What an eventful past few days!
When I read that the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) had called for protests and a mass stay away over fuel price increase, I never gave it much thought.
After all, they had called for such protests before over high cost of living and many people had ignored so I thought it was going to be yet another flop. I was wrong!
The masses showed their anger and displeasure by either taking to the streets or simple staying indoors.
I had never seen Bulawayo city centre so deserted in my life like it was last Tuesday and Wednesday.
To say it was like a ghost town would be an understatement!
In high density areas of Harare and Bulawayo, tempers were high, people were looting from shops and as always, the government reacted with ruthlessness.
Almost a dozen people were reportedly killed and more than 600 were arrested for violence.
And to make sure people don’t share the ‘success’ of the protests and the brutality of armed forces, the government stooped to a new low and shut down the internet.
For the better part of last week, Zimbabwe was literally cut off from the communication radar – the reason there was no column last week.
While the situation, (in terms of business going on as usual) is now back to normal, the saddest part is that the protests were ultimately in vain because nothing has changed for the better, instead things have actually gotten worse.
Fuel prices have slightly gone up again and people don’t seem to notice or maybe they do but have chosen to ignore it since it’s only by a few cents.
As if that is not enough, it is still not readily available as the long winding queues remain.
Food prices have also risen in the aftermath of the fuel price hike and protests. So basically as some would say, we are back to square one.
As always, we will continue to suffer with no solution in sight.
Other protests will be organised in future as the grapevine says and people will take to the streets and again the government will react with brutality.
At the end of it all, the struggle will continue.
We really are a nation in trouble and as someone once rhetorically asked, “What wrong did we do as Zimbos to deserve such?”
But again we are a hopeful people, and hope that one day in our lifetime, Zimbabwe will rise again and be counted amongst countries with a sound economy and good governance.
In the meantime, while we continue to be driven by hope, there seems to be another story unfolding in the ruling Zanu PF.
If what is being said in the social media streets is anything to go by, then Mnangagwa is surely sleeping with one eye open.
Reports of rifts at the presidium are getting louder with suggestions that there are plans to topple the sitting president as some comrades think he has failed to run the country.
In fact the rumoured plan to topple Mnangagwa was buttressed by two of his well-known supporters, Justice Wadyajena, who is also a Member of Parliament, and former Deputy Minister, Terence Mukupe.
Over the weekend, the former Tweeted, “They threatened to kill me and harm my family.
I stand by ED and wish they knew ours isn’t just a political relationship. However they try, we’ll never quit or be intimidated. The plot is foiled, they lack numbers for impeachment….”
Mukupe also raised eyebrows when he wrote in his Tweet, “I will never sellout my president, you are wasting your time threatening to kill me and my family. I will never join your sick plot.”
There certainly is more than meets the eye in these tweets and as they say, ‘there is no smoke without fire’. I have no doubt we are heading for more interesting times as far as Zanu PF squabbles are concerned. Watch this space!