Arrogance, greed, and cruelty main reason for ZANU PF downfall and unpopularity

In Shona there is a very powerful saying - "chakafukidza dzimba matenga", loosely translated means, what truly goes on in people's houses is concealed by their roofs.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana


In other words, there are so many, usually unenviable things happening in people’s private lives, which the general public is not aware of.

It is, then, unsurprising at all, watching a family that is undoubtedly in so much love, and filled with joy and happiness – such that most onlookers would easily be forgiven for assuming that all was perfect in their home, with no headaches and challenges at all, more so on the financial front, where most problems emanate.

Yet, when given an opportunity to take a peek into their home life, and allowed to share in their innermost secrets, a far much different picture of their economic life emerges, with a more troubling image being painted.

What subsequently baffles those with this privileged inside information is – why, then, does it appear the family’s joy, happiness, and unity is genuine, and not simply a facade staged for public optics and perception?

Unbeknownst to everyone else – the family carries with it a secret for this perplexing joy, happiness, and oneness.


As my trusty Bible so beautifully and aptly puts it – “love covers a multitude of sin”.

This may relate to the fact that, where there is love, one can readily forgive those who sin against him, or he who has love can not sin against other people.

It can also mean, where there is love, there is profound humility, understanding, compassion, and respect for one another.

Where there are those four factors – which act like the glu that binds the family together – nothing can fell them, no matter the challenges faced.

Therefore, when there are economic problems, for instance, these factors make them open with each other regarding the state of their finances, fully understand the constraints faced in earning more, agree by consensus on how to use this little money (with transparency being key).

However, what is crucial in this dire situation is, humility and respect – whereby, the breadwinner needs to acknowledge his role in failing to adequately provide for his family’s needs and wants, thereby desisting from making excuses, or even being rude and arrogant when confronted by a complaining family – who are justified, in every way, to freely raise their concerns.

The head of the family should be guided by a sense of responsibility, which lies first and foremost in providing for those he is mandated to care for – as such, can not, under any circumstances, attempt to turn the tables around by blaming his family for his own inadequacies.

But, he needs to humble himself, and even apologize for his shortcomings.

Believe me – as the same trusty Bible taught me – “a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger”.

That is the secret that most of our leaders out there do not grasp.

They seem shockingly oblivious to the fact that, in spite of all the challenges faced under their watch – most times, the solution is simply a gentle and humble response, uttered in sincerity and love.

Zimbabwe has been reeling under unprecedented economic problems for the better part of the last twenty years – making the ruling establishment ever more unpopular by the day.

Yet, there is one thing that always appears to persistently elude our leaders.

The major source of the nation’s rage and ire against them does not necessarily emanate from the economic suffering and lack – but largely from the rotten and sickening attitudes of those in power.

The arrogance and defensiveness – whenever confronted by the financially constricted citizenry – is revolting and disgusting, to say the least, and only manages to incite further outrage and infuriation within the population.

How are the people supposed to feel, when – after raising valid discontentment over exorbitant fuel prices – the energy minister finds nothing wrong with retorting by haughtily telling them to use ZUPCO buses?

Or, when citizens legitimately cry over the unaffordability of meat, and other basic commodities – a whole president arrogantly instructs them to eat vegetables and potatoes (which themselves are equally out of reach), as they are supposedly “healthier”.

Or, when we justifiably rebuke the governing authorities for the free-falling useless local currency, and an economy under which more than half the population live in extreme poverty – the only response is a disingenuous attempt to blame “economic sanctions”, “saboteurs”, and “regime change agents”, as well as unleashing savagery and thuggery on any who do not agree.

The quickest way for the family I mentioned at the beginning, to watch all that joy, happiness, and harmony vanishing right in front of their eyes, would be for the head of the family to tell his family to cook leaves (after they complain over lack of food) or for the children to put on “nhembe”, animal skins (when they raise concern over torn and unwearable school uniforms), and barbarically beat up any who continue to complain.

This, while the breadwinner, is busy sipping on the finest wines, banqueting on the most exquisite gourmets, and seeking pleasure in the most expensive hotels.

For that is exactly what is happening in Zimbabwe – with an arrogant, uncaring, and callous ruling elite, who have no qualms living the high and opulent life (mostly through ill-gotten wealth, from plundering the nation’s resources), whilst leaving the citizenry in the depths of unimaginable poverty.

On top of that, when confronted with this cruel reality – only vile rottenness is spewed out of their mouths.

It is quite possible to live in lack and need – yet, being relatively happy and united – but, this can never be true for Zimbabwe, on account of a leadership that can not even spell the words, “humility” and “love”… which can cover a multitude of sin.

© 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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