By Tafadzwa Chivaura
It is shockingly sad to find out that Zanu PF has become a refugee for all the unscrupulous and deplorables in Zimbabwe. The so-called revolutionary party has turned into a den of corrupt and opportunist politicians who care less for the impoverished citizenry.
Zanu PF has plunged Zimbabwe into a suffocating sense of hopelessness and turned the whole population into a nervous wreck. Since the last 40 years, we have witnessed that everything that passed through the hands of Zanu PF came to nothing.
Quite frankly, our country is ruled by selfish people who are vaguely committed to change. The policies that are implemented by the government are born out of Zanu-centric ideology and this has resulted in the creation of a system that has left the majority in abject poverty to this day.
During the period 2003 to 2008, there was a hyper-inflation in the country that completely destroyed our local currency. This was caused by the actions of the (Pro-Zanu PF) former governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe – Dr Gideon Gono who ignored the advice of economists who warned him against printing large quantities of money.
Gono went on to print the useless money because he had the full support of the late former President Robert Mugabe. Gono’s monetary policies resulted in runaway inflation where citizens had to carry cash in suitcases for their daily groceries.
As more and more zeroes became added to the bank balances, the governor realised he had to double dip into citizens forex savings account converting all forex balances into the dying local currency. Thus invariably, replacing good money with bad money.
Despite being the brains behind the most successful and largest bank in the country; the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ), Dr Gono’s monetary policies were unpalatable to foreign investors and they sank the economy into a financial depression that left devastating consequences to the citizens.
His turnaround strategies failed to yield any positive economic changes in the country but only helped in pursuing a populist Zanu PF agenda. The policies that he implemented only benefited the ZANU PF elites who were the biggest financiers to the foreign currency exchange dealers in the black market.
We also noticed that during the late former President Robert Mugabe’s era, there was a conflict of interest in the role of the current Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor – Dr John Mangudya who also dished out huge loans to Zanu PF politicians.
This corrupt system continues to happen even under the leadership of President Emmerson Mnangagwa. The policies and practices of the RBZ favoured Zanu PF elites who had unfettered access to the country’s foreign currency reserves, and this resulted in the shortage of foreign currency in the country.
This gross mismanagement, corruption and incompetence has prejudiced the country of billions of US dollars and have left the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in shambles and it subsequently resulted in the high cost of living, poor health service delivery, and preventable deaths.
In the so-called new dispensation; we witnessed the appointment of Professor Mthuli Ncube as the Minister of Finance. When people heard that the Oxford Professor was offered such a big position, almost everyone was happy that he was going to turn around the economy.
What then shocked the citizens is that a few months after his assumption of duty, Professor Mthuli Ncube immediately implemented a policy that was unfavourable to the majority of poor Zimbabweans. He created a policy which converted the people’s foreign currency accounts into Zimbabwean dollar accounts, and this again resulted in citizens losing their life savings and investments.
The policy was fully backed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his surrogates. Professor Mthuli Ncube and President Emmerson Mnangagwa then travelled around the world preaching that reverting to the Zimbabwean dollar currency was a way of curbing the cash shortages in the country.
After converting the foreign currency bank accounts into the Zimbabwe dollar bank accounts, Ncube further introduced the 2% transaction tax policy to milk the already suffering citizens. This tax policy was part of the government’s Transitional Stabilisation Programme that resulted in the skyrocketing of prices of basic goods and services.
The former Minister of Finance – Tendai Biti challenged this policy in court and the High Court ruled in his favour. But surprisingly, Ncube remained obdurate by issuing a statement in which he stated that the tax will still be paid despite the court’s ruling.
In his statement, Ncube argued that this is because the Statutory Instrument 205/2018 was validated under the Finance Act by the Parliament.
This clearly shows that the learned Professor has joined the band of greedy Zanu PF politicians who run the economy through illegitimate regularities and care less for the majority of the citizenry.
Zanu PF’s policies have caused negative redistribution effects on the economy and have left the majority of citizens with meagre fluctuating incomes that are declining on daily basis. The fiscal consolidation widened the already high-income inequality in the country and has resulted in worsened social distress on the majority of Zimbabweans.
This is a clear strategy used by Zanu PF to create as much poverty as possible so that they will then tour around the country (especially in rural areas) dishing out food aid using the taxpayer resources so that they look good in the eyes of the rural folks. This system has caused devastating effects to the citizenry in which almost everyone has now become a beggar.
The only alternative to come out of this mess is for the people of Zimbabwe to never allow a party (Zanu PF) that cannibalises and mauls its own kith and kin, to get anywhere close to power.
In order to achieve this, there should be extensive campaigning in rural areas in which people should be educated about the importance of their vote. Strong opposition structures should be set up to ensure continued protection of the rural voters so that there is less intimidation from the savagely cruel and depraved bloodthirsty Zanu PF hooligans.
The opposition forces should come together and fight for one common cause of completely removing the authoritarian system that was created by Zanu PF. Every citizen should wear a face of bravery and continue to peacefully stage continuous demonstrations to demand political reforms from the entrenched Zanu PF government that has subjected us to 40 years of unrelenting and ruthless suppression.
It is now high time for the grassroot movements to join hands with the people’s largest movement (MDC) to constitutionally oust the incompetent Zanu PF regime that has inflicted untold suffering on the majority of the hard-working citizenry.
Tafadzwa Chivaura is the MDC UK and Ireland Provincial Youth Treasurer. He is also a member of the Movement for Democratic Change National Youth Council. You can follow him on twitter: @tafadzwachivau1