Then, this morning, I watched – again, in utter disbelief, as a huge group of ladies jubilantly graduated from a two-day course in home-made detergent production, arranged by the first lady – ostensibly, as a solution to the unspeakable poverty and suffering that millions of Zimbabweans have been trapped in for two decades.
I ended up asking myself – surely, is this the calibre of leadership that can take this country to the next level of development?
I immediately recalled those much-hyped courses for women to bake bread in clay wood-fired ovens – touted as the answer to unaffordable bread prices, due to the ever-depreciating local currency, and regarded as formidable competition to established bakeries.
As this initiative was rolled out two or so years ago – I am eager to learn how these women are faring.
Or, are they the same who are now being trained on how to manufacture home-made detergents and soaps – I am sure, this time around, being told will place them on the same level (if not higher) than all the other renowned companies, as they take over the market!
Is this really fair?
Is it really fair, taking advantage of the millions of impoverished Zimbabweans, by instilling in them a false sense of security, whilst feeding them fake hope of a bright future – yet, they continue running around in circles in their pursuit of those castles in the sky?
How come all we hear from the government of Zimbabwe, and those they work with in their schemes, are endless promises, assurances, and rolling out of meaningless initiatives that never truly improve the livelihoods of the ordinary people – but, only manage to make a mockery of them?
Are we to take seriously an administration whose only vision for our young people – most of whom having graduated from our many universities with an array of exceptional and diverse qualifications – is to drive them into producing home-made detergents and soaps, or selling wares on the streets, or bake bread in the bush, or go into dangerous disused mine shafts sourcing for a few tiny grains of gold, or grow a couple of crops for resale?
Is that the reason we, as parents, are sweating and toiling to send our children to school (in spite of the exorbitant fees) – in order for them to attain qualifications in their dream careers as engineers, accountants, teachers, medical doctors, nurses, journalists, and more – only for them to be forced by a mismanaged, looted, and ruined economy into street vending, or growing tomatoes?
Indeed, why would our children go into teaching when their salaries can not even afford two loaves of bread per day for a month?
Surely, this can not be it!
If this is the new Zimbabwe – then, we might as well stop sending our children to school, and merely enroll them for two-day homemade detergent production courses!
Who is even expected to buy these homemade products – whose standards, quality, effectiveness, and safety we are not quite sure of – in the first place?
My heart always bleeds whenever a young person approaches me for assistance in finding a job – a feat that is nearly impossible, since even I am in need of such an opportunity.
No wonder some of our youth now prostitute themselves with shady organizations, disguised under the banner of “empowerment advocacy” – whose solitary role appears merely to praise-sing and glorify the ruling establishment – as a means to hopefully get close to power, and receive something with which to feed their families.
It is a good thing that some of us live a principled life, based on values and morality – no matter the dire and unbearable financial circumstances we find ourselves – otherwise, we would have also been tempted into writing daily hero-worshipping nonsense, just so as to find favour with those in power, who can throw crumbs at us from their high table of opulence, in return.
Indeed, these are all signs of a desperate people, who have lost any other hope of survival in a country looted and plundered into a shameful basketcase.
What is even more troubling is how the country’s leadership appears to revel in such a despicable scenario – since this enables them to hold an impoverished people at ransom, for a morsel of food.
Is this how this government of Zimbabwe envisions their “Vision 2030”?
Is this the Zimbabwe we want?
No, this can not be real!
As our country’s ruling elite appears fully convinced that these hair-brain schemes are the panacea to the myriad of challenges faced by the citizenry – then, I begin to question the calibre of people we have in leadership.
Are we to genuinely conclude that, those in charge of running Zimbabwe are satisfied with the work they are doing?
Do they fill out their performance appraisal forms with contentment, and pleasure in a job well done?
Or, do they find solace in their self-delusional excuses of supposed “sanctions imposed on the country”, or unseen and unidentifiable “saboteurs” – in cushioning and covering up the shame of their failures?
As this is clearly the case – then, I rest my case – Zimbabwe undoubtedly does not have the leadership that has what is required to take this country to the next level of development and prosperity.
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, researcher, and social commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936 / +263733399640, or email: [email protected]Post published in: Featured