via July 31: Bob throws party as poor suffer 30 July 2014
ZIMBABWEANS feel the past 12 months under renewed Zanu PF rule has been a wasted year, sentiments that the ruling party has vehemently disputed as it celebrates the anniversary with a party at State House.
July 31 marks exactly a year after Zanu PF romped to victory in a poll the ruling party equated to the watershed 1980 election which ended nearly a century of white rule.
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said it was a hollow and fraudulent “victory”, a point he thought was emphasised by the fact that the country was stunned into disbelief with no one, not even Zanu PF supporters, pouring into the streets to celebrate the landslide.
Party spokesman Rugare Gumbo confirmed Wednesday that President Robert Mugabe would host an election celebration party at State House Thursday and it’s no affair for ordinary and struggling Zimbabweans either.
Only the venerated “Politburo members, Members of Parliament, the Harare leadership and captains of industry” can attend said Gumbo.
“The President has decided that to mark this historic occasion, he will host a function at State House at 2.30pm to celebrate the occasion,” Gumbo told reporters.
During last year’s elections, Zanu PF restored its two thirds majority and further whittled down the opposition’s gains from the previous election in 2008.
But Zimbabweans took time to reflect on a year that has seen companies shut down, kids drop out of school, government pay dates being shifted every now and then and a noticeable decline in living standards from the bygone unity government era situation.
Likewise, Zanu PF’s political opponents said they were not in any way inspired by the former liberation war movement’s disastrous tenure so far.
Sambulelwe Tshabangu, who is an administrator with the lesser known Zimbabwe Democratic Union described Zanu PF’s performance in the past year as pathetic.
“We are worse than before. We expected a lot from the administrator of the day Zanu PF but what we see a year after is a very pathetic situation,” he said.
“Obviously to us we have bad memories about July 31, 2013; they are about the false promises of over two million jobs. What we see on the ground is the exact opposite. The future is gloomy.”
Tracey Gatawa, a young Harare woman, also felt the first year under a fresh Zanu PF mandate was a sad development adding that massive unemployment had exposed Zanu PF as a hugely ineffective party.
“This has been a wasted year considering that Zanu PF pinned all its hopes on its ZimAsset which needs over $27 billion for it to be fully implemented,” she said.
National Constitutional Assembly spokesperson Madock Chivasa said July 31 reminded him of the day Zanu PF and the two MDCs put to the test a flawed constitution that ricocheted straight into the faces of the former coalition partners to Zanu PF.
“What l can remember about July 31 is that it was simply an election that was stolen; there is nothing to celebrate,” Chivasa said, adding, “In fact, that was the first time it dawned on everyone that the new constitution was draconian.
“People were expecting that since it was the first election under a new constitution, things on the ground would change but the situation remains bad.”
He added: “Zanu PF now needs to retire; they have failed on their promises, we now need a new leadership that can take the country forward.”
“July 31 is a time that l will never wish to see coming again; if l had my way, l would want to erase that in the history books of time. It’s a day that we shall all in our lifetime never want to hear about. To us it was a day of great disaster.
“Because of July 31 last year, Zimbabwe has now become a one party state that is mired in an economic calamity mostly necessitated by anthropogenic forces, economic stagnation, deliberate economic failure owing to poor policies if any at all, corruption and theft.”
He added: “People are now more confused; they have more questions and are getting less answers to those questions and nobody is there to answer those questions. The leaders have hidden themselves from the people; they are nowhere to be seen.”
“July 31 is a bit like April 18,” he said, “It is the day we remember the courage and commitment of millions of Zimbabweans who helped change the course of events by doing the right thing, defying all odds and making sure Zimbabwe remains firmly in the hands of the Zimbabwean people.
“It’s a day we look back on with enormous pride because it afforded us the opportunity to move from the partisanship and bickering of the last four years to a single-minded, focused and progressive government.
“Yes, there are challenges. Of course there are. But today, we are assured of a more focused, partisan-free government that will do anything to make sure national interest triumphs ahead of partisan interests.”