Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Luke Tamborinyoka: Exclusionary facility of shame a crude form of apartheid

By Luke Batsirai Tamborinyoka

ZANU PF has created an exclusionary, elitist Covid-19 facility of shame that treats only senior government officials as well as the well-heeled and the politically connected while everyone else must die.

President Mnangagwa consoles Mr Kudakwashe Tagwirei while flanked by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga before the burial of the businessman's father, Sekuru Phineas Tagwirei, in Shurugwi yesterday. - (Picture by John Manzongo)
Outrage greeted an announcement Wednesday that Zanu PF financier Kudakwashe Tagwirei (right) had taken over two private hospitals in Harare, which would be upgraded and equipped to accommodate “VIP” coronavirus patients.

At a time the nation is dealing with a debilitating global pandemic that knows no class, tribe, region, or political party card, the regime has resorted to its usual exclusionary tactics.

Over the years in the wake of massive starvation such as the current drought, partisan food distribution has been the in-thing. But the Mt Pleasant exclusionary infirmary of shame goes beyond political party partisanship.

It simply alienates the poor, whatever they political party card.  Even ordinary die-hard ZANU PF supporters cannot access this elitist facility if they are not politically connected.

This is unadulterated discrimination against the poor, which is tragic for a party that bandied itself socialist in its founding years.

But somehow, all this is hardly surprising, considering this is the same regime that charters a plane from Dubai to fly its leader from Harare to Bulawayo at a time clinics and public hospitals do not have bandages and painkillers while our nurses are using condoms for gloves.

After all, these are the same guys who looted food hampers and others forms of assistance meant for the victims of cyclone Idai.

Now those on the frontline of this pandemic have taken a backseat because government is failing to provide PPE that includes sanitizers, gloves and other basics. True to their DNA,  all the donated PPE meant for public health institutions that serve the rest of us has been diverted to this morbid, exclusionary and discriminatory medical facility of shame in Mt Pleasant.

The Covid-19 exclusive facility for ZANU PF chefs is a violation of Zimbabwe’s Constitution. Section 56 of the supreme law of the land explicitly states that no one should be discriminated against on the basis of class, political affiliation, economic and social status, among other factors.

Discrimination is defined as the practice of according other people, directly or indirectly, a privilege that other people are not accorded. The Mt Pleasant medical facility of shame snugly fits this definition of discrimination.

We have become a true replica of Animal Farm, where some animals are more equal than others. If you are not related to a chef, you will die either at the poorly equipped Wilkins Hospital or at your rural clinic in Dema, Binga, Dombodema or Chipinge.

As the well-heeled enjoy their medical privileges in Mt Pleasant, the rest of us might as well resort to the nearest vapostori shrine for salvation, where madzibaba Endebhai will sing “Chengeta Mwana Enemia” as he exhorts the Holy Spirit to give us divine protection in the wake of this scourge.

Those of us who come from Domboshava will have to seek divine protection from our many sacred mountains of religious faith, including the holy shrine known as Gomo raGabhureni, situated at Pasipamire village in ward 3 in this beloved place of my birth.

The repressive racist regime of Ian Smith was highly discriminatory. It even had the temerity to preclude black people from walking along First Street in Harare, in exactly the same manner the current regime has chosen to discriminate against the poor by shutting them out of the high privileges they are according each other at this facility of shame at number 92 Norfolk Road in Mt Pleasant.

It is grossly inhuman that government would choose to be so brazenly discriminatory in the wake of this pandemic, especially given that the global viral onslaught has itself chosen not to be discriminatory either on the basis of race or class.

The regime has therefore become worse than the corona virus that has posed the same threat to everyone across class, across race and across continents.

In the end, there is no difference between Ian Smith and this inhuman and segregatory regime of Mr Mnangagwa. In the words of George Orwell’s Animal Farm: They looked from pig to man and from man to pig, and they could not tell which was which.

Indeed, between Mr Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa and Mr Ian Douglas Smith, we cannot tell the difference!

Let it be emphatically stated here and now that there is nothing pleasant about this Mt Pleasant Covid-19 facility of shame.

As everyone else stares the dark rictus of death, this exclusionary, elitist, anti-people and anti-poor infirmary in Mt Pleasant is nothing but a primitive and crude form of apartheid!

Once again, the regime has arrogantly stuck up its middle finger to all of us!