New Zimbabwe.com

Independence: Parties blast Zanu PF govt, say plight of majority no better than Rhodesia

Staff Reporter


THE Zanu PF government is no different from the Rhodesian regime under Ian Smith as citizens continue to suffer despite the attainment of independence from Britain in 1980, locals have lamented as the country celebrates 38 years of Independence this Wednesday.

In separate statements issued on the eve of the national day, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, the opposition MDC party and the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition were in agreement that all is not well in a country that once was the jewel of Africa but has been run down under almost four decades of Zanu PF rule.

In an Independence statement issued Tuesday, ZCTU Secretary General, Japhet Moyo said most citizens were still under the shackles of socio-economic oppression despite the 30 years of supposed political independence.

“Millions of Zimbabweans are yet to enjoy the fruits of independence 38 years after extricating ourselves from the Rhodesian grip. Independence remains a harsh reality for most Zimbabweans who are still living in abject poverty,” he said.

Moyo said only a handful of corrupt individuals had captured the State and were benefiting from the country’s resources at the expense of the majority of Zimbabweans.

“Lavish lifestyles from ill-gotten wealth and corruption herald a few individuals who have captured the state and have virtually replaced the Rhodesians.

“The ZCTU believes that independence was and is still for all Zimbabweans and it is high time that becomes a reality to the majority,”

Workers suffering

The ZCTU boss said the working environment had gradually deteriorated since independence, with workers from both the formal and informal sector suffering from repressive and capitalist laws that deterred them from exercising their rights.

“The recent spate of strikes and demonstrations from workers in various sectors, clamouring for better working conditions is testimony that freedom and independence are fast diminishing at workplaces. The firing and suspension of workers exercising their right to demonstrate is also a mockery to our independence and freedom.

 “Millions of Zimbabweans are yet to enjoy the fruits of independence 38 years after extricating ourselves from the Rhodesian grip. Independence remains a harsh reality for most Zimbabweans who are still living in abject poverty.”

Moyo said only a handful of corrupt individuals had captured the state and were benefiting from the country’s resources at the expense of most Zimbabweans.

“Lavish lifestyles from ill-gotten wealth and corruption herald a few individuals who have captured the state and have virtually replaced the Rhodesians. The ZCTU believes that independence was and is still for all Zimbabweans and it is high time that becomes a reality to the majority.”

The ZCTU boss said the working environment had gradually deteriorated since independence, with workers from both the formal and informal sector suffering from repressive and capitalist laws that deterred them from exercising their rights.

“The recent spate of strikes and demonstrations from workers in various sectors, clamouring for better working conditions is testimony that freedom and independence are fast diminishing at workplaces. The firing and suspension of workers exercising their right to demonstrate is also a mockery to our independence and freedom,”

Credible elections

Moyo said the government should come up with legislation that recognized the reality that more people were surviving from the informal economy.     

He said the government must ensure free and fair elections, adding the new dispensation of President Mnangagwa should come clean on allegations of the involvement of the military in Zanu PF campaigns for the forthcoming elections.

“The ‘new dispensation’ must not be a rally talk or rhetoric, instead it should be felt by all citizens that we are indeed in a new dispensation. We are still to see the ‘restored legacy’.

“What we are actually witnessing is a switch of roles from the old ruler to the new office holders without much to separate them,” he said.

Moyo paid tribute to the liberation war fighters who have been calling for a truly independent Zimbabwe devoid of political intimidation and suppression of civil liberties.

The MDC-T Bulawayo Youth Assembly spokesperson, Adrian Rendani Moyo, said the past 38 years have been those of stolen dreams as the country went on a steady socio-economic decline.

Poverty and unemployment

He said Zanu PF, both during the time of former President Robert Mugabe and under Emmerson Mnangagwa, had condemned Zimbabweans to poverty, unemployment, poor service delivery and other countless ills.

“A lot of excuses have been proffered through the state-owned mouth-pieces, but the glaring reality has been clear; our country is in this mess because of the ruinous, kleptocratic, and self-serving activities of Zanu PF (formerly led by Robert Mugabe and currently led by Emmerson Mnangagwa)” he said.

The MDC-T Youth leader said this year’s independence celebrations were coming a few months from elections, hence the youths should take advantage of the voting opportunity to put the country back on a recovery path through their participation in the plebiscite.

“One of the most notable fruits of Independence is the right to vote. This is a right that can either protect or lead to infringement of other rights depending on who we elect. Thankfully, as young people we have an opportunity to put our country back on the recovery path.

“Our ‘X’ on the ballot paper is the most emphatic way of taking back our stolen dreams. The MDC Alliance offers us the best chance to take Zimbabwe to its former glory. I urge you all to vote for justice, fairness and prosperity. And remember, nothing can stand in the way of millions of voices calling for change,” he said.

Meanwhile, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) said Zimbabweans should remain true to the spirit of Independence, adding there was no room for entitlement as the country belonged to all.

The civil society grouping said that Independence Day should be treated as a non-partisan national event, noting that the past years had seen harassment of people by Zanu PF, which forced marched them to the event, while those defied the order were victimized.

The victims were mostly citizens in the villages and informal traders in urban areas, it said.

“Zimbabwe belongs to all her sons and daughter and never to a few self-proclaimed ‘stock-holders’,” the group said.

“We take cognisance of the fact that the struggle for Zimbabwe’s independence was motivated by the need for a democratic and equal society in which everyone enjoys fundamental human rights regardless of race, ethnicity or political affiliation.”

The organisation called for tolerance during the election period, saying it was a prerequisite for free and fair elections.

“CiZC would thus like to emphasize the need for tolerance and respect for the right to political affiliation as enunciated in the country’s constitution.

“Politicisation of food aid and agricultural inputs has also seen perceived opponents of the regime being side-lined and CiZC implores the government to ensure that every Zimbabwean benefits from government programmes despite political affiliation.”

The CiZC implored upon the military, traditional leaders and public service officials to be impartial in the discharge of their duties.