Mugabe was indeed better but so scary to imagine what that means for today’s Zimbabwe!

Sitting around waiting for electricity that has been gone for over eighteen hours - from around midnight, and still nothing as I write this article at five in the afternoon - so as to engage in some productive activity, can easily make one start thinking unsavory thoughts.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana

 

Here I am, with all my work gadgets right in front of me, but can not do a single thing – since they are all electrically-operated – and the mind can not help wandering around, whilst wondering where this is all going.

Under such desperate circumstances, disturbing thoughts are hardly far away – gnawing at ones brain, insisting to be thought.

Indeed, that feat is never too difficult, as the opportunities for such thoughts are all around me, and ready to present themselves.

As I count the milestones I could have achieved so far today, had there been electricity – that all too familiar feeling of despondency creeps in, to remind me that, we also have not had any running water for four months now.

So, here I am – in a place that does not have any water (unless if some rains do come, and we collect from roof gutters, or ask the incredibly patient, but ever-harassed neighbor, who has a borehole), and fast-eroding hope of any electricity for work, or for charging those lithium ion battery-powered devices, and of course cooking and lighting.

The never-resting burdened mind sorrowfully sinks deeper into depression, imagining how, even if I had done some work, the comatose economy – which is all but in the intensive care unit, and its last breath sustained only by some invisible life-support system – would have hardly afforded my family and I a decent and dignified livelihood.

What with a useless local currency that is perpetually in a freefall – losing value by the day – and, likely destined for a similar fate as the early 2000’s regrettable Zimbabwe Dollar, whose only worth is being awarded a place in the Leeds City Museum’s hall of shame, in the United Kingdom (UK).

I try to think back to the recent past, so as to remember when last did I find myself – as with millions other Zimbabweans – in this most precarious and unenviable position.

Indeed, the early 2000s were a time one would like to forget in a hurry – as much as that in itself, is a tall order – what with a frightening month-on-month inflation rate of 79.6 billion per cent, and 89.7 sextillion per cent year-on-year in mid-November 2008.

Nonetheless, after the formation of a GNU (Government of National Unity) between the ruling ZANU PF and opposition MDC parties in 2009 – after a cold-blooded reign of terror was unleashed by then president Robert Gabriel Mugabe on suspected opposition supporters, after his disgraceful loss to Morgan Richard Tsvangirai – the situation greatly improved and stabilized.

As a matter of fact, for the next eight years, life in Zimbabwe – although it still had its challenges, such as cash shortages, characterized by unending bank queues – the introduction of a multi-currency system, and long-overdue discarding of the fit-for-the-museum Zimbabwe dollar, brought with it phenomenal economic recovery and welcome stability.

For eight years, between 2009 and 2017, we had prices that stayed where there were, as well as other facets of everyday life as relatively reliable electricity and water supply, availability of basic commodities, and even the occasional luxury were there for Zimbabweans.

It was certainly far from being heaven on earth – but, it was liveable.

That was until some people within the ruling ZANU PF party, with the assistance of the country’s military, decided that their own factional infighting, and power struggles, had priority over the livelihoods and wellbeing of the ordinary citizens – when they staged their coup d’etat in November 2017.

Granted, Mugabe was an unrepentant and unpardonable vile monster – and, his departure from office was long-overdue and desperately needed – however, being replaced by a clueless bunch of his former henchmen and enforcers, was clearly not the best option.

Life from then onwards – as was to be expected – reverted to untold poverty, unimaginable suffering, and ruthless barbarity (that made a brutal blood-thirsty Mugabe look like a mere toddler) at the hands of a regime that could not tell whether they were coming or going.

Incessant power outages returned, water shortages that had been forgotten in most urban areas made an unwelcome comeback, and basic commodities became unaffordable again, thanks to the mind-boggling reintroduction of a disdained local currency.

As most difficult as it is to admit, Mugabe’s last years in power were much better than this madness and confusion we are witnessing today under the so-called “new dispensation” led by the late nonagenarian’s former protege, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.

Nothing appears to be working!
as to why civil servants are demanding their salaries be reverted to what they were before October 2018 – before the “new dispensation”, through its weird economics, decided that the country needed a cur
If there are still any doubters out there, can anyone think of a better explanation rency founded on air!

The scariest thought one can ever have is imagining what that means for our country – if we are actually worse off than where we were under a ruinous, kleptomaniac, and incompetent Mugabe regime – that, destroyed a once jewel of Africa, into a basketcase of the world.

Dear God, please help us!

© 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]

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