By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
“I never imagined that I would reach 53 years being led by the same generation of leaders that worked with my dad in government”, says Nathan Banana, son to Zimbabwe’s first President Canaan Banana.
Zimbabwe celebrated 40 years of independence on Saturday but Banana has accused the Zanu PF led regime of robbing citizens of their independence for personal gain.
Writing on his Facebook handle, Banana said Zimbabweans have been robbed of their independence by leaders who put self interest ahead of national interests.
“I never imagined that I would reach 53 years being led by the same generation of leaders that worked with my dad in government.
“Today, a child born on our so-called independence is 40 years old and they know nothing but a Zanu PF system of government.
“I feel we Zimbabweans have been robbed of our independence by a few self-interested individuals in positions of power and influence.
“We have been denied the opportunity to fully unleash our potential and enjoy the fruits of freedom as espoused by those who saw the need to liberate us from colonial rule,” Banana said.
This comes at a point when Zimbabwe is in the midst of a political and economic crisis characterised acute foreign currency shortages, runaway inflation of over 600%, an angry population and an agitated workforce.
Coronavirus has worsened the economic situation and made millions vulnerable.
“It is not yet uhuru for many Zimbabweans. The struggle continues,” Banana added.
The late Canaan Banana was the country’s ceremonial President up to 1987 when the government abandoned the post for an executive presidency which saw then Prime Minister Robert Mugabe change to President.
He was found guilty in 1999 of 11 counts of sodomy and abusing his power to sexually assault and carry out “unnatural acts” with men, most of whom were on his presidential staff.
His trial included testimonies of sex with gardeners, cooks and bodyguards and this overshadowed his positive role in ending the ethnic violence in Matabeleland.
In May 2000, the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe upheld Banana’s conviction for sodomy and jailed him for a year.
Banana died in November 2003 from an undisclosed illness, shocking not before the then President Robert Mugabe called him “a rare gift to the nation”.
Government had neglected his widow, Janet Banana up until current President Emmerson Mnangagwa last year vowed to help her.
She received a brand new Ford Everest car from Government as part of her benefits last year while government made a commitment to pay her medical bills on top of other benefits after she returned to Zimbabwe after an 18-year stay in the United Kingdom. Nehanda Radio