Home » Governance » Zimbabweans Not Yet Independent – Dabengwa

OPPOSITION ZAPU leader, Dumiso Dabengwa says Zimbabweans are still yet to enjoy the full benefits of their independence, 34 years after they liberated themselves from colonial rule.

“When you ask me if the ideals and objectives of the liberation struggle have been fulfilled, my answer is definitely no,” Dabengwa said Tuesday evening.

The former Home Affairs Minister was part of a panel discussion which Dr Ibbo Mandaza’s SAPES Trust and the Bulawayo Agenda had organised as a way of taking stock of what the country has achieved 34 years into self rule.

Dabengwa continued, “You cannot say the ideals have been fulfilled when laws such as Public Order and Security Act (Posa) continue to suppress our people. Our human rights record has been on the spotlight. There is no freedom of expression and association.”

During the war of liberation, Dabengwa served as head of the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) intelligence.

He said the Zanu (PF) led government, in power since 1980, has failed to uphold the founding values of the liberation struggle.

These, he said, include the one-man one-vote philosophy, respect for human rights and eradication of corruption.

“Look at the number of rich people who have acquired wealth out of corrupt tendencies. The people have not been respected,” Dabengwa said.

Outspoken SAPES Trust director, Mandaza said Zanu PF’s failure as a party that took Zimbabwe into post-independence is best demonstrated by the dire situation in the country’s western Matebeleland regions.

“The 1987 unity accord between Zapu and Zanu should be revisited. The unity did not rectify the breaching of the national contract. That unity is artificial in my view,” said Mandaza.

Mandaza said Zanu (PF) should accept it has messed up.

“Stop beating your breasts and boasting. We are in shambles. The national agenda has been abandoned,” said Mandaza.

The Harare based academic and publisher said Zanu PF has squandered the little gains accrued soon after independence.

“About 50 percent of our professionals are outside the country. Most former National Railways (NRZ) engineers are now employed by the British Railways. We have failed in many respects,” he said.

MDC-T Lobengula MP Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, who was part of the panel, said the aspirations of war detainees and the generality of people who participated in the liberation struggle has not been fulfilled.

“I stayed in detention for 14 years and nine months more than the Head of State. A lot of people who participated in the liberation struggle including mothers and grandmothers have been pushed aside in preference of war veterans. I have nothing against war veterans but everyone participated in the struggle in one way or the other,” Nkomo said.

But Zanu (PF) secretary for Education, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu claimed that the government has scored successes in areas such as the health, education sectors since independence.

“At independence, we had only one university but right now we have nine state universities. We have also built more hospitals and redistributed the land to landless blacks,” said Ndlovu.

Ndlovu also defended Zanu (PF)’s politicisation of national institutions.

“Our national institutions such as the army consist of people who fought for the country. These institutions are manned by people who are concerned with Zimbabwe’s development,” said the former information minister.

Source : New Zimbabwe