It is a time after we were supposed to freely exercise our democratic right to choose our leaders, a fleeting moment when our voices were meant to matter. However, in the land once known as Rhodesia, this concept has become nothing more than a cruel joke. The ruling party, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU PF), has clung to power for decades, suffocating our dreams of a better future. And with just barely a month after the elections, the grip of ZANU PF’s tyranny tightens further.
Throughout the years, the ZANU PF regime has proven time and time again that it is willing to go to extreme lengths to maintain its stranglehold on power. Corruption has become a way of life, with government officials shamelessly looting the country’s resources while the majority of Zimbabweans struggle to put food on the table. It seems that every sector, from mining to agriculture, has been poisoned by their insatiable greed.
But it’s not just the blatant corruption that is the bane of our existence. The abuses of power, the voter manipulation, and the erosion of our civil liberties are equally disheartening. These elections were no exception, as ZANU PF’s tactics to cling to power became increasingly transparent. Intimidation tactics are rampant, with journalists, activists, and opposition party members facing threats, harassment, and even violent attacks as they dare to challenge the status quo.
As a Zimbabwean citizen, it pains me to witness the state-controlled media’s shameless propaganda machine working overtime. We are subjected to a constant barrage of ZANU PF propaganda disguised as news, aimed at brainwashing us into submission. Dissenting voices are silenced, and opposition parties are labelled as enemies of the state. It is a grim reminder that our freedom of speech and expression are mere illusions in this totalitarian regime.
The ruling party’s grip on power extends far beyond the propaganda machine, infiltrating every aspect of our lives. The justice system, once a pillar of democracy, has become a tool to suppress dissent. The courts are filled with compromised judges who are more interested in protecting the interests of ZANU PF than upholding the rule of law. The few who dare to challenge this charade are swiftly silenced, their voices drowned out by a chorus of sycophants chanting the praises of the ruling party.
And let’s not forget about the economy, or what’s left of it. Under the iron fist of ZANU PF, Zimbabwe has become a textbook example of a failed state. Inflation has soared to unimaginable heights, rendering our currency worthless. Unemployment rates are staggering, leaving our youth with little hope for the future. Basic necessities like food, medicine, and clean water are luxuries that only the elite can afford. Our once fertile lands lie barren, a testament to the failure of ZANU PF’s disastrous land reform policies.
But perhaps the most grotesque display of ZANU PF’s tyranny lies in their blatant disregard for the will of the people. The last elections were nothing more than a smokescreen, a way for them to maintain the illusion of democracy while ensuring that the outcome was already predetermined. The ruling party engages in all forms of electoral manipulation, from gerrymandering to voter suppression, to secure their victory at all costs. The ballot box has become nothing more than a tool for ZANU PF to legitimize their reign of terror, while we are forced to play the role of obedient pawns in their twisted game.
In the face of such oppression, it is easy to succumb to hopelessness and despair. But as a Zimbabwean citizen, I refuse to let the spirit of resistance be extinguished. We must remember that tyranny can only survive in silence, and it is our duty to speak out against the injustices we endure. We must unite as one, across party lines, across ethnicities, and across generations, in our fight for a brighter future.
This election may be an event of the past, but the battle for our liberation will continue long after the ballots are cast. We must never forget that true power lies in the hands of the people, not in the grip of a tyrannical regime. It is time for Zimbabweans to rise up, to reclaim our democracy, and rip ZANU PF’s grip from our throats. Let our voices be heard, let our suffering be acknowledged, and let this be the beginning of the end of ZANU PF’s reign of terror.
Kumbirai Thierry Nhamo |
Writer, Blogger, Poet and Researcher
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