If civil servants not serious about their own sad plight then why should the rest of us care anymore?

There is a popular saying, "God helps those who help themselves"!

Tendai Ruben Mbofana

 

I am not quite sure just how scripturally accurate that is – but, it is clearly packed with some wholesome truths!

Even in our everyday lives, when we require assistance from others, in any struggles we may encounter, the cardinal rule for those around us to be willing and encouraged to chip in, is for us to be actively doing something concrete and tangible to alleviate our own plight – so that those who may assist are confident of our seriousness.

It is, therefore, disingenuous, insincere and rather disrespectful for a person in need, to merely sit back – as if in a total vegetative state, and completely incapable of doing anything – and, expect others to step in, and help them come out of their sorrowful dilemma.

That is exactly the extremely discouraging scenario in which I perceive our civil servants in Zimbabwe – who, in spite of crying and moaning each and every day over their deplorable work and living conditions, never appear to be genuinely serious about addressing their sad state.

A case in point was the announced two-day national civil servants strike that was supposed to have taken place on 27 and 28 July 2022 – but, turned out be nothing more than the usual hot air, and a whole lot of nonsensical hullabaloo.

For the better part of the past four years – ever since the incomprehensible and illogical reintroduction of the weak and unstable local currency in late 2018, and its inevitable and expected free-falling to the current shocking levels against the greenback (now hovering around ZW$900 to US$1on the much-used parallel market), thereby, virtually eroding Zimbabweans’ earning – our civil servants have been at the forefront of justifiably complaining and expressing their ire at this outrage.

Being vocal, and making one’s voice loudly heard – more so, when one’s monthly salary is no longer enough to even purchase three dozen loaves of bread – is all truly well and good, but there are always limitations.

All bark and no bite is seldom an effective form of protest against a cold-hearted insensitive and arrogant regime – which could not care less if the entire nation were to wake up dead.

In fact, this is the same ruling establishment that does not have any qualms at all shooting, in cold blood, unarmed civilians – simply for letting their displeasure with the horrid state of affairs in the country known.

Be that as it may, I am always of the firm belief that, if one desires real positive change in their life, then they need to be prepared to risk everything for its attainment, no matter the dangers encountered along the way.

I, for one, have a strong passion for each and every person of Zimbabwe to enjoy a dignified and respectable livelihood, worthy of Jehovah God’s creations – and, no one should be permitted to stand in the way of that sacrosanct right, regardless of how powerful they may believe they are.

I am ready to place my life at risk in the attainment of that God-given right, as we are called upon to speak for the voiceless, oppressed and poor.

I have also never made a secret of the fact that I do not receive any payment for the work that I am doing – as much as I would be most grateful if I were to get something, in a country fraught with endless economic challenges – but, I am primarily driven by a desire to see Zimbabweans live their best lives.

Therefore, I continue writing on a nearly daily basis – not on account of some financial gain or motivation, but the unflinching quest for the country’s citizenry to be free of poverty and suffering.

Nonetheless, in that relentless and thankless pursuit, there is need for the oppressed, marginalized and impoverished population to, at least, exhibit some seriousness in the resolution of their own unbearable situation.

There is nothing more disheartening and frustrating than watching a group of seemingly highly educated and empowered people – such as our teachers, nurses, and other civil servants – whining and winging every day, over their unbelievably meagre and miserable salaries, yet never willing to actually do something meaningful about it.

How, then, do they expect us to continue standing with them, when they themselves are not ready to do the hard work?

Are our learned civil servants honestly telling us that they would rather some of us placed our own lives at grave peril, in the fight for their cause – whilst, they themselves laid back, watched, and hoped for the best, without even lifting a finger?

Whose lives are dispensable, and should be placed on the line for the sake of teachers and nurses who are too cowardly to stand up for themselves?

There is nothing that sucks the spirit out of an activist than a people who expect their livelihoods to change for the better, yet are not prepared to do the dirty work!

Indeed, there will always be those who are actually paid for speaking out, and standing up, for these civil servants – who will not tire, as that is how they also put food on their families’ tables, even if they are fully aware that nothing meaningful will ever change on the ground – however, for some of us who genuinely desire to see genuine tangible positive change in our people’s lives, there is no bigger turnoff, which just drains us of all the energy, than where there is no longer any hope.

And, to be brutally frank, our teachers and nurses are now a lost cause – due to their own pathetic spinelessness, and a total lack of resolve to stand up for themselves.

If they are not yet ready to help themselves, then why should the rest of us be bothered to help them?

© 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, or email: [email protected]

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