At times I believe the main reason Zimbabweans are still standing today, in spite of the political, economic, physical, and emotional brutalization they have endured at the cold-hearted and blood-dripping hands of their own abusive government – which is expected to be the protector, provider, and enabler for a respectable, dignified, and prosperous livelihood – is as a result of their positive outlook of life, perseverence, and ability to adapt to whatever situation they find themselves forced into – nonetheless, assuming that they are foolish enough to stand with their tormentors by helping them cover up their numerous sins, by portraying a false image of a caring leadership that should be re-admitted into the international community as a civilized and responsible member, would not only be foolhardy, but exceedingly delusional.
What manner of a people would we be, if we were to, firstly, endure the untold pain and suffering meted out on us by this regime, mostly in worrying and unsettling silence, whilst patiently praying for God’s immediate intervention, and strength in finally bravely standing up for our rights – at the danger of an obvious barbaric, savage, and murderous response (which has become all too familiar) – yet, secondly, expecting us to behave as the perpetually fearful abused wife, who ends up lying that the bruises on her face were due to her falling down, or bumping into the cupboard?
We may be typically, but disturbingly, quiet and docile, in the face of unprecedented political state sponsored brutality and persecution (characterized by the stifling of any democratic expression or peaceful demonstrations – usually met with the full wrath of state machinery, as well as political, social justice, anti-corruption, and labour rights activists being arrested on spurious charges, with rarely any convictions, in addition to reports of abductions, torture, and sexual abuse), and economic injustices and alienation due to rampant corruption (whereby, the powerful ruling elite loot every wealth that this abundantly endowed nation has been blessed with, leaving millions of Zimbabweans without enough to manage a sustainable livelihood, can not afford basic commodities, and die in their homes for failure to access essential medication)…but, we are definitely not idiots.
The Harare administration may have miscalculated, and deceived themselves into believing that our silence and passive nature – of which, we pray for God’s grace every day, that His strength may be made perfect in our weakness, so as to eventually be able to fearlessly and relentlessly stand up against these gross crimes against humanity – was a sign of foolishness, nonetheless, we will never unite with them in painting a deceptive picture of “all is well with us”, so that the regime can finally be regarded as civilized, and welcomed with warm arms back into the family of nations.
Let us make it abundantly clear – the Zimbabwean military-backed junta is still very much an atrocious, ruthless, and callous rogue regime, which should be regarded as the pariah state that it is – and, if that is what a civilized nation is supposed to operate, then well and fine, the international community can embrace this mafia, as one of their own…but, we, the people of Zimbabwe, will never accept that.
Unless and until the indescribable barbarous, savagery, and cannibalistic political, economic, physical, and emotional abuse that we have had to endure for generations ends, might we possibly have a change of heart, and hopefully speak with one voice as our leaders.
Nonetheless, I will not hold my breath, as a leopard does not change its spots, and some of us saw the first signs of this cold-hearted power-hungry tyranny as far back as the 1980s (most specifically, in 1984, when I was still eleven years old, being an unwilling witness to the brazen and brutal beating up, burning down of properties, and sheer torture of perceived opponents of the state, which, in this case, was any Ndebele speaking person (man, woman, child, or even unborn baby, whereby over 20,000 were eventually massacred) – thereby, meaning that two generations could have been born between then and now, yet the wickedness and pure evil continues unabated.
This is the same government that has no qualms evicting and displacing its own citizens from their ancestral lands, as well as destroying their homes – leaving thousands upon thousands of families to the caprices of this season’s incessant rains, and the vagaries of unforgiving hunger, the shame of loss of dignity, and general pain and suffering – all in the name of investment, or correcting land allocation anomalies.
Seriously, what manner of people do that to other human beings?
Then, we are all expected to act all “jolly jolly”, and pretend to be “one happy family” – whilst, telling the whole world, in the name of patriotism, that our leaders are great!
Quite frankly, no one in Zimbabwe cares much about the so-called targeted sanctions imposed on about 142 top officials, and entities (ostensibly, for human rights abuses, electoral fraud, corruption, and economic mismanagement) by largely Western countries – since, very few of us see any effect of such pathetic measures, which would hardly force any hardcore wicked, cold-hearted, power-hungry, and corrupt individual into reforming.
Surely, for instance, what sense is there in merely banning a ruthless, murderous armed bank robber from coming to your house, nor stashing his loot there yet, letting him to continue robbing the bank, whilst holding innocent people hostage (and, even killing some of them)?
All the people of Zimbabwe want is for their freedom from the captivity of this cruel and ruinous regime. We want to finally enjoy all the goodness that God, in His abundant wealth of grace, exceedingly blessed us with, without any criminal powerful elite bullying us off our inheritance.
We desperately desire that day when we can successfully find employment, or if we so choose, establish our own businesses, yet be able to adequately provide for our families with abundance (watching our children joyfully growing up with everything they need, with world class education, and a guaranteed future) – whilst at the same time, be free to exercise our democratic rights to expression, opinion, and to fairly choose the government of our own choice.
Surely, is that too much to ask for?
© 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