Coup anniversary: Has anything changed?

The quality of life for Zimbabweans has deteriorated in the past year following the ousting of President Robert Mugabe through a military intervention in November last year, analysts have noted.

Mugabe, who had ruled the country for close to four decades involuntarily surrendered power to his long-time ally and trusted lieutenant, Emmerson Mnangagwa, with the military playing a crucial role.

The departure of the nonagenarian was greeted with wild celebrations with Zimbabweans from all walks of life pouring into the streets to celebrate his demise and witness the birth of a new era in the country`s political arena.

The army which was in the forefront was lauded as heroes.

However, a year later, with Mnangagwa now in control of both the ruling party and government, there is a feeling that the situation in the country has taken a turn for the worse.

The cash crisis has persisted; fuel shortages and price hikes have resurfaced conjuring bad memories for the populace who have endured decades of economic suffering.

President Mnangagwa has tried to steady the ship in the ‘second republic’, promising a better life and the birth of a new economic order anchored on his, “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra.

But, what has changed?

Political analyst, Thomas Sithole, said the generality of Zimbabweans are disappointed, as they realised they were used by the military and the coup plotters.

“People thought by removing Mugabe the situation in the country was to change for better. People thought they were going to see an improvement in various aspects of the state including the economy, citizen rights, political situation and obviously see international goodwill. This has not happened instead we have gone backwards and retrogressed,” he said.

Sithole noted that the majority of Zimbabweans thought the new administration would usher the country into a new era but the challenges they faced under the previous government continue to haunt the people.

“High unemployment levels still exist, most people are finding it difficult to make ends meet and yet they have to contribute towards the payment of taxes. Taxes in a normal economy may not be difficult but we have a government that wants to splash on vehicles and that does not give a good sign,” he said.

“We are not seeing a party in government walking the talk yet they are calling for people to tighten their belts and people in turn expect the ruling party to lead by example”.

ZAPU National Spokersperson, Iphithule Maphosa, stressed that nothing had changed after the military takeover.

“The economy has nosedived with basic commodities unavailable and beyond reach of ordinary people. Corruption is still not addressed. The so called criminals around Mugabe are still yet to be arrested. The nation was played by Lacoste whose only aim was assuming power. The more things changed in November last year the more they remained the same,” he said.

Maphosa claimed the military takeover was another form of factionalism and part of the succession wars in Zanu PF which Mnangagwa, deceitfully portrayed as a national matter.

“We still are under the corrupt and clueless ZANU PF. Elections are still not credible. The legitimacy aspect of our politics has not been addressed and there’s really nothing we can point out as having changed. We now have simply migrated from Mugabe’s police state to Mnangagwa’s military state. It’s like jumping from the frying pan into the fire,” he said.

Ibhetshu LikaZulu secretary general Mbuso Fuzwayo, said last year’s event only brought negative change.

“Change for the worse, prices of goods and services are going up daily while salaries remained stagnant. In August we witnessed the shooting of people in broad daylight and surprisingly we hear that the military bosses refuse such saying it was not soldiers,” he said.

However some insist that the new administration deserved a chance to undo a system that has ravaged the country for almost four decades.

Social analyst, Fortune Dlamini, said people were expecting miracles to early considering that this country has suffered gross maladministration.

“For 37 years, the situation has been unbearable. It’s unimaginable for Mnangagwa to fix something that was wronged for almost 40 years,” he said.

“Everything that has happened is engraved in Zimbabwe as people are now used to the wrong way of doing things, so it would take a very long time to fix this country. If this administration fails, Mngangagwa would have failed. He is not Jesus so people must be more patient,” she said.

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