As usual, the church will not tire in warning and admonishing the rulers of our land as long as they continue to exhibit ungodliness in their governance which continues to impoverish the masses.
Social unrest remains inevitable as long as socio-economic injustices persist in Zimbabwe and the leaders should know better. We caution that intimidations and suppression of people’s freedoms will not work.
Recently, the government arrested union leaders from the education sector and other human rights activists accusing them of plotting unrest. Subsequent to that, the Minister of Home Affairs issued warnings to civic organizations that government will descend heavily on anyone suspected to or organizing demonstrations.
We wish to state that Citizens are entitled to their freedoms and it is perfectly in order for anyone or organization for that matter to demonstrate over any disgruntlement especially where misgovernance and unfair labour practices are concerned. We all know that teachers and the entire civil service have been underpaid for decades.
The same teachers demonstrated and walked more than 200km last year just to make a point on their deplorable conditions of service, only to be arrested in Marondera just before they entered the capital. People’s earnings have been eroded and rendered useless. This erosion is a result of the loss of value in our currency which, according to the Bible, is typical of a nation whose leadership has become morally decadent.
“….Your silver has become dross… Your rulers are rebels, companions of thieves, they love bribes….’ Isaiah 1:7,22,23
Chapter 59 of our Constitution grants citizens, rights to demonstrate peacefully and 58 the right to associate with anyone of choice and to assemble but president ED Mnangagwa’s government has no regard whatsoever for the constitution which he as president swore to uphold.
Almost all demonstrations against government’s incompetence, no matter how peaceful, including those cleared by the courts, have been met with brute force yet we talk of new dispensation and openness to business.
The nation and economy are worse off today than they were in 2017, not implying of course that Mugabe’s era was any better. But to emerge from a coup and not experience tangible positive changes, means it is just a change of power from one dictatorship to another mafia type of governance.
Zimbabwe’s rate of inflation has shot up to more than 60%, which is by far higher than the single-digit it was in 2017, a clear indication of poor performance, a direct result of bad governance and poor economic policies.
Is it not strange that we cry about sanctions yet one of the major causes of sanctions is gross human rights violations? Are we, therefore, doing ourselves any good by continuously being repressive, killing our own people yet putting up unreasonable smokescreens?
Ironically, the government talks of austerity measures and urges everyone to be patient, and bear the hardships for a little longer, and yet government leaders are not subjecting themselves to the same lean expenditure patterns! We only get to hear about the luxurious jet having been donated after a national outcry at such senseless extravagance.
Why wasn’t the announcement made when the supposed donation of such princely value was made, if at all it was a gift? Does the president expect the nation to buy such cheap hoodwinking gimmicks?
There isn’t any amount of commitment by the government to cut back on its expenditure and the workers and the nation have eyes hence so much restlessness. Politicians spent big on personal medicals outside this economy than they do on trying to revive our ailing health system. They buy luxurious cars, fleets upon fleets from outside and pay lip service towards reviving local plants e.g. Willowvale Motor Company, Quest automobile in Mutare, we inherited from Smith in functional state.
The price increases from fuel to every other commodity and now to basic goods like bread have just gone beyond the reach of many. Why is it that we took land from whites but are now failing to grow basic cereals like maize and wheat? Who owns all the fertile arable land now, that used to produce the same to the extent of feeding the entire region? It is therefore unrealistic, not to expect demonstrations and uprisings given such untenable economic conditions?
There is no need for a foreign power to influence anything nor anyone because President ED Mnangagwa’s government has created perfect conditions for unrest, for protest and turmoil. He comes from a liberation war background and he should know better the reasons why tens of thousands left the country to wage war against Ian Smith.
However, the sad reality is that so-called liberators have become today’s greatest oppressors.
The church, therefore, sends serious warning signals to President ED’s government that, the same script that was resisted by the masses with the church included, will always play out if his government does not correct the wrong fundamentals. Bad governance never wins the favour of people no matter how many they kill, jail, intimidate and maim.
The nation is groaning because of the brutal evil system of governance that is corrupt and incompetent, that kills its own innocent and unarmed citizens for just registering their displeasure.
We warn again President Mnangagwa that God is on the side of the weak and the oppressed and he dethrones evil rulers.
By Bishop Ancelimo Magaya is the Executive Director for Zimbabwe Divine Destiny (ZDD) a Christian advocacy organisation that facilitates the Church’s visibility and audibility on matters of governance. He writes in his own capacity.
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