As I watched the looks of self-satisfaction on the ruling party’s top officials, and heard the haughty pledges of numerous more defections, something clicked in my head – “These people don’t comprehend the fullness of their actions, all possible scenarios, and potential ramifications of their actions, as this could actually be a silver lining on the dark cloud that has been hovering above the heads of the ever-suffering people of Zimbabwe”.
How so, many would ask?
Well, if there has been one question that has been on the mouths, and minds, of numerous people, both in and outside the country, it is: “Why do Zimbabweans not stand up for themselves, as we have witnessed in other countries, despite the unending, unbearable, and untold suffering that they have been subjected to at the hands of a kleptomaniac, brutal, and incompetent regime – whose only outstanding ‘achievements’ ever since coming into power at the onset of independence in 1980, has been a heinous genocide that massacred over 20,000 innocent civilians, looting the country’s vast natural resources for their personal enrichment, whilst leaving millions of Zimbabweans wallowing in poverty, sickness, and death, as well as running down, and ruining, a once vibrant and proud economy, which had proven resilient even through 15 years of UN (United Nations) imposed crippling economic sanctions between 1965 and 1980”?
Of course, this apparent ‘fear’ and ‘cowardice’ by the country’s citizenry – which, the then head of the presidential guard, Anselm Sanyatwe, even mocked during the Montlante Commission set up to probe the 2018 post-election protests, that resulted in the cold-blooded fatal gunning down of six unarmed civilians (most of them fleeing bystanders) by state security forces, in which he described Zimbabweans as people who were too cowardly, and would flee merely at the sight of a military truck – is never easy to unpack and decipher, as a number of reasons have been thrown around, however, my own conclusion has been that, the citizenry has become overly reliant on the main opposition party, the MDC, for salvation, and overly expectant on them to do the work that we, as the oppressed, should have been doing for ourselves.
There is nothing on the face of this planet that cripples, incapacitates, and stifles a people’s progress and advancement than a dependency syndrome – and, in this regard, a people who have been at the mercy of a cold-hearted and unruly regime, yet merely passively sitting back, whilst waiting upon other people (who obviously have their own personal ambitions and agendas) to somehow bring about the long-overdue emancipation, and prosperity…largely because we are too afraid to take on the task for ourselves.
It is not a secret that I have never trusted politicians, and have always found it totally foolhardy for anyone to believe that even a single one of them is in it for the masses – as the motivation for most people to enter politics, and run for office, has seldom been for the selfless greater good of the nation, and its citizenry, but predominantly for his or her personal power, fame, and wealth ambitions – whilst, the electorate, as the ticket to that objective, being mere pawns, who are required and remembered only when necessary.
A quick look at the current shenanigans in the political arena proves it all – as, honestly, what else explains the decision by a sitting member of parliament, or local authority councilor, who would choose to ditch his or her political party (on whose ticket she or he was elected) for a rival one, simply in order to save her or his ‘job and benefits’ in those august houses.
Since when has serving the people become a job or career move?
I have been a member of various community development organizations ever since my early childhood – which, included the then Boy Scouts Association, and other charitable clubs – which inculcated in me values that serving one’s country and people was a duty (of which I should not be paid for), rather than a career or profession, whereby I would expect some kickbacks or rewards.
Therefore, what manner of ‘serving’ are politicians doing, when their first priority is always, “What’s in it for me, and what will I get in return”?
As such, as much as I would never celebrate the deliberate dissipation of any political party – as that is merely an expected nature of what they dare call the ‘game of politics’ – nonetheless, for the majority of Zimbabweans, who have had to endure untold suffering (with others dying, due to hunger/malnutrition, depression-induced illnesses, and the lack of affordable medical care), brutal repression (with the persecution of any voices of dissent, anti-corruption, and social justice through brazen arrests on spurious charges, with hardly any convictions), and the cold-blooded fatal shooting of protestors – this is not a game, and we are certainly not enjoying any of this nonsense.
My own prayer is that, once the people of Zimbabwe finally realize that their only trust and hope they had placed in the main opposition is no longer a viable alternative, they will finally realize that they have no other choice, but to stand up for their own rights, dignity, and prosperity, on their own – and, as in other exemplary peoples across the globe, who have stood firm and unrelenting, in the face of unimaginable brutality, so should we.
We have no one to cry to, and most certainly we have no one to fight for us, except ourselves – and, the supreme law of our land has all the relevant avenues clearly and adequately stated, established, and simply waiting to be implemented by us, the people of Zimbabwe…and, should we choose not to do so, we only have ourselves to blame, should the unbearable suffering and pain meted out by this ruthless and vile regime continue, or as will surely happen, worsen.
© 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