Tendai Ruben Mbofana: Mnangagwa thrives on being an ‘arsonist fireman’
So, President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa wants to be celebrated for finally awarding ZANU PF founding leader Ndabaningi Sithole national hero status!
Why would the same people who ostracized, vilified and even savagely persecuted their own founder want to be congratulated for finally recognizing him today?
Was he not even arrested and charged with treason in an independent Zimbabwe – thereby, dying a very bitter and sad man – by the same individuals who want to be praised today for honoring him?
Is this current leadership not the one that labelled Sithole a ‘sellout’ for negotiating an internal settlement with Rhodesia Prime Minister Ian Douglas Smith in 1978, resulting in the establishment of Zimbabwe Rhodesia?
Was this not the reason they denied him national hero status, in the first place?
As a matter fact, did they not work together in unconstitutionally ousting Sithole from the reins of ZANU PF in 1976, replacing him with Robert Gabriel Mugabe – under the pretext that he had betrayed the liberation struggle by renouncing it whilst in prison, in exchange for his freedom?
So, what has changed today?
In a nutshell – we have a government that has absolutely nothing to offer the nation – as such thrives on seeking glory and praise for solving problems they themselves created.
This is typical of what is termed ‘arsonist fireman’ or ‘firefighter arson’ – which, in most cases, is directly linked to the ‘hero syndrome’.
Tragically, such a phenomenon is what has characterized the ZANU PF regime.
In fact, each time one listens to Mnangagwa, or any of his top officials speak, this syndrome is glaringly there for all to see.
What are the ‘success stories’ for which this administration wants to be glorified?
Let us start with yesterday’s donation of an ambulance and some medical provisions at a clinic in Chipinge (Sithole’s home) – as Mnangagwa sought to curry favor with that community for finally recognizing his immense contributions to the liberation struggle.
Why does Zimbabwe find itself in this humiliating position, in which its health care institutions are so poorly equipped, 43 years after independence, to the extent of requiring ‘donations’?
We witness similar instances in our education sector – where most schools either lack the most basic learning material, and at times, there are no schools to talk about at all.
When Mnangagwa’s government builds a classroom block, donates some books, laptops or even food, and opens a laboratory – this is portrayed as an act of ‘visionary leadership’!
Surely, where is the ‘heroism’ and ‘visionary leadership’ in coming in to put out a fire, of which the ‘firefighter’ started himself?
This is the same situation when it comes to the so-called ‘road rehabilitation program’.
How did our roads – most of which were constructed during the colonial era – reach such an embarrassing state of ruin, in the first place?
Did we not have one of the best road networks on the continent – even rivaling neighboring South Africa – yet, it now resembles a scene from a war zone?
What were we to expect when our roads had largely been neglected by the government for the past four decades?
What did we think would happen when there was never any significant investment in the construction of new modern roads since independence?
And, when the Mnangagwa administration finally decides to go around patching up huge potholes and resurfacing a handful of roads – he wants to be regarded a hero!
How does a country so richly endowed with nearly 60 precious minerals – with 40 already being exploited and marketed, including gold, diamonds, chrome, platinum and lithium – find itself in such a shameful predicament?
This similarly applies to the handouts and ‘free’ agricultural inputs that are given to rural folk.
Why are these men and women still eking an existence from subsistence farming, on usually dry and infertile land – instead of graduating to commercial agriculture, whilst having access to larger and more fertile tracts of land?
Is this not because the ruling elite awarded themselves numerous farms during the so-called ‘land reform program’ – with some as Mugabe’s daughter, Bona, possessing 21 – with the majority of Zimbabweans remaining in squalor, and in perennial need of assistance?
In addition, half the population lives in extreme poverty, with three quarters earning below the poverty datum – unable to afford the ever-increasing prices of basic commodities, in the face of soaring inflation (the highest in the world).
Yet those in power live in vulgar opulence – with some for the most vocal proponents of the washed up ‘sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the US’ drivel never shy in flaunting their wealth.
Do they (most particularly Chris and Monica Mutsvangwa) not regularly boast, right in our faces, of their abilities to charter private jets for holidays in the same US and other Western states – ironically never flying to China, Russia or Belarus?
Was the whole world not shocked watching the stunning revelations in Al Jazeera’s ‘Gold Mafia’ documentary?
Did we not hear of massive gold smuggling and money laundering – where high profile people, including Mnangagwa and his family, were implicated by Ambassador-at-Large Uebert Angel?
Nonetheless, Mnangagwa has absolutely no qualms coming bearing handouts and agricultural inputs to the poverty-stricken population – where he wants to be perceived as a hero!
Why should we need handouts and ‘free’ agricultural inputs – had our own mineral wealth not been stolen to benefit only a few – at the expense of uplifting the livelihoods of the majority?
In actual fact, are some of these rural communities not located above vast mineral reserves – which are, instead, exploited, right in front of them, with nothing of substance being channeled back into their areas?
By this time, four decades after independence, Zimbabweans should have been some of richest people in the world – enjoying a very high standard of living.
Who would have needed donations, handouts, or ‘free’ agricultural inputs in such a country?
In conclusion, who is the author of the misery we find ourselves in as a nation?
Who has burnt our once prosperous country to the ground – largely through rampant corruption and looting of our national resources?
How then do the same ‘arsonists’ rush in portraying themselves as ‘firefighters’ coming to our rescue?
Furthermore, by keeping the citizenry impoverished and perpetually dependent on the government, they hope to keep the nation beholden and indebted to the ruling elite.
There is nothing more terrifying and threatening to an abuser than the abused individual becoming economically independent – who is empowered to walk away at any time.
Mnangagwa is fully aware that a genuinely economically empowered population will have no problems rejecting him – as they will not fear losing the donations and handouts.
Zimbabweans have to be wary of a regime that thrives on authoring our pain and suffering – then turning up with ‘help’ and wanting to be perceived as our heroes.
Nevertheless, this is not particularly surprising, since this is natural for a government that has nothing to offer the nation.
Quite frankly, without handing out donations and handouts, Mnangagwa would have absolutely no ‘successes’ to talk about.
● Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice advocate and writer. Please feel free to WhatsApp or Call: +263715667700 | +263782283975, or email: [email protected], or visit website: http://mbofanatendairuben.news.blog/