from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – CORRUPTION by the governing party, not sanctions, is to blame for the economic problems afflicting Zimbabwe, an award-winning musician turned government critic has said.
Musician Clive Malunga, lamented the corruption that has turned the former thriving country into grinding poverty 42 years after independence from Britain.
“The crooks that lead us (ZANU-PF) say Zimbabwe cannot succeed because of sanctions. That is a total lie,” Malunga wrote in his blog.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa leads the government after coming in power in 2017 after the resignation of Robert Mugabe (now late) under whose reign Zimbabwe was slapped with sanctions.
Malunga dismissed the notion that sanctions were to blame, arguing the country adopted the so-called Look East Policy and has been trading with many countries in Asia.
The musician argued Southern Rhodesia, which is modern day Zimbabwe, was under United Nations sanctions but managed to overcome all the challenges associated with restrictions.
Ian Smith (now deceased) led that government that was sanctioned over his Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965.
Malunga attributed the survival of the country then to “good leadership.”
“Rhodesia succeeded in spite of the sanctions,” he insisted.
“Salisbury (now Harare, the capital) was a great city. Why are we failing to overcome sanctions in Zimbabwe?”
While a majority of Zimbabweans wallow in poverty, there is an elite that lead flambouyant lives.
The inequalities are rife.
“Surrounded by reeking poverty that one sees and smells everywhere you go in Zimbabwe, our leaders are not even ashamed to flaunt their ill-gotten wealth,’ Malunga said.
He urged compatriots to vote incompetent leaders out during the elections scheduled for next year.
“Zimbabweans must deal with these crooks once and once for all in 2023,” Malunga said.
The ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) is accused of rigging elections, which has seen it maintain its stranglehold on power since independence in 1980.
The party is also accused of violence against opponents, and indications are that the next poll will be no different from previous one.
Malunga urged voters to elect new, competent leaders in the next election.
“So far Zimbabwe has failed to choose a patriotic son or daughter of the soil who has Zimbabwean people at heart,” he argued.
This appears a veiled reference to Mugabe and Mnangagwa.
Mnangagwa is the ruling party’s flag bearer in next year’s elections.
He will face a stiff challenge from Nelson Chamisa, leader of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).
– CAJ News