Zanu PF self-protest with bakeries


Zanu PF recently broke the internet with images of rudimentary mud bakeries which they launched for women and youths across the country.

To show intent, the party which describes as a revolutionary political organisation, mounted a few of these bakeries at its headquarters in Harare.

At face value this sounds like a good idea, why would the cynics on the internet thrash such ingenuity?

Maybe a description of the ovens may help with visualizing the innovations.

Shaped as mini-dorms plastered with mud and a makeshift lid, the ovens resemble rural brick ovens but are just smaller in size.

In the culinary world presentation is everything and so far little has been done to present the idea as a hygienic option.

The ruling party`s idea brings a few questions though.

On the day of the launch, Zanu PF National Chairperson Oppah Muchinguri said Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube (not sure if he is a real Professor at this point) had made an undertaking to provide RTGS$200 000 to support the project.

We will talk about the conflation of the party some other day but with RTGS$200 000, these guys could surely have done better.

Supposed they are satisfied with the aesthetic misgivings presented as ovens, there is still an issue.

The move was to address bread shortages which have rocked the country which is noble.

Problem is, the issue they addressed is not exactly the reason why bread is expensive and scarce.

Bread is not in short supply because there are no bakeries, but there is a flour shortage.

So, until the wheat situation in the country improves all these ovens will amount to nothing as patriotism alone cannot bake bread.

The shortage has to be addressed and it appears there is no answer as power shortages from ZESA are affecting the winter wheat season.

What Zanu PF is trying to do is tantamount to applying sand to a bleeding wound; it may only make it septic.

The little wheat in the country will be prejudiced of proper bakeries and be sent to these derelict mud ovens to prove a point.

Supposing that the bread is of a decent standard, the price is ridiculously low.

They intend to sell the bread at just over RTGS$1 which is uneconomic by all accounts.

Corruption and over-subsidising killed Zimbabwe and the revolutionary party appears to be drinking from the same poisoned chalice.

The whole idea is a tacit admission by the powers that be that they do not have a plan to deal with the energy crisis facing Zimbabwe.

Speaking of efficiency, it does not take a rocket scientist to know that it is more efficient to use electricity or gas to bake for commercial purposes.

Unless if Zanu PF knows something we do not know, there was no need for them to try and implement an idea 50 plus years past its time.

Zimbabweans must pick the nuance, it may be an indication that the energy problems will be here for a while.

Lord knows how many trees will be cut to ensure this project which will eventually crumble has a semblance of functionality.

Zanu PF appears to be swimming against the tide, the world is going green, but they appear to be colour-blind.

Consistently, the party reminds us that they are not the people who will take Zimbabwe to its rightful place in the modern world.

These are the same people that at some point brought the Jatropha Project and duped our grandmothers into planting the so-called money plant in vain.

For all we know, those buns and bread could have been baked in a proper oven then placed in those ovens for optics.

Or maybe it was an internal protest to show the party and national leadership that they miss bread.

Comrades, we are led!

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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is a male journalist in Zimbabwe and has been practising since September 2009. He used to the editor for The Business Connect (newspaper) in Harare, has his own news website Tourism Focus which is biased towards the tourism sector. Daniel is also working with Magamba Network on their project called Open Parliament where they do live coverage of Parliamentary activities on Twitter and Facebook. He is currently the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum, is a member of Zimbabwe Small Broadcasters Association and a board member of Digital Communication Network. He holds a Diploma in Communication and Journalism from the Christian College of Southern Africa (CCOSA), a certificate in Youth leadership training from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), a certificate in Citizen Journalism from Magamba Network and is currently a first-year student at Zimbabwe Open University studying for a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Ethics and Organisational Leadership.

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