I just said to myself, “all these people will be crying in less than a year”!

Source: I just said to myself, “all these people will be crying in less than a year”!

This morning I was having a hearty conversation with a former military man – who apparently left the force, due to his disdain at how our security apparatus had been misused as a tool of brutal repression against the people of Zimbabwe.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana


As we were engaged in all things Zimbabwean – he mentioned something to the effect that, there had been so much hope after the toppling of then tyrant Robert Gabriel Mugabe, in a military assisted ZANU PF coup d’etat in November 2017.

The only response I had for him was, “I remember warning Zimbabweans on their misplaced hope in the coup.

“We all knew that power would still remain in the hands of ZANU PF [as Mugabe’s ousting was purely a function of internal party power struggles reaching boiling point).

“We were already all aware of who was likely to take over, and these people’s dark brutal history – and, it was really heartrending watching thousands of people flooding the streets of Harare in unrestrained excitement.

“As I watched these scenes, in horror, I just said to myself, ‘all these people will be crying in less than a year’”!

Indeed, how prophetic those words turned out to be – as, barely nine months later, bodies of ordinary unarmed Zimbabweans were lying lifeless on those very same streets – having been gunned down by security forces, in cold blood, during protests against what was perceived as suspicious delays in announcing results of presidential elections held at the end of July 2018.

A few months later, more bodies were strewn on the streets of Harare in January 2019, shot dead again – as they demonstrated against fuel price increases announced by Mnangagwa a few days earlier.

Why were we to be particularly surprised by such horrendous and harrowing occurrences?

Were we not supposed have suspected something like that eventually taking place – considering that the people now in power were the ones at the forefront of oiling Mugabe’s ruthless savagery against the people he was expected to lead and protect?

Now, they were the ones in complete charge, and could do what they pretty much wanted, with reckless impunity.

Even, when I issued that warning to Zimbabweans, as they celebrated the coup d’etat – I could never have imagined the magnitude of the brutality and barbarity we were to witness – however, it was not, at all, surprising.

It is then any wonder that, those who tried to legitimize their coup d’etat, on the pretext of ‘removing criminals around Mugabe’, are themselves the biggest crooks and thieves this side of the equator?

Have these looters not made old buccaneering pirates look like angels from the heavens themselves – plundering billions of dollars worth of our national resources each year – yet, with the repulsive audacity to hide the disgraceful economic ruin facing the country behind supposed sanctions?

We need to learn from our mistakes as Zimbabweans, in order never to repeat the same – as someone who repeats the same thing, expecting a different result, was described by renowned physicist Albert Einstein, as insane.

Surely, what were all those thousands of people celebrating?

What positive change did we expect from those who were mascarading as our saviors?

Was it not akin to a wife leaving her abusive husband, and willingly running straight into the arms of his henchman and stooge, whom he used to send to beat the daylights out of her?

Would this not end up being a worse situation for the wife?

We, as Zimbabweans have a most disturbing tendency of grasping at anything that presents itself as a way out of the unbearable pain and suffering we have been enduring for decades – even if that eventually means jumping from a pan into the fire.

We easily become too desperate for change, to the extent that our judgement is severely clouded.

As we head towards the next crucial elections in 2023 – can we declare, with any measure of certainty, that we will choose leaders who are truly good for us, and our nation?

Or, do we just want someone or some people who are not Mnangagwa or ZANU PF – even if a few months down the line, we would be crying again?

I grew up being taught that, ‘desperation is a very dangerous thing, which can easily lead to terrible decisions and choices, that we will likely later regret’ – and, Zimbabwe is sadly a good example of this tragic truth.

Are we sure that we genuinely and comprehensively know what type of people and groups that will be vying for office in 2023 – such that, we will choose those who will not turn out to be just another ZANU PF or Mnangagwa 2.0?

We have suffered enough as Zimbabweans, and my greatest fear above all else, is the possibility of electing into power a new government that will only manage to extend our misery.

Personally, I cannot image another five years of this painful and intolerable existence.

  • 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: mbofana.tendairuben73@gmail.com