Zanu (PF) Masters Of The Politics Of The Stomach

HARARE, November 10, 2015 – FORMER ENERGY minister Dzikamai Mavhaire has made a passionate plea to the courts to review his maintenance fee for a child out of the wedlock ostensibly because he is no longer gainfully employed after being fired from Zanu( PF).

Mavhaire, who was axed from Zanu (PF) together with other former party top officials allegedly for belonging to a faction linked to former vice president Joice Mujuru, wants the maintenance reduced from $300 to $400.

Some of those fired together with Mujuru, including Mavhaire, are reportedly facing severe financial problems after Zanu (PF) withdraw the freebies, including farms, doled out to them while in the party. A beneficiary of Zanu (PF)’s patronage system last week disclosed that anyone who wants to get rich is advised to join Zanu(PF).

To all intents and purposes, Mavhaire’s plight gives credence to assertions that Zanu (PF) is a vehicle for the accumulation of wealth as long as you are still in books with the party’s leadership. But when you are out, it is dog eat dog, analysts say.

“I am no longer a cabinet minister,” Mavhaire said in his application for review. “I have also been relieved of my senatorial position and I have not had a guaranteed income since January 2015,” he pleaded.       

Rashweat Mukundu, a media and development analyst, says the economic fate of former Zanu (PF) leaders, especially those struggling indicates that many were dependent on Mugabe’s for survival.

“Instead of being a vehicle for national development, Zanu (PF) is a platform for wealth accumulation by a few. Naturally when one is feeding corruptly, the assumption is that the trough is endless and it ended for some hence the struggling politicians,” said Mukundu.

Gladys Hlatywayo, a gender and political activist, chipped in saying the tragedy of most African countries is that the government is a vehicle through which people feed themselves at the expense of the citizenry.

“The extent of looting is baffling and makes you question whether we have democracy or lootocracy. Politicians are not public spirited and there to advance the common good but to serve their personal interest. Surely this cannot be on. We need a paradigm shift if our motherland is to progress,” she said

Popular political blogger and analyst Takura Zhangazha says it is general given that proximity to power also means proximity to resources in Zimbabwe.  

“So once someone is kicked out of political office access to resources becomes tougher hence some of the cases we are hearing of today.  This can also be the same for the opposition when it was in the inclusive government. When some of its leaders were fired or eventually left government they have also gotten into financial dire straits,” said Zhangazha.

Local media has been awash with reports of the poverty of some legislators fired from parliament after dishing former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party to inaugurate their own political formation. One legislator is reportedly doing menial jobs in neighbouring South Africa.   

Obert Gutu, the spokesperson for MDC-T, says most, if not all, Zanu PF politicians have made politics a profession rather than a vocation.

“They literally survive on the patronage system that has been the hallmark of the Zanu PF regime since independence in 1980.If you’re not on the gravy train you are definitely off the feeding trough; you will become a pauper overnight,” said Gutu.

“This is why Zanu (PF) politicians will do anything and everything to remain on the gravy train. It’s never about serving the people. Service and sacrifice are not on the agenda for the average Zanu (PF) politician. All this vicious factional fighting that we’re currently witnessing in the crumbling Zanu( PF) party is largely influenced by politics of the stomach.”

 Jacob Mafume, the spokesperson for Tendai Biti’s People Democratic Party, said confirms Zanu PF dabbles in parasitic politics where party members are like the malaria parasite which kills the host that feeds it.

“The quest for power by Zanu PF is a rent seeking activity which more often than not is an extortionist exercise where the nation is held at ransom for fear that Zanu PF will unleash untold violence if it loses power,” said Mafume.

“To call it a government is to stretch the meaning of the word to far. The Zanu (PF) government is a mafia organisation that is there to pillage loot and rape a captured nation at gun point. They are no different to highway robbers. That then is a reason why they become poor because a mafia organisation has no pension. Once you leave you either die or become destitute

Zanu PF is more akin to a cult than a political party,” he said.