If Zimbabweans can’t even stand up against non-brutal opposition urban authorities who’re failing in service delivery, then what do we really want?

A morning like today, is one of those when my soul is so disquieted, as I feel so dejected as a Zimbabwean, wondering if we truly knew what we wanted as a people – displayed by our inexplicable docility and cowardice, as exposed by the inability to stand up for ourselves, even against our urban local government authorities, who have dismally and disgraceful failed in providing the most basic services – which are run by the opposition MDC party, who have neither the capacity, nor propensity, for any brutal and ruthless response, contrary to the ruling ZANU PF regime, whose thirst for blood and barbarity is unquenchable and diabolical.

Source: If Zimbabweans can’t even stand up against non-brutal opposition urban authorities who’re failing in service delivery, then what do we really want? – The Zimbabwean

Before bracing the strength to write this article, I had to delve deep into my thoughts, trying to enter every crevice in my mind, in a desperate bid to discover the real reasons, and possibly fully understand, why we are the way we are.

Needless to say, I came out empty-handed, if not even more confused.

For as long as I can remember, my assumption had always been that we, as Zimbabweans, were simply a spineless lot – who, according to the former Zimbabwe Defence Forces’ Presidential Guard commander Anselm Sanyatwe, we are easily spooked even at the mere sight of an army truck, and flee, in a panicked and confused state, into all directions.

As a matter of fact, I believed this narrative for decades – especially, considering the savage, sadistic, and heartless brutality we have been subjected to by our own government – which has had no qualms at all, shooting, in cold-blood, unarmed protesters (most of whom, would have actually been fleeing bystanders), as well as massacring thousands upon thousands of innocent and defenceless citizens.

How else would the population be – after having lived their entire lives under such evil, which bordered on pure satanism?

However, what explains our fear, or possibly reluctance, in standing up against our urban local authorities – which are run by the opposition MDC, that neither operate any security forces or militia, that could be deployed to violently and heinously repress any dissent, nor have the inclination for such wickedness?

Additionally, the central government would never bother unleashing their usual ruthless brutality against those peacefully demonstrating against opposition-run urban authorities – instead, I am sure they would actually relish such a scenario.

So, why do we lamely look on – whilst, of course, quietly, but bitterly, complaining within the confines of our homes, or in long boreholes queues, or in commuter omnibuses – over the shoddy and shameful service delivery, through the non-provision of constant and consistent safe, clean, and potable water in our homes, diligent refuse collection from our neighborhoods, timely and proper repair of burst water and sewer pipes, regular competent patching up or complete overall of potholed undrivable roads, and frequent replacement of damaged street lights?

I will not even bother going into the lack of enforcement of long-forgotten by-laws against such illegal, anti-social and uncivilized activities such as, making of noise in residential areas, ensuring that all pets (especially, dogs) were routinely dipped and vaccinated against ticks, rabies, and other diseases (as well as impounding any found walking outside their premises, without their owners, and not on a leash), and dumping of waste.

As Zimbabweans, we appear to have surrendered our lives to fate – as we somehow, lost the interest or strength to stand up, and make our voices heard loud and clear, that our rights as residents should be faithfully respected and upheld – without fail.

Why, then, do we complain? Does it not unequivocally prove that we still do care about the standards of our livelihoods? Why the inaction and passivity?

Do we enjoy waking up before the crack of dawn, to queue at the nearest borehole, for hours on end, only to fetch a pail or two of water – then, walking kilometers back home, laden with the heavy load – as if we already did not have more gainful work to do, in order to earn a living for our families, or our children requiring enough time to do their schoolwork?

Surely, are we not living in urban areas – where we genuinely believed life would be far much better than in the rural areas – yet, just as in the villages, we need to wake up before sunrise to fetch water from boreholes miles away, rush back in order to find and chop wood for cooking (as the state run power utility is another gnawing headache in our lives due to its incompetence), after cooking on fire (whatever little we would have been able to afford under government-induced poverty and suffering), after which, we would be able to do whatever this disjointed and dilapidated economy (sucked dry by a parasitic and vampirish opportunistic ruling elite) can permit us?

Is that what we want? Do we even know what we want? If we did, would we not get off our behinds, and actually do something that can finally bring back the life that we deserve – a dignified, respectable, and worthy life, which other citizens, who have been blessed with democratic, competent, efficient, and faithful governments, enjoy?

Such a responsible and effective leadership – that, shuns corruption, and places the rights, prosperity, and comfort of its citizens above all else – does not simply fall from heaven, like manna, but needs to be ‘fought’ for, by fearlessly and peacefully standing up, and making sure our voices are loudly, unambiguously, and clearly heard…’fought’ relentlessly until our demands have been heard and fulfilled.

Only then, can our lives change, and fully enjoy what God Almighty – in His abundant wealth of grace, as well as infinite wisdom and glory – blessed us with as a nation. Otherwise, those who slumber will not eat of the fruits of His grace!

© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and speaker. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700, or Calls Only: +263782283975 / +263733399640, or email: mbofana.tendairuben73@gmail.com

COMMENTS

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    MAKE A SUITABLE PLAN 4 weeks ago

    Mr. Mbafana is a writer and speaker, but is he a planner and doer? Change does not come by berating the general public because they did not react as you wanted. Zimbabweans tend to “make a plan” and get together to help it come about.

    I cite two examples:
    1. The Cyclone Idai. Within 24 hours of the cyclone, floods and earthquake, the population were activated with everyone doing what he was best at. We had control centres in Harare and Bulawayo; networking locally and overseas; rural farmers bringing in sacks of mealiemeal in their pickups; little old ladies in the township walking in with her sets of cooking utensils; volunteer doctors, nurses and transport owners supplying their services and transport; and mountains of clothing, household items, blankets and food. The Air Force took their helicopters; the army did their best to get through destroyed roads; and from external benefactors, a huge transport helicoper, and financial collections from UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Sniffer dogs to find buried bodies came up from South Africa. And finally the U.N. arrived and added to the programme. Zim was even able to send down 5 ten ton lorries to our neighbours Mocambique.

    2. We have just experienced the spontanious co-operation between government and private hospitals, medical personnel, to tackle the Coronavirus crisis, in the days before treatment was understood for this new virus, and continues still. Ministry of Health instigated a very effective programme to cover returning residents who had been caught and locked-down overseas and in South Africa. If you now check the latest figures for Zimbabwe they are very low, with 31 new cases, 73 recovered, and only 3 deaths.

    No doubt in all these co-operative efforts there were disagreements, but these can be overcome when everyone is prepared to have the same goal and contribute towards achieving this.

    Mr. Mbafana is unlikely to achieve change simply through oratory. We all know the economy is weak and encouraging a riot will simply result in making it weaker. It would be more pro-active to research exactly what would be required to improve traffic lights and other improvements, gather together companies and people who could make a plan, and then approach Government and/or Municipality and try and implement the plan.

    CO-OPERATION IS THE SECRET OF SUCCESS.