In some of my articles, I have usually expressed how I had been shocked by something that would had occured, but this time around, what I have just come from reading did not shock me at all – rather, it merely solidified what most Zimbabweans have been saying about the so-called Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD), ever since its dubious inception soon.
After the disputed 2018 presidential elections, that it was nothing more than a sham assembly of opportunistic political nonentities, (who, collectively, even dismally failed to garner more than one or two percentage of the total electoral presidential vote), but, merely agreed to embrace this gathering to fully exploit, for their own self-aggrandizement, a desperate Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, who was eager to sanitize his questionable ‘victory’, and placate those who felt cheated.
What a group of failed and overwhelmingly rejected politicians (seated around an opulently ordained table at State House, dining and wining with the president of the nation) was honestly expected to achieve – which, the ruling ZANU PF party, that claimed to have won over two thirds of parliamentary votes, could not attain on its own – has always been beyond me.
In fact, reading through some of the alleged ‘successes’ touted by this assembly of the desperate – such as, the removal of security forces from our cities and towns, back into their barracks – were comedic, if not downright silly, since our military has very much been within our midst, especially over the past year, ostensibly to enforce COVID-19 lockdowns.
Nonetheless, what is clearly not disputable – as the real ‘successes’ of spending so much time with the highest office on the land, sipping the most expensive wines and whiskeys, and gorging themselves on exquisite gourmets – is what I read in yesterday’s newspapers…these politicians, who could not enter the halls of power and wealth through the usual doors of elections, are now reportedly demanding to be awarded commercial farms, and diplomatic passports – which, their equally ‘desperate for acceptance’ allies in government are said to be ‘actively considering’.
Wow, now that is what I call, “a very generous reward for merely spending time eating and drinking with the president”!
If there was any more doubt as to the real motives of these politicians – whom, I have to give credit for being shrewd and willy foxes, who swiftly spotted a trapped and panicked president, who was anxious for both local and global acknowledgment, after a heavily disreputable and disputable election victory – the truth is now incontrovertibly out there for all to see.
It was all about self-enrichment. Not about this charade of “the politics of engagement and dialogue, for a united approach in national development, for the prosperity of the people of Zimbabwe”,
The only ones who are ‘developing’ after nearly three years of this POLAD, are the actors themselves – as their financial statuses are set for a huge boost, if not already boosted from these years of wining and dining – whilst, the majority of the ‘people of Zimbabwe’, who were meant to be ‘developed’ by this initiative, are still wallowing in poverty and hunger, most possibly worse than they were in 2018, when these leaders decided to be regular guests at State House.
Let us not forget that the salaries that teachers, nurses, doctors, and other civil servants are demanding to be restored – as they are currently severely incapacitated, due to unlivable wages, hovering around US$150 a month – are those of 2018, where an average teacher earned about US$520 (which was at par with the local currency).
Clearly, POLAD has done more for the participants themselves, than the ever-suffering people of Zimbabwe – who are now poorer on 2021, than they were at POLAD’s inception in 2018.
What is even more troubling is the reasons why a whole group of political leaders would be so scheming, as to formulate such elaborate shenanigans, intended to line their own pockets – yet, the rest of the nation sinks deeper into a miserable existence.
As far as I can see, these politicians betray the depth of the hunger and poverty bedeviling this country, at the hands of the same incompetent and corrupt government that they are so willing to wine and dine with – such that, when they failed to gain their passage out of their economic issues through elections (as we all know that, in Zimbabwe, the easiest and quickest way to enrich oneself is either to go into politics, or start a church), they jumped at this opportunity, which had been so enticingly and seductively dangled before them by a national leader who urgently needed saving.
We, the people of Zimbabwe, have been awarded an opportunity of our own, through these unreasonable and outrageous demands by these POLAD actors – who were truly acting as if they cared about us – to finally reject this grand plan of deception, as it was never purposed for our advancement, but for a few who always believe that the issue of prosperity in this country is about the ‘survival of the most corrupt and devious’.
POLAD has absolutely nothing to do with us, is no benefit to us, and has to be resisted and rejected with an unequivocally loud and clear, ‘Not in my name” – since, they have proven themselves a mere extension of the corrupt cartels that have bled our nation dry, due to their close proximity to the corridors of power.
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and speaker. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700, or Calls Only: +263782283975 / +263733399640, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org