SW Radio Africa (London)

20 June 2014

Zimbabwe: Zanu-PF Prioritizes Own Businesses Ahead of Government Challenges

At a time when the ZANU PF government is failing to service the domestic debt and to pay civil servants it has emerged that the ruling party is instead on a fund raising drive to revive its own businesses, ahead of addressing the serious challenges facing the country.

Secretary for information and publicity Rugare Gumbo told the state media that a politburo meeting Thursday 'spent most of the time looking at mobilization of resources for the party.' The politburo is the party's supreme decision making body and is said to be more powerful than cabinet.

Gumbo's comments came as reports said the party has already embarked on an elaborate door to door membership recruitment exercise in preparation for the 2018 election, something which observers say confirms ZANU PF's 'misplaced priorities.'

Rugare said the politburo looked at subscriptions of members and a 'dedicated system' of fund raising and how the party companies could assist in that regard. He said business secretary Sithembiso Nyoni was tasked to look into how the party could prop up its businesses like Tregers Holdings and Jongwe Printing.

The politburo also discussed a proposal by the land ministry that government should start charging rentals from farmers who were allocated land during the farm grabs. Also discussed was the situation at the Chingwizi Transit Camp which is the temporary residence of the Tokwe Mukosi flood victims.

Commentators and community leaders said by prioritising its own businesses ahead of anything else ZANU PF was showing its true colors as an organisation of selfish people.

Chitungwiza Residents Trust spokesperson Marvelous Khumalo said the country was faced with 'more pressing issues' such as poor service delivery, power cuts and homelessness and ZANU PF as the ruling party had better prioritise such challenges.

He said: 'We are worried and we are tempted to think that the government is not in place to serve the people but to pursue their own selfish interests which is misplaced and is being done at the wrong time and through the abuse of national resources.'

Khumalo added: 'If a government is pro people it has to address issues of corruption, lack of clean and affordable water, education, creation of job and resuscitation of health facilities.'

These developments come at a time when most government departments are failing to perform their core functions and when private and public firms are closing down daily, leaving thousands of people unemployed.

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