Zimbabweans should stop this cruel, heartless, and thieving government

It is one thing for a government to fail to achieve or deliver what is expected of it, but it is clearly a different thing for a government to be downright cruel, heartless, and thieving - as this is what we clearly see in our own Zimbabwe government.

girls in rural school settingIf a government was to fail in its mandate of providing food, education, shelter, health, employment, and so forth, merely because of its incompetence, that would be understandable – so some extent.

However, if a government fails to deliver on all these basic human needs and rights, due to that fact that it does not care at all about the people, and is deliberately misappropriating billions and billions of dollars for the leaders own obscenely lavish lifestyles, whilst its own population wallows in abject poverty – then that government should be stopped in its tracks.

The Zimbabwean government has repeatedly proven that it has never failed to deliver solely because it can not perform, but that it takes Zimbabweans as idiots who can not think, and as such, spends most of its time amassing the nation’s abundant wealth and resources for the leadership’s own aggrandisement.

How else can one explain how a country so endowed with vast mineral resources – that hover around 41, and still counting – can have a population that can not even afford to send its own children to the cheapest schools?

As I write this article, numerous children are not going to school because their parents could not afford the most basic school fees.

Despite the government’s empty rhetoric about schools not being allowed to deny those who have not paid fees from attending classes, numerous children are roaming the streets, because they have been kicked out of for failure to pay fees.

Those who are fortunate enough to attend school, still have to content with not learning much, as these schools do not have textbooks, and the already poor parents are expected to fork out more money to buy everything from textbooks, exercise books, manila sheets, markers, and so forth – all costing an arm and a leg.

As such, what we witness in most Zimbabwean classrooms are pupils who just attend school for the sake of attending school, yet they do not learn much because they can not fully participate in any activities.

Their parents back home are so poor that they can not even afford a descent meal, as a result these same children are further disadvantaged as they have to contend with going to school hungry.

I will not even bother spending much time on the other issues affecting Zimbabweans, as these have been mentioned time and time again.

The vast majority of the Zimbabwe population are out of work because of the government’s pathetic economic policies and corruption, that have seen thousands and thousands of companies close.

Most of those still at work are hardly paid, and are as good as being unemployed.

Those that have lost their jobs, as a result of these company closures, have never been paid a single cent for all their decades – some even half a century – of employment at those firms.

There are 4 million people who are facing starvation as a result of the Zimbabwe government’s ill-planned and corruptly handled land reform programme.

Government hospitals do not have any functional laboratories, as well as a lack of any meaningful medication, such that, the poor – who mostly rely on these government hospitals for treatment – find themselves been referred to private laboratories and pharmacies, whose exorbitant costs they can not possibly afford – which is why they had sought treatment at government hospitals in the first place.

This has resulted in countless people, especially the elderly, dying in their homes, as they could not possibly afford treatment.

Can the government seriously tell the nation that it can not afford all these things?

Is the nation expected to believe that the situation is so terrible merely because the government had failed to deliver?

Is this the result of mere incapability on the part of government?

Is it a result of some devastating economic sanctions that were imposed on the country by the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK), and their allies?

Certainly not!

If that were the case, all of us in this country should be feeling the pinch – including the ruling class.

We should be seeing the President and his family seeking treatment at Parirenyatwa Hospital – and even complaining about the lack of medication or its unaffordability.

If we were to see children of government ministers also failing to attend school because their patents can not afford it – then we would all agree that there was truly no money in Zimbabwe, and we would stand together with the government in our misery.

However, that is not the case.

In fact, the very opposite is true.

Whilst the rest of us are complaining about suffering, the government’s top officials are splashing wealth like there was no tomorrow.

They are building mansions all over the country, whilst some are literally buying whole towns.

Not to mention holidaying all over the world, at government’s expense.

Where is all that money coming from, if we are all living in a country that is supposedly going through hard times?

Can everyone in government – from the President downwards account for every cent they have used, or that they possess?

Then we hear about the over US$15 billion dollars from diamond sales that just vanishes into thin air.

An amount of money  (and this is a gross underestimate, as I believe that this is just but a tip of the iceberg) that could have easily covered all these needs that the people of Zimbabwe are lacking.

Money that vanished under the watch of the government.

This should be a clear signal to the people of Zimbabwe that its long overdue to go out there fulltime in mobilising the nation in rejecting this government in the next elections.

We should all register to vote – no matter what we may think about the whole electoral system in Zimbabwe.

Even those in the diaspora should register to vote, and make every arrangement to come home to vote in 2018 – as removing ZANU PF would be a national duty.

I do not see this cowardly government allowing for the diaspora to vote in their respective countries, so this sacrifice has to be made for the good of the country.

We, in Zimbabwe, need to go to all our relatives in both rural and urban areas, and make it our own national duty to educate them about the electoral system and debunk some of the threats and lies they have been subjected to by ZANU PF over the last decades.

Let us educate and encourage them to be bold enough to reject ZANU PF in 2018, no matter what could be personally at stake.

Rigging, or no rigging, we need to go en mass – more than in 2008 – to make it clear that we do not want ZANU PF anymore.

Let every Zimbabwean know that time for myopic partisan allegiances and polarisation is over.

We are all suffering as a nation, and if we do not stand together – and stop  blindly supporting ZANU PF just because one has been supporting it for ages –  then we are all doomed.

What is the point of blindly supporting, or even doing ZANU PF’s dirty work, whilst at the end of the day, all of us still suffer, and the only people who have benefitted are those at the top?

Let us all now come together and think of our country and our long-term futures.

It is pointless for one to continue supporting ZANU PF merely because at least today they gave you something to eat.

What about tomorrow?

Are we to be continual beggars, at the mercy of ZANU PF?

Do we not all crave a prosperous Zimbabwe, where we are independent to make our own decent living, without waiting for crumbs from ZANU PF?

A prosperous new Zimbabwe is good for everyone – including those that support ZANU PF today.

What is needed now is to remove the biggest impediment to that prosperity, and that is ZANU PF.

We need now to rally behind a leader who has been proven spotless.

We, as a nation, need to remove our political blinkers for a while, and re-think our allegiances.

We need to soberly identify a leader in our midst who had never been tainted by corruption, political intolerance and dictatorship.

Never a leader who has shown any sign of craving power.

We need to identify a leader who has a track record of sober-mindedness, humility and has never sought personal glory – who is known for calmness, but assertive, organised and goal-oriented.

A leader who we will always hold accountable – and is willing to be held accountable, and genuinely open to criticism – who we will never build a personality cult around.

We need a leader who understands the people’s suffering, and suffers with them when times are genuinely hard.

Once the nation identifies such a leader, we need to rally behind such a leader in 2018.

That is the only hope that Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans have for a prosperous future.

If we are continually impervious to change, and stubbornly stick to our currently chosen parties and leaders, without critically analysing them for any potential weaknesses for power, greed and corruption, then we are doomed to eternal poverty in Zimbabwe – what is call, ‘shavi re urombo’.

° Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist and commentator, writer, and journalist. He writes in his personal capacity, and welcomes any feedback. Please feel free to call/WhatsApp: +263782283975, or email: [email protected]com

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