The future begins now

via The future begins now | The Zimbabwean by Vince Musewe

The mental abuse that we Zimbabweans experienced, first through colonialism and now through our politics, has conditioned us to accept abuse.

The reason Zimbabwe is where it is now is because we have put our politicians on a pedestal and they have become too central in our lives. We have given them the power to determine almost everything that affects us. As a result, we have limited ourselves as a people. We stroke their despicable egos in every sense – and any human whose ego is needlessly inflated, will tend to be abusive towards others.

I must dwell on these things because I am of the opinion that we must first psychologically diminish the power that we have given to others in order to empower ourselves. We must stop complaining about our circumstances and take our power back before we can even think of creating a modern democracy.

That is why an elected President can threaten to punish those in Harare and in Bulawayo because they did not vote for him and it is acceptable. This is clearly against the constitution, which he swore to adhere to not so long ago. This led me to think about whether we really need central government at all. Imagine, for example, if we decided to run Harare without central government interference? That could be the best thing that ever happened!

Many readers continue to ask me what we must do now. My advice to them is very clear; refuse to accept abuse – first in your mind. Remove that throne you have created within you for anyone in your life that abuses or does not respect who you are. Take back your personal power so that you may become who you truly are. Once you do that, you will be amazed at who you can become. The limits we have are imagined and we must break those limits first, in order to change our circumstances.

You see, these things start in our homes. I continue to see people who are in abusive relationships who are not happy and are not living to their full potential, but still stay in these relationships. They have mentally accepted to be treated just as our politicians and even our police continue to treat us: with no respect and with no dignity. Our children also face the same issues, especially the girl child. This culture of abuse is found in homes, at work, in business, at hospitals, at the passport office, at schools and in all places where we interact with each other. We have become so used to abuse that if we don’t get it we feel that something is missing. That is wrong.

In my opinion, you cannot have democracy in a home where you are abused and therefore, you will never have democracy in a society or country where people are generally abused as is the case in Zimbabwe.

These are the reasons that we rejected colonialism and racial discrimination in the first place. Our history of colonialism is still within us and we seem to have learnt it well – where those with position almost have a right to abuse or mistreat those under them. You just have to talk to some maids and hear how their black madams treat them. Talk to lodgers and see how their landlords treat them. Talk to workers and see how their managers mistreat them. See how young males treat their girlfriends who accept violence and then say it is because of love. What rubbish.

Unfortunately these habits have permeated all our public and private institutions and become our “normal” way of life. Our leaders use this against us to strengthen their hold on power. This mental abuse has conditioned us to accept the myth that we are indeed second class citizens, whose only use is to deliver the vote.

We must be intelligent and eradicate this abuse. We must change how we think as a society. This, of course, will take generations and a concerted effort by each and every one of us, to ensure that we are proud enough, strong enough and fearless enough to claim our space. We must imagine a different Zimbabwe first before it can come to pass. As within, so without.

I challenge you my readers today, to look deep within you and begin to remove in your mind and imagination those things that are preventing us from creating what we desire in Zimbabwe. It is not about what the politicians may say or do, it is about the power we have given them, in our minds. Once we realise that, nobody can ever threaten us to vote for them in the future because we will simply reject that. We are the captains of our destiny. Asijiki.

– Vince Musewe is an economist based in Harare; you may contact him on



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    Pachokwadi 11 years ago

    Well spoken Vince, they got the power from us. Onthe other hand though do you thnk they need us to stay in power? No, they can win the elections even when all zimbabweans don’t vote them except for the police soldiers and some war vets. They don’t need your vote to rule. They organised a 2/3 majority from nothing. Thekr rigging is pathetically incredible. They are so accustomed to cheating somuch tha now the even cheat themselves that they can rigg the economy. How can they say they don’t want outside interference from the west but adlpt the Amerkcan currency and cheat us intl believing
    That its our currency

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    Sekuru Mapenga 11 years ago

    Passive resistance… Satyagraha — a sanskrit word meaning “insistence on truth”.
    There are so many ways that truth is abused in Zimbabwe; in passport office queues, at roadblocks, in elections, at work, in our courts.
    Satyagraha means saying: this is not true, and holding to that.
    If everyone were to learn to practice Satyagraha, the power would be great and in time irresistible.

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    Lovemore 11 years ago

    Vince this is a master piece. One contributor to the trading of our power has been the media. The media of today focuses only on political issues check every headline in any paper since long way back. The political issues have stolen the limelight. We need to see headlines that reminds every stakeholder on what “Sekuru Petros” is experiencing at Harare Hospital against the expected, we need to see stories covering what a commuter is experiencing at the hands of the police against the expected, we need to see what a complainant is experiencing at the hands of the police against the expected . Failure to tackle such issues leads to an uninformed society that can accept anything ,abuse as you have pointed out. Our society does not know what is right and wrong treatment by our leaders. When the President threatened his own people , the Newsday covered that story , but didn’t touch on the constitutional violation, but that’s what we expect for for the media.
    My personal experience was that when l reported a case at a police station yesterday , the police officers impolitely asked me to drop them at their places as if it was my responsibility . I did that just as helping, but explicitly told them that it was not given that l should do that for them. There is a lot if abuse that is going in this country especially from our police force, but all that happens because we have an uninformed society . Hope the media will do this especial with the new constitution there is a lot work that needs to be done.

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    khabo 11 years ago

    What ??? don’t even start it , some people like you can just wake up from the bed and think of writting articles without looking at things in a broader pespective . Point number one colonialism is history , during chimurenga war we were all united with an objective to eradicate colonial rule and we all won .Don’t talk of racial discrimination in Zim , there is nothing like that ,talk about tribalism which strong took place after our independence and which was even more stirred up by the envils of guguraungu in Matebeland .

    We fought against segregation but ZANU PF had promoted that and stole all the jobs from Matebeland across to Harare , to mention a few of this , where is ZUPCO buses depo which used to make us shine in Bulawayo ,where is ZBC today which used to be at Montrose , where is sugar refinery , where is Cold storage depo ,what is really happening to the millions generated at Beitbridge border gate instead of spacial development they are used develop carpert roads on other provinces , today the schools at Matebeland are more involved with the Shona teachers which never happened before , such teachers had a mission to destroy our level of education because they can’t even promote understanding of language to the Ndebele kids .Mr writer talk about truth and reconciliation then i will understand that you are ready to see us going forward and burrying the past .Idon’t mind about the blood which was sacrifised during the chimurenga war that was the appropriate time and our national flag symbolises that with a red colour , where is the blood of the guguraundu victims , answer it then we can start progressing forward as a united nation , never blame colonialism ,things went wrong after ZANU MESSED up .Stay at your Harare and i will stay at Matopo hills and survive my kids by umbumbulu , i don’t care .

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    trevor 11 years ago

    khabo, you dont get it. this is happening precisely because of what vince has said. you have a mistaken belief that zupco doesnt exist anymore because of shonas conniving with mugabe. you need to seriously think, and think deep and re read this article. its quite informing

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    Tjingababili 11 years ago


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    Oo nhai 11 years ago

    Well written Vince. The people must start to understand that politicians and ALL civil servants are there to serve the people. We as a nation let them get away with the abuse, self enrichment and blatant corruption. If more people stood up and said NO it would be easier for everyone to do it. we do not have to stand for it. The media have a huge role to play in this. If they started pointing out the mis-justice and abuse that happens to the ordinary man going about his everyday life then maybe the mindset of the people will change. once it starts it will happen with a snowball effect. Remember the population far outnumber the Police etc. The Egyptians have worked this out for themselves.

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    Kalusha 11 years ago

    Shonas should not cry as they continue to keep in power zanu and president is right beat the uzumba,magunjez they are easily convinced by t-shirts

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    Tjingababili 11 years ago


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    Mjiba 11 years ago

    Guys if we start tribal wars, znpf will celebrate its victory over us. let us all be focussed on the problem (problem) that is before us.

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    MatabeleGirl 11 years ago

    I hold Vince Musewe in high regard but I do feel offended when even intelligent people continue to harp on about ”colonialist abuse”. I believe that black people abuse their fellow blacks far more than the ‘colonialists’ ever did!