By Tendai Kamhungira
ZANU PF’s election manifesto is just hot air and only proves the ruling party has nothing new to offer long-suffering Zimbabweans after 38 years in power, analysts have said.
The party released its 2018 election manifesto — themed “Unite, Fight Corruption, Develop, Re-engage and Create Jobs” — last Friday at a colourful occasion in Harare, in which it made several promises to the electorate.
With the country’s economic crisis deepening, among a myriad other challenges, analysts believe Zanu PF has nothing new to offer, especially considering it is yet to fulfil its 2013 election promises, which include the creation of 2,2 million jobs.
People had expected some changes in the economy since former president Robert Mugabe’s resignation last November, which saw President Emmerson Mnangagwa taking office, but five months down the line, nothing significant has changed. Mnangagwa has been pushing for economic reforms through engaging Western countries, claiming the “new dispensation” is aimed at improving the people’s lives.
But, political analyst Shakespeare Hamauswa, said so far, the “new dispensation” has remained theoretical.
“Zanu PF is taking promises simply as expected statements given during an election time. It is not clear how they are going to build infrastructure, improve transport system and create jobs.
“They need to bring up clear and simplified policy alternatives than mere promises. When Mnangagwa came in they talked much about FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) and fighting corruption but what is happening is an increase in cases of corruption and continued cash crisis,” he said.
While Zanu PF seeks to extent its 38-year rule with another five-year term, the past five years have gone by since the 2013 election and its 2,2 million new jobs promise has not yet been achieved, together with a host of “mega deals” with Russians and the Chinese signed over the years.
For the past 38 years that Zanu PF has been in power, it has been accused of running down the economy, with at least over 90 percent of the country’s population driven into the informal sector.
The health sector is also in shambles, with no medicine and sufficient equipment and civil servants are disgruntled over the conditions of service. Teachers have also threatened to down their tools when schools open on Tuesday.
The party’s promises have remained a pie in the sky and it is against this background that crisis-weary Zimbabweans and opposition political parties are seeking to
hold Zanu PF to account, after being sold a dummy on a number of occasions.
Political analyst Maxwell Saungweme added: “Expecting Zanu PF to deliver on these promises is like expecting the devil to deliver a church sermon based on the Bible.
“The guys at the helm of Zanu PF and government are tried and tested failures who have been key drivers of failure under Mugabe regime.
“The manifesto, for instance, talks about eradicating corruption yet some of candidates for Parliament under that party were implicated as “currency externalisers” by the same Zanu PF government.
“Unless we believe too much in miracles and not rational science and logic, expecting Zanu PF to deliver on these promises is like promising to give birth before even getting pregnant.”
Respected political analyst Alex Magaisa, writing on his Twitter account, said Zanu PF was associated with dodgy characters, because it promises to fight corruption, yet at the same time it protects the suspected criminals and retains them in its structures.
Magaisa illustrated Zanu PF’s commitment to fight corruption through a picture of its manifesto, which alludes to its intention to deal with the scourge, while placing the picture of Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu on the other side.
“Mpofu’s attitude towards a parliamentary committee probing corruption in the diamond sector encapsulates Zanu PF’s approach to corruption. No wonder dodgy characters flocked to represent Zanu PF in primaries,” Magaisa said.
This comes after Mpofu walked out on a parliamentary portfolio committee on Mines and Energy declaring that as long as the committee was chaired by independent legislator for Norton, Temba Mliswa, he was not going to give evidence.
MDC’s deputy treasurer general, Charlton Hwende, also criticised Zanu PF’s manifesto, claiming there is nothing new to expect, considering that the ruling party has not yet fulfilled the 2013 promises.
“As Zanu PF prepares to launch its manifesto for 2018, not even one promise from the 2013 manifesto was fulfilled,” he said.
But some Zanu PF activists, like Nick Mangwana, believe the party can achieve its promises.
“Realistic goals and targets articulated and not some pies in the sky,” he said. Daily News