I can remember on the 17 april 1980, Robert Mugabe addressing a euphoric crowd in the soon-to-be-independent Zimbabwe.It was the aftermath of a long and brutal liberation struggle against white minority rule, Mugabe seemed to publicly embrace the ideals of peace and reconciliation.By becoming Zimbabwe’s leader, he ostensibly vanquished the ugly spectre of colonialism and racism that had defined the country formerly known as Rhodesia, and entered office buoyed by a wave of international fanfare and support.
It was in this context, on the eve of Zimbabwe’s independence, that Mugabe declared:
“Democracy is never mob rule Our independence must thus not be construed as an instrument vesting individuals or groups with the right to harass and intimidate others … Our new nation requires … a new spirit that must unite and not divide.”
This was the very beginning of the lies !! For many this hopeful rhetoric would almost immediately ring hollow very soon after.In July, a state of emergency had been declared and a mere six months after achieving independence there were clashes between Zanla and Zipra forces — the armed wings of Zanu PF and PF-Zapu respectively — in Bulawayo. The discovery of an alleged Zipra arms cache in 1982 was in 1983 followed by the first wave of the Gukurahundi massacres, a violent suppression of the ethnic Ndebele minority in Matabeleland and parts of the Midlands province in which an estimated 20 000 people were murdered. To date the government is still in denial about what they did and state that this was necessary .
The beginning of the Gukurahundi would mark the ominous beginning of an era characterised by widespread violence, suppression of the political opposition and civil society, rampant corruption, and a gradual degradation of Zimbabwe’s economy.Despite the warning signs of an intolerant leadership with violent tendencies, many people and governments would turn a blind eye to what was happening in Zimbabwe. Robert Mugabe on Wednesday ratcheted up pressure against few hundred white remaining farmers saying they too must go adding whites would no longer be allowed to own land in Zimbabwe.
In a typical address filled with anti-western rhetoric at the launch of the A1 Model Settlement Tenure Permit in the Zanu PF heartland of Mashonaland West, Mugabe said Zimbabwe was no country for whites as far as the land was concerned. There are white farmers who are still on the land, he added “I have been given a list of 35 white farmers in Mashonaland West alone and in just a few districts that have been audited. We say no to whites owning our land and they should go. At the turn of the century, Mugabe unleashed veterans of the country’s liberation struggle on the country’s white commercial farming sector at a time when his hold on power was threatened by the emergence of a strong opposition in the form of the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai. What followed was a chaotic and violent exercise which saw a handful of white farmers killed in a development that angered the West which reacted with devastating sanctions. Destruction of a once thriving agricultural sector and the impact of a Country wide melt down of infrastructure and political Violence triggered a decade-long economic recession. Still to this day Zanu pf have learnt nothing .Sadly The level of intolerance we see in Zimbabwe will continue until this human thing called conscience returns to zanu-pf or zanu-pf dies out. Sadly Mugabe’s belief that he can strengthen his flagging popularity by destroying
a resented but economically vital minority group is one that dictators
elsewhere have shared.And people have paid the price.
Today we have learnt that the chaotic land reform programme started by ZANU PF in 2000 has now entered another confusing phase, after government cancelled all land permits that were issued to A1 farmers and announced changes in the land distribution process. We have also been told that land permits will no longer be issued by the local District Administrators who were responsible for land distribution but are under the Local Government Ministry. So The only way you were allowed to remain on the land was if you had an offer letter, lease or permit and the Minister is now saying none of those people have any of those things and presumably they are either on the land illegally or someone is allowing them to be there, At the same time a government minister mombeshora said it will take two to three years to process the new permits, after government undertakes a land audit to determine who is on the land and to map out new plots and boundaries.But this is just wishful thinking . Now here is the twist Beneficiaries of the controversial land reform exercise will soon be expected to pay rent for their farms as part of ZANU PF party’s alternative methods of raising funds. Mombeshora said the money will fund a land audit and the processing of 99-year leases for the farmers.The target will be A1 and A2 farmers, as well as plantations and small-scale land owners. A1 farmers will pay $10 annually and the rest $3 per hectare per year. Again the problem is we know that the government doesn’t want to issue out those 99-year leases because doing so will mean people will feel more secure and therefore less dependent on ZANU PF. Without the leases, the new farmers cannot secure loans from banks which require collateral, and many of them say this is affecting their productivity on the land. In the meantime we have At least 300,000 people received land following ZANU PF’s compulsory land acquisition scheme which began with farm invasions in 1999 of which have non functioning A1 certificates
The biggest Question is how many times can a piece of land be allocated to the same person? People were celebrating receiving certificates of land allocated to them 14 years ago? Next year they will go back and say we are now cancelling all certificates and issuing land Degrees, people will ululate and celebrate again? (Negative Progress) What people are beginning to realize is that the government doesn’t want to issue out those 99-year leases because doing so will mean people will feel more secure and therefore less dependent on ZANU PF and by doing this Zanu pf still maintains control of the people , the problem is
without the leases, the new farmers cannot secure loans from banks which require collateral, and many of them say this is affecting their productivity on the land and their ability to be productive.Another small problem is how does a 10-year-old get a bank loan as a recent survey showed that 10 year olds were part of the 300,000 land Beneficiaries ? .Nobody has ever questioned how and why the average ZANU-PF official got a farm after the land reform. Several land audits were done and each showed that officials got multiple farms.The senior ones got the best farms. In fact there is no single minister who did not acquire a new farm. Some had bought their farms in the 1980s which means if the one-man –one farm policy had been adhered no government would have got a new farm. Yet today we have ministers owning multiple farms and properties
Next !! what is wrong with zanu pf and this government. ! state enterprises and parastatal are public assets which should not be sold-off willy-nilly. In this country , which lacks oversight, ministers tend to play the shareholder role with disastrous consequences. It is high time the relevant parliamentary committees assume the shareholder role in the quest for transparency and holding the executive to account. News that money sourced for the repair of Grain Marketing Board silos from China could not be accounted for should be worrying, as is the cancellation and restoration of the Kariba Power Generation tender recently. Add the bungled execution of the Zisco-Essar deal as well as the Hwange power station-YTL deal into the fray and it becomes clear there is a serious governance problem which impacts negatively on the country’s economy and therefore the state of the average citizen .
In essence they are just creating chaos in one point and placing it in another. The government should only be allowed to sell state enterprises after being given the green light from parliament following due diligence and public hearings. We might need investment but the deals must be above-board ,In the event their disposal is the only option available, parliament should oversee the process and ensure the sale ultimately benefits the nation, not a connected few.
With an abundance of natural minerals and an ever diminishing local infrastructure ,This ‘once funds are available’ statement has become too bitter a pill to swallow.When ministers are constantly buying cars and mps are going on shopping trips in china Zimbabwe is slowly sinking and the only people feeling the effects of this is the common man ,Zimbabwe now has now joined Nigeria. ( Being a major exporter of crude oil )you would expect Nigeria to be improving its local infrastructure and its people yet Despite the abundance of natural resources , Nigeria has the largest population of poor people in Africa today and when you consider Nigeria’s economic growth has done little to create jobs for ordinary citizens, especially its huge youth population due to Corruption, poor management of funds, political instability and poor governance which still continues to cause problems in Nigeria. Zimbabwe has diamonds ,iron steel ,platinum coal, gold, copper, nickel, tin, and clay and ferrochromium, black granite as dimension stone, copper, chromite, tin, and silver.I could go on with the list of export products that we have and had yet as a country we have 80 to 85 % unemployment rate ,and not forgetting the potential from our Agricultural sector ,Our export commodities are tobacco and horticulture. Smaller crops such as sugar, tea, coffee, cotton, seeds, maize, and oilseeds are also exported as well as livestock, dairy products, wildlife and poultry meat. Ostrich and game farming have become increasingly important over the last few years. Ostrich meat now complements the export of top quality beef to the European market. literally we are sitting on a gold mine that is of no use to 80% of the population of our country due to Corruption, poor management of funds ,political instability and not forgetting the governments indiginization program .
I long for the day when Zimbabwe was an exporter economy and not a consumer economy that Zanu pf have turned us into sadly not all of us can be consumers due to the current state of our country. I leave you with the thought That this is no longer the time to sit on the fence. Corruption ,Unemployment and Poverty ,racism and tribalism have become serious problems that all levels of government must tackle with sincerity of purpose to keep the nation’s youths productively engaged, and improve the country , Other wise the independence of April the 18 ,1980 will just remain the same conflict between those who possess power and wealth in abundance, and those who do not; between those who are determined to maintain their privileges of power and wealth at any cost, even at the cost of bloodshed, and those who demand their democratic rights and a share in the fruits of independence; between those who continue to benefit from the present system of inequality and injustice, because it favours them and enables them to maintain an exceptionally high standard of living, and those who go to bed hungry at night and wake up in the morning to another day without work and without income; between those who only know the language of violence and intimidation, and those who feel they have nothing more to lose because their constitutional rights have been abrogated and their votes rigged.
Zimbabweans are still waiting for independence and untill they wake up this is the REALITY of life in Zimbabwe
WAKE UP ZIMBABWEANS !!