Does Zimbabwe ruling elite have capacity to court spouses without instilling fear?

During a recent conversation with a friend, I expressed how incomprehensible it was that someone with high levels of intelligence would even consider being married to those in the highest echelons of Zimbabwe, especially with their notorious track record of cruelty and barbarity.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana


My friend responded with some profound words of wisdom, alleging that, it was quite obvious that those who “agreed” to marry these brutal leaders – some of whom, whose callous heinousness, particularly towards former partners, was well documented and known to most Zimbabweans – was on account of either great fear, or greed for the wealth and power such unions brought, or both.

After these sage words, I got thinking.

Indeed, this could most likely be the fact.

How else can anyone explain a ruling clique that is incapable of properly courting and attracting the electorate – by way of the power of persuasion, whereby they meticulously market their policies and programs, in order to entice the population to vote for them?

How else can we think of the powers-that-be who believe that might is right, and that, the most effective methods of getting citizens to vote for them is by means of brute force, intimidation, and threats, as well as the use of abusive and vitriolic language against those who may not be agreeable to what they have to offer?

Just yesterday, it is reported that the country’s Vice President Constantino Chiwenga was livid and went ballistic, after noticing graffiti on a wall, loudly proclaiming, “ZANU PF Must Go”, during his clean-up exercise in the small town of Banket.

He dived straight into a tirade at the opposition CCC, accusing the party leadership of encouraging people to throw garbage all over the town, and scribbling nonsense on walls.

After reading this report, all I could think was, “surely, given such a opportunity to address the people, the best thing Chiwenga could come up with was aiming some cheap potshots at the opposition, instead of taking advantage of the small captive audience to market what his clearly loathed administration had to offer, and possibly correct any misconceptions the aggrieved citizenry harbor”.

The same occured in the past few weeks, when the “Smith and Rhodesia was better” narrative went viral on both social media, and ordinary citizens’ tongues.

The ruling establishment chose to find offence with such relatively accurate comparisons with the colonial era – in which most people claimed life was much better, due to the higher standards of living, lower cost of living, with much better infrastructure, than pertaining under ZANU PF 42 year misrule, where the country has been reduced to a laughing stock, and basketcase.

Instead of engaging the population in a civilized and sober discourse – whereby, the leadership sincerely and openly acknowledged its incompetence and failures over the last four decades, thereby genuinely pledging to make amends and performing better than a cruel colonial regime – the ruling elite chose to insult those who were honestly disenchanted with the way the economic situation has gone under ZANU PF.

Why is it too hard for the ruling elite in Zimbabwe to be courteous and converse with the population as intelligent human beings, blessed with the gift of reasoning and wisdom?

Why do those in power feel that threatening, beating up, torturing, abducting, arresting, or even murdering those who do not agree with them is the most effective mechanisms for winning over hearts?

How does instilling terror and fear in the population help endear them with those they lead?

As a matter of fact, do they truly feel a sense of contentment, fulfillment, and achievement after “winning” elections – when they are fully aware of the fact that such “victories” are a direct result of coercion and cruelty?

This brings me back to these people’s ability to court spouses!

Are such individuals capable of genuinely attracting a lady into truly loving, caring, and adoring them, leading into marriage – or, are all these relationships premised on the misuse of the ruling elite’s power, through threats and the “buying of love”?

© 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:

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