Let us take responsibility

EDITOR - In the late seventies someone wisely cautioned me: 'The only freedom that comes with independence is the freedom to make your own mistakes.' He went on to say, 'Rhetoric aside you can always judge a nation by the condition of its public toilets.' These words have stayed with me. The firs

t time I had pause to reflect was when taking a foreign visitor up to Nyanga in 1984. We stopped at the Rusape Hotel which already by then had become a drinking hole. The ladies’ toilets were blocked. Water and sewage drifted haplessly across the floor. Self-governance, I thought, crestfallen and ashamed in front of my visitor. We can’t even keep our toilets clean and functioning.

Now, looking at the city of Harare, we can only conclude that if a government cannot run a city, how can it run a country?

How many thousands of people both in Zimbabwe and in the West, who put their hope and faith in a new black elected government in Zimbabwe, have been let down?

How many Africans across the world who have defended the right of African nations to govern themselves, have been betrayed by our government? Our city is now a metaphor for our nation, it has fallen into decay.

And it is only when we really take responsibility for ourselves, admit our mistakes and learn from them, clean up our rubbish, dismiss the incompetents, and straighten up our mess that we will regain our self-respect.


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