Tsvaira Zimbabwe- Hypocrisy, Duplicity, and admission of failure

by | Oct 2, 2021 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Hosia Mviringi


Zimbabwe is one huge amusement park where funny things never stop happening. In a typical world, a party that controls over 80 per cent of urban councils would not need to compete with anyone to make the cities clean.


Give it to them, the MDC Alliance controls almost all urban councils in Zimbabwe. However, since the July 30, 2018 elections that gave them an express mandate to run the affairs of Zimbabwe’s major cities that include the Harare and Bulawayo metropolis, the MDC has been on an apparent mission to run down the cities instead.


Results on the ground don’t quite speak positively for the MDC’s hand in local government.

In Harare, the rot stinks to high heavens with service delivery slumping to its lowest post-independence in 1980. Streets have gone un-swept for years, while garbage continues to pile up uncollected since forever.


‘Tsvaira Zimbabwe’, the short lived MDC urban sanitation programme is one strategy gone wrong for the MDC Alliance party. For all intents and purposes, any pronouncement of the same is a firm announcement of failure and an indictment on the Party. It is like a hen that makes a loud noise to announce that it has laid just a single egg.


President Emmerson Mnangagwa, recognising the importance of clean cities and the environment for the wellbeing of a nation, launched and declared the first Friday of each month as a national day of cleaning.


At Takashinga Sports Club in Highfields, Harare, on December 5, 2018, President Mnangagwa made a declaration and committed the nation to a clean and healthy environment.

He declared the first Friday of each month as National Clean-Up Day.


“I, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe recognising the Constitutional Mandate to uphold environmental fundamental rights and freedoms provided for section 73 of the constitution of Zimbabwe the “right to an environment that is not harmful to health and well-being”, hereby declare that every first Friday of each calendar month is a National Clean-Up Day,” said President Mnangagwa.


This was a clarion call by the President Mnangagwa for everyone, local authorities included, to join the Clean-Up effort that has not borne any political undertones since its inception.


It is not a secret that the MDC Alliance has presided over the worst service delivery in urban centres in the history of Zimbabwe. In other words they have failed to deliver.

Harare being the seat of government and a major regional convergence zone for business, politics and tourism, has long lost its lustre and continues to be a blemish on the country’s social fabric.


Zimbabwe lost thousands of lives to sanitation-related tropical diseases such as Typhoid and Cholera, due to a lack of cleanliness which, to a greater extent, emanated from non-collected garbage, burst sewage and lack of potable water in the taps.


Poor waste management has been at the core of such spontaneous outbreaks of disease. These, in addition to safe, passable roads, are the major fundamentals that any local authority worth their salt ought to address with vigour. But it is most disheartening to note that corruption and incompetence have been at the centre of failure by MDC-run urban councils to own up on their service delivery mandate.


It was then, as it still is, the expectation that everyone supports and partakes in the noble initiative by the President of the Republic that is meant to collectively contribute to the attainment of a welcoming, clean, safe, and healthy environment that attracts investors and tourists.

Local authorities are the major beneficiary of such a noble initiative to clean up towns and cities which brings together government, private sector players and local authorities.

Government and private sector players that include corporates have continued to pour resources to make this day a success every month.

In heeding the President’s call, some corporates have adopted certain sections of the city for clean-up and maintenance.


Thus, naturally, councils ought to complement such efforts, rather than compete and militate against them. Both the Bulawayo and Harare City Councils, as the responsible local authorities, and MDC Alliance as the party in both major councils should have naturally been at the forefront of such exhortations and exertions to make the cities beautiful and habitable. But nay! They see a chance for political rivalry not completion.


Zimbabwe’s social environment has been poisoned by selfish politics which drives people into viewing every move or development with political lenses. To date, central Government has adopted for rehabilitation several sections of the road infrastructure around major cities that had become impassable death traps and an eyesore to motoring public. These have visibly been getting a thorough facelift while troublesome intersections have had traffic lights repaired and synchronised.


But after three years of commemorating the Presidential National Clean-Up Campaign, the MDC Alliance still think that their broom sweeps better, this after having failed to provide a paid service to rate payers as the responsible local authority in the majority of urban centres.


The MDC-run councils would indeed have done better by joining the National Clean-Up Campaign as it feeds well into their mandate of restoring the Sunshine City Status in Harare, Bulawayo, Victoria Falls, Mutare, Kariba, Masvingo, Gweru, Chitungwiza to name just but a few.


In Harare, Council has a set target to become a World Class City by 2025. Central government’s intervention should be viewed as a support initiative to help the city attain this noble vision within set timeframes.


Selfishness is self-defeating.


On May 28, 2021, to be precise, the MDC Alliance announced their own clean-up campaign code-named Tsvaira Zimbabwe.

Yes, understandable, they are in a race to clean up their mess before residents punish them in 2023. They realise the fast pace at which their reputation is sliding down into the mud. A mess that makes them unelectable come election time.


In a circular to their structures, if any still exist, Amos Chibaya encouraged supporters to identify areas in their locality that need cleaning, as if there is still a clean area to talk about in Harare and other cities, after all these years of neglect, mismanagement and social decay, and looting of council resources.


Duplicity and hypocrisy have very short legs. This miserable MDC jaunt cannot just go away quietly but should be put out there on record for all to see. The question that must be answered is whether this was truly about service delivery or it was just about a chance in the limelight.


Of course, the unintended consequence of their action is that it exposes a yawning policy and strategy gap within the MDC Alliance party. All self-respecting Zimbabweans have long joined the National Clean-Up Program and have adopted a culture of picking up litter and sweeping the streets.

The MDC still have a chance to demonstrate their efficiency in waste disposal and management, recycling, sewer reticulation, road rehabilitation and potable water provision if they are to regain voter confidence.


One needs to go to Harare’s Mbare Musika, Rezende Street, Fourth Street and many other litter hotspots in Harare to understand the folly of just picking up litter. Moving around capital city, one struggles to come across a litter bin to drop some waste.


Earlier on this year MDC Alliance-run City of Harare threatened to unleash debt collectors on residents for failing to pay for non-available services. Millions of dollars are collected every month, yet service delivery remains dismal and unavailable in most instances.


It represents desperation of epic proportions for the MDC Alliance to seek relevance by pretending to do that which they should have done quietly a long time ago as part of their injunction as elected officials.


If this indeed comes across as a masterstroke in strategy, then the MDC Alliance long lost the plot and is indeed doomed as a party. They don’t deserve to be taken seriously.

They indeed cannot be rewarded with a vote for failure!