A country built on lies

Any country whose foundations are built on lies will never create progressive and sustainable economic and social systems. It will always end up in ruin, shame and lack of fulfilment. It will have been an empty life. The truth - although inconvenient and costly at times - will always set us free.

Vince Musewe
Vince Musewe

The colonialists built colonial systems that were based on the lie that blacks are not intelligent at all, but are lazy, breed like rabbits and deserve less of a life than them. They believed that we should not have access to a life of comfort and luxury. In fact they were racists and they continued to build economic and social systems to confirm this lie.

The lie discriminated against us, decided for us which jobs we could do, how much we could earn, where we could live. It even refused us the vote. It treated us as second class citizens in our own country. It created state institutions and used the media, army, police and spies to entrench this lie in our minds, in our language and lives.

We honour them

We as blacks disputed this lie but had to resort to the gun so that the white man could pay attention to our rights, our aspirations and our economic needs. We had to use violence to challenge his big fat lie. Thousands upon thousands of our brothers and sisters even chose rather to die than to believe this lie. They were right and we must honour them.

When we attained political independence, we assumed that we had managed to purge this lie from our midst. We conjectured that at last we could create our own economic and social system that proved the white man’s lie wrong. How wrong we were!

In fact, after colonialism the lie has become worse. The lie that was manufactured and peddled by the white colonialist for his sole economic advantage has been re-framed, translated and given new energy by other blacks.

How disgraceful

That lie is that only one man has all the monopoly of wisdom to lead us till kingdom come and that only those who have propped him up must continue after him. That lie is that only those who participated in the liberation struggle must enjoy the unchallengeable right to the full benefits of independence at the expense of all of us. The lie is that those who seek to change Zimbabwe to create better conditions for the majority are counter revolutionaries working with colonialists.

On this day in my country Zimbabwe, this lie has become so entrenched in our institutions and social psyche that millions of my brothers and sisters remain poor and marginalised in their own country. Millions of Zimbabweans have chosen to rather believe this lie and leave the country while others have chosen to believe this lie and do nothing. Yet others continue to challenge this lie but these count a few amongst us. How disgraceful.

I refuse to believe this lie and so must you my judicious reader. I reject the notion that indeed there are only a few amongst us who sacrificed for our liberation from the white man. I refuse the marginalisation of thousands who were lucky to survive the armed struggle, but today are treated with disdain and neglect for their sacrifice for our freedom.

I refuse to accept that we young progressive Zimbabweans who reject that Zanu (PF) mentality do not have the wherewithal or the intellect to create a better society than the one they created in the last 35 years.

The sad reality is that so many amongst us have come to accept that they are not as intelligent, wise, let alone better equipped to create a better Zimbabwe than our current leaders. Many of us have chosen to protect their temporary comforts and not challenge this lie because it has been repeated so many times and they now believe it.

As a result of this, we have a country that is fundamentally based on a lie and teetering at the brink of collapse. The entitlement to political hegemony by Zanu (PF) and its predator cabal is a big fat lie designed only to benefit those who created this lie and no one else.


Those who refuse to buy the lie have been persecuted, others incarcerated while some have even been killed. But that can never turn the lie into truth.

And so we must fight this system created by Zanu (PF). We must fight the lie that we do not deserve better leadership than them. We must fight the lie that Morgan Tsvangirai and others are evil and cannot lead this country to a better place simply because they have chosen not to believe the lie.

Just as thousands upon thousands of our brothers and sisters rejected the colonialist lie so must we reject the dictator’s lies – for has he not peddled the same lie as that of the white colonialist?

Let us choose to believe that we can create a better economic and social system than Zanu (PF) has done to date.

Whatever you do, don’t give energy to a lie!

– Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You can contact him at [email protected]

Post published in: Analysis

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