THE reaction by Zanu PF youths to the new discourse in South Africa over relics of colonialism such as Cecil John Rhodes’ statue at the University of Cape Town (UCT) was quite predictable.
Zanu PF always wants to fashion itself as the only champion of decolonialisation of Africa yet the reality on the ground shows that the party is led by opportunists only interested in lining up their pockets.
Capitalists at the helm of the ruling party would do anything to accumulate wealth even if it means harming Zimbabwe’s economic interests.
In a desperate attempt to justify their existence, Zanu PF youths in Bulawayo are now aping the UCT protests by threatening to exhume Rhodes’ remains at the Matopo Hills in Matabeleland South.
Rhodes was the architect of colonisation of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia where he amassed his mega riches. Rhodes died in Cape Town in 1902, but was buried in Matopo alongside some of his top generals.
The graves have a lot of symbolism when it comes to the decolonialisation discourse, but they have been a revenue spinner for a government that has been struggling to find viable sources of income.
Therefore, it is surprising that the idle Zanu PF youths would find the exhumation of Rhodes’ grave an emergency today.
Zimbabwean youths are hardly enjoying the fruits of independence because unemployment is at record levels and poverty continues to deepen.
The majority of graduates leaving school today have no hope of getting jobs anytime soon and many resort to move to neighbouring countries where they are treated as second class citizens.
The government has no clear policy to improve the lives of young people and this is what the Zanu PF youths should be fighting to correct.
Their leaders are still holding dearly to colonial relics such as the State House in Bulawayo and Harare as well as the Parliament building.
The deepening economic crisis obliges political leaders and activists, especially the youthful ones, to concentrate on bread and butter issues instead of sideshows such as the exhumation of Rhodes’ remains.