Zimbabwe caught in a Catch-22 situation by Tanonoka Joseph Whande

via Zimbabwe caught in a Catch-22 situation by Tanonoka Joseph Whande | SW Radio Africa  Monday, April 28, 2014

At one time or other in our lives, we have witnessed anti-climaxes.

Some positive. Some heartbreakingly negative.

I have witnessed the heartbreaking episode when a mother who struggled for decades to get pregnant finally managed and joyfully carried her child for a full term only for both of them to die in an ambulance accident as they were being rushed to the hospital.

I have seen people waking up in the middle of the night to catch the bus 30 kilometers away only to miss it because they stopped to pee along the way.

And, yes, I have seen people spend several hundred dollars to buy something they have been looking for in years only to find piles and piles of it thrown away elsewhere as they made their way home.

I even remember a death after someone was hit by an ambulance and all the ambulance personnel couldn’t save him.

I have seen chain reactions from simple situations that triggered other unexpected happenings, like when a well-meaning neighbour lit a candle to smoke-out bees in a neighbour’s house only to set the whole house on fire.

And, yes, I remember the incident in Mwenezi when my parents had left for Zvishavane early in the evening and a leopard chased our dog straight into my parents’ bedroom, killed and ate part of it on their bed.

In 1961, author Joseph Heller coined the term “Catch-22” and described “absurd bureaucratic constraints on soldiers in World War II” by explaining “why any pilot requesting mental evaluation for insanity—hoping to be found not sane enough to fly and thereby escape dangerous missions—demonstrated his own sanity in making the request and thus could not be declared insane”.

I remember when my aunt, who had a long history of kidney problems, was finally told that her healthiest kidney was the one that was completely dead inside her but that the functioning kidney that was giving her problems was the one that was keeping her alive but needed to be replaced.

We learned in horror that for many years, she was being kept alive by a half dead kidney while the healthy one had died centuries ago.

“Yes,” the doctor said, “we will not touch the healthy, dead kidney but we need to replace the one that’s keeping you alive.”

Nothing on the horizons exemplifies this contradictory situation more than the nation of Zimbabwe.

The walking dead are moving the country towards oblivion while the living are killing each other instead of rescuing the country from the walking dead.

We have seen the damage caused by ZANU-PF for over 34 years. I do not believe that even the staunchest ZANU-PF propaganda chiefs themselves can write their party’s curriculum vitae with pride and in glowing terms.

Zimbabwe has been under duress for decades.

Our nation has suffered at the hands of its own sons and daughters. We have never tried to repay our nation for what it continues to be to us, for it being the best country in Africa in spite of its politicians.

We have abused the nation.

We have raped it.

We have exploited it.

We have taken from it all we could carry and never gave anything back.

We have used our nation yet abused its citizens.

We have exploited Zimbabwe without sharing the loot with our under privileged.

We have used its name to commit crimes.

We have all enjoyed its protection without protecting it.

Look at what Zimbabwe has produced in terms of human capital.

Look what lies beneath its surfaces!

Can you see the richness of the land and the unselfish abundance of its resources?

We are so happy to use it as a battlefield to fight wars that defeat all of us and the country itself.

We are so unthankful to our country that we want to tear it apart without mending the wounds we caused it.

Our politicians used Zimbabwe to kill its citizens and to steal from fellow citizens; to starve its citizens; to steal its wealth.

What does Zimbabwe have to do after producing so many sons and daughters who are successful in their chosen fields? We have an abundance of doctors, engineers, scientists, educators, technicians, professors…we have them all but Zimbabwe today cries like an abandoned child because its own children cannot take care of it.

Look at the number of politicians we have and yet none of them puts Zimbabwe first.

ZANU-PF used Zimbabwe to deceive the country’s sons and daughters. We saw how this party ruthlessly and selfishly used the country for their own ends.

The country watches as its children fight over it while it is still alive. No one is trying to resuscitate the nation; everyone wants to finish it off.

The cannibal wars raging within the MDC are a symptom of the malcontents produced…idiots who yell in anticipation and salivate as they chase their own tails.

I do not know what I expected but to hear confirmation of further polarization of the MDC brought a sobering truth to my mind…that we are now all orphans because the surrogate father we hoped to save us from an abusive parent has himself become so possessed with self that he is tearing off parts of his limbs in anger at himself and us.

Do we stand a chance? Not a snowball’s chance in hell!

It is not an exaggeration that the MDC carried so many hopes for so many people. Even if it were not a ruling party, its solid presence was a menacing watchdog over ZANU-PF’s shoulders and that helped very much.

The strength reflected in its presence made people believe that there was someone who could help to keep ZANU-PF in check.

They succeeded in a lot of things but failed in the most important ones. So in the end, the MDC only existed to tease us, to raise our hopes without fulfilling them and, by its own disintegration, empower the abusive parent it was trying to replace.

The heart of the matter is that the seeming disintegration of the MDC is an insult to the nation; to the people and to those who gave their lives in the hope of creating an organization that would steer the country in the right direction.

I am not interested in discussing ZANU-PF’s shortcomings; that exists for all to see. We gave them 34 years and they killed our hopes.

The MDC, in existence for only 14 years, had managed to rekindle our hopes and remind us that there are some among us who willingly sacrifice themselves to ensure that we reclaim and remain masters of our own destiny.

But now, after flirting with the MDC, the people are left wondering once again. Why should we always be called upon to fight over politicians who do not put the nation first?

Everywhere we look there are personal battles being fought in the political arena and the people are used as rubber stamps to authenticate the leaderships that are fighting for themselves not for the right to fight for the nation.

If Mugabe cared, why is Zimbabwe in such a state?
If Tsvangirai cared, why is he fighting Biti and not Mugabe?

If Biti cared, why is he at war with his own brethren and not with those who have killed our citizens?
I wish we could get rid of all political parties and just leave people alone. I wish ZANU-PF and the MDC would just go away and leave the people to care for themselves and their families.

I see no hardships in the absence of politicians yet I continue to witness disaster, deaths, hunger, murder, rape, corruption, graft and misery because politicians exist.

God have mercy!

Politicians have to stop fighting each other; they must start fighting for the people and for the nation.

We have seen this so many times before and we are sick and tired of being used as pawns who end up hating each other for the sake of idiotic politicians who use us a nothing but doormats.

Enough is enough! To hell with the politicians!
I am Tanonoka Joseph Whande and that, my fellow Zimbabweans is the unfortunate way it is today, Monday, April 28th, 2014.


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38 comments on “Zimbabwe caught in a Catch-22 situation by Tanonoka Joseph Whande
  1. roving ambassador. says:

    I am lost for words.There is a massive leadership vacuum that needs filling up

  2. Tanonoka Joseph Whande I have followed your articles. Some have been enlightening. Some emotional, some ridiculous. But then again that is my opinion. I have also said some things which were seen as ridiculous by others. My friend, you are getting too emotional. What starts us up is your guys articles. Zimbabwe needs writers and critics Who prophesize with their pens. That their eyes are wide open The chance won’t come again. Those my friend are wise words from Robert Zimmerman.

    • Tanonoka Joseph Whande says:

      I do not write to make friends. I react to what is happening around me and that has nothing to do with academia.
      Oh, my goodness! How dare you tell me not to be emotional? Why? I and millions of our compatriots are in distress and for 34 years.
      You damn right, I get emotional but rational. Give me my space. You got yours.
      You can never stop my teardrop from falling but you can make me stop more from coming. Try me. Give us a chance.

      • Thats what I am talking about. That is my opinion and just like those you criticize you cannot take criticism. Yours is to let us debate what you have written. Yes I dare to tell you. That is my opinion so there is no need to froth at the mouth (like someone we all know)

        • grecko says:

          @ Do Little. I think Tanonoka is just playing his part, and he is playing it write because the subject itself is emotional. Although ZPF has let us down, the MDC has actually come out to authenticate and ensure that ZPF is there for a very long time, again. And, they will remain unrepentant. Our country continues its plunge. I have been following Tanonoka, and I think he is improving in his writings, thanks Jöse.

    • NBS says:

      Doc do little I enjoy you a lot. But I have to say that Tananoka’s writing above says it for me too. I think it healthy to be able to express those emotions and feelings running through our Zimbabwean hearts. A freedom to say how we really feel that has been so suppressed and oppressed. And that is why God has provided a rich fabric of characters. Where Tanonoka brings a deep emotion for his nation you bring a bit of cool headedness. Both are needed for all those of us who are passionate for this nation are writing here from a heart matter. It is good that we balance each other out. That is how God works. no one person has it all. I am grateful for you both and for the many others that share on this site.

      • NBS we will all get it wrong at some point or the other. Sometimes when one is criticized they pick up a pen or in this case a laptop and throw some words. It is always wise to reread and take a breathe before you press the button. Some wont do this. Maybe I didn’t reread before I pressed the send button but a lot of how Joseph responding has left me a bit ??? What I would have expected is the comment you just gave now from you or others.” Give me my space. You got yours” what space? I am only commenting and giving an opinion of what he wrote in his space.”I do not write to make friends” when I said my friend I was not trying to make friends with Joseph so that is out of line. That again is my opinion. I am sure other people would have disagreed with my opinion. Then they say it and we learn. Joseph can criticize and lambaste politicians, sometimes he is right. Only he cannot take criticism himself.

        • NBS says:

          Yes! Doc you are right. And I for one do not mind being criticised. I know that I am most certainly not always right and probably quite often fire off an emotional. And that is why I enjoy this forum. it gives us space-at long last- to simply just be open.

          • NBS says:

            In fact I do not even mind if apol jumps all over my messages. maybe it make him feel better and what the heck, he can say whatever he wants to say: right or wrong. he needs to be able to do that but he must remember that most of us Zimbo’s have been denied the right to be totally open and honest for a long time now. Oppression! God hates that.

  3. Small axe says:

    We have abused the nation.

    We have raped it.

    We have exploited it.

    We have taken from it all we could carry and never gave anything back.

    We have used our nation yet abused its citizens.

    We have exploited Zimbabwe without sharing the loot with our under privileged.

    We have used its name to commit crimes.

    We have all enjoyed its protection without protecting it.

    That word WE sorry Joseph IT WASN’T ME…..

    • Tanonoka Joseph Whande says:

      Small Axe!!! It was me either. It wasn’t us. I think you are clever enough to see who “we” is.
      Besides, we are all to blame if we allow madness to control us so, yes, we is you and me. I am sorry but the sins of the father…

    • NBS says:

      Small axe in God’s eyes it is always we for everyone of us has fallen short of the glory of God and sinned. The great prophets of old never excluded themselves when confessing the sins of their nations. We are all responsible in some way. yes! ZPF will be called to account. They found a great responsibility in their hands from 1980 and what have they done with it? ‘They have destroyed their land and slain their people.” Isaiah But God loves a humble and broken heart; in that He can and will work.

    • Angela Wigmore says:

      Yes Small Axe – my first thought also was ”speak for yourself”.

  4. Rwendo says:

    The next election is 4 years away. And elections have failed to dislodge ZANU PF anyway. The current MDC leadership wasted opportunities (SADC mediation and road map, international isolation of ZANU PF etc.) and led us into a deep dark hole.

    If there ever was a time for stirring the waters to see what surfaces and what sinks, it is now.

    A united MDC doing business as usual would have looked nice on the surface but we would have faced an more depressing outcome in 2018 (rigging plus serious voter apathy this time) compared to 2013.
    We voters have nothing to lose from the current leadership and maybe,just maybe something positive may arise, including from another direction altogether

    • roving ambassador. says:

      My sentiments

      • NBS says:

        Let me put it this way. Sometimes a stirring up is painful and hard but it often brings the dross to the surface. May the Lord reveal His will through all this. And I pray that each and every MDC leader from MT, to Biti and through go and examine his/her heart before the Lord. They each need to seek the Lord’s will for their lives as each one of us does. There is a terrible spirit of disunity over this nation that the enemy has used through ZPF and we all must be aware of this. It is indeed a very powerful and sometimes evil weapon. It is the old divide and rule tactic. And while ZPF are deeply divided RGM has managed to keep them together; on the face of it at least. Whilst we all tear each other to pieces. We must wake up fast!

  5. mukanya says:

    Picture this Whande Biti went on to stage a nichodimus press conference following Mangoma suspension. Tsvangirai did not do anything to him. Lest we forget it is at this conference that Biti said ZPF had a better message contrary to the party and general population view that the playing field is far from being label.Tsvangirai tried in vain to protect the movement including the press conference in which he said all was now well. We the supporters are the ones pleading with MT to remain at the helm because we believe the struggle is at least safe in him. To sat MT is fighting Biti can only be an exaggeration on your part it is only Biti who all along have been chasing MT instead of following him. We are not blind supporters of MT we are awake,alert and confident one day it will happen. Without reforms nothing will change even if its you as head of the opposition and Biti failed together with Morgan to get reforms implemented. We are also miffed by the cash factor which Biti camp is splashing around.

  6. Mseyamwa says:

    We are good keepers of records of evils perpetrated against us by the politicians. We watch politicians rise, place our hopes on them to deliver us and stand aside and watch. Even when our supposed savior needs our help for our own salvation we choose to stay out of it because ‘politics is for politicians’ yet we realise today that politics touches our lives daily. But until we become part of the fight and become participants of the articles we shall all become poets, writing moving pieces describing our sufferings as they become more gruesome by the day and we continue to watch and record and write. What is to be done, not who should do it, must be our concern and ehen WE figure that out WE ought to go out and do it. And not leave it to some perceived savior who may or may not have their own selfish ends to satisfy.

  7. Little Dorrit says:

    We are all to blame – looking for an easy way out. We all need to take responsibility for failing to demand accountability, because we are too tired or too busy or too enjoying our lives or too scared or justifying bribery and corruption “this is how it is done in Africa” mentality. Let us STAND FIRM by our God-given principles and INSIST on government accounting and being accountable to us. Listen to “Great Zimbabwe” audio (latest headline). RESPECT EACH OTHER IN EVERYTHING WE DO – DO NOT BE USED AND MANIPULATED BY POLITICIANS.

    • !Bee says:

      And we won’t forget those either that have supported Zanu PF at the expense of the masses. They have taken the weak and wishy washy view that “If you can’t beat them join them”. You are a disgrace. We know you. Wait! Your turn is coming.

    • NBS says:

      @little dorrit: with you 100%

  8. pati says:

    An emotional Martin Luther King junior had a dream where his four children would not be judged by their color of their skin but by the content of their character. Emotionally, Martin prayed for freedom to ring from the hilltops of New Hampshire and the mountain tops of New York. It was the emotional Martin Luther King who predicted that when we allow freedom to ring, then all of us Jews, Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics will realize that we are all God’s children and we will all sing the old Negro spiritual “Free at last, Free at last, Great God a-mighty, We are free at last.” Emotions can convey what you want to put across and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It’s how you feel.

    The inclusive “we” is not an apportionment of individual blame per se but a way to identify ourselves and give a sense of belonging to what is happening to our beloved country. All of us have played a part whether passively or actively, consciously or unconsciously in determining how Zimbabwe is run. It’s our beloved country and we love it.

    However, the problem lies in us putting our faith in politicians. We never should. Politicians should be answerable to us always and we should never allow ourselves to be used by them in any way. Ladies and gentlemen, Zimbabwe can come back and realize its fullest potential only if We The People play our part, starting from today by taking care of our participatory deficiency in politics, respect self and the person of others by allowing civil political discourse without being politically manipulated and doing the politicians dirty work.

    I tend to agree that the split between Tsvangirai and Biti might actually be a blessing in that worthy leaders always prove themselves. It so happens that the current leadership from all the political parties in Zimbabwe does not have a monopoly. A true and good leader will be a cut above the rest and may not even come from the current crop of leaders we have today.

    If all what is happening within these parties is a circus let it run its course, but what We the People should never do this time around is to be aloof and allow ourselves to be used and perhaps a true leader may come from one of us. We can’t afford to give up. Not this time, not ever. Zimbabwe is too precious to be sacrificed at the altar of poor governance, partisan politics or stupid ego.

  9. Little Dorrit says:

    Pati for President.

  10. Johnny k says:

    Democracy is a very elusive and ever changing animal. We were all led to believe that the MDC under MT was going to take us to the promised land. After 14 years of bungling and being hoodwinked by ZANU it has become clear that MT has neither the intellect nor the cunning to unseat Mugabe. It has become increasingly clear that he will never be able to lead any political party that will complete the transformation.
    When we see MT display the traits and bad qualities that Mugabe displays when he comes under pressure then we become suspicious that if he were to attain power the sort of ruthless tyrant that we are tying to rid ourselves of will emerge.
    We cannot afford to replace a intelligent but ruthless leader with another philandering, idiotic but ruthless leader.
    Let MT disappear into the political dusbin of failed leaders, be patient – another principled, intelligent and charismatic leader will eventually emerge.

  11. Johnny k you may be right, I do not know. What I do know is that for anything of what you suggest to happen the message would have to go to the masses. At the moment it is not possible. The messages and debates that we currently enjoy are not yet accessible to the masses, hence the banning of short wave radios has compounded the problem. In countries like Britain the masses don’t trust Politicians more so the Tories. If the poor people would all vote the Tories would most probably never come to power. The field is evened by this because of this group that does’t bother to vote because they think it won’t make a difference. In Zimbabwe the authorities will not permit the message of others to reach the people in the rural areas where the majority of seats are. This being the case no matter what happens the main people will not get the messages of say ZUNDE and other new partys. The current opposition made in roads into these areas which have now been reduced by greed, splits and power struggles. Who benefits? Zanu pf. We have to hope that some sort of sense prevails. To get the change we want we must get some sort of change from THE NOW.

  12. Mlimo says:

    Talk talk and more talk. There are two options to solve the Zimbabwe problem. Get together and form a political opposition that is a force to take on a corrupt government. Or take up arms and go back to the bush. The time for action is long past. If it was me if I was younger I would go back to the bush. As Mugabe says zanupf strength comes from the barrel of a gun. So be it.
    The army without food and limited resources can’t last long. In an African Spring situation all revenue will quickly dry up. No pay no fight. The other option is to form another political party without Biti or Twang one that will cross all bridges and inspire the nation. The choices are there. No doubt the people will wallow on in poverty and despair after all this is Zimbabwe.

  13. peters says:

    Until Zimbabweans open their eyes and refuse to be used by self serving people like Biti and company then Zimbabwe will remain a cursed Nation with inept people masquerading as well educated and yet failing to think outside the box. I used to blame RGM but now I see he is not to blame because 90% of us Africans we are just morons who expect someone to solve our problems, and also we are very marginalised we do not see anything beyond I hope one day we will be able to open our eyes

  14. African says:

    Yep we talk too much and want to show how educated we are to one another, no one can solve our problems for us except us. Action is needed here

  15. Ngoto Zimbwa says:

    We have no staying power, jumping this way and that, at the slightest.
    ZANU is not going to let us regroup quietly.

    I agree with the above two comments, its time to come together in mass action.
    Lets leave the deep thinking to the academics of this world.
    Lets concentrate on ZANU as the enemy we all know and seem to fear so much.

  16. blackhammer says:

    ———– For political connoisseurs, though this is a tragedy, these are exciting times. In due course the chaff will be blown away by the wind. Mind boggles as to why Tendai Biti, a few weeks ago, was adamant he had been misquoted when he said the elections were not rigged. He now claims his former lieutenants in the MDC were fascists and he knew all this since its formation. And he is an honourable man, well, was. Can’t wait for the next chapter but, in the meantime the winner is, Robert Gabriel Mugabe. By a mile!———-
    Simon M Tozvireva.

  17. Nyoni says:

    Zanu has gauged the Zimbabwean people 34 years ago . They knew what they would do later and they have done it. The problem we have is that many people who could not join the gravy train are now crying foul of Zanu. We have all been hoodwinked by the politicians and for that I too say ‘GO TO HELL ALL YOU POLITICIANS’ .YOU HAVE KILLED OUR COUNTRY WITHOUT EVEN LIFTING YOUR BUMS OFF YOUR HIGH CHAIRS. WHAT A DISGRACE TO ALL OF US ZIMBABWEANS AND AFRICA TO.

  18. Jim says:

    They say “opportunity knocks but once” In 2009 we were awarded a windfall in the form of diamonds. Yet the govt failed to use the millions of dollars to shore up basic infrastructure such as water and electricity.
    I doubt whether a second windfall is imminent in the near future.

  19. Ngoto Zimbwa says:

    What government?
    Just a bunch of crooks, Jim.

  20. Wow! What a very educative and so touching article !! If our leaders can read this, maybe they can have a change of heart !

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