Monday, 29 June 2020

HECKLED GRACE HAS THE LAST LAUGH


THE late former Zanu-PF Bulawayo youth leader Magura Charumbira, one of President Emmerson Mnangagwa's staunchy supporters at the height of the ruling party's factional wars in 2017, must be turning in his grace following the latter's failure to improve the welfare of party youths, a playwright has said.

Charumbira etched his name in the party's history books after he led of group of brave youths to publicly heckle former First Lady Grace Mugabe at a rally in Bulawayo in November 2017. He later died in a road accident in January 2018.

The booing angered the late former President Robert Mugabe who spoke shortly after his disgraced wife, accusing his then deputy, Mnangagwa of organising and sponsoring the hecklers.

Mugabe vowed at the time to fire Mnangagwa, which he did two days later, in a dramatic move that was seen at the time as opening the way for Grace to succeed him in office.

This, however, failed to materialise as the Zimbabwean army intervened, subsequently leading to the overthrow of Mugabe from power on November 21, with Mnangagwa taking over on November 24.

Playwright Charles Munganasa said it was sad that Charumbira and other youths risked their life and limb booing Grace as they fought in Mnangagwa's corner, but now three years down the line the same youths are yet to reap the fruits of their bravery.

"We were not armed with any form of weaponry, but we were pregnant with the desire of giving birth to a new Zimbabwe," Munganasa said.

"However, the same cannot be said of the late Charumbira's children who are probably languishing in poverty. Yes, he led from the front on that day. He was declared an enemy of the State and a prize was put on his head."

He added: "Charumbira sacrificed himself on that day of justice, freedom and equality. The sad reality is that if the situation continues like this, his children will remember him for not being remembered. It's not just about Magura, but it's about the millions of young people he represented on that day.

"It's about the dream of living in a better Zimbabwe where people are rewarded for their efforts and not for their proximity to power."

During his 2018 election campaign, Mnangagwa promised to deliver jobs and a brighter future, but his tenure has seen more company closures, rising cost of basics and goods, a collapsing economy in an inflationary environment has left many disillusioned.

Corruption has also scaled new heights under Mnangagwa.

"Today, three years down the line, that dream of a better future is fast becoming a nightmare. Well-known criminals have once again colonised government buildings in the same manner they did under the Mugabe regime." Newsday

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