By Chris Tongogara
Saturday’s endorsement of Robert Mugabe’s so called election victory against opponents should be swallowed with a pinch of salt.
Despite the regional fathers yesterday calling Mugabe by the para-prefix ‘Comrade,’ congratulating him for conducting a ‘peaceful’ election, Mugabe and his ZANU PF party should understand they are now in a corner which the world now sits pop-corn in hand to see how well they can manage a country post election. Reality begins here.
Some Special Words For ZANU PF
First of all I meant to painfully and regrettably congratulate you for the “sweeping victory” over the opposition. You claim you won but in truth and fact, you stole the election in broad day light. While you have chosen to fool the world through an open rigging process, at least behind closed doors and in your hearts, you know what you did. You can’t believe you are back in action via the back door. While your loyal friends and sheepish comrades in the SADC and AU have endorsed your victory, the onus is now on your doorsteps to deliver what you promised. We will be here on the terraces watching you play your game.
The starting point is to choose a vibrant cabinet. You need innovative people who think and lead the country to another level. It’s about time you dropped dead wood among your ranks and all the screamingly corrupt souls among you. Those who have been indolent, unproductive, unreasonable and confused in office must go. Those who have elbowed their way in and survived by threats and intimidation must also go. Simultaneously, Mr. President, please shrink the bloated cabinet. There are too many duplicated ministries for no reason. As an example why should we have two ministries of education instead of one? Primary & Secondary Education should be merged with Higher Education just to become Ministry of Education. Ministry of Industry & Commerce, Economic Development, Indigenization & Empowerment, should just become one solid entity as Ministry of Energy and Transport must be a single entity. The list is endless and the duplicitousness is just overboard. Then you hear about Ministers without Portfolio. Seriously?
I would also advise your Zanu PF leaders to stop being obsessed with taunting the West. It would appear like you have lots of regrets than joy in not being associated with the West. With China at hand, why should you lose sleep over sanctions? In any case aren’t these just travel restrictions that you use as “economic sanctions” to fool Chimbwido, Povo and unenlightened mjibha in the streets. You know the truth. Liaise with China, India, South Africa and Iran. Seek aid and move on. There is nothing the West has that is not available in the said countries. There is still life without the West. It’s pointless to keep pouting about other sovereignties that have their own life and do not care a dot about you.
Also return to the grassroots people and apologize for the ill treatment that you have given them for the last 33 years. They have voted for you religiously and you have paid them with torture, violence and harassment. Added to that, you have insulted them with empty promises. This time, if you are a party whose leaders have blood and hearts, start living responsibly. Go back to the people and deliver on your promises. Try to seek rapport and make peace with those villagers whose wishes you have sacrificed for three decades. People are not fools. Five years is just around the corner. Cut foreign trips and unnecessary spending as you prioritize on revamping the ailing economy. In the same width, please stop using Air Zimbabwe as your party taxi cab. When you make use of the national airline, please settle your bills in a timely manner as ethical people. This time make sure you report true earnings of the diamond to the people. The ordinary Zimbabwean is sick and tired of knowing what the country has but is failing to do through because of one or poor leadership. We have enough resources on diamond to turn the economy around and move towards sustaining ourselves. But through selfish acts, we keep extending the begging bowl to embarrassing levels. To Zanu PF this is normal and there is nothing to be ashamed of. This is wrong.
On the idea of creating a “Blacks Only” Stock exchange. Please stop fooling yourselves and do not get carried away by self-serving cheap pub talk that works well for inebriated plebeians. We do not live in an economic vacuum where we call the shots, make rules and still expect the world to treat us seriously. Once we sound racist or immature on economic practices, despite our right to our resources, we have started digging our own graves and soon we could be back to 2005 poverty. In the same breadth some so-called leaders’ mouths need to be guarded because the childish vitriol uttered in some quarters only works to scare the investor and the banker away. Without a serious investor, we will only have chicken farmers and opaque beer sellers. This is an already consumerist economy of cheap food stuffs and clothes and there won’t be much to improve our fledgling economy. Cheap talk and politicking will do more harm than good for a once promising Zimbabwe. The sad thing is some of these leaders need control to know how to choose words and open their mouths at the right moment. Some words go far and only return to hound the economy. So talker beware!
My last advice to Zanu PF is to kindly ask them to respect our education system. Please pay the teachers and police more money to serve well. Stop making endless empty promises and convert diamond wealth into civil servants salaries as well as capital injection for industry and commerce. With such bold baby steps, we could be heading somewhere. Otherwise the next five years could be the worse season in Zimbabwe history as some redundant leaders are re-cycled in a tired cabinet without any ideas on how to lead the nation and turn things around. Talk is cheap and it takes wisdom and true leadership to serve and make a difference. You have all the tools to run government and now on your own in cabinet. We will be waiting to see how you will deliver without anyone to blame for your failures.