Zimbabwe: Bloggers not happy with the Coalition Government

Zimbabwean bloggers are unhappy with the way things are turning out within the coalition government between Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai. The reactions are a mixture of distrust of Mugabe ad disappointment in the policy approaches of the MDC.

The blog Living Zimbabwe sees no point in Tsvangirai's remaining as Prime Minister if he is powerless. Supporting Mrs Bennett's statement that “unless Tsvangirai shows leadership now, it is going to be a waste of time having an inclusive government anyway”, the blogger says:

Nonetheless, what Mrs. Bennett had to say about the GNU was straight to the point and a fact that cannot be ignored. If Tsvangirai cannot protect Roy Bennett, what is the point of him being Prime Minister?

Most bloggers are frustrated by the lack of visible change in the lives of ordinary Zimbabwe. Kubatana blog, for instance, has a photo of a Zimbabwean reading the state-owned daily newspaper, The Herald, from 11 March, exactly a month after Tsvangirai was sworn in, with the headline: Harare Runs Out Of Water – Again.

Mostly in the firing line is Nelson Chamisa, the new MDC minister in charge of telephone and Internet services (ICT Minister) in Zimbabwe. Kubatana again reproduces a letter sent to the state-controlled telephone company, TelOne, which Chamisa is now in charge of and which is threatening legal action against the company for their “high-handedness”

Zimbabwe's collapse of Internet services, cut off by Intelsat because TelOne had not paid its debts, also elicited biting responses from the blogosphere.

Peace Love and Happiness blog has a post entitled, “Zimbabwe: Minister of Information and Technology, Pull Up Your Socks.” In it, the blogger says:

It has been a month since Nelson Chamisa was sworn in as Minister of Communications and Technology and by now we expect him to have made inroads towards the improvement of the telecommunications industry or at least made a tour of all the TelOne telecommunications exchange control rooms so that he familiarises himself with how the company operates but he hasn't done that. If he had done that he would have been informed that TelOne bills that are red in arrears and he would have sorted that problem. The word that is out among Zimbabweans at the moment is that Nelson Chamisa is very good at talking as an opposition member and very weak when it comes to walking the talk.

On Magora's Zimbabwe Blog,in an article entitled: Is Nelson Chamisa an Incompetent, Drooling and Clueless Minister, the new MDC minister is blamed for following discredited policies from ZANU PF, such as price controls on mobile phone charges:

Last week, Comrade Minister Chamisa announced that mobile phone charges were too high in Zimbabwe (which they are) and he was going to send a directive to mobile phone companies to reduce their charges drastically. So, we are back to price controls, which everyone, including the resident madman at the corner of First St and Jason Moyo as well as street kids, knows does not work. ZANU PF tried it and service suffered as a result. Infrastructure collapsed. Because profit margins are a function of the market, and not a result of a minister's say-so. It is an elementary concept, really, and I wonder how the MDC fail to grasp it.

What on earth has possessed Chamisa? I ask again.

With power and water cuts continuing, this week the world should not be surprised to hear of more riots by soldiers. Most of them are failing to access their US$100 from the banks as promised by the Inclusive Government:

There is chaos in Harare today and you should not be surprised to hear later on that soldiers have gone on the rampage again.
First street is absolutely choked with soldiers, policemen, teachers and other civil servants who are failing to access their US$100 salaries. They have been trying since Friday and it clear this morning on First Street that some of them have slept at the banks waiting for them to open. There are blankets and long jackets spread on the pavement, where the civil servants are sitting waiting for the money to get to the banks.
There is still a long way to go before things change in Zimbabwe, is the common consensus, but most bloggers seem to think we have started badly, especially considering the concessions the MDC are making to ZAU PF in terms of policy, an area the Coalition Agreement gives them (the MDC) sole control over.

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