The by-elections to be held in Mberengwa and Chirumanzu next month will provide a crucial test both on the apathy that has reigned in the country for the past few years as the ruling party increasingly failed to fulfil the promises it had made to the nation.
Zimbabwe’s economic structural adjustment programme which was already six months behind schedule has been torpedoed by the current drought whose severity is becoming more obvious by the day.
Former Southern Rhodesian Prime Minister, Garfield Todd, who has long been associated with the struggle for black rule and participated in the first independence Parliament, has expressed hope that the present crisis in the country will encourage people to speak out more to shed off some of the fear which still lies over the country.
The government’s reluctance to accept that the country was facing a severe maize shortfall until it was too late has also cast doubt on whether it has put into place an adequate transport infrastructure to ferry the maize the country is now importing .
National University of Science and Technology lecturer and defeated independent candidate in the 1990 general elections, Temba Dlodlo, has called for the creation of a strong opposition party to successfully challenge ZANU-PF which he said was determined to stay in power “forever” despite its dismal performance in the past 12 years.