Both ZANU PF and MDC have betrayed and failed, time for citizens to reclaim power

Ruben Mbofana

There is no better definition of ‘fail’, as the one provided by my trusted dictionary, which says, “Not to achieve a particular stated goal” – and as such, there is no other more appropriate way to describe a ‘failure’ as, “someone who can not achieve a particular stated goal” – and, as can be clearly discerned from these most perfectly put meanings, there is absolutely no provision for exceptional cases, or extenuating circumstances, or any other justification for this inability “to achieve a particular stated goal”.

by Tendai Ruben Mbofana

Here is a case in point, in 2013 I got a very lucrative job at a reputable organization based in Belgravia, Harare – whereby, I had several stated goals, and set targets, which I had to achieve within a specific performance appraisal.

As much as my bosses never expressed any dissatisfaction, or disapproval of the quality of work I was producing – nonetheless, based on my own personal evaluation of my performance, as compared to the stated goals, and set targets, I believed that I was falling short on several aspects, and as such, was not worthy staying at the job.

In spite of the fact that, there were several justifiable reasons for this inability – which, I honestly felt were beyond my sphere of control – my conscience, nevertheless, could not allow me to be paid for something I was not doing satisfactorily, and failing to perfectly deliver on all deliverables.

In fact, corruption and theft are not merely limited to the commonly accepted definitions, such as taking or offering bribes, or fraudulently benefiting from something, or stealing someone else’s property without their consent – but, also includes accepting payment for a job not perfectly and satisfactorily done, and even remaining in a position where one is not adequately fulfilling stated goals.

Therefore, as much as this was going to obviously result in some grave financial challenges for my family and I, however, I resigned from the organization – which, amazingly filled me with a profound sense of peace, as my conscience was cleared… additionally, I honestly believed that, in doing the honest and faithful thing in the eyes of God, He would open new opportunities for me – which, He did, by His abundant wealth of grace.

To me, that is how everyone who has any position of responsibility should treat his or her job – as such, any one who fails to achieve all specified goals does not deserve to remain in office – irregardless of the reasons, even the most understandable.

Let us, then move to the current situation we are facing in Zimbabwe – whereby, the vast majority of the citizenry has had to endure untold suffering, poverty, and injustices, at the hands of their government.

Indeed, in the past few days I have covered this issue, but I appeared to only be targeting the ZANU PF-led national government – understandably, since their failures have a more profound impact on the general populace – however, MDC-administered local authorities can not be spared, as they are similarly to blame for the dismal, pathetic, and shoddy service delivery the people of Zimbabwe had been subjected to for two decades now.

Whether, these are potholed and dangerous roads, lack of safe, clean, and potable running water supplies in our homes, or street lights that died several years ago – the blame squarely lies with these local government councils – and no one else.

As I have plainly asserted on numerous occasions, there can never be an excuse for the inability to achieve stated goals – and, clearly, both the ruling ZANU PF, and opposition MDC, have horrendously failed to fulfil their plethora of election promises.

ZANU PF promised to improve the economy from the ousted Robert Gabriel Mugabe era, whereby a loaf of bread was 90 cents; the creation of jobs under the ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ mantra; the building of 400,000 houses in the first eight months of Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa’s coming into power through a military coup d’etat in November 2017, and a subsequent 1.5 million more housing units between 2018 and 2023, at a rate of 300,000 a year, or 25,000 a month, or 6,250 per week, or 892 a day; as well as opening up of democratic space, with genuine media, political, and electoral reforms).

MDC promised to improve service delivery in urban areas they presided over, including consistent and reliable water supply, refuse collection, repair of local roads, and so many other pledges.

Honestly, if we are to mark these two main political players’ performance, would it not be true that none of them deserve anything higher than a ‘U’ (if it were O-Levels), or an ‘F’ (if it were A-Levels), as they have not managed to fulfil even one hundredth of what they promised the electorate.

What I even find more laughable is the ruling ZANU PF’s attempt at convincing these same voters, that they can do a far much better job than the MDC, if they took over urban authorities. Are these people for real?

They have made an embarrassingly huge mess in running Zimbabwe – turning a once proud and prosperous country, into a pitiful basket case of beggars – so, how in the world do they expect to successfully run towns and cities?

The facts are there for all to see, both political parties have shamelessly failed, and there is never an excuse for failure – since the mandate of anyone entrusted with leadership is expected to overcome any challenges and obstacles that may be faced, and achieve all stated goals without fail, and without any excuses, no matter how understandable they might appear.

The MDC has no leg to stand on, by blaming the ruinous manner the ZANU PF government has mismanaged the country’s economy, neither can the ruling party point a finger at Western-imposed sanctions, nor distractors, nor the COVID-19 pandemic.

What are the ever-suffering people of Zimbabwe to do? Where is their hope? Well, as one of the Founding Principles of the Zimbabwe Constitution aptly states, that the authority to govern is derived from the people – and, as such, we all now need to get off our backsides, and reclaim that authority, by boldly standing up, as a united force (irrespective of one’s political affiliation) against this wanton disregard for our constitutional and civil rights.

We need to boldly and relentlessly face those in power – both at local authority, and national government levels – no matter the usual brutal response, by exercising our constitutionally-enshrined rights to expression, opinion, peaceful demonstrations, and petitioning them into immediately stepping up, or stepping out.

There is absolutely no room for political games anymore – as we appear constantly embroiled in meaningless power struggles, that have absolutely nothing to do with our bread and butter issues, but merely serving and fulfilling the personal power ambitions of a few people – but, we now need to focus on our own needs as the people of Zimbabwe.

The more we allow ourselves to be distracted by all these ‘ED Pfee’, ‘Chamisa Chete Chete’, ‘Mwonzora this and that’ nonsense, the more we find ourselves deeper in the abyss of despair, poverty, and suffering – yet, we have the power to change the course of this country, and our destiny, by standing up together, without regard to political persuasion.

Have we forgotten how we could make things happen in the 1980s amd 1990s – whereby, we resoundingly and successfully stood up against mealie meal price increases, or the AIDS levy, and other causes – and the government listened, due to our phenomenal power in unity, bravery, and numbers?

Why can we not re-ignite that power and flame again? There is not reason at all, except when we allow ourselves to continue on this path of polarization, and allowing politicians – with their own vested interests, and narrow power, privilege, and popularity objectives, to use us as pawns – yet, we have our own goals as citizens that we need to be concentrating on.

There is no longer any room for excuses, and we, the people, now need to loudly and unequivocally stamp our authority, put our feet down, and demand what we deserve as a nation – without that, none of those in office today should stay one day longer.

If we can not do this, then we do not have any cause to complain, whatsoever – and, should just shut up, and let those in power continue doing whatever they desire.

© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and speaker. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700, or Call Only: +263782283975 / +263733399640, or email:

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