What would the Zimbabwe government, ruling ZANU PF party, or their perennial supporters, say of me if I were to declare, “In terms of our economy, and citizens’ wellbeing, and if you go anywhere in Zimbabwe, the situation is now very bad.
“The prices of basic commodities are out of reach for the majority, public health facilities are without any essential medications (whilst, nurses and doctors have to work without adequate personal protective equipment, under untenable conditions, and unfair wages), public schools are grossly understaffed and under-resourced (with teachers paid a mere pittance), among other problems, and the government responsible is run by the ruling ZANU PF.
“What ZANU PF has done to our country is embarrassing. It is very embarrassing, and they have failed so much that even in some homes, families can go for weeks or months without a proper nutritious meal. They have totally failed”?
What would those who always feel it necessary to attack those who oppose or criticize the Zimbabwe government say about such a comment – a comment, that I, and so many others, have been making for as long as this regime has been blundering and messing up the country?
Would they not say that, we were disparaging the country, and describe us as some ‘nefarious detractors’, who were out to taint the country’s image – whilst, attempting to incite the population into anarchy, and violent illegal regime change – at the instigation and pay of foreign erstwhile colonial and imperial masters?
I have personally being at the receiving end of such merciless and baseless accusations – merely, for standing up, and speaking out, for the voiceless unjustly treated citizens of Zimbabwe.
What if I were to tell you that, the words quoted above were not uttered by any so-called anti-government activist, however by none other than the president of this great country, whilst addressing villagers in Chivi, a few days ago – well, of course, not exactly in those words, but we can substitute the name ZANU PF with MDC, country with cities and towns, and problems experienced at national level with those predominantly found in MDC-run local government areas.
So, what is the point I am trying to make?
Well, it is very simple. What exactly does the government, the ruling ZANU PF party, and their sympathizers, mean when they label social justice, and human rights, activists ‘detractors’, harboring ‘nefarious agendas’, which are aimed at tarnishing the country’s image, so as to ‘incite anarchy’ – for merely exercising their right to voice justifiable outrage at the heinous and barbarous mismanagement, corruption, and brutality unleashed on the nation of Zimbabwe, by its opportunistic ruling elite?
What is so ‘nefarious’ about condemning the shameless and wanton looting of our national resources, by those in power, and their connections – whilst, the rest of the defenceless population wallow in silent suffering and poverty?
How does exposing the regime’s ruthless persecution and brutalization of those who resist and speak out against its injustices, make one a ‘detractor’?
How does that denigrate our country, in the eyes of the world?
In fact, who is doing the actual ‘tarnishing’ of Zimbabwe – those who speak out, and stand up, against oppression, maladministration, and corruption, or those who practice these repulsive deeds?
If what we are doing – as social justice, and human rights, activists – is so wrong, then why was the president making similar accusations and criticisms against the untold suffering of urban dwellers, ostensibly at the hands of their local authorities?
Has he also joined the bandwagon of ‘nefarious detractors’, whose agenda is to besmirch the country? Is he attempting to incite some form of violent rebellion and anarchy?
I do not believe so.
However, he is merely exercising what should be every Zimbabweans’ inalienable right – to freely express any displeasure, outrage, and disgust with the manner our various arms of government are ruining our livelihoods and welfare – thereby, brazenly stripping the majority of the citizenry of their God-given dignity, self-respect, and comfortable living.
As a matter of fact, the president’s remarks must forever be ingrained in our memories – as a critical reference point for any future disingenuousness and mischievous attempts by the government, ruling party, and their sympathizers, to spew vitriol at social justice, and human rights, activists – that each and every Zimbabwean has an obligation to speak out, and stand up, against any perceived injustices…as an injury to one, is an injury to all of us.
There is absolutely nothing ‘nefarious’ and ‘dark’ about doing what is right.
In fact, those who stand for the people of Zimbabwe’s dignity, self-respect, and wellbeing, are agents of light and goodness – who should be supported and encouraged – as opposed to all those, whose hearts are cold and dark, and their only mission appears to be to make our lives as painful and insufferable as possible.
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and speaker. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263733399640 / +263715667700, or Calls Only: +263782283975, or email: email@example.com.