According to News Day, dated 13 November 2012, the capital city of Zimbabwe is moving to Zvimba in Mashonaland West. Zvimba is President Mugabe’s rural home, 40 km from the current capital Harare. The plans which are reported to be underway will include moving the headquarters of Parliament, government buildings including State House, the Reserve Bank and the Supreme and High Courts. It is reported that an affluent residential area, shopping centres and hotels will also be established in the new complex.
If there is any truth in this front page article then we have a lot to worry about as it seems to be a move by a desperate man wanting to consolidate power, not cede it. Why would the capital city move to Zvimba except to cater to the whims of an aging man? This is what old men do in Zimbabwe, they retire to their rural homes. However in this case it will not only be an old man moving to his rural home but our President moving to his rural home and taking the capital city with him.
If it is true, where is the money for this coming from? Is it part of the US$2 billion reportedly made from diamonds that is not going to the Treasury? There are more pressing issues to pump all that money into. For example;
- Zimbabwe is suffering from crippling water shortages; there are some residential areas that have not had water for 5 years, there are burst pipes everywhere, and water borne diseases that are preventable are the order of the day.
- Industry has dwindled to the extent that new graduates have little hope of finding jobs; unemployment is over 60%.
- There is a critical housing shortage; many Zimbabweans will never own their own home.
- Civil servants are paid on average US$250/month while the ZBC reports that an average Zimbabwean is earning about US$8.50 daily but spending around US$12.25 daily. The everyday demands include transport fares, airtime, 2 loaves of bread, 1kg of meat and fresh milk. This is not including rent, clothes and school fees.
- The roads are in a deplorable state now that the rainy season has begun; the pot holes are getting deeper and wider.
This is not an exhaustive list as there are many more areas where money could be utilised to the benefit of all Zimbabweans not just the selected few. This is yet another example of a country that does not have its citizens at heart? Are we as Hararians going to sit back and watch as our status is taken away from us, let us for once say no!