Zimbabwe: Poor People, Which People?


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ZIMBABWE – The under-fire Deputy Minister for Macro-Economic Planning, who has also been the ZANU-PF’s Women’s League’s spokesperson, Monica Mutsvangwa, was booted out from the wing last week.

The most incredible thing for me is not that she has been booted out. Why? ZANU-PF has been in the habit of spewing out its own for the past year, non-stop.

Rather, what is mind-boggling and therefore noteworthy is that at exactly this time last year, Mutsvangwa and husband, Chris Mutsvangwa, were riding high on a cloud of preferred political correctness.

Just some 12 short months ago, as the newly-ushered in spokesperson of the league, she made up the crew that went almost everywhere with the First Lady, Amai Grace Mugabe.

Flying equally as high as a kite, her husband who is facing his own woes, was also at the centre stage, tearing into the then “enemy of the moment,” former vice president Joice Mujuru.

Shooting from the hip, he was debunking claims supposedly made by Mujuru that she had downed a fighter helicopter.

From seeking to annihilate Mujuru beyond recognition, today the tables have turned.

I remember interviewing Mutsvangwa (the wife) at Mazowe Children’s Home, soon after the First Lady had happened onto the political scene, and asking a question or two about the First Lady’s entry into mainstream politics, and true to duty and cause she sounded to be firmly in control of the situation.

I wonder how she feels now.

But she is just but a symptom of the problem, a by-product of the ZANU-PF churning machine.

She is only but one of a few casualties of a rollercoaster system that is one minute up high and the next minute down low.

You see this is what is plaguing ZANU-PF in the here and now — the volatility of membership; the evaporative nature of political standing; the unpredictability of developments from one year after another.

Who can plan in such a setting? Who can truly be secure?

I can imagine how unsettling it must be for party loyalists — when the ground shifts so much in such a short space of time. Talk about standing on shifting sands!

For sure the character of the party is now a far-cry from before, a very pale shadow of its former self. And it sure is proving what has always been said that a minute or a week in politics is like a lifetime.

But the mega concern is: Give this party another year, another five, what will its face be like?

A few more questions beg answers: How does one know how to continue being politically correct? How does one even define political correctness if that definition can change from one season to the next? How can one tell, from a long time away, that what they are betting on is a losing horse? Who determines which horse loses and which one wins? These winds raging in the revolutionary party will end when? When what has happened?

But, perhaps the most worrisome thing for the nation at large is, when all this is happening — when the circus that has become ZANU-PF politics is whirling on merry-go round style, or is it see-saw motion, I wonder, where is the economy and all its attendant problems? Is there space in the greater ZANU-PF psyche and table or agenda for that matter, for substantive, forward mapping, problem-solving and solution-proffering deliberations? Let alone political will to address the economic question?

For how long will the nation be spell-bound and held hostage by the ruling party’s here today, gone tomorrow; up now, down later shenanigans? Who pays for all this drama? And drama it is! A drama full of sideshows.

Consolidating People’s Power Through Zim-Asset was the ruling party’s 15th National People’s Conference theme.

And I say: People’s power, which people?

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