Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Priscah Mupfumira last week made jarring revelations that about 10 million Zimbabweans or 72,3% of the population were living in abject poverty.
Such a disclosure, in any country, should shock the establishment, but in a nation such as Zimbabwe, the population seems to be desensitised to what matters most and instead is fascinated by red herrings.
For so long, the country has been consumed by the succession sideshow, that it has forgotten about some things that matter such as the provision of food and shelter, among other basics.
As we head into next year’s election, the focus is on the personalities rather than the real issues that are bothering Zimbabweans.
Let us forget for a second on who is going to succeed President Robert Mugabe and ask the veteran leader how it is possible under his watch that the majority of Zimbabweans are living in poverty.
Mugabe must be held to account on the promises he made to Zimbabweans like the high-sounding “food for all” and “health for all”, which he has clearly failed to deliver on.
When he was elected in 2013, Mugabe promised to create employment that would uplift people from poverty and since his party claims he has delivered on the jobs, then the naturally question would be: Why are the majority of Zimbabweans living in abject poverty if you have created as many jobs as you claim?
The buck stops with Mugabe and Zanu PF and they should explain why Zimbabweans are in this position and why they have allowed this situation to fester for so long.
It is now a cliché that Zimbabweans were among the most prosperous Africans two decades ago and Mugabe should be held to account on why this nation has been allowed to fall into such deprivation under his watch.
It is not acceptable and there can be no justification for such high levels of poverty in the country.
With elections next year, these are questions that Mugabe and Zanu PF should be answering, as they cannot be rewarded with another term in office for running the country aground.
As 2018 draws nearer, Zimbabweans should forget about personalities, and instead focus more on issues and how they can be saved from the poverty they are wallowing in.
Had this been a different country, Mugabe and Zanu PF would have been history just for pushing 10 million Zimbabweans into poverty.
We need to go above the rhetoric and question what an individual has delivered against their election promises and judge them on that.
Having 10 million Zimbabweans wallowing in poverty is a failure and that is the record Zimbabweans need to question about Zanu PF.
Opinion: Voters should punish Mugabe for impoverishing them
Source: News Day