Mr Speaker Sir Farirai Machivenyika
The newly appointed Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces General Phillip Valerio Sibanda announced early this week the end of Operation Restore Legacy launched last month by the military to weed out corrupt elements that had surrounded former President Cde Robert Mugabe and was causing untold suffering to the citizenry of the country.
Mr Speaker Sir, General Sibanda warned Zimbabweans to be on guard against undesirable elements that were weeded out during the operation, who were still trying to cause disharmony in the country from the foreign lands they have sought refuge in.
These people include the likes of Professor Jonathan Moyo, Dr Walter Mzembi and Dr Daniel Shumba, who are all shouting in the wilderness about all sorts of rubbish, when it is clear that they are actually cooking in their own fat. Instead of taking time to reflect on what they did wrong, Mr Speaker Sir, they are behaving as if Zimbabweans owe them an apology, which unfortunately for them, they do not.
These people were part of a cabal whose behaviour, if it had been left unchecked, would have had disastrous consequences for the country given how they had tried to personalise the State and its institutions to the detriment of anyone who opposed them.
Examples of their actions are plenty and they should be grateful that they are yet to face the wrath of the law. Fortunately, Zimbabweans are wise to know what these people stand for and will not be fooled into believing the nonsense they are spewing from wherever they are.
Many of these people had become untouchables and abused their proximity to the then First Lady, Grace Mugabe, for their own selfish ends while no meaningful development was taking place in the country.
It is actually laughable that they want to be treated like saints when everyone knows what they were up to had they been left to their devices. Mr Speaker Sir, what is important going forward is to focus on the task at hand, which is to improve the economy and the livelihoods of the people. The current wave of price increases that has dented the festive mood needs to be nipped in the bud before it spirals out of control.
Mr Speaker Sir, we do not want to return to the price control era as we all know what negative consequences will come out, but there is surely need for Government and the business community like producers and retailers to get to the bottom of the price madness.
Given the excellent agricultural season we had this year, one would have hoped that prices would stabilise, if not go down given that the need to import food has declined. Mr Speaker Sir, it is our hope that the urge to profiteer at the expense of ordinary people is most unfortunate and may force Government’s hand, which is undesirable.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has laid out his plans that are focused on economy recovery and in his address during the Zanu-PF Extraordinary Congress, he talked of the need to politick less and focus on delivery.
Mr Speaker Sir, it is in this spirit that we hope every player in the economy will play ball and pull in the same direction with Government, taking advantage of the goodwill that it has extended to anyone willing to see the economy turn for the better.
Mr Speaker Sir, it is now a week since that trip of shame by members of the MDC Alliance – Tendai Biti and Nelson Chamisa and Human Rights Watch’s Dewa Mavhinga, where they called for the continuation of the sanctions regime against Zimbabwe.
What is interesting is that Mr Biti, as a former Finance Minister in the inclusive Government, knows the detrimental effect of the US sanctions policy on Zimbabwe and even acknowledged that in an interview with a South African newspaper in 2009. In attack on the sanctions, Mr Biti said, “the West is being unscientific and ahistorical”.
On a trip to the US that same year, he told US government officials that the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA), the US sanctions policy on Zimbabwe, had to be removed.
“I made it very clear that it would be very difficult for us to move when ZIDERA is there,” he said then.
Mr Speaker Sir, given Mr Biti’s inside knowledge of the destructive effects of the sanctions on the economy, it is unbelievable that he now insists that the same policy be kept in place on the country.
What is clear is that given his waning political fortunes after the multiple splits in the opposition movement, he thinks his political career can be saved by the continued suffering of the people of Zimbabwe. While our Constitution allows for freedom of speech, that right should not be abused, especially against the economic interests of the country.
What is commendable, Mr Speaker Sir, is that there was outright condemnation of the actions of the trio across the whole spectrum of Zimbabwe’s society and even the MDC-T was at sixes and sevens trying to dissociate itself from the call for the maintenance of sanctions.
As has been alluded to earlier, there is a positive mood in the country and these saboteurs who continue in the outdated politics of yesteryear will pay dearly at the ballot next year.
Sanctions failed to achieve regime change in the past 15 years and anyone who still believes in them may be doing so for self-enrichment. We all know this was a sponsored trip and maybe the call was made to justify the allowances they received on that useless sojourn.
Mr Speaker Sir, any politician worth his or her salt should know that the arbiters of the country’s politics are Zimbabweans and any attempt to invite outside influence will only serve to isolate one from the electorate.
The sooner our politicians, especially those in the opposition parties and the still-born MDC Alliance, know this the better for them. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.