26 April 2017
HARARE – An ancient African saying that “when elephants fight it is the
grass that suffers” rings loud in the Zimbabwean context where our
politicians are oblivious of the pain they are causing to over 14 million
people in their blind pursuit for power.
Zanu PF factions are expending energy, fighting over unresolved
succession, but while they fight, the people are scratching the bottom of
the barrel just to make ends meet and simply because there is no one in
the ruling party who is willing to attend to the needs of the suffering
The lack of concern being displayed by Zanu PF is alarming,
notwithstanding the red indicators that the country is on a tailspin and
might crash anytime soon, thanks to their unsound policies and President
Robert Mugabe’s reluctance to admit that he has failed to take the country
to the Promised Land.
Zimbabwe has no currency of its own and the surrogate currency introduced
by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe last year, albeit through deceit, has
failed to hold fort and is fast disappearing from the streets.
It doesn’t matter the rulers never listen but they will nonetheless be
reminded repeatedly that a cursory glance at history will show that the
country’s gross domestic product, in constant dollar, is where it was in
1960, and worryingly less than what it was in the 1970s.
While those who call the shots in Zanu PF live in splendour and constitute
the few who are living large and afford three meals a day, holiday in
exotic lands and receiving medication from top medical facilities, the
majority of Zimbabweans are stuck with the understaffed hospitals with no
drugs, schools with no teachers, and a collapsing infrastructure that has
taken the country back to the 1930s.
As Zanu PF burns, so does the economy, but the consequences of it all are
felt most by the people, who do not care much about who would succeed
Mugabe even though there is a universal consensus that the nonagenarian
has long passed his “best before” date.
More than 90 percent of Zimbabweans are unemployed and live on less than a
dollar a day, life expectancy is getting lower and the country is still
battling medieval diseases.
While other African countries with similar authoritarian systems – for
instance Uganda – are progressing, inventing solar-powered buses, Zimbabwe
is stuck with factionalism. People do not eat politics.
The country needs an overhaul of its policies if we are to go back to the
period when Zimbabwe was one of the wealthiest countries in Sub-Saharan