OPPOSITION political parties and analysts have said President Robert
Mugabe’s Independence Day speech on Monday projecting a rosy picture of
the country proved that the veteran leader was now disconnected from
MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said Mugabe’s speech was short on both detail and focus as the country’s economy was collapsing under his helpless watch.
“Things are not looking good, but Mugabe seems to be living in his own world that is entirely divorced from reality,” Gutu said.
“The message completely failed to address pressing national issues such as the economy that continues to be in a tailspin as deflation is running amok. It was rather bizarre for Mugabe to claim that the economy is improving! He is obviously out of touch with reality.”
He said Mugabe had virtually turned the country into a nation of loafers and vendors with the unabated closure of companies, while millions face starvation due to drought as the veteran leader’s government was cash-strapped.
The MDC-T last week took to the streets to demonstrate against Mugabe’s “misrule”, growing poverty and corruption, calling on the 92-year-old leader to quit.
But Mugabe, in his Independence Day speech, said the country’s economy was on a rebound, with a proliferation of resuscitating and newly formed companies.
He singled out troubled parastatals, national flag carrier Air Zimbabwe and the National Railways of Zimbabwe, for recording positive growth, among the many positives he said the country has recorded in recent years under his rule.
Former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First Harare provincial spokesperson Jealousy Mawarire said people should not read much into Mugabe’s speeches as he was “suffering from somnambulism”.
Somnambulism is sleepwalking or sleeping disorder.
“It is quite possible that he was addressing his audience while asleep since he has perfected the art of sleeping on duty,” Mawarire said.
“The new industries he was seeing and the economic rebound in the midst of a debilitating cash crisis can only be real in his dreams. The speech was part of his many reveries.”
People’s Democratic Party spokesperson Jacob Mafume said Mugabe’s rhetoric had become “like the sound track of a horror movie”.
“He is describing in his message a Zimbabwe that does not exist except in his imagination. The height or depth of his failure is highlighted by the fact that his own child cannot even give birth in Zimbabwe, yet he says the country has made significant progress.”
He said Mugabe’s speech was similar to a message of the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in the Book of Revelation, bringing tidings of death, disease, hunger and economic suffering for the people of Zimbabwe”.
Political analyst Vivid Gweshe said Mugabe was divorced from reality as companies were continuing to close rendering many jobless while those in employment were not being paid. He said what Mugabe sees was not what Zimbabweans were experiencing every day, adding the speech was a mere wish than the reality.
“The tragedy is that if a patient does not acknowledge that they are not feeling well, then they will not know they need treatment. So if the government cannot acknowledge the economic challenges, it will not appreciate the urgency of the matter to address the same, which is the real tragedy,” Gwede said. newsday