opinionBy Zanda Shumba
Homosexuality is not the real problem afflicting Zimbabwe. The real problem is political, more precisely President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF's stranglehold on power.
Not wanting to let go of power though failing to deliver. There is a wide range of vices that have taken hold of Zanu PF elite that Mugabe deliberately turns a blind eye to.
On April 18, in his speech, Mugabe talked less harshly about corruption by his Zanu PF and government officials.
While he was talking about corruption in the country he looked somewhat exhausted. His energy returned when he started to talk about homosexuality.
He knows how to fool Zimbabweans always and anytime. Homosexuality is his ace card.
You can fool some people some time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time, though Zimbabwe's president has fooled us for too long. Mugabe has nothing left to talk about save homosexuality and sanctions.
He knows well how to sing these and make the foolish dance until they break their legs. With very little funding and so many corrupt officials around him included, Zim asset is not going to take off.
Zim asset is a horse without legs. One should never put their bet on such horses.
During the constitution-making process, the homosexuality issue was debated prominently on all state media.
It was the only constitutional issue that was allowed to be debated live on ZTV, all FM radio stations, The Sunday Mail and The Herald.
The more important and sensitive issues of the constitution however were not allowed to be debated publicly. Bread and butter issues were left out.
When people were allowed to debate homosexuality, it looked as if it was the determining factor about the constitution. Issues like limiting or controlling the extent of the powers of the executive or devolution were a taboo to discuss during constitution -making.
The Ministry of information then tactfully chose homosexuality as the core issue of the constitution and was therefore discussed at length.
Still now it is one of the few cards Mugabe has in his hand to sway the feelings and emotions of the general populace. He used it on Independence Day and we saw the Zanu PF elite laughing slyly. They know the card works.
When I go around places, I don't see homosexuals. I see poverty, hunger, potholes on the roads, uncollected garbage everywhere. I see fat corrupt Zanu PF elite driving expensive cars, while the majority of civil servants, junior ranked police, army and air force officials are poorly paid and walk on foot.
I also see a lot of unemployed people wearing dejected faces. I see a collapsed economy and a defiant Zanu PF. I see dilapidated schools, hospitals and colleges. Recently I visited an aunt at Rusape hospital at twilight.
There was no electricity at the hospital, no medicines, and there were no doctors.
Despite all this Mugabe forces us to turn our faces only towards homosexuality phenomenon which is not apparent.
Let us not be fooled anymore, homosexuality is not the core issue. It is an issue Mugabe consistently uses to divert our attention from the real issues that affect our life and prosperity.
In Uganda Yoweri Museveni is using the same strategy to stay in power. He recently signed a bill that criminalises homosexuality. Museveni has been in power for decades and the Ugandan economy is performing dismally, thanks to his mismanagement and blind eyes to corruption. Museveni knows well to hide behind this homosexuality mantra.
Divide and rule. Hungry, unemployed poverty stricken youths in Uganda spend days and days chasing homosexuals and trying to kill them. They forget their real problems.
Politics in Africa is about using each other, more particularly the youths. Politics in Africa is about creating zombies. Zombies don't think. They just act to devour the next person.
So let not the Zimbabwean be made to forget what he really has to fight for.
The struggle should be for freedom from Zanu PF oppression, a fight against Zanu PF corruption, a fight against Zanu PF induced economic failure and a fight against Mugabe's tyranny.
Above all these, the Zimbabwean should struggle to unseat this illegitimate Zanu PF government. The Zimbabwean should realise the enemy within, that is, Zanu PF.
Zanu PF stifles freedom of expression, association and right to protest against a government that refuses to be accountable to the people.
Zanu PF stifles economic growth through bad policies and looting. Peaceful protests and industrial actions are the only way that is going to bring a change of government.