I am sure we have all come across that overly drunk guy who talks the loudest in the kombi – believing himself thoroughly comedic, as he cracks his lame ‘jokes’ throughout the journey – and, concluding that those laughing were laughing with him, yet not understanding that they were, in fact, laughing at him.
That is exactly what came into my mind when I watched on state television news, a group of about three of so people – calling themselves, “Zimbabwe Coalition Against Sanctions”, or something to that effect – which has been camping outside the US (United States of America) embassy in Harare, ostensibly to push the Washington administration into removing targeted sanctions imposed on about 142 individuals and entities in Zimbabwe, accused of gross human rights abuses, rampant corrupting, and electoral fraud.
Of course, this group, together with their handlers in the ZANU PF regime, have always tried to spin these restrictive measures as economic sanctions, that have allegedly “crippled the country’s economy, and ruined the livelihoods of million of Zimbabweans” – as such, yesterday’s news coverage centred around their apparent handing over of a petition to the US embassador Brian Nichols, addressed to the speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, repeating that old and tired tale, of which Zimbabweans have grown weary, since it has been nauseously replayed for the past two decades, with the majority seemingly not buying even an ounce of it.
What made me think of the loud drunk on a kombi, whilst I watched this spectacle on television, was the countenance of these so-called ‘anti-sanctions crusaders’ – who clearly have convinced themselves to be on some world-changing mission of utmost importance – was the lack of depth as they comically attempted to portray themselves as representing the “millions of Zimbabweans, who have endured untold suffering due to these economic sanctions”, in their dismal attempts to re-spin and regurgitate the same unsubstantiated allegations that these targeted restrictions were devastating the country, without proffering even a shred of incontrovertible evidence.
The manner in which they went as far as pleading with the new US president, Joe Biden, to rethink his country’s strategy towards Zimbabwe, only added to the comedy.
As a matter of fact, I ended up feeling sorry for the group, as I imagined how all these absurd antics were being viewed, not only by the same millions of Zimbabweans they claimed to be representing, but also the US audience they were appealing to.
I am sure if ambassador Nichols has any sense, he would have thrown that petition in the dustbin, as that is exactly where it belongs – considering that there was nothing in it to warrant unduly disturbing those in Washington DC going about their important work of taking care of a nation devastated by a global pandemic, that has already killed half a million Americans.
I have been one of those people who has always implored these so-called ‘anti-sanctions crusaders’ to come forward and present irrefutable proof of their allegations, besides that endless circumstantial evidence – if we can even use that term to dignify all that baloney they have been feeding the nation since 2001 – as they blame each and everything that goes wrong in the country on sanctions.
The very fact that there can be a government, let alone an individual, who always believes to be perfect and infallible, such that whenever they fail on something, the blame is always on someone else – never taking responsibility for anything – clearly shows an insincere, untrustworthy, and arrogant regime, which is a classical characteristic of incompetency and lack of self-assurance.
Similarly, the fact that this three or so member ‘anti-sanctions’ group has never been voluntarily and spontaneously joined in by the millions of suffering Zimbabweans, whom they purport to represent – even before the onset of Coronavirus, and the subsequent lockdown – betrays a mission with no takers, as it is both unbelievable and nonsensical.
Zimbabweans are an educated lot – having the highest literacy rates on the continent – and, know when they are being played for fools – thus, will never fall for these shenanigans, which border on madness.
Instead of adhering to the COVID-19 lockdown, such characters would be better served if they stayed at home – and, I even wonder under what pretext they passed through security checkpoints, as the handing over of a meaningless petition to the US ambassador was not, by any stretch of the imagination, an essential service.
Zimbabweans understand very well why they are wallowing in poverty.
They know that their country is endowed with unimaginable wealth, but are also aware who is looting those riches with impunity for their our personal enrichment – ranging from unaccounted for mineral revenues, COVID-19 shoddy deals, scandalous government programs that never benefit the intended people but are a dipping pot for the powerful, and so many other destructive and impoverishing activities.
Zimbabweans also follow the news, and have become fed up with the endless trail of inconsistent and ever-changing government policies, coupled with all too familiar unfulfilled promises, and unmet targets.
We are not fools, are sick and tired of the same old lame excuses, and fast running out of patience – and, the sooner those in power, and their runners, appreciated this, the better for all of us.
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and speaker. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700, or Calls Only: +263782283975 / +263733399640, or email: [email protected]Post published in: Featured