Even in the animal kingdom, there is always conflict to be expected – whether in the pursuit of food, fight over territory, or challenges over dominance and mating rights.
These battles in the wild can be downright brutal, merciless, and savage – yet, that is part of being a wild animal, which were not endowed with any intellectual capacity, or the power of wisdom, and civilized engagement.
Such ruthless and primitive battles are what most of us enjoy when watching channels as Nat Geo Wild, and Wild Earth – since these bring out the inherent ‘wildness’ of wild animals.
However, human beings are supposed to be a much more advanced and developed ‘animal’ – blessed with the ability to reason, intellectually engage and negotiate, and settle disputes civilly.
That is what makes Homo sapiens (Latin for ‘wise man’) a higher species than other animals.
Thus, the issue with human beings is not the presence of disagreements and disputes – as these are normal, and an integral part of any relationship – but, how we react and deal with such.
Yet, shockingly, we still find those who seem utterly incapable of handling what should be the most basic and common of human interactions – conflict resolution.
We all encounter conflict on a daily basis.
In fact, on an individual level, there is so much conflict – as a person can easily be confused and in disagreement with him or herself, not even understanding why they do the things they do, or think the things they think.
We can also find conflict and disagreements in marriages, families, between neighbors, at workplaces and in business, in local and national politics, and obviously in international relations.
With conflict and disagreements being so clearly commonplace – it, then baffles the mind why we still have those who appear completely incapable of handling these.
In other words, we still have those who are do not understand the basic tenets of human relations.
How else can anyone describe supposedly top ruling ZANU PF, as well as Zimbabwe regime spokespersons – who are meant to be the faces and voices of the ruling party, government, and even the president – being at the forefront of spewing toxic vitriol at any perceived rival, which clearly tantamount to uncivilized savagery?
What are we to conclude when a whole presidential spokesperson labels another country’s leader a ‘sellout’ – as we witnessed with George Charamba’s jibe at Zambia’s Hakainde Hichilema?
And, then they act perplexed when they become a target for Zambia’s own spokesperson!
Of course, Charamba is not new to this field of controversial undiplomatic remarks – having made a career of not sparing anyone in his daily tirades against all those critical of President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, the government of Zimbabwe, or the ruling party… including yours truly, as he once subjected me to personal attacks, which is a hallmark of his diatribes.
Similarly, just a day or so ago, the ruling ZANU PF director of information and publicity, Tafadzwa Mugwadi, called UK MPs (United Kingdom members of parliament), ‘pink pigs’ – an undoubtedly racist comment targeting all Caucasians, including their own sports minister Kirsty Coventry, and agriculture deputy minister Vangelis Peter Haritatos.
This was after these British MPs had discussed Zimbabwe’s gross human rights abuses and brutality against a defenceless civilian population.
This is the same individual who had no shame in using unprintable foul language towards an Al Jazeera presenter (on live television), as well as against SABC (South Africa Broadcasting Corporation) international editor Sophie Mokoena – for merely questioning the Zimbabwe authorities’ alleged brazen abductions and persecution of opposition, labour, human rights activists.
It does not matter whether or not these British MPs were justified in discussing another sovereign nation in their parliament – neither is the issue about the veracity of the accusations made by these foreign journalists, and others who have placed Zimbabwe’s ruling elite on the spotlight for their violations of people’s rights, corruption, and mismanagement of the country.
The issue here is the reaction of those supposed to be the faces and voices of both the ruling part and government.
One would have expected such barbaric responses from some intoxicated uneducated and semi-literate ordinary ZANU PF card-carrying youth member – embroiled in a toxic drunken and drug-filled quarrel at some ramshackle bar or shebeen – and, certainly not the highest ranking representatives of a country’s ruling party and government.
We expect better from those entrusted with sprucing up the country’s image – especially, with a ruling establishment that claims a sincere interest in engaging and re-engaging the international community, after two decades of pariah statehood.
The so-called ‘Second Republic’ – which came into power after a military coup d’etat in November 2017 – assured all and sundry of its commitment to divorce itself from Mnangagwa’s predecessor, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, who was notorious for his confrontational and combative approach to any disagreement.
As a matter of fact, when Mnangagwa was invited to the UN COP26 (United Nations Climate Change Conference) in Glasgow, Scotland a few weeks ago – he touted the trip as a major diplomatic accomplishment, as he claimed to have ‘wowed’ several world leaders with his charm (including, although unproven, US president Joe Biden, and Boris Johnson, the UK prime minister).
What ‘charm’ is there when his own spokespersons, barely a month later – before even those huge self-congratulatory smugs have been wiped off their faces – resort to spewing the same old toxic uncivilized vitriol against those they want to re-engage?
As mentioned earlier, I am not saying what the UK MPs did was right – but, in any disagreement there needs those with the intellectual capacity, and wisdom, for civilized conflict resolution…a gift that separates Homo Sapiens from the rest of the animal kingdom.
Could the aggrieved government of Zimbabwe’s minister of foreign affairs not have summoned the British ambassador to register their grave displeasure – or, if they really wanted to bare their teeth, even go as far as threatening to expel the diplomat, whilst recalling our own representative in the UK?
Was there any need to be blatantly racist – referring to the white MPs as ‘pink pigs’ – or, going on a clearly undiplomatic verbal rampage on social media, using the most embarrassing language?
Surely, is this a regime that is serious with their claimed ‘engagement and re-engagement’ policy – yet, fails to conduct the most basic of human relations and interactions?
Brute savagery does no prove one’s power and strength – but, merely exposes a severe dearth of intellectual and reasoning capacity. Period.
The government of Zimbabwe, and the ruling ZANU PF party, should stop lying to us about a desire to be re-admited in the global family of nations – as they are still showing signs of barbarity and their long-running pariah nature.
Even at a family gathering, a relative behaving in such a shameful and repulsive manner (insulting, with foul vulgar language, anyone he disgrees with) would be immediately asked to leave – and, why should Zimbabwe think it deserves to be treated any different?
Then, a thought comes into my mind – maybe, those in power do not actually want to be re-admited into the family of nations.
Let us not forget that, should these targeted sanctions be removed – that would effectively leave the ruling elite’s incompetence and mismanagement exposed, considering that the facade of ‘sanctions’ has acted as a convenient excuse for their shameful failures in the past twenty years.
Could these barbarous and savage reactions be, truly, a deliberate self-sabotaging scheme intended to ensure that these targeted restrictive measures remain in place, as a long-running election campaign strategy to explain away the ordinary people’s continued economic suffering and impoverishment?
Clearly, the ZANU PF regime does not have a workable and effective solution to the nation’s challenges – and what better way to avoid accountability than to scamper all possibilities of successful re-engagement – in spite of the fallacy of a desire to become an integral respectable part of the international community?
Which explains why the anti-sanctions crusade has primarily been fought in Zimbabwean media propaganda space, and streets – without much on the global stage – suggesting that this whole ‘sanctions’ narrative is intended purely for a domestic audience, for campaign purposes, and definitely not a serious international re-engagement matter.
Without targeted sanctions in place, ZANU PF would be kicked out of power!
© 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