No matter what “development” ZANU PF brings but no vote from me as long as livelihoods not better than at 1980

I find it throughly infuriating, if not downright insulting, hearing some ruling ZANU PF leaders and supporters going to all lengths in their arrogant attempts at forcing their perception and version of "development" down everyone's throats.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana


Please, not all of us view development in the same manner – and, this should never come as a shock, because each individual is created differently, and as such regard what is satisfactory and satisfying differently from the next person.

That should be common knowledge.

No wonder, in life, there is a saying – one man’s meat is another man’s poison.

Therefore, if there are those who strongly believe having their roads rehabilitated (no matter how shoddily), or are provided some handouts, or communal boreholes drilled as the new source of urban water, and possibly handed one or two so-called “empowerment” projects, is good enough to vote into power their benefactors – then, please go ahead.

However, not all of us regard life with the same standards.

Those who are happy and “good to go” under such conditions of living – which, people as myself consider deplorable, mediocre, and completely unacceptable – then, fine, but please stop shoving your own standards down our throats.

Do not force us to love what you love, and find acceptable what you find acceptable!

As far as some of us are concerned, there can never be any meaningful development, unless and until our livelihoods and living standards become much higher and better than where they were at their best.

Thus, if our best was when we, as children, attended government schools that were stocked to the brim with the latest state-of-the art technologies and learning materials, equiped with functional world-class sporting facilities as swimming pools, with educators who were well-paid and highly motivated – then, today I expect much more than that.

Surely, it does not make any sense if my son, today, were to attend the same schools as I did in the 1980s – yet, they are now 40 years behind in everything, and I am the one who actually brags to him on how advanced these learning institutions used to be in the past, due to their current decrepit nature.

If, during our country’s heyday, our urban homes had uninterrupted power supplies (which only went after being notified in advance, usually for maintenance purposes), with reliable continued water supplies through our home taps, garbage collected from our gates on a regular basis, operational street lights, as well as roads, lush parks, and exquisite recreational facilities that were always in top condition – then, in this day and age, I need to see much better than this.

When we could visit our own local Cactus Poort Dam, in Redcliff, for boating and other water activities – yet today, it merely lies there as a disused white elephant, that can not even provide drinking water for households – then, that is certainly retrogression.

When our parents used to find it easy to secure employment (despite their limited education), were paid so handsomely (in a local currency that actually had value) such that even nurses and teachers could afford to purchase their own beautiful low density suburban homes, lovely cars, amongst a whole host of luxuries and creature comforts – then, in modern day Zimbabwe, I need far higher standards.

Why would I accept less than the impeccable health care standards that we had when we attained independence – such that even our “township” hospitals of that era would, today, appear as if from somewhere overseas – which were equiped with some of the best facilities available at the time?

Which is why, on July 12, 1973 at the “township” Torwood Hospital, when I was born without any detectable beating pulse, and not breathing, for nearly 45 minutes – my mother was never unduly and overly anxious, since she had profound confidence in her fellow health care practitioners’ remarkable competence (as she was also a nurse at the same institution), as well as the exceptional facilities.

By Jehovah God’s amazing wealth of grace, in Christ Jesus’ name – despite a prognosis of spending the rest of my naturals in a persistent vegetative state, on account of the prolonged restriction of blood supply to my brain – I am here, and doing very well.

However, the same can not be said of the hospital today – as the magnificent structure lies in absolute ruins, in true vegetative state.

If in the 1980s, most of our industries, agriculture, and mining were counted among the best in the world – why would I be alright with anything less in 2022?

Why should I celebrate a few ZUPCO buses, which are already falling woefully short in meeting demand – when forty years ago, our urban commuter transport system was highly competitive, and even comparable with those in Western countries?

Only when these standards of the 1980s (and before) are surpassed, will someone like me, finally acknowledge that there is development in Zimbabwe.

At the moment, quite frankly, Zimbabwe is only in “catch-up mode” as opposed to being on a “developmental  trajectory”.

This is akin to a child who was once a “straight A” student – but, due to mischievousness and deliquency, his grades fell to disgraceful depths of Fs – but, is now roving between Fs, Es, and the occasional D.

No one in their right mind can ever describe that as “achievement” or “advancement” – when he is nowhere near the peak at which he used to perform.

However, as the situation currently pertains – there is absolutely nothing for me to celebrate, which warrants my vote for the ruling ZANU PF – what more, being the same party that has presided over the ruination of our once glorious country.

Indeed, there will always be those who find the ramshackle and disastrous Zimbabwe of nowadays as a “heaven on earth” and “epitome of success” – and, so are free to vote for the creators of such a country.

Those whose livelihoods have improved from how they were in the 1980s can feel free to celebrate ZANU PF’s “exceptional and visionary leadership” – but, please count us out of your celebrations.

Please do not force everyone to perceive the situation in Zimbabwe through the same rose-tinted glasses of deception – as we definitely are not deceived – but, there are actually those of us who expect much better for both ourselves and our country.

© 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 / +263733397936, or email: [email protected]

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