There is an account of the prophet Nathan, who told King David of a troubling illustration about two men who resided in a city – one wealthy, and had exceeding flocks and herds, and the other poor, with only one ewe lamb to his name (which, he loved and cherished with every bit of his heart).
Yet, when the rich man received a visitor, he found it so hard to slaughter just one of his numerous sheep, so as to feed this guest – but, rather chose to take the poor man’s solitary lamb.
It is said, Kind David, when hearing this story, “his anger was greatly kindled against the rich man”, and promised Nathan that he would kill the man for his unspeakable cruelty.
Little did David realize that Nathan had only used this analogy in reference to the King’s own taking of his loyal subject’s (Uriah) only beloved wife (Bathsheba) – despite the fact that he already had many others – even resorting to murdering the poor man, in an attempt to cover up his evil…thereby, not only committing another sin, but also raising the wrath of God.
I was reminded of this biblical narrative, when I was thinking of how our country’s ruling elite never appear to realize the fact that they are just as evil, if not irredeemably vile, as the thieves they accuse of stealing from the poor amongst us – who even resort to murdering their victims.
What is the difference between that robber who attacks a defenceless old lady, rapes and kills her, then flees with the little belongings that she had – and, the powerful and abundantly wealthy ruling elite, who plunder and loot state coffers, and the country’s national resources, which should have been used to provide a better life for the poor amongst us, affordable (or, even free) cancer treatment for our elderly, and sufficient social nets and pensions for retirees?
When the population becomes marginalized and is pushed onto the fringes of society – because, they can not afford the most basic of necessities, are hungry, can not meet their children’s school fees and other essential educational requirements, and fail to adequately look after their elderly parents – who is to blame?
Let us remember that, when those in power dip their fingers into the national money pot, they are not just stealing a ‘little’ from the much that is in our treasury – but, effectively robbing the very poor in our country, who need each and every cent for their wellbeing and upkeep.
When top government officials have no qualms stealing nearly US$100 million meant for COVID-19, then should they not bear some of the responsibility for the deaths and illnesses we have witnessed in the country?
When we watch our elderly succumbing to such deadly sicknesses as cancer – due to their inability to access and afford the expensive chemotherapy treatment, which the government needs to be providing – should we not point an accusing finger at those in the corridors of power, who would rather dish out our nation’s billions of dollars to their crooked business partners, in shady deals and tenders?
When our children spend an entire year without attending school, or receiving any form of meaningful learning – as a result of our public educational institutions’ failure to adequately prepare against the COVID-19 pandemic, and lack of sufficient information and communications technologies (ICTs) for online tutoring – yet, the government can not properly account for our diamond, gold, and platinum earnings…whose fault is that?
There is nothing that pains my heart as seeing long winding queues of elderly and poor folk, waiting for hours (in the chilling cold, or drenching rain, or scorching heat) for some handouts, and cash disbursements by non-governmental organizations – as they can not afford to even feed themselves – whilst, our so-called leaders can fly overseas, in chartered jets, for medical treatment, and live in Hollywood-style opulence, at the same poor people’s tax expense.
How cruel and evil can our ruling elite get?
However, they have the temerity to speak passionately against the increasing levels of crime in our country, as well as its violent and dark nature – without so much as waking up to the fact that, as in the narrative about King David, they are just as cruel and evil.
Zimbabwe now deserves leaders who place the interests of the people ahead of their own – as that is what true servant leadership entails.
What type of servant steals from those he serves, and then lives a lavish lifestyle from his ill-gotten wealth, whilst those he has stolen from wallow in abject poverty?
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and political commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936 / +263733399640, or email: [email protected]Post published in: Featured