“Harare – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is promising to give more land to the country's former freedom fighters, telling those who have not yet benefitted from his land programme to "indicate" which farms they prefer, ahead of next year's elections,” reported News24.
“War collaborators, former political detainees and restrictees are also set to benefit.”
Of course, this is bribe; Mugabe want the war veterans back in his camp to do his dirty work of intimidating povo into voting for him in return for a piece of land.
Millions of Zimbabweans today live in abject poverty, with unemployment a nauseating 95% it obvious that poverty affects everyone, professionals and labourers, well educated and uneducated, the army of the urban street vendors as well as their rural peasant counter parts, liberation war veterans and povo, everybody right across the social and economic divide.
The root cause of Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown and poverty is the decades of Mugabe’s incompetent, corrupt and tyrannical rule. The first two have resulted in the criminal waste of the country’s material and human resources causing the economic ruin and it is the vote rigging and political repression that has made it impossible for the nation to remove Zanu PF from power even when it was self-evident the regime had failed the nation.
Since the late 1990s Mugabe has singled out the war veterans offering them a Z$50 000 down payment plus more bribes to come if they helped him impose his de facto one-party cum one-man dictatorship. This is:
1) Cynical in that Mugabe is the one who has caused the poverty with his misrule and is now it to enslave the nation. It is now nearly 40 years since independence, why has the regime failed to give these individuals the land all these years.
Why this drip feed of state assistance? Many war veterans has long since died in poverty and many are now too old and/or too poor to put the land to productive use.
2) Obnoxious in that Mugabe is forcing these desperately poor war veterans to betray the people by becoming his party thugs, denying povo their freedoms and basic human rights and dignity – the same values these men and women had their very lives during the war to fight for.
Like it or not rogue war veterans like Jabulani Sibanda and Joseph Chinhotimba who have shed innocent blood after independence in pursuit of Mugabe’s no-regime-change mantra have tarnished their war hero image for all time!
3) Tragic Mugabe should be abusing the nation’s human (war veterans) and material (land, diamonds, etc.) resources to help him retain absolute power and thus help him extend his corrupt and tyrannical rule.
Of course, all the war veterans who are languishing in abject poverty with nothing to their name will all put their names forward; they will be foolish not to as this is the only asset of value they will ever have. They know that they will be expected to campaign for Mugabe and Zanu PF in the coming elections if they are to have any hope of being given that piece of land.
The irony is that helping Mugabe rig the coming elections will not help the war veterans end their suffering because as long as Zanu PF remains in power there is no chance of a meaningful economic recovery because the regime is the root cause of the gross mismanagement and rampant corruption.
There is no doubt that many of the war veterans will be promised land now but will never get any; how many times has Mugabe promised them the moon on a silver platter but only to deliver hell-on-earth. The lucky ones who get the land will lose it at the drop of a hat if they are ever suspected of supporting the opposition.
The rogue war veterans who have terrorised povo to impose the Zanu PF dictatorship mat think they are free but where is their freedom, liberty and human dignity when they too live in poverty and in constant fear of being label an opposition supporter as if daring to criticised in any way Zanu P, even when there is reason to do so, is a cardinal sin!
The rogue war veterans helped Mugabe create and retain this corrupt and tyrannical one-man dictatorship and they must now play a constructive role and demand the implementation of the democratic reforms to ensure the next elections are free, fair and credible. This is the only way we are ever going to break Mugabe and Zanu PF’s strangle hold on power and the cycle of poverty!