HARARE - Worries about Zimbabwe are intensifying after the opposition threatened to unfurl mass protests over the deepening commonplace economic collapse.
The threats have continued to drive fears about impending turmoil in the country.
Morgan Tsvangirai has said he will mobilise his supporters to push for a respite to the painful economic hardships wrought by the Zanu PF regime, setting the stage for a new phase of conflict between the ruling and opposition party.
The move came after the two sides have been increasingly sabre-rattling amid rising political upheavals, vendor resistance to move off the streets, rising unemployment and unfulfilled 2,2 million jobs promised by Mugabe’s Zanu PF in the 2013 polls.
Hopes of Zimbabwe coming off the boil are being dashed after overtures by Tsvangirai to open national dialogue to save the economy have been spurned by Mugabe’s Zanu PF.
The number of the homeless is rising, the mentally ill are being neglected, and the healthcare system is only being shored up by donor support. In fact, no one has health insurance any more and those who do have to fork out staggering amounts.
Ahead of the 2013 polls, Zanu PF promised to create a country that was much different than what they have created, with 2,2 million jobs.
And what’s happening now is that we are being rapidly re-configured into a kind of neo-feudal society, a society where the wealth gap between the haves and the have-nots is widening and where increasingly the bottom two-thirds of Zimbabweans are hanging on by their fingertips.
Increasingly, families are failing to put food on the table, with college graduates turning into vendors, these hardships are pushing and pushing until eventually there will be a backlash.
And police in May bought all-terrain troop-carrying trucks, water cannons and several trucks for public order maintenance. Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi claimed the 20 buses and 77 trucks — acquired through a local company — were purchased “to enhance police capacity in ensuring peace and tranquility”.
But the truth of the matter is that part of what we are seeing with the security and surveillance state is a preparation for that backlash — the destruction of civil liberties, which will be brutal. As we speak, there is alleged ongoing wholesale surveillance and monitoring of virtually every Zimbabwean citizen.
It need not be this way, Zanu PF must simply deliver its election promises. If it cannot, then it does not deserve its contested mandate. Tsvangirai’s words that Zanu PF could rig the election but cannot rig the economy are coming to pass.