Harare; Zimbabwe. -The dualization of the Harare-Bietbridge Road provides a unique opportunity for job creation in a country where an estimated 90% of the working population is unemployed. It is the hope of every Zimbabwean that the estimated 330 000 casual jobs would be available to all particularly those domiciled along the over 600km road.

However those expectations have been doused by the declaration by Shuvai Mahofa, Minister of State for Masvingo,that the hiring of workers will be done through ZANU PF structures and that only ZANU PF supporters will get the jobs on the $988 000 000 national project. None in their wildest dreams ever envisaged that political considerations would be the determinant factors in job recruitment.
It is the hope of the NPP that that declaration is not a cabinet decision and that reason will reign in ZANU PF circles and reverse this statement for the good of the country. Such callous statements smack of politics of patronage which is a proven cause of corruption,nepotism and all the vices that go along with bad governance.
That the Harare-Bietbridge Road is the most important route into and out of Southern Africa is not contested here. Zimbabwe and its neighbours to the north are land locked and therefore rely entirely on this route for both imports and exports. However,for Zimbabwe the route largely facilitates imports since our industrial base collapsed years ago due to corruption and half baked policies like LOOK EAST POLICY,unplanned indeginisation and mismanagement of an otherwise vibrant economy.
In fact,patriotic Zimbabweans feel that dualisation is long over due and had wondered why it took so long coming given its importance.

The dualisation programe as a national project is expected not only to reduce carnage on this route but also generate jobs and create downstream industries. It is envisaged that formal and non-formal business concerns will benefit across the political divide. Vendors should find ready markets for their wares,while formal business houses would be sub-contracted in addition to providing entertainment food and accommodation for the workers. The local villagers would also be availed a profitable opportunity to sell their livestock at competitive prices.

Further,the dualisation project presents a once-in-a-life time opportunity to unite and not divide people. Really there is no time for divisive politics particularly when the country is in this poor state. Let s remember that since the introduction of Economic Structural Adjustment Programe in the 1990s,workers have been retrenched without let. In addition thousands have graduated from our universities,colleges and polytechnics not to mention school leavers and dropouts but no job provisions where made for them.

Given the above scenario,it is indeed mischievious to then preserve jobs for members of a particular political party to the total disregard of all else. This maybe a recipe for social discontent and unrest. Politicians should not make careless statements and when they do they should be censured in the public interest.

We remember ZANU PF promised 2 000 000 jobs during the 2013 general elections. The estimated 330 000 casual jobs would have been a face saver if they were given to all and sundry. But against better judgement Mahofa declared all jobs are for ZANU PF supporters. Is this a cabinet or provincial decision? Either way we demand an explanation . We are aware ZANU PF has been discriminating against anybody perceived as an enemy in the distribution of agricultural inputs,drought relief,but this has gone too far and needs reining in. If its a cabinet decision then its a corrupt way of buying votes thereby prolonging its stay in power through undemocratic means. It would indeed be symptomatic of a tyrannical government whose centre can’t hold and in which everybody and anybody does as they please.

Leadership should be guided by statesmanship,selflessness,intergrity and a feeling for the citizentry among other ideals and not a manic obsession with self righteousness.

The foremost cosideration of a people driven government and party is to provide the welfare of all citizens regardless of colour,creed,religious or political orientation. And the welfare of all citizens can only be garanteed by provision of employment so that people are gainfully employed so as to fend for self and family. Not to deny them employment.

Does Mahofa and her ilk suggest that only ZANU PF supporters are the only Zimbabwean citizens? Are people being punished for not subsribing to ZANU PF ideals? After all this is a government project funded by tax-payers money. Denying a section of the population access to jobs on basis of political preferences is clearly a sign of a dictatorship that is intolerant of dissenting views.

This government has trashed the supreme law of the country on all fronts and therefore has lost its mandate to rule. Not suprising if we soon find ourselves denied access to services like health and education. One would be forgiven for assuming that we may wake up to find that government offices are only accessible to ZANU PF supporters. ZANU PF is taking us back to colonial times where jobs where reserved for whites. Are we any different from that era? Is this the kind of independence we all fought for? Is it any wonder that those who have hijacked the revolution were in the colonial camp only yesterday? Do you still remember ‘PADARE’ and ‘BABA VAJURU’?

NPP and all democratic voices condemn in the strongest terms such partisan practices that divide the nation instead of promoting nationhood and peace.

C A Makamba
Department of lnformation and Puplicity
Masvingo Chapter




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