This morning was no exception.
My first port of call on the news front was our local ZTV – where I just watched the usual drab politically-biased hogwash on how the country was making phenomenal economic inroads, and then some interview with a musician that I did not bother wasting my valuable time on – before immediately switching to our neighboring South Africa’s SABC News.
That is where I encountered something that sent a painful bolt right to the centre of my heart, and covered me with undescribable shame and embarrassment, as if had walked out of my home stark naked!
Whilst our own state-controlled broadcaster was busy giving the impression that all was well with Zimbabwe, and that we all should be filled with an immense sense of pride in our national leaders – even going as far as diverting our minds to focus on music – our southern neighbors had other things to say about us.
As I concentrated on the news report on SABC, I could not help feeling like a father who had just shockingly discovered that the image of his happy family had merely been a cruel facade – as his child had in fact been starving, forced into resorting to embarrassingly begging for morsels of food around the neighborhood, and being disgracefully chased out of each home.
As the rest of Zimbabwe were being told that the country was making great economic strides – and, the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans fundamentally improving, such that we needed not be concerned, but rather break into song and dance (it being a Friday, and all) – the truth of the matter was that, we were making international headlines all for the wrong reasons.
Of course, a humiliating trend which has tragically become synonymous with this country.
The truth about our country was being laid bare on SABC News – whereby, our southern neighbor is having a torrid time trying to contain and curb the untenable deluge of impoverished and struggling Zimbabweans illegally crossing the borders in search of a semblance of a decent and dignified livelihood.
Yet, that seldom is the case – since, even before stepping onto South African soil, they were already being rounded up, and bundled into waiting state security trucks, to be deported back to their home country.
As I listened to that country’s home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi, I could feel his intense frustration and exasperation at this influx – which his country is failing to sustain – of people who have become so desperate and dejected by the unacceptable and unlivable state in their own Zimbabwe, such that are prepared to face the ignominy and pain obviously awaiting them on the other side.
When a people are forced into a situation whereby jumping into the fire was better than staying in the frying pan – then, there is no greater sign of a government that has unashamedly and unmitigatedly failed the nation.
In fact, the Zimbabwe regime has tarnished the image of our country more than anyone else, by turning a once proud and envied people into the laughing stock of the world.
If ever there was any one group worthy of being labeled “unpatriotic”, then our ruling elite easily take the crown.
Do those in power in Zimbabwe feel no shame at all watching those utterly disturbing images of our fellow compatriots being chased away, like unwelcome disgusting dogs, by our neighbors – as they desperately flee the excruciating pathetic economic situation in Zimbabwe?
Do those in the ruling establishment have any conscience at all – that makes them feel guilty over the cruel manner in which they have ruined a country that was the heartbeat and powerhouse of the region (and, the entire African continent), through rampant and unpardonable looting and mismanagement?
Is that why they can not even bring themselves to showing us the true state of affairs at our border with South Africa – choosing, instead, to hoodwink us into a false sense of comfort and prosperity, such that we should rather prepare for a weekend of music and dance?
The stomach does not lie – and hunger can never be wished away, or glossed over, by some illusions of development, or delusions of success.
Zimbabweans are still suffering – even at worse levels than when this so-called “new dispensation” grabbed power in a military coup d’etat in November 2017, when at least civil servants earned US$600, than the current US$150.
Those in power now need to take full responsibility for the mess they have driven this country into.
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, and social 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