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‘Surely, does ZANU PF need 100 years to build electricity infrastructure?’

ZANU PF never ceases to amaze! Always full of excuses – some just incredible, others pure madness, whilst there are downright stupid!

I always say to myself, ‘if ZANU PF had been a man, then every woman would have left, as no self-respecting lady can stay with such a loser!’

These thoughts were brought to the fore as I listened in utter bewilderment to the ruling party’s director of information Tafadzwa Mugwadi pour scorn on those condemning the Zimbabwe government for the perennial power crisis – which has worsened over the past month – by claiming that it takes time for electricity generation infrastructure to be constructed.

He proceeded to make a ridiculous statement to the effect that, producing more electricity was not as simple as cooking sadza in a pot – but, putting up the required power plants needed a considerable length of time.

At first, I wanted to ascertain whether he was joking, or possibly maybe even a bit tipsy – but, I was quite convinced the guy was dead serious.

To say that I was perplexed and dumbfounded would be a grave understatement.

All I could ask myself was, ‘so how long does the ZANU PF administration surely require to come up with a power plant?’

Have these people not been presiding over the country since the attainment of independence some 42 years ago in 1980?

So, does this mean, as far as ZANU PF is concerned, a period of four decades is the same a ‘cooking sadza in a pot’?

How much do they need then?

One, two, three hundred years?

Wow, if Mugwadi and his comrades need 42 years to cook sadza, no wonder Zimbabweans are starving!

Please, Cde Mugwadi, stop taking Zimbabweans for fools…or idiots!

An average power plant can take anything from two to five years to build – just as we have been witnessing with the Hwange Thermal Power Station Unit 7 and 8 currently under construction.

Was work not started in August 2018, and we are already being told that Unit 7 may be going online soon?

Is that not four years – without forgetting that work was severely disrupted at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and early 2021?

As such, given such time frames, had the ZANU PF government been serious with the business of governing the country – rather than looting resources and focusing on misplaced priorities, as giving each other millions of US dollars – should we, today, not be talking about more than twenty or even forty totally new power plants over the past 42 years?

It is also so unflattering and undesirable for those in authority attempting to sanitize and normalize where they are dismally failing, by highlighting how the same predicament was being faced elsewhere.

Let me put it this way – if I were a violent abusive husband, would this barbarism be mitigated if I pointed to statistics showing how this shameful vice was prevalent all across the globe?

That is why I say, had this government been a man, he would have been ditched by many women, as regarded totally unlovable.

The excuses are so disgraceful and disgusting.

It gets even more bizarre!

Just a day or so ago, Mugwadi’s boss – ZANU PF secretary for publicity, Christopher Mutsvangwa – opted for another equally laughable excuse in an interview with a South African broadcaster, by blaming the dead ousted president Robert Gabriel Mugabe.

Mutsvangwa went on to point to the lack of investment in power generation during the late leader’s 37 year rein.

Well, as much as part of this may be true – since, indeed, the incessant power crisis faced in the country is undeniably a consequence of the gross neglect of this sector – however, Mutsvangwa tried to be clever for nothing.

He forgot to mention – of course, deliberately – one little fact…that he, his boss President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, and most of the current caboodle, were an integral component of the Mugabe regime.

In fact, Mnangagwa was vice president from 2014, on top of occupying numerous influential powerful portfolios in Mugabe’s administration since 1980.

If these people had no difficulties convincing Mugabe to massacre innocent unarmed civilians, perceived as enemies – I am quite sure it would have been equally effortless influencing him to construct a couple of new power plants.

Thus, it is completely outrageous and disingenuous for the cornered Mutsvangwa to apportion fault to only one member of this reviled ruinous team.

All these shameless ludicrous efforts in distancing the current administration from that of Mugabe does not convince, and has never convinced, anyone with a shred of intellect.

They can call themselves the ‘new dispensation’ or ‘Second Republic’ – nonetheless, we in Zimbabwe simply know them as the same faces we have been seeing for the past 42 years, running down and pillaging our country to its knees.

They can blame sanctions, or saboteurs, or regime change agents, or even turn on one of their own – but, the facts are there for all to see.

The grand plunder of our national resources is common knowledge and legendary – infamously so – and, every Zimbabwean has a story of their own to tell on how corruption by those in power destroyed their communities and sources of livelihood.

With such a well-endowed nation, there is really no legitimate reason why we never used our billion-dollar mining industry to build our electricity generation capacity over the past four decades.

If colonial Rhodesian managed to produce such phenomenal results – more so under genuine crippling UN economic sanctions, primarily using second-hand material – why was independent free Zimbabwe unable to double or triple these efforts?

Yet, all we could do was to perform piecemeal work here and there – as if totally oblivious to the fact that, not only did this equipment have a limited lifespan, but the country would now be facing a marked increase in both population and economic growth.

Which brings me to another crazy excuse – the economic growth being experienced today is outstripping supply.

Why were we not prepared for this so-called ‘economic growth’, as if it was unexpected and took the entire nation by surprise.

Nevertheless, the real facts cannot be buried underneath some self-gratifying delusion of a prospering economy.

We all know that all these colonial era power plants are holding on to dear life by a thread – and, therefore, operating at less than a third of their installed capacity.

As such, if we are to boast that our economy has outgrown a struggling power generation system, that is in the intensive care unit – then, we are a sad sad sad nation!

It is akin to boasting of beating a football team of sick disease-riddled people, on the verge of death!

What economic growth are we expected to be so proud of?

What those in power are simply telling us is that, had this been in colonial Rhodesia – with all these power plants still relatively new and firing on all cylinders – power generation would have outperformed the present day Zimbabwe economy.

In other words, today’s economic performance under an independent Zimbabwe is less than under Rhodesia.

That is the problem with making endless excuses for one’s glaring failures – as one easily runs the risk of shooting himself in the foot!

Zimbabwe desperately requires a leadership that acknowledges where they have gone, and are going, wrong.

There can never be reformation in the absence of repentance and confession of one’s faults – since making excuses means a total disregard of what one has done wrong.

How, then, can such a people be expected to change how they do things?

As long as we have such a leadership in office, we are forever doomed as a country – and, there will soon not be any nation for our children to inherit.

● Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice advocate, writer, researcher, and social commentator. Please feel free to WhatsApp or Call: +263715667700 | +263782283975, or email: [email protected]

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