President has ruined people’s lives and killed their dreams

Tendai Mbofana

, Opinion

I seldom read poorly-written newspapers like The Sunday Mail, but today I had the misfortune of coming across its 10 January 2016 issue, where, whilst flipping through the paper’s sycophantic pages, my eyes stopped at a peculiar article.

The article I read was entitled, ‘Blaming Cde Mugabe for everything’, in which the writer was at pains in efforts of virtually exonerated Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe from being responsible for the suffering the majority of this country’s people were currently enduring.

That, in itself, was not very new, and did not particularly shock me, as that is the bootlicking nature of the newspaper, as it did the same for the racist colonial Rhodesia government since its formation in 1935 till 1980.

However, what shocked me – in fact, more than shocked me, but disgustingly flabbergasted me – was the author’s brazenly malevolent attempt to pin the blame for people’s suffering on the people themselves.

In other words, those who are suffering in Zimbabwe only have themselves to blame.

The author said that the majority of the suffering people of Zimbabwe were in that dilemma because of their own personal failures, laziness and wrong decision-making.

That statement was enough to raise my temperature!

One thing the author needs to understand is that not all of us make our living from licking other people’s bottoms – but we strive to make an honest, decent living in these perishing times.

Does the author know that there are people, for instance, my mother who worked for the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Ziscosteel) – a parastatal – as a nurse at its hospital, since 1964 till it was sold by the company in 1999.

None of the employees were given any terminal benefits as Ziscosteel told them that their new employer would award them the pensions.

However, the new owner closed the hospital in 2010, and also never awarded the employees any pension, citing financial incapacity.

After dedicating her whole adult life to that hospital, 35 years with the government-owned Ziscosteel, and 11 years with the company the government sold the hospital to – she and all the other employees got a big fat NOTHING!

Similarly, my mother, like so many other Zimbabweans, had been setting aside money in various insurances and assurances policies, as well as investments in various fixed deposit bank accounts, which would have ensured she had a relatively comfortable retirement.

However, ALL those investments yielded another big fat NOTHING, as people like her were told that they monies had been ‘eaten up by inflation’ in the early 2000s.

As such, now at the age of 69 years old, widowed, old and frail, the only money she manages to get is an insultingly measly US$60 per month!

She is expected to buy food, and other necessities from that amount.

As someone who had also bought a house, she is expected to pay monthly rates to city council, pay for water, and electricity.

To make matters worse, she was recently diagnosed with colon cancer, and has to attend monthly chemotherapy sessions in Bulawayo, that cost an average of US$70 per day for each session lasting one week.

She obviously can never afford that on her own.

So may the author at The Sunday Mail tell me and the whole nation that my mother, and numerous others like her, have solely themselves to blame?

Will the author be bold enough to unequivocally state that in the next instalment.

However, as far as I am concerned, the blame lies squarely at the President’s door, as he presided over the demise of this once prosperous nation.

The people of Zimbabwe have always been, and are still a very hard-working lot, and any attempt by ZANU PF to rubbish that is the gravest insult – which reveals the overall contempt and disregard that this party and government have towards the people of this country.

A leader of any nation takes full responsibility for anything that goes wrong.

‘The buck stops here’, was the motto of one renowned leader – as the ultimate blame for any country’s – or organisation’s failures –  falls on the leader.

Failure of a country reflects badly on the ability of the leader to lead.

Even in soccer – as Zimbabwe is a soccer-loving nation – when a team produces a string of poor results, the coach is sacked.

As such, the President has everything to do with the suffering of the people of Zimbabwe, and should accept the blame.

This nation was once the pride, not only of Africa, but also the world.

Is this author seriously blaming company closures on the suffering people of Zimbabwe?

Most people in Zimbabwe have no access to tap water, even those that used to have access to it – is that due to the laziness of the people of Zimbabwe?

Right now, electricity is a rare commodity, as people go for hours, if not days, without it – are the suffering people of Zimbabwe to blame for that as well?

Revenue accrued from the vast mineral resources that the country mines can not be accounted for by the government –  how is that the fault of the suffering people of Zimbabwe?

It is similar to trying to blame a raped 5 year old girl for the rape.

But certainly, disastrous economic and political policies have everything to do with it.

I have books from the late 1970s and early 1980s showing the performance of Zimbabwe’s industry, commerce, and agriculture.

Zimbabwe used to outshine all the other countries in nearly everything – despite being engrossed in a protracted and brutal civil war, and United Nations economic sanctions in the 1960s and 1970s.

Today, I am even ashamed to show those books to my 13 year old son, as he asks what happened to all those companies, agricultural, commercial and trade success stories mentioned in the books.

However, I make it a point that he grows up knowing the truth of what happened to his beloved country

That is what we unequivocally and unambiguously call FAILURE, and all the blame goes to the person who preside over that mess, as any attempt to blame the suffering people is an unwinnable mischievous insult.