HARARE – It is such a shame the two of you have decided to fight out your differences in the public arena while doing nothing to address the economic plight of millions of Zimbabweans who are suffering because of the economic system that you have both been complicit in creating and are primary beneficiaries of.
To some of us who wish to see a better Zimbabwe emerging out the ashes of ZANU (PF) policy failures, we are hardly impressed by the accusations and counter accusations that you are trading because, no matter their veracity, they will not put food on the table or create desperately needed jobs.
True, ZANU (PF) needs a fundamental renewal of values and leadership. On that I concur with you Mai Mugabe. If you really wanted to be ,you could be the solution by being fearless to expose and address head on, all the issues which continue to hold our country back but have been largely ignored to date by your husband, especially the issue of corruption. For a minute I was really excited that you would do that, but it appears that this is not on your agenda.
Mai Mujuru, you have been honourable up to now, by taking the blows quietly and not being impulsive. Because of this, you have so far avoided fuelling this quarrel unnecessarily. That was a good strategy until when you spuriously dismissed what most of us think are serious and not trivial allegations.
I guess you are conveniently unaware of the resentment which we have on how this government, at which you have been at the centre of, continues to rob us of our future while dithering on coming up with a comprehensive and inclusive agenda for economic recovery as a matter of urgency. Corruption levelled at the second highest office of this land is not a trivial matter madam. It’s a serious matter that requires a considered response and your urgent attention.
However, regardless of who may “win” the arguments, I must register my utter dismay in the way the two of you have decided to deal with the issues that separate you. You would achieve more by cooperating and doing your utmost to reverse ZANU (PF) policies and take a new path, than by trading harsh words in public; that is what true leaders do. Unfortunately it’s a bit too late for that now.
To Amai Mugabe, your rallies have not informed us on how you intend to deal with the socio economic problems we face. As a purported representative of women, who unfortunately continue to bear the brunt of your husband’s economic mismanagement in the last 34 years, I would have expected you to deal with this matter first and foremost.
All you need to do to appreciate this fact is to walk around the streets of Harare and look at the vendors on the pavements each day; the majority are women, mothers in fact, who must look after their children. They deserve better.
Please make no mistake, Zimbabwe will not be able to recover economically nor will our mothers and the young be able to lead a decent life, as both you and me did in our youth, without a comprehensive economic recovery package that addresses corruption, the rule of law, non-accountability. These fundamental issues are not even addressed in Zimasset at all Amai Mugabe.
In addition, it should not come as a surprise to you that we all know that ZANU (PF) has been and remains a predatory coalition of the corrupt. There are therefore no new revelations from your utterances.
To Mai Mujuru, you brush off the corruption accusations levelled against you as someone who has contributed to our sovereignty and therefore entitled to lead Zimbabwe. With all due respect, we are all tired of this sovereignty song since 1980. It has brought us nothing but suffering and pain. Taneta veduwe; we need a new narrative for a new Zimbabwe.
To add to that, if the truth be said, you are not the only person who sacrificed for Zimbabwe. In fact, many others before and during your time did the same, if not more and even paid the ultimate price. Many who survived today sit at home destitute, marginalised and rejected; that is contemptible.
The liberation struggle of Zimbabwe was never won by ZANLA or ZIPRA alone, but because of the sacrifice and support of millions of ordinary people of Zimbabwe. None of us should therefore claim legitimacy and boast about the past because all contributed. The only thing we have right is the future, the past is gone.
I write this letter to the both of you as a patriotic Zimbabwean who wants the best for this country. We want a Zimbabwe where leaders are accountable and are sensitive to its people. We want to see a Zimbabwe that respects and honours women who continue to sacrifice for their children and country. We want to see incorruptible and honourable women leaders emerge to heal both our society so that all Zimbabweans, regardless of race or gender, can live up to their full potential. That should be your task.
Despite my incorrigible abhorrence of what ZANU(PF) stands for and what it has done to this country, I still respect the both of you first as fellow Zimbabweans and as mothers, but let me hasten to add that your public fights and the language used are a true disgrace to women in particular. I therefore admonish you to seriously reconsider your actions and words.
We all want a Zimbabwe that is inclusive and prosperous. That Zimbabwe will need fresh brains, energy and a new leadership paradigm; President Mugabe cannot give us that and that is the truth.
We have all fallen short and sinned, some have stolen from our country, some of you continue to abuse state resources, some have forcibly taken assets that others have worked without remorse and some have caused others insufferable pain and loss. None of us can therefore claim otherwise. We must forgive each other and move on to create a better Zimbabwe.
Let us all put Zimbabwe first.
Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You may contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org