ZIMBABWE – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe presented his first State Of The Nation Address since 2007, following massive job losses after a controversial Supreme Court ruling. Waza blogger, Blessing Ivan Vava, gives his views on the president’s address.File picture of Robert Mugabe at AU summit in Sandton, South Africa
While following President Robert Mugabe’s 2015 State of the Nation Address on social media, each successive tweet and update was confirming my expectations; that there was nothing new the 91-year-old leader was going to say as a solution to Zimbabwe’s worsening economic crisis.
Plainly put, the address, which was the first of its nature in eight years, was not worth any hype as in the end, it was 35 minutes of nothing but hot air.
This is because my understanding of a SONA- which is made annually in other countries like South Africa- is that it is an opportunity for a president to give a genuine and honest report of the current political, socio-economic state of his nation.
It is a time when the president gives an update on the government programs- including achievements- and how the nation will be progressing from then on. In fact, it shapes the debate of the parliamentary session.
For the ordinary Zimbabwe who lost his or her job last month, or the vendor in Highfield, or my grandmother in rural Chipinge, all ears were on this address, waiting to hear what the President was to say on the state of affairs.
They wanteed to hear if he had any solution to the economic situation that is spiralling out of control and has rendered over 20,000 people jobless in the past month alone.
For me, perhaps the only anticipation was to hear a major announcement of when he will be leaving office.
I say so because retiring is the only logical step for Mugabe as he has evidently failed to resuscitate our ailing economy.
The state of affairs in Zimbabwe right now can only be described as country in paralysis. And every citizen, including the leadership, seems clueless because the future is no longer predictable than before.
It has become so much unpredictable that any day any moment the boss will tell you that your services are no longer required.
It is just a traumatic experience. Thousands of Zimbabweans have been dismissed from work in a space of a month and more dismissals are coming.
However, Mugabe shortest speech while presenting SONA, equally shows that it was not even worth the wait, as Mugabe spent 35 minutes talking to himself.
His speech was hollow, and it just shows that Mugabe is completely out of touch with reality. Definitely the country has no leadership, no vision, and we are heading to a bottomless pit.
Everything that was said in his speech is basically a copy and paste from the last two decades.
We must be careful of the assumption that Mugabe had any ideas to begin with.
The odds are high that the only real plan is to perpetuate the trough snuffling as long as possible – until Jesus returns or there about. ZANU PF is dominated by denialists like Mugabe, self-serving egomaniacs who masquerade as “revolutionaries” fighting to save the “masses”, whose true freedom is permanently on hold while “leaders” fiercely compete on who can loot more from public coffers.
As I followed the tweets, he spoke of revitalising agriculture, value addition, we’ll tackle corruption, grow SMEs, reduce corruption and on and on.
The bottom line is that this is just mere rhetoric, and he is doing very little to make sure it is actually implemented. The government will only do what suits them.
The president was also very quiet on poverty, inequality and failed to address the disaster that happened in Budiriro and many parts of Harare were citizens have been left homeless after their houses were destroyed by the authorities.
All these years the big Chefs who have been allocating people illegal land have been doing it under the blessing of this government.
These are critical and urgent issues affecting our people, and we expected the President to say something about it. Instead, Mugabe was skating around the real issues, talking about a ten point plan whose origins no-one knows.
It is not surprising that the ten point plan will only remain on the mouths of government leaders and the state media.
The president told the nation that he has a plan for the diaspora, while forgetting that millions of Zimbabweans either fled from the economic or the political crisis authored by Mugabe himself.
Mr President, we appeal to you to restore what you destroyed, and for sure all Zimbabweans in the diaspora will graciously come back home.
This is the same diaspora that was denied the right to vote by your government, and yet they are Zimbabweans. From the look of things more and more Zimbabweans are going to leave Zimbabwe for greener pastures.
As I conclude, I would say that Mugabe and ZANU PF have destroyed Zimbabwe in spectacular fashion. Those who cannot accept this reality are either possessed, or have had rose-tinted glasses surgically implanted.
Everything seems to revolve around self-enrichment, power and holding on by all means necessary. There is zero accountability and the so-called rulers are fleecing the poor.
Mr President, if you have any self-dignity after your SONA, then please gracefully walk away.