Norton MP Temba Mliswa (Independent) recently tore into President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration, claiming the country was now on autopilot and blundering into the unknown.

By Everson Mushava

Addressing members from his constituency at Green Acres Farm, ward 15 in Norton at the weekend Mliswa, who has been known to be sympathetic to Mnangagwa, claimed the country was now drifting away on autopilot.

“So, I am coming to tell you that the situation is terrible. This is the news I have for you,” the outspoken MP said.

“The situation in the country is bad, I don’t have an answer to what is happening in the country. It is a bus that is moving fast without a driver. No one knows where it is heading to and what will happen to it. Only God knows what is happening to this country.”

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Zimbabwe is struggling to deal with its worst economic crisis in a decade. The southern African nation’s local Real Time Gross Settlement dollar currency is sliding fast, having so far fallen by 91% on the black market and 121% on the official interbank market since its introduction in February this year.

A second fuel price increase of nearly 50% last month, following a 150% rise in January, has led to more price rises and increased public anger against Mnangagwa’s administration.

Shortages of hard currency and medicines continue to bite an economy struggling to come to terms with a drought-induced poor harvest and effects of the devastating Cyclone Idai-induced floods that ravaged the country’s eastern parts killing hundreds of people. The country is in the throes of an energy crisis that sees industry and households going for up to 10 hours without electricity.

But Mliswa, a confessed Mnangagwa relative and former Zanu PF member, has always pleaded with the nation to give the Zanu PF leader, who took over from former President Robert Mugabe in a military coup in November 2017, a chance.

The Norton MP accused Mnangagwa’s government of stealing from the people through its monetary policies. He also chided government for stealing from tobacco farmers.

“Tobacco is the mainstay of our economy. Tobacco farmers were promised 50% of their income in US dollars. Where is the other 50%? They are busy stealing from the people in broad day light. I have asked the Minister of Finance (Mthuli Ncube) that what type of a government is this that is always stealing money from the people,” the straight-talking Mliswa said.

“First, they claimed that the bond note and US dollar are the same, tomorrow you go to RTGS, you steal the people’s money. You wonder where we are as a country. You (government) are ill-treating your own people; who can invest in that country?”