By Wisdom Mumera
The frenzied response by the Zanu PF government to public protests over the increased cost of living has all but signalled the pre-mature end of the honeymoon in which the new dispensation was teetering towards being an open and democratic entity.
It’s now well and truly back in the boondocks of the former President Robert Mugabe days, minus the finesse and guile of the old man.
The looting and violence by the demonstrators were wrong but the government’s style when intervening was the very antithesis of what the situation required.
It revealed the continued existence of the party’s crudity and heavy-handed nature which has sustained it past its sell-by date whilst limiting the country’s ability to realise its full potential.
On show in the unleashing of a party militia armed with fan belts and steel pipes against a cowering part of the public that was hiding in their homes is the endemic limitation of the party as a derelict and stubborn entity lacking modern guile to negotiate the global streets.
The party is now an antiquated relic of political thuggery lacking the smoothness of a modern party able to communicate and reach points of consensus with the voting public.
In Warren Park D an armed party militia came around in unmarked Ford Ranger vehicles and went on a rampage beating up people, smashing cars and windows at several houses demanding that people should go back to work.
It was a harrowing experience very much against the much-lauded and falsely sold new dispensation.
Since then #ThisFlag leader Pastor Evan Mawarire who supported the stay away called for by Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has been arrested and charged with treason.
The charge is a comical creation of a headless government prancing and scratching for a foothold of the situation.
It has also shut down the internet, another crude way of dealing with public dissent, baring all its shortcomings to the wider world in the midst of ED’s global jaunt to convince the same village that the country is open for business.
It’s an oxymoronic muddle of gigantic proportions.
Law expert Alex Magaisa scoffed at the myriad blunderings of the government epitomized by its social media posts during an internet blackout.
“There has never been a more self-defeating exercise than implementing an internet blackout twice in a week when you are busy pleading for investors to come to Zimbabwe.
“Mnangagwa has begun singing the old Mugabesque ‘blame the sanctions’ song but the truth is his government is doing everything possible to discourage and scare off potential investors.
“With Zimbabwe back again in the news for all the wrong reasons, it is a hard sell to investors,” he said.
Supporting ED and calling for him to be given a chance and time had become the new hallmark for patriotism and anyone against the idea was denigrated for being a Western puppet with serious political deficiencies.
The opposition was attacked for allegedly fighting progress just so they could have power simply because they questioned ED’s ability.
However, the writing is now on the wall.
Barring any miracles, Zimbabwe will go nowhere as long as Zanu PF is in the driving seat.
What has kept the party in power are also the very same features that make it less than ideal as the instrument for progress?
Zanu PF has degenerated into a mafia group defended by those benefitting from its inefficiencies and blindly followed by those either afraid to stand up for themselves or romantic to have the wrong perception of its being.