Our people in Zimbabwe perishing due to political immaturity!

Imagine a father struggling to adequately sustain and fend for his family - unable to keep up with the skyrocketing prices of food, other basic commodities, and his children's educational demands - all the result of government's gross mismanagement of the country, and widespread unrestrained looting of national resources by the political elite, shamefully ruining a country once regarded as the 'jewel of Africa', and a continental powerhouse.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana 

Then, there is a mother, who spends hours-on-end queuing at her nearest borehole, possibly miles away from where she residents – for a bucket or two, that she has to carry on her head, due to the unavailability of tap water in her urban house, having not received a single drop in over a year – largely, on account of local authorities, whose unmitigated incompetence, and insatiable greed for corruption, destroyed once vibrant towns and cities, which were the envy on the continent, even comparable to those in the West.

Yet, these two are unwilling to speak out and stand up for themselves, against this sickening and deplorable destruction of their livelihoods, dignity and wellbeing.

Why?

Well, not because they are terrified of some real or imagined brutal response from those in authority – but, simply on account of those, whose hands his or her life has been turned into a living nightmare, representing or belonging to the political party he or she is also a member or supporter!

Welcome to Zimbabwe!

This is where we find people who are prepared to wallow in abject poverty, have their lives turned upside down into an intolerable painful existence – but, just because those responsible for this untold misery are from the same political grouping, they would rather keep silent, and act as if everything was alright.

Worse still, they may actually go as far as defending those who have stolen national or local resources – which, should have been equitably shared amongst all the citizens or residents, but end up lining the pockets of only a handful – thereby, leaving millions unable to make ends meet, whilst those in authority, or linked to them, enjoy lives of grandeur and opulence.

What manner of insanity, or rather immaturity is that?

Surely, how can anyone, with all cylinders firing, support, or even shield the very authors and architects of his or her pain and suffering – oftentimes, solely for being members or supporters of the same political party?

In fact, would such depths of indescribable agony and anguish not be the most legitimate reason for dumping the said party?

Why should anyone even be looking at his or her situation in life through partisan lenses, in the first place?

Would that not be a dangerously myopic and fundamentally flawed way of perceiving issues?

I personally encounter such incomprehensible incidents on a regular basic, due to the nature of my work.

For those who usually read my articles in the national and even international media – in which, I primarily focus on issues affecting the country as a whole, and as such, putting on the spotlight the rampant human rights abuses, disgusting plundering of our resources, and gross mismanagement of a shocking magnitude by the ruling ZANU PF regime – it is not uncommon being accused of having opposition sympathies, if not a member and supporter.

Then, usually on local platforms – where I normally tackle matters faced in our urban areas, particularly my own small town of Redcliff, which is administered by the opposition CCC or MDC – whenever I hold our local government accountable, there is never a shortage of those who assume I am pro-ZANU PF.

So, which is which?

Where do my political allegiances lie?

I have said it before, and will readily say it again – I am not aligned to any political party, neither do I have any sympathies for any of them.

My allegiances, loyalties and sympathies are only with the people of this great nation, and of course my hometown of Redcliff – whom, I desire to see living in dignity and respectability, as they enjoy the best of what an independent Zimbabwe has to offer.

As such, anyone (irrespective of political affiliation) who is an obstacle, and hinders that objective, naturally becomes the target of my rebuke and castigation, as I demand accountability.

Besides, I am also enduring the same pain and suffering as all other Zimbabweans, and residents of Redcliff – so, surely what sense would there be for me opting to hold answerable only one side of the political divide, whilst shielding or turning a blind eye to the other – yet, both causing the unimaginable poverty and unlivable conditions we find ourselves under?

Therefore, I find it most disturbing when we have those in our midst who would only demand answers from those in office, only if they are from a rival political group – yet, appear more than happy and comfortable saying absolutely nothing, or even defending, those responsible for their misery, simply because of a shared party.

Can there ever be anything more immature than this?

Is it then any wonder we are not moving forward as the people of Zimbabwe?

Why do we not learn from other ‘more developed’ countries – as the UK, where members of the governing Conservative Party themselves, have been at the forefront of holding their own leaders accountable – leading to the forced resignation of successive prime ministers: David Cameron, Theresa May, and most recently Boris Johnson?

Should the country’s development and the ordinary people’s wellbeing not always take precedence over all other considerations – more so, partisan ones?

We, in Zimbabwe, do not have anyone else to blame for our pain and suffering – which is predominantly a direct result of our own unwillingness and inability to hold those in authority accountable, especially those from political parties of our choice.

As a matter of fact, does not ensuring that leaders and representatives of our preferred political entities are the best our country or towns and cities have to offer – whilst, discarding all those who have become burdensome liabilities – not make our parties more favorable and popular in the eyes of the electorate, as they improve our livelihoods?

  • Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, researcher, and social commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp or Call: +263715667700 | +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936, or email: [email protected]

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