observed.

Zimbabwe has failed to attract foreign investors due to policy inconsistencies regarding its indigenisation policy. Tsvangirai, who claims Mugabe stole the last election, has repeatedly said he is the panacea to Zimbabwe’s economic challenges and unless Mugabe swallowed his pride and invited him for another coalition government, Zimbabweans would continue to sing the blues.

Tsvangirai’s claims are largely hinged on the extent to which things gradually improved for the masses when his party joined hands with Zanu PF in the Sadc-brokered inclusive government back in 2009. To some extent he might be correct, given the fact that Zanu PF has failed to prove these claims wrong for the past nine months.

The country is broke and struggling to pay civil servants. Political analyst Alexander Rusero said there was hypocrisy on Zanu PF’s failure to remunerate government workers well.

“During the inclusive government era, when Finance minister Tendai Biti was lamenting government’s bankruptcy, Mugabe and all Zanu PF ministers used the salaries issue as indicator of unwillingness by MDC to improve workers’ livelihoods. But they are now in government and failing to do the same,” Rusero said.

Mugabe’s promise to fund agriculture has also suffered a stillbirth with his Agriculture minister Joseph Made advising farmers to approach banks. Provision of social services in local authorities has become worse.

SIGNS OF HARD TIMES
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While observers say it was too early for people to conclude that the former guerrilla leader has failed, the situation prophesies more hardships.
Zimbabweans are not new to gnawing poverty, but following a promise for better things by the just-ended coalition government, the dream of riveting to the 2008 ravaging poverty is just something most people cannot stomach.

A till operator with one of the largest supermarket chains who requested anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the media told NewsDay that sales have plummeted to the lowest ebb as the cash squeeze bites.

“I used to record sales of about $6 000 on my till before the elections, but now, on a busy day, I record at most $2 000. Things are bad,” he said.

Most companies have been struggling to pay workers. They are staggering salaries while others are put on forced leave as the economy continues to be distressed.
Newspaper adverts of goods being auctioned because people and companies have failed to service bank loans are clear testimony of the tough times.

Companies are struggling to access loans from banks to capitalise their businesses while for those that manage to secure loans, the cost of the money will be too high in a country with a stagnant economic growth.

Chinamasa in December last year admitted the high cost of money saying most companies would not find a breakthrough as all the profits will be consumed by the loan? Due to the current cash challenges, people have looked helplessly while their properties go under the hummer.

Last Friday, the Small Enterprises Development Corporation (Sedco) auctioned 17 properties as people and companies failed to service loans. Debt collectors and the Deputy Sheriff have also had a field day in attaching properties as more people continue to default due to the current cash squeeze and economic hardships.

John Mbizi, a Zimbabwean entrepreneur said he took $7 000 from a local bank to recapitalise his steel-making business, but lost his residential stand in Mt Pleasant after the business performed badly and he failed to service the loan that was spiralling due to interests.

“At the moment, I owe workers over $10 000 and things are not looking good. All my equipment and residential stands have been auctioned because I have failed to service the loans. There is no money in the country and we ended up selling our goods at non-viable prices, despite that interests will be accumulating on our loans at the bank,” he said.

Econometer Global Capital head of research Takunda Mugaga said auctioneers are cashing in because people are over borrowed due to economic hardships.

“Auctioneers are busy because people are failing to service debts due to grinding poverty. Poverty is reaching a climax in the country. If you visit micro-finance companies, you will meet even chief executive officers looking for loans. People are desperate, but the security margins of these loans are just unjustifiably high,” said Mugabe.

He said the situation was likely to get worse in the near future.

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo has repeatedly said people should be patient with Zanu PF as it was working on resolving the economic challenges the country was facing.

To buttress Gumbo’s plea, Chinamasa, who is struggling to secure bailout packages and budgetary support, last October told an AMH Conversations session in Harare that the country’s economic problems cannot be addressed overnight.

Chinamasa told delegates to remain hopeful, saying there were no quick-fix solutions to the country’s economic challenges.

 

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25 comments on “Zanu PF’s ‘Bhora Mugedhi’: Did voters score own goal?
  1. Tjingababili says:

    LET THEM EAT CAKE AND CAVIAR! WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET! POOR POVO, YOU WERE TAKEN TO THE DRYCLEANERS!

  2. Tjingababili says:

    THE POOR SEEM TO CHEERISH AND ENJOY THEIR PORVETY!

  3. John Thomas says:

    This was all known in advance. There are no surprises. ZANU is not capable of ruling this country. Never has been and never will be. Anybody stupid enough to vote for this party deserves unemployment and starvation.

  4. mujibha says:

    Noone did vote zanu pf at his/her own will. Without nikev zanu pf will b very lucky to get 10% of the vote in a free and fair election.

    • NBS says:

      I agree mujiba. All said and told millions of diasporan voters were disenfranchised. Millions of Zimbabweans within the country did not get ID’s or were not able to vote. The voters rolls (plural) as so convoluted that no one can make head or tail of them. There were bogus voting stations, dubious ink, dubious amount of ballot papers, decades of intimidation, fraudulent voters receipts and much, much more. Nikuv???? Mudede???? The generals???? Judgment day will be a very interesting day. There is nothing more terrible than sinners who fall into the hands of an angry God.

  5. colo says:

    Mwari ngavachipira tourai navakuru awa

  6. Zen says:

    “We will indigenise companies and that will cause $7.3 billion to magically appear from thin air!”
    “Then we will pull another $27 billion out of thin air and make ZimAsset a resounding success like land reform,trust us,just wait and see!”
    These clowns are just throwing around huge figures of money as if they’re still dealing with Bearer’s Cheques.
    Bhora Mughedi redu!

  7. lloyd says:

    laughing right now.

  8. Mseyamwa says:

    How does transferring equity from one party to another in the same economy generate new money in that economy? Assumptions are also made that while ZANU PF thus ezpropriates equity, the business people losing equity at no charge will remain committed to production and will continue putting same effort in the business and not even look elsewhere to take their business to.

    Now they realize there is no money in the exonomy? The land that was haphardously reclaimed was turned from a multibillion dollar asset to zero value, it does not serve as collateral. And when you were busy dolling out money to party cadres for this projext and the other without vetting for capability to repay, what were you banking on to recover the money? They got it, spent it, voted you back or whatever they did, now they expect top ups. You must deliver.

  9. Senzachena says:

    A circus run by thieving clowns. When are we going to say enough no more. Let us get off our buts and throw these people into the rubbish pit, at present all we are doing is wringing our hands and crying. Each and every one of us must make the effort to remove this rubbish.

  10. nyoni says:

    Mugabe simply conned the most educated people in Africa. What a lesson .

  11. Zvakwana says:

    ZPF have been buying time for 34 years nothing has changed.

  12. bruce koffe says:

    The results were not decided by the voting/ballot paper for any particular candidate. The Rita Makarau Commission and Nikuvu decided everything.

  13. furedi says:

    We certainly did not vote for these thugs.This economic ignoramus is president of Israel not Zimbabwe.One dollar from every patriotic Zimbabwean can buy an assassin let us take these people out one at a time. Kill three and the rest will run, not knowing who is next.They are cowards, the real fighters died in the war.

    • roving ambassador. says:

      we are not that organised ,furedi, and Zanu knows it . Thats why they carry on as usual. So far the economy seems to be their down fall.

  14. Bee says:

    The povo and many in towns did vote for Mugabe. It was written all over their faces. Let them have what they deserve!!

  15. Mukanya says:

    “Enjoy it” will never be a colony again!

  16. Don Cox says:

    By 2018 there may not be enough money to pay Nikuv.

    Or even to print ballot papers.

  17. BLESSING says:

    VERY FUNNY ,WE HAVE TO TIGHTEN OUR BELTS ,BUT HAVE YOU NOTICED THE STOMACHS OF ZANU PF POLITICIANS THEY DONT EVEN WEAR BELTS.THEY SEEM TO BE LOOSING THEM A FEW NOTCHES EVERY YEAR.DONT WORRY ZIMBABWE IT WONT LAST FOREVER.

  18. Mubandit says:

    Those in love with mudhara bob scored an own goal coz we all suffering especially the majority be it u are zanu or mdc,after all the promises and lies from the mr jacket and tie,its so sad that the poor are used by the ones on top to vote them in and dump them just as the winners of the elections are practising,and we the poor continue to say things will be alrit but remain suffering the whole life shame to this evelous government

  19. Isu Zvedu says:

    How can Chinamasa say there were no quick-fix solutions to the country’s economic challenges yet at the time of GNU it was a matter of days vanhu takange tavekutopazha nechingwa maSANCTIONS acho avanongoimba siku nesikati achingovapo. Vakoniwa vakoniwa chete, they must admit. They inherited a healthy economy from Smith, they faltered and the GNU kick-started them, now they have fallen again just after the GNU, so what can we say, chokwadi takachiona.

  20. Zvamusina Kumbirai says:

    It should happen, just after the elections many were very happy about the results they should remain happy with the country’s situation. The true reflection of their own goal we saw it on the last day which the results of elections announced. I’m not on either party, but it was good for the people of Zimbabwe to chose a change. Then blame it after fails also. Since Zimbabwe’s independence I didn’t hear or read about the good of this ruling party on economic side. By so doing how can people expecting a better economic and creation of jobs from the very same government. How can people expecting the government to build houses, schools, clinics, factories and all what had been promised by Mugabe since Mugabe is destruction not of Building (lesson from murambatsvina). During the 1980s-1990s when Mugabe and his government, were ruling and they failed to built, or improving the economic of the country, how can today they can perform something that is good. A change is may be a solution to the country.

  21. Smart Talk says:

    Do not worry yourselves because very soon we are going to employ people to demolish houses in Chitungwiza. Say 2000 jobs will be created in this exercise. From every house destroyed we are going to issue 1000 stands to settle our homeless people. We have also managed to add Dubai as one of our investors in buying our diamonds that are in abundance in Manicaland. Our son in law will be ferrying them free of charge on his plane. Very soon we will be having the biggest No 1 Game Park in Mazoe. Cant you see that tiri kufamba nendima. Indigenizing the whole of Zimbabwe and by 2018 tinenge tazvi achiever zvese zvata ka promisa.

  22. Ma1 says:

    We are a people of cowards this would not be tolerated in counties like South Africa, somehow we think praying to the false prophets like the Mukandiwa’s and so call Angel’s we will quickly transform us into wealthy super stars and give the little money to them is the answer, God is punishing us for our mis-directed FAITH, namatai mwari not vanhu.

    The only way our situation is going to change, is to change our mind set to think and act as the intelligent people we are and voice out.

    Honestly, its amazing that with the situation the country is at the moment not even one protest in a country which is almost on its knees, where is the opposition, dead obviously MDC has nothing to offer, they blew their chance. We need new blood,

    ZANU has been in power for over 30 years yet they are still singing the old song that they need time, really????. People have you seen how these fat cats have been living, they have palaces in their rural homes, farms, several homes in the suburbs and diamonds, you name it, while you lament pamberi ne ZANU while your kids have grown to be men and women educated but never worked or owned anything valuable. What do you think is going to happen to their kids or our grandchildren, need l say more? Yet our president can give his daughter a gift of millions of dollars and tells us he only gets $4000 a month, tichi kabira such lies because he knows he gets away with it.

    STOP ZVEKUTUKANA AND LET US FIND CONSTRUCTIVE IDEAS TO MAKE ZIMBABWE WHOLE AGAIN. PEOPLE WAKE UP I AM NOT ADVOCATING FOR WAR BUT SMART THINKING TO CHANGE OUR SITUATION.

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