Zimbabwe regime can stop people from attending opposition rallies but can’t stop citizens’ disgruntlement with ruling elite!

The adage, "you can take a horse to the river, but you can't make it drink" fascinates me.

However – as information pertaining the Zimbabwe regime’s fervent efforts to prevent people from attending the opposition CCC (Citizens Coalition for Change) rally in the capital Harare today (February 20, 2022) trickles in – I could not help changing this popular English saying into, “you can stop citizens from attending opposition rallies, but you can’t make them support you”!

If the people of Zimbabwe are sick and tired, and have had enough, of the state-sponsored human rights abuses and unending oppression, as well as high-level grand looting, economic mismanagement, and unbearable improvement – there is nothing that can stop them from hating those who have authored their misery.

No roadblocks supposedly preventing vehicles with more than three passengers from passing towards the opposition rally, or utterly ridiculous stringent conditions laid down by law enforcement agents constricting the free conducting of this gathering – can ever change the people’s disgruntlement aimed at their tormentors.

Alternatively, bussing hundreds of hapless and even fearful people from all across the country – especially, from rural areas, either by coercion or false promises of handouts and food aid – and, subjecting them to endless insufferable speeches, fraught with lies and deceit (usually in the sweltering sun) can never make a poverty-stricken subjugated nation suddenly love their oppressors.

Indeed, they may cheer for the food, celebrate the handouts, and even ululate at the false unfulfilled promises they have been insulted with for the past 41 years – but, let no one be fooled into believing those are genuine signs of affection, endearment, and support.

What can anyone expect from a hungry people, wallowing in abject poverty – since, they have found that pretending to love those who hold the reigns of power, and can give them food and a semblance of livelihood (no matter how minuscule) is a very ingenious survival strategy.

However, even those in the ruling elite are all too aware that this would merely be a charade – and, come election time, these same cheering and dancing scarf-wearing crowds would most likely be voting for the opposition, in an attempt to finally rid themselves of these freeloading pests that have turned their lives upside down, once and for all.

Which is why, the regime is terrified of the main opposition – and, has sleepless nights, haunted by the possibility of being kicked out of power by a people that can not take the four decades of abuse and mistreatment anymore.

Surely, what manner of a leadership burns the proverbial midnight oil, planning, plotting, and scheming how to disrupt democratic processes – which, are considered normal and ordinary in any other civilized society on the face of the planet?

Only a fearful, unpopular, and failed ruling establishment, of course!

If those in power are so confident of their mass popularity due to their “resoundingly successful economic policies”, as well as their alleged “opening up of democracy space” – why be so freaked out at the prospect of the main opposition holding a rally?

Why set such restrictive and, quite frankly insane, measures – as the prohibition of supporters from outside the particular constituency where the rally is behind held (yet, this is the launch of a national program), and car campaigning – if these were not signs of horror and terror in the corridors of power?

The ruling ZANU PF spokesperson, Christopher Mutsvangwa, even had the temerity to shockingly declare that his party was unmoved by the opposition CCC!

Wow, is that how they react to something that does not move them?

Then, I shudder imagining how they would react to something that really does move them!

Why talk about, insult, and castigate, seemingly on a daily basis, something or someone who does not move you?

Why spend sleepless nights trying to sabotage and throw spanners into the works of something or someone who does not move you!

Why abuse state institutions – which are constitutionally obliged to be apolitical, neutral, and professional – to serve narrow ruling party interests, whilst apparently declaring war on the opposition, if they did not move you!

At the end of the day, what I find particularly amusing is that – after these shenanigans, and all has been said and done, the ruling party still finds it most difficult to win a free, fair and credible election!

Zimbabweans are not stupid – and, they are fully aware of where their misery emanates!

© 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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