via Zanu PF campaign message insensitive – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 29, 2015
The Zanu PF government is well known for shirking responsibility for the economic mess that Zimbabwe has become but the party seems to have taken the selective amnesia to new levels with its June 10 by-elections campaign in Bulawayo.
Zanu PF, as we reported yesterday, is begging Bulawayo residents to vote for its candidates, saying the polls present the city with a perfect opportunity to “be part of Zimbabwe”.
The party has been rejected by the people of Bulawayo since 1999 when the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was formed.
Bulawayo is the only province where Zanu PF did not win a single seat during the 2013 elections. The party was handed a potential lifeline when MDC-T recalled its 21 legislators, who had ditched Morgan Tsvangirai to form the MDC Renewal Team.
Five of the seats that became vacant last month are in Bulawayo and Zanu PF is seeking to take advantage of the decision by main opposition parties to boycott the by-elections to recapture the city.
However, the party’s campaign tactics are bound to alienate than draw voters what with thoughtless messages that Bulawayo “is the only province that is outside the government and Zanu PF”.
Zanu PF claims in its offensive campaign posters that the city’s well publicised economic problems are due to the fact that “for 15 years Bulawayo was under the leadership of MDC-T, they separated the people of Bulawayo from the government”.
The party claims that since there are no ministers from Bulawayo, the city cannot develop and is not part of Zimbabwe.
We could have ignored such statements if they were being made by organisations such as the Matabeleland Liberation Front, not a ruling party, whose leader took an oath to serve all Zimbabweans including those that did not vote for him.
The Zanu PF campaign messages are confirmation that the party punishes those that do not vote for it and cities such as Bulawayo have been made to pay for their rejection of its policies for the past 15 years.
There is no city that advertises Zanu PF’s history of failure on the economic front today better than Bulawayo.
At independence in 1980, Bulawayo was the economic hub of Zimbabwe with vibrant industries and a thriving regional trade that was anchored on the city’s central geographical location.
State companies such as the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) and the Cold Storage Company (CSC) were among the biggest employers in the city.
By the time MDC emerged on the scene, NRZ and CSC were on their deathbeds because of cronyism, government interference and poor economic policies.
Bulawayo had become an unattractive destination for investors because the government failed to construct water supply dams to complement the five inherited from the colonial regime.
When the MDC was formed, the companies that formed the core of the city’s economy had long relocated to Harare because of the government’s failure to guarantee future water supplies.
Therefore, for Zanu PF to blame anyone for the economic challenges that it authored is plainly disingenuous.
The campaign posters being distributed in Bulawayo best demonstrate the party’s lack of tolerance and serial refusal to take responsibility for its actions.