Zimbabwe regime an utter disgrace that has brought unpardonable shame upon our nation!

Again, the country's ruling elite pushes Zimbabwe into international news headlines all for the wrong reasons!

Tendai Ruben Mbofana

 

We, as the ordinary people of this great southern African country, are sick and tired – in fact, thoroughly fed up – with seeing our nation’s name being dragged through the mud, as we hog the limelight on account of the disgraceful and despicable acts of those who are supposed to be setting a good example for the rest of us.

There is nothing more embarrassing than turning on a news channel, only to be greeted by reports about one’s own country being up to no good – from record-breaking hyperinflation, and huge wads of dollars than can not even buy a loaf of bread, to a ruling elite that blames everyone else for their own failures, and believes anyone who criticizes them is an enemy of the state.

We have also had the indignity of watching our leaders insulting other nation’s leaders, ranting and raving at international fora, as well as never conducting free, fair, and credible elections, an electoral commission that can not account for massive irregularities on the country’s voters roll, and unleashing a brutal reign of terror on the opposition and any other voices of dissent.

Just when we thought we had seen it all – today (February 26, 2022), we were met with more troubling news of an opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) scheduled and approved rally, in the small town of Gokwe, being ruthlessly and barbarically quashed by law enforcement agents.

In spite of suspicions of this impending heavy-handed and clearly tyrannical move – leading to the opposition party lodging an urgent application with the high court a few hours prior to the rally, challenging the planned disruption of their police-cleared gathering, yet these allegations being vehemently disputed by the same police – the rally was, nonetheless, savagely ambushed and crushed.

Disturbing and embarrassing scenes of teargas and water cannons being fired at innocent civilians (who ended up running for their dear lives), including the purported chasing of the opposition party’s vice president, Tendai Biti, by a police water cannon anti-riot truck – made for some seriously uncomfortable viewing.

If the police truly had justified reasons for cancelling this rally – why, then, did they deny this fact, when the matter was brought before high court judge Salvia Chirau a few hours before, resulting in her granting the CCC permission to proceed?

Could they not have used this opportunity to argue their case for the postponement or cancellation of the gathering?

Apparently, one of their own had already communicated this development to CCC officials – leading to the urgent high court challenge.

Why does this regime have such a high propensity for violence and dictatorship?

Are they so terrified of Nelson Chamisa, and his barely one month old party?

What manner of a democracy do those in power claim this country is – when such disgusting images are beamed all across the globe?

If we had been in a Middle Eastern, or South Asian country, such shameful acts by our leaders would have made them suitable candidates for “honour killing” – whereby a family member is murdered by other family members, the act being justified as retribution for a slight upon the family’s honour.

It is a good thing we do not have such a culture in Zimbabwe – nonetheless, this regime has brought immeasurable shame upon our nation.

Now, no matter where a Zimbabwean is stationed in the world – they will be looked upon with disdain, as those people who are so violent, and can not even tolerate honest political contestation, which is regarded as normal, and even exciting, in other countries.

Election periods in countries, including our neighbors in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, and Zambia, are so examplary and a beauty to follow – as all competing parties respect each other, hold democratic tenets in very high regard, and fully grasp the concept of fair, free, and credible contestation.

An outsider would be justifiably forgiven for thinking we were not from the same region.

As little children we were taught the joys and benefits of healthy competition – as we happily participated in various sporting contests, frequently changed leadership roles in school organizations, and enjoyed debating as we proffered differing and opposing viewpoints.

Those activities – besides, offering potential career paths – were also meant to train us to be mature adults, who would be “men” enough to welcome varied and even contrary opinions, whilst at the same time, appreciating the value and beauty of healthy competition and frequent leadership renewal.

One wonders if our leaders in this country were ever exposed to such an upbringing – or, did they grow up only knowing a life of fighting whilst herding cattle, or regarding anyone who did not agree with them as an enemy, who deserved merciless brutality?

Let us remember that, a mark of maturity is the ability to love someone, even if I do not necessarily agree with them – as, one does not have to like a person in order to respect him.

© 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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