Is there anything for Zimbabwe’s presidium to be proud of, after turning country into a shameless charity case?

I honestly had all the intentions of attentively watching and following the live broadcast of the delivery, that arrived today at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare, of an additional 200,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines donated by the Chinese government to Zimbabwe, through its Sinopharm pharmaceutical company - but, unfortunately, there was no way I could stop myself from being distracted, as I found it quite irritating, the persistent tendency by both the Zimbabwe president Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, and his deputy Constantine Chiwenga, in packaging the regime's constant begging and reliance on handouts, as a sign of excellent relations with other countries.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana


Indeed, when one is down and out, and is in desperate need of assistance – the people who will rush to your aid are usually your truly loving and dearest friends and relatives.

There is certainly no question about that.

However, what is most disturbing, and a cause of concern, is the apparent unwillingness by the ruling establishment in Zimbabwe to acknowledge that this perennial reliance on handouts, and the goodwill of our so-called “all weather friends”, speaks far beyond the strength and perseverance of such friendships – but, actually exposes our country as nothing more than a miserable and shameless “charity case”, freeloader, and “basket case”.

Of course, the government may argue that, in the case of these Sinopharm vaccines, they have, in fact, placed an order of 1.2 million doses (of which, 144,000 were part of the consignment delivered today) – nonetheless, no one would be so foolish as to fail to detect the ever-present embarrassing and shameful need for donations by our country, instead of merely purchasing all our needs.

Honestly, are we not in the habit of boasting of how much richly endowed we are as a country – such that, it never ceases to boggle the mind how we have become beggars, instead of givers?

Considering the manner we are so abundantly blessed with some of the richest mineral, agricultural, and tourism resources on the face of the planet, does it make any sense that we are, on the contrary, the poorest, to the extent that we become nothing more than a burden on the rest of the world – always the ones with a begging bowl in hand?

Surely, watching a whole president, and his deputy, gathered on the runway of our country’s international airport, in jubilant expectation of a donation of medical equipment, which – had we been an organized, properly managed, and self-respecting country – should have proudly forked out our own money to procure.

Yet, the presidium is more than proud of – and, have no hesitation in megaphoning it for all to hear – how being perennial freeloaders and beggars (who would rather loot and plunder, like the biblical “Prodigal Son”, most of the country’s vast resources, which could easily purchase COVID-19 vaccines for the entire world, but are left penniless, and could readily clean pigsties for the Chinese for them to provide for us) is a sign of unending strong and unbreakable bonds friendship.

Where is our self-respect as a nation? Even the “Prodigal Son” had the decency and wisdom to quickly realize, and repent from, the foolishness of his ways – thereby, returning to sanity, and the opulent, respectable, and comfortable life that his father had always wanted him to have.

Admittedly, everyone on this planet does find themselves falling on hard times, once in a while – as surely, does even the best amongst us – nonetheless, being continually in the doldrums, and requiring handouts at all times, becomes a major cause of concern, as is a sign of a much more deep-seated shortcoming, especially considering how richly-gifted that person would be.

Furthermore, when we consider Zimbabwe’s case, whereby top government officials, and their connections and mafia cartel buddies, live Hollywood-like lavish lifestyles (that could easily challenge the world’s richest) through, largely ill-gotten wealth – and, yet preside over a severely impoverished and hungry population, and can not even afford to procure vaccines for its dying citizenry – what is there for the leadership to be gloating over the results of such callousness, criminality, and cruelty?

Most certainly, if ever a household had a father who was always bragging about his “very good friends”, who were always there for him – as they provided for his family’s every need, from buying them food, paying for their medical costs, to meeting educational costs for his children, and even providing clothing for his wife – yet, he recklessly spent all the vast money he earned, on drinking and merrymaking at the nearest bar, leaving him with nothing for his wife and children – then, that family was indeed without a father, and had to be ashamed of him.

The same applies to our own Zimbabwe – which, embarrassingly has a regime that is more interested in feeding their own bellies, and building the most opulent mansions, owning countless luxury vehicles, and wantonly dispossessing indigenous peoples from their ancestral lands for the leadership’s own selfish plundering purposes – yet, feel immensely proud to be world-renowned beggars, who need other countries to perpetually come to the rescue of their own suffering, hungry, and poverty-stricken populace.

To be brutally frank, I wish I had not viewed today’s live broadcast of the Sinopharm vaccine delivery, as never in my life have I felt so humiliated and ashamed to be a citizen of a country with such a leadership – as I painfully watched our own leaders (dressed in suits and ties) feeling on top of the world, and clearly overly-pleased with themselves, as they proudly touted their “all-weather friendship with Chinese”, whilst certainly oblivious to the “charity  case”, freeloader, and “basket case” status that they have degraded our once proud, independent, prosperous, and self-respecting nation into.

© 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]

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