No ‘development’ can ever exonerate ZANU PF regime for destroying our lives!

Source: No ‘development’ can ever exonerate ZANU PF regime for destroying our lives!

It never ceases to amaze whenever the ruling ZANU PF loves touting its various ‘programs’ and ‘schemes’ as some kind of ‘development’, which warrants the party’s overwhelming support from the nation.

As Zimbabwe heads towards the crucial harmonized elections slated for mid this year, the noise surrounding this supposed ‘development’ has only grown louder and louder.

With each passing day, we are never given any respite – as incessantly reminded of the rehabilitation of a few roads in the country, so-called ‘empowerment projects’ mostly targeted at women and the youth, the Pfumvudza subsistence agricultural program, and the opening of a handful of companies.

I actually had challenges coming up with those ‘achievements’ listed above – since, if truth be told, it is quite difficult identifying what exactly the President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa regime has done over the past five years – and, I ended up Googling to see what I could find

Nonetheless, it would be thoroughly disingenuous for anyone to deny that the ZANU PF administration has undertaken and recorded some impressive developmental successes over the course of the past 43 years.

The question, however, will always be – are these ‘successes’ not overshadowed by the massive unmitigated failures by the same leadership – that, instead of improving the lives and livelihoods of the ordinary citizenry, have, nevertheless, been canceled out by the poverty and misery authored by this government?

Let us look at our own generation.

Indeed, when this country gained independence from Britain in 1980, we had every reason to celebrate and be optimistic.

In fact, people as myself, who were born in 1973, were the first group of children to begin their schooling in 1980 – and, therefore, benefited significantly from high standard education – due to the removal of racial segregation in then Group A schools, brought about by the ZANU PF government.

We were not limited in the heights we could reach in our learning – such that, most of us managed to acquire impressive qualifications and skills.

Our parents managed to move to, and purchase, houses in good neighborhoods – which had previously been the preserve of whites only – all thanks to the post-independence administration.

As a matter of fact, what is repeatedly portrayed today as ‘development’ pales into insignificant, and becomes a huge joke – as compared to what we witnessed in our day, which was undeniably light-years ahead.

In that day, numerous educational and health care institutions were built, quite a number of new roads constructed – particularly, in previously marginalized areas – whilst, the economy flew into a phenomenal growth trajectory, and agriculture booming to exceptional levels, thereby making Zimbabwe the bread basket of the region.

So, why do we still characterize the ZANU PF regime as a dismal failure?

Why is it people as myself are not at the forefront of megaphoning the brilliance and magnificence of this government – in fact, being found in the front row of condemning the myriad of shameful failures?

Well, the answer to that is quite simple and straightforward.

As much as there is no denying the ‘successes’ of the ZANU PF administration – it is also not debatable that its failures have become legendary and disgraceful – resulting in the indescribable poverty and suffering, in which millions of Zimbabweans find themselves.

Thus, all those supposed ‘successes’ are subsequently easily wiped out – and, become meaningless when the people can not make a decent living.

Surely, what have we gained from opening up the economy to all of us, irrespective of skin color, when the few who are ‘fortunate’ enough to be gainfully employed are actually worse off than they were under colonial rule – being paid unlivable wages which cannot sustain a decent and dignified livelihood, whilst forced to operate under unsafe and unconducive conditions?

Whereas, those starting their own business ventures finding it extremely difficult to sustain them or themselves – most of these small scale entrepreneurs unable to even purchase or build their own houses – but, forced into a life of lodging or renting.

What point is there in having acquired all that learning – yet, as a directly consequence of the political elite’s unforgivable unrestrained looting of national resources, in addition to unmitigated woeful incompetence – we find ourselves holding on to useless qualifications, whilst our exceptional skills unable to provide us a decent livelihood?

What is the point of establishing all those universities in nearly every provincial capital – when all we are doing is churning out thousands of graduates each year, only to add to the millions of the unemployed – whose only hope lies in street vending, artisanal gold mining, robbery or prostitution?

Where is the benefit of having opened up the gates to us moving into plush formerly ‘white suburbs’ – yet, have now been reduced to glorified rural areas – as we go for months or even years without any potable water in our homes and having to resort to boreholes miles away, roads cratered with massive impassable potholes, garbage seldom being collected and posing a huge health risk, and living in darkness in the midst of unrepaired street lights?

On the political front – what is there to be excited about the attainment of independence and democracy – when the opposition is not permitted to operate freely, voices of dissent being ruthlessly clamped down and persecuted, and the people’s vote never respected via various electoral trickery, all of which are in brazen violation of the country’s Constitution?

Where are the advantages of ‘majority rule’ or ‘one man, one vote’ when thousands of unarmed innocent civilians are savagely massacred, in cold blood – purely out of ethnic hatred or differing political beliefs?

Indeed, there is no denying the fact that there have been significant ‘success stories and development’ achieved by the ZANU PF regime, in the past 43 years – which we need to acknowledge and embrace.

However, all those eventually count for naught when, eventually, they are all subsequently canceled out – as the majority of Zimbabweans are left with absolutely nothing to be excited about

In touting their ‘achievements’ – which they want each and every one of us to celebrate – those in power need to be cognizant of the brutal fact that millions of us have more to cry about than to smile.

No one is ever 100 percent a failure – neither is there anyone who is 100 percent successful.

Nonetheless, at the end of the day, what matters the most, when all has been said and done, is what stands out more – the good or the bad.

Tragically, when it comes to those who are in power in Zimbabwe – the bad and cruel are what defines their 43 years of misrule more than anything else – which has caused so much pain and suffering for millions of ordinary Zimbabweans.

That is what most of us will always remember ZANU PF for – more than any ‘successes and development’ that may have been achieved.

  • Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice advocate, writer, researcher, and social commentator. Please feel free to WhatsApp or Call: +263715667700 | +263782283975, or email:

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