By Tafi Mhaka
Until Patrick Chinamasa actually fends for his family on a salary of US$30 a month, I don’t have time to indulge his profound stupidity.
Why should Zanu-PF’s acting secretary for information set the agenda and parameters of a demonstration led by opposition leaders?
The July 31 demonstration cannot just be about corruption alone, not when President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s presidency is indebted to the disputed spoils of fraudulent corruption within Zimbabwe’s electoral system.
Not when soldiers that are not at war, receive greater benefits than hard working teachers.
Not when nurses and doctors are paid a pittance, and 90% of the country’s working population is essentially jobless.
Not when Zanu-PF has mangled democracy to the point where Chinamasa wholeheartedly believes that Mnangagwa’s disputed electoral victory in 2018, didn’t cause a substantial stink.
Not when unarmed protestors are run down, maimed and shot to death by state security forces and Zanu-PF unashamedly and predictably blames the ‘machinations of the enemy’.
But who needs enemies when Zanu-PF officials and cronies are behind every crooked, debilitating and money-depleting state tender?
Only the combative loudmouth Chinamasa does.
Well-fed by Zanu-PF’s questionable benevolence and sheltered by a lack of internal democracy, Chinamasa, it seems, truly believes in the rubbish he spews without shame.
Why doesn’t he admit that, as far back as 1984, Edgar Tekere said, ‘How can we go to next year’s elections if we run something that stinks?’
Well, 36 years later, it stinks to the core.
The dilapidated health sector stinks.
The abduction of Joanne Mamombe stinks.
The unruly arrest of Hopewell Chin’ono stinks.
The RBZ Farm Mechanisation Scheme debacle stinks.
The Drax International scandal stinks.
The divisive, angry and duplicitous politics stink.
The threats to harm protestors by Zanu-PF officials stink.
The still-deteriorating, decimated economy stinks.
Only Chinamasa and the rich, compliant comrades around Mnangagwa can stand to breathe freely within this festering rot.
That’s the sad part about Zimbabwe’s depreciating state of affairs: Zanu-PF refuses to govern from the standpoint of absolute truth.
It refuses to foster an open and dynamic society where dissent is not only permissible, but is promoted by the state.
So whatever happens, the July 31 demonstration should not be a once-off event.
It should be the beginning of the people’s resistance to the violence, corruption, ineptitude and mediocrity Chinamasa’s party embodies.
And if mass demonstrations are anathema to Zanu-PF’s leadership, they certainly are not foreign to Zimbabwe’s constitution.
So this is barely the moment to water down any progressive criticism of Zanu-PF’s comprehensive failures.
Any limited and uncertain push for progressive change, will only serve to promote a disastrous Zanu-PF agenda.
This is the time to demand the establishment of a clean, functional and progressive democracy that works for everyone.
It really is time to stand up for the democracy our ancestors died for during the 1970s liberation war.