By Anna Chibamu
OPPOSITION politician Tendai Biti has accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration of being “drunk on self-delusion” at a time the majority of citizens have been plunged into extreme poverty.
His remarks followed Mnangagwa’s statements this week that his government achieved a lot of successes this year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, which devastated many.
Said Mnangagwa while addressing his cabinet Tuesday, “As we end today’s Cabinet session, which is the last for the year 2020, it is imperative that we take stock of some of the achievements in our journey towards the attainment of Vision 2030. The year has recorded a number of successes, which would not have been possible without your commitment to duty and excellent performance.”
However, Biti, a former finance and now MDC Alliance co-vice president, disputed Mnangagwa’s statements claiming 2020 had turned to be one of the worst years in Zimbabwe in living memory.
He said the president’s sentiments did not reflect those of ordinary citizens.
“The regime is drunk on self-delusion. 2020 was one of the worst for all working people in living memory. (At least) 10 million people faced a humanitarian crisis, with 79% of the people plunged into extreme poverty. Social services collapsed with a massive decrease in social indicators,” Biti said.
He added, “On the human rights front, there was massive closure of (the) political space. There was an increase in abductions, torture and abuse of human rights. The arrests of journalists and activists was a huge indictment. The attacks on the democratic movement were unprecedented and pathological.”
A high number of MDC Alliance MPs and councillors were this year recalled from parliament by the MDC-T led by interim president Thokozani Khupe. The opposition party was also evicted from the iconic Harvest House now known as the Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House by the MDC-T which was assisted by security forces.
The MDC Alliance claims the recalls and eviction are part of Mnangagwa’s grand plot to decimate the opposition party.
Several journalists including Hopewell Chin’ono and Frank Chikowore were arrested this year.
Other political leaders including Biti, Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume and MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere, Harare West MP Joanna Mamombe, MDC Alliance youth activists Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marowa have also been arrested.
“So Emmerson Mnangagwa’s remarks reflect another Zimbabwe not shared by the ordinary Wananchi (citizen). His is a world of delusion. A pathological reality distorted field captured by deceit and deception. In the real world the Zimbabwean is suffering. Reified, alienated, isolated, fatalistic and hungry,” Biti added.