In 2019 Belarus offered Zimbabwe a facility of 500 buses to modernise our mass public transport system.
This followed a visit by President Mnangagwa to Eurasia where he visited Belarus, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan in a week-long tour of the subcontinent.
In their meeting, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko offered Zimbabwe 500 buses, a boost for the country especially in the aftermath of the banning of private commuter omnibuses which have been the backbone of public transport.
State media later clarified that Belarus wasn’t offering buses as such but a facility that would result in the manufacturing of buses locally or something to that effect.
How they came up with the 500 figure wasn’t clear if it wasn’t a delivery but a facility to manufacture buses.
But the issue is in 2020 Belarus is in the throes of a debilitating political upheaval in which the public has rose against President Lukashenko who has been in power for the past 26 years and wants more.
According to international media Belarus is gripped by mass protests, triggered by an election widely believed to have been rigged in favour of the incumbent, longtime leader Alexander Lukashenko.
The scale of the opposition rallies is unprecedented for Belarus: more than 100,000 thronged central Minsk on 16 August, while a rally for Mr Lukashenko was much smaller.
This week has already seen violent clashes with opposition demonstrators, numerous allegations of police brutality, processions of women in white with roses and walkouts at major state enterprises including state broadcaster.
Where does this leave our country and our own long winding queues of stranded passengers waiting past the curfew time and suffering harassment and violence from state security personnel?
It’s safe to assume that this deal has been another empty mega deal that will bring in nothing.
ZUPCO, which was likely the major beneficiary of this facility, has already started packing passengers discarding all pretenses of Covid measures.
Much can said about other failed deals but what is apparent is that the government has been hobnobbing with wrong partners.
Lukashenko’s plight, stemming from contested elections, mirrors our own plight and shows how the government has failed to deal with entities of corporate integrity to advance our cause.
Political bats like Lukashenko, forever hanging onto power, have little chance of advancing our cause and the negative situation Belarus finds itself in essentially relegates the bus deal into the dustbin.