by Prosperity Mzila
People stand by arms akimbo, seemingly hopeless as a frontloader grader, move forward to demolish a magnificently build house (four bedroomed, lounge, dinning and kitchen, a double lockup garage and a veranda), with all the top-of-the range interior fittings. A woman stands by and is crying for someone to save their home, but no one is able to stop the menacing heavy duty vehicle as it crushes its frontloader into the house ripping off the entire living room, windows and doors in one devastating move. The roof- under-tile home is reduced to rubble within minutes.
The sight is unbearable, it’s as if someone just died from the wailing of women and children. A distressed man sits by the rock lamenting that all his pension was spent building a home for his family and now he had no home, no income and no pension. (Ndotangira papi), where do I go from here, seemed to be question he was asking himself.
Zimbabwe’s cities and towns are plagued by a myriad of challenges. If it’s not house demolitions, its sewer in their doorways and yards, or lack of running water from the taps, refuse scattered in the streets, potholed roads and streets lights which have not worked for years. Who is to blame, for the immeasurable suffering that the urban dwellers are enduring day in and day out?
Talk in the urban streets seemed to suggest, corruption, others blamed the council workers and land barons, while the more vocal and loud ones seemed to think the problem started in the ballot box when the people cast in the wrong vote, which ushered in an incompetent party (MDC) which has not burdened itself with the plight of its constituency. Those who point a finger at the ballot box, seems to have hit the nail on the head. Since the year 2000, when the MDC took over the urban vote, service delivery has gone to the dogs. Mabvuku, Chitungwiza, Greendale and other parts of Harare have not had water run through their taps for over 20years.
One of the victims of house demolishes in Chitungwiza claimed that she had bought the stand from Council and now they say her stand is on a wetland, yet they are the ones that sold the stand to her. What has now changed. She lamented that in the past if one buys a stand from council that stand will be a genuine stand, now the same council that sell one a stand, sends its workers to demolish homes. Another urban dweller lamented arguing that it did not matter whether the urbanites voted for MDC, the ultimate goal is for people to feel the pain and blame Government. Their intentions is to separate the people of Zimbabwe from ZANU PF, so whether one votes for the MDC or not, it does not matter as the purpose is to hurt people and make them believe its ZANU PF. He went on to say that is why they continue to scream that the sanctions are targeted, yet we can all see their debilitating effect on ordinary people on the streets.
It’s our industries that are closed, it’s our hospitals that fail to improve to world class standards due to sanctions embargoes, and it’s our banks that fail to give us loans because the World Bank and IMF refuse to give them loans. He further reiterated that the MDC once advocated for people to disown their parents in the rural areas that had voted overwhelmingly for ZANU PF. It was all meant to separate them from ZANU PF. That strategy failed and these house demolitions are a way of punishing urbanites, the man fumed.
Former USA Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Chester Crocker, told the US Senate in 2001, that to “separate the Zimbabwean people from ZANU PF we are going to have to make their economy scream and I hope you senators have the stomach for what you have to do”. They have seen to it that the Zimbabwean industries closed down, taking away the people’s livelihoods so they can blame ZANU PF for incompetency, they have seen to it that the Health Care Service Delivery is in shambles, no medicines, no equipment for doctors to use and even sponsored doctors and nurses to strike against the Government. Their stomachs are still sustaining even as people suffer from water borne diseases such as cholera and typhoid due to lack of clean water and sanitation. It’s still part of the plan when the MDC-Alliance-led urban councils demolish homes and people get stranded with their properties during this rainy season. They will sustain these machinations until the people denounce ZANU PF.
The house demolitions are meant to stir up emotions of the people to turn against the Government, however people of Zimbabwe are not gullible, they are aware who is responsible for what, just like they knew during the GNU, which party was responsible for which Ministry and the strides taken to improve people’s lot and who sabotaged government projects. They know urban councils fall under the MDC-Alliance umbrella and it’s their sole responsibilities, even the decisions thereof.
Land barons, illegal land allocations and house demolitions are offshoots of the MDC-A council that came into power for purposes of self-enrichment and not to serve the people. These ills were never heard of prior to the MDC formation. ZANU PF naturally preserved its wetlands, and if the number of people in need of housing increased they never thought to allocate them on wetlands, under power-lines or on-top of sewer and water ways, they simple opted for high rise building and they accommodated their people. The MDC-Alliance does not respect nature and town planning, so they nicodemously set up land barons to do their bidding and to mislead people, fleecing people of their hard-earned money and leave them stranded. The people of Zimbabwe should, henceforth know where to put their vote and not be blinded by bullet trains and tomato plants in mountainous Murehwa. Let’s all vote wisely for better service delivery and let’s all be responsible for our tomorrow.