Zimbabwe, a year after elections

It’s one year since the elections and the promises made at that time have not materialised

By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
31 July 2014

A year into Robert Mugabe’s 5th term as President, the high expectations and hope from his supporters, that led to his ‘crushing victory’, have given way to impatience and mounting criticism from all opposition parties, and many in ZANU PF.

Since ZANU PF’s controversial ‘win’ in the July 31st poll, Mugabe and ZANU PF’s popularity have plummeted as the economy continues on a downward spiral.

Political commentator Munjonzi Mutandiri told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that while Mugabe’s first year after elections has been beset by scandals and disappointments, the country’s opposition parties and civil society organisations have also contributed to the problems.

Mutandiri noted that the infighting within the opposition groups, mainly the MDC-T, has left no one with the guts to hold the ruling ZANU PF to account.

‘It’s a pity that the opposition and civil society groups are not as organised as we would want them to be. The country’s economy is struggling with high unemployment, yet ZANU PF is getting away with murder as no one is taking them to task over their failures,’ he said.

He added: ‘I remember a day after ZANU PF were declared winners, I had an interview with your station and told you that ZANU PF does not have the capacity to resuscitate the economy. So here we are one year later. What has changed, nothing, yes nothing.’

Mutandiri said that what has happened in the past twelve months is exactly the opposite of what the party promised in its election manifesto.

‘The party promised 2 million jobs. But what we see on a daily basis are companies closing down. There are only 500,000 people in formal employment out of a total population of 14 million. You cannot point to anything positive when you have half a million people working out of a possible 7-8 million,’ he added.

Journalist and political analyst Itai Dzamara said today (Thursday) Zimbabwe marks the day twelve months ago of the greatest betrayal of the people’s aspirations for a democratic state.

He said: ‘July 31, 2013 was a watershed moment, which was stolen and abused to become a great betrayal and the implications and resultant circumstances are too ghastly to behold as well as tolerate.

‘They don’t need a genius wordsmith to articulate. They are self-evident.
Zimbabwe is an eloquent story of failure, hopelessness and doom today.
Even the architects of the disaster are marooned, mesmerized and clueless,’ he said.

To mark the day, as millions of Zimbabwe wallow in poverty, Mugabe and his ZANU PF ruling elite have entertained themselves to some fine wine and food at State House.

Party spokesman Rugare Gumbo told journalists that Mugabe decided to have a party as it was important to remember the ‘historic feat.’

NewZimbabwe.com quotes Gumbo saying that, only “Politburo members, Members of Parliament, the Harare leadership and captains of industry” can attend.

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