Those who know me personally and intimately, have always regarded me as someone who is easy to convince of something – as I am fairly open-minded, and not blinkered and prejudiced – but, there has always been one cardinal condition to my acceptance of whatever would have been brought to me…EVIDENCE.
Once someone provides me with convincing and concrete proof, then I am sold. It is that easy.
This characteristic is not founded on some paranoia or pathological mistrust of people. Certainly not.
However, no matter how much I trust someone, I have always been wired to require something tangible before accepting any information as true, before even bothering to repeat it to anyone else.
In fact, I consider this a very strong trait, which, if practised by all of us, the scourge of fake news would not be causing so much havoc across the world – as people would fact-check any piece of information they receive, before forwarding it.
This brings me to the issue of the Zimbabwe government’s apparent dismal failure in convincing the world that, all the negative publicity it is currently receiving – and, in fact, has been receiving for the past two decades – is nothing more than a whole lot of lies, and a conspiracy against the ruling establishment, masterminded by Western countries, with the willing complicity of local opposition parties and their allies.
Yesterday, 18 August 2020, during the customary post-Cabinet meeting media briefing – always aired live on the state broadcaster – it was interesting to hear Al Jazeera journalist, Haru Mutasa, ask again (as she had posed the same question to the government only a few weeks ago, after the arrest of prominent investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono), what evidence the Harare administration possessed that Western countries, particularly the United States of America (US), working with local opposition parties, civil society activists, journalist, and many more (as the regime’s list of ‘plotters’ grows by the day, with anyone who criticizes them, immediately added), were actively conspiring to effect illegal regime change in the country, and were behind the increased negative global publicity.
I also waited for the response, with bated breath, as I have similarly always pleaded for such proof – considering that I am someone who only accepts something purely based on that.
However, as with the previous incident, when Mutasa had asked the same question, the two cabinet ministers who took up the task of answering – Monica Mutsvangwa of information, and Sibusiso Moyo of foreign affairs – chose the usual route of proffering winding, unclear rambling statements, that were embarrassingly unconvincing at worst, and pathetically circumstantial at best.
Mutsvangwa pitifully groped for some speech made by opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, to the effect that this party would make the country ungovernable – which, she emphasized was ‘common knowledge’ – whilst, Moyo went on about how sanctions had hurt ordinary people.
Coupled with Mutsvangwa’s previous insistence that the issuance of social media condemnation statements by the US, EU (European Union), and UK (United Kingdom) – immediately after Chin’ono’s arrest – was enough evidence to prove that these countries were sponsoring his activities (and those of any other anti-government activists), merely pokes holes and ridicules any attempt by the Zimbabwean authorities to be taken seriously.
As a matter of fact, I seriously doubt whether their ‘all weather’ comrades in SADC (Southern Africa Development Community) – who always conveniently turn a blind eye to the regime’s unbridled penchant for brutality and corruption – genuinely believe these yarns uttered by the Zimbabwe ruling elite, or simply provide their blind support out of some misguided and clearly anti-people solidarity.
Without ever insinuating that there are absolutely no geo-political manoeuvrings by various global powers, and without outrightly dismissing any possible machinations to interfere in our internal affairs by those with their own hidden agendas – as that is part of the nefarious workings of this complicated world, with its competing interests – however, the grand failure by the regime to proffer any significant irrefutable and incontrovertible evidence, which could actually stand up in a competent court of law, that all these reports of gruesome human rights abuses, unparalleled corruption, and unforgivable incompetence – which have all magnificently contributed to the painful and intolerable suffering of ordinary citizens – are the malicious works of the ‘country’s perennial detractors’ – then, no one with any grain of sanity could be expected to believe that.
What better opportunity would the administration need than a Cabinet media briefing to provide such necessary evidence on Western-imposed sanctions truly crippling the economy, anti-Zimbabwe fake media campaigns, and illegal regime change plots, if it existed, to a renowned journalist like Al Jazeera’s Mutasa, who – as a patriotic Zimbabwean – would readily and joyfully propagate this around the world?
The vast of majority of Zimbabweans, including myself, are unquestionably patriotic, and have never shied away from standing up for our country, and its people – no wonder I write all these articles, because this is certainly my obligation and duty to this great nation – as, blindly supporting a cruel regime that is unrepentantly and unremorsefully trampling upon its own citizen’s rights, looting the country’s resources, and impoverishing the ordinary people, would be nothing short of treasonous.
Thus, had the Zimbabwe authorities been able to prove their case – beyond a shadow of doubt – some of us, who operate purely based on uncompromised evidence, would have been more than happy and honoured to stand by that narrative, and defend our country and its people – but, those in power have consistently failed, and have been exposed for the repressive kleptomaniac liars that they are.
Zimbabweans, and the wider world, are not fools, and can clearly see what is happening in this country – such that, the elitist opportunistic ruling clique would be better advised to hear the aggrieved and hurting citizen’s cries, instead of treating everyone as idiots, by trying to deny the undeniable, and covering up the uncoverable.
#ZimbabweanLivesMatter, and refusing to acknowledge this fact, in a most sincere manner, can only spell disaster and doom for those who believe that the sanctity of the lives of Jehovah God’s children is dispensable.
© 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: firstname.lastname@example.org