Zimbabwe should have learnt how to run country from Rhodesians, not the wearing of colonial wigs and riding horse-escorted carriages to parliament

If ever there is anything in Zimbabwe that infuriates me to the core, it is the sight of a once prosperous nation – whereby (irregardless of the numerous glaring racial injustices) the economy was so exceptionally outstanding that even the apparently disenfranchised and marginalized profoundly benefited, cities and towns operated with excellence, whilst products and services were world-class and reliable – yet, today, turned into a pathetic deplorable mess, with the only functional thing being the dysfunction.

Source: Zimbabwe should have learnt how to run country from Rhodesians, not the wearing of colonial wigs and riding horse-escorted carriages to parliament – The Zimbabwean

Tendai Ruben Mbofana


As much as such statements predictably always incite and invite rabid and vitriolic attacks from those who refuse to perceive an irrefutable truth – most particularly, being regime apologists and sycophants, who would rather see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil, whilst choosing to see and smell roses and perfume where there is nothing but rot and repugnance – I will never be deterred from telling it like it is.

Most of us are not here to tell fables that we were told by our grandparents and parents, through oral tradition spoken around a fire, as we roasted mealies and peanuts – but, we are firsthand witnesses of how this country used to be in the former days, and what has become of it.

This is a country, which we grew up in the 1970s, and, then still enjoyed some the remnants of its prosperity in the post-independence 1980s – although, it was evident that those were the final days – and as such, can never be told by anyone that I am wrong in my assertions, neither can it be possible to convince me otherwise, since we lived it, and experienced it…yet, had to sorrowfully watch it all wither away, like a rainbow in the horizon.

All we can do is reminisce about it with friends and family – remembering that we once had one of the largest iron and steel making companies in the world (Ziscosteel), which employed thousands, right within our own little town of Redcliff, yet was plundered and sucked dry by the post-independence Zimbabwe regime, until it was reduced into a mere shell – which, now is the proud home of several troops of baboons and monkeys.

I do not need to be told that glaring fact by some anti-government, and neo-colonialist agent – because I witnessed it myself.

All we can do now is sit around and talk about how we had running water continuously coming out of our taps within our own homes, and how our town’s streets were navigable, with lighting that could be seen miles away as one approached the town – yet now, one needs to fetch water from the nearest borehole (being a kilometer or two away), roads have become not only an eyesore but a real danger to vehicles, whilst the town itself lies in near darkness every night.

Whenever I show my own son my primary school pictures, he sincerely believes that I attended some top notch, highly expensive private institution somewhere far away (possibly overseas) – however, he has never believed me till this day that, the local dilapidated ghost-town looking school (where the pupils run around in less than examplary uniforms) is the very same place.

I also tell him that, we were readily provided with all the stationery we ever required (ranging from a wide assortment of textbooks, encyclopedia, and other reference books, to exercise books and pens) – yet, today, we (parents) are compelled to procure everything, including markers, chalk, and manila sheets for the teachers themselves!

Need I mention the place at which I was born (Torwood Hospital) which was considered one of the best in the country, blessed with what was considered state of the art equipment of that day – in fact, having been born without a pulse for over 45 minutes, I would have probably not being brought back to dear life, had Jehovah God not enabled me to be birthed at that place (whose amazing wealth of grace also made me defy a prognosis by the medical doctor involved, that although I had survived, I would be confined in a vegetative state for my whole life, as my brain was deprived of oxygen for far too long immediately after birth).

Yet, here I am!

The hospital in question? Well, needless to say, it suffered the same fate as everything else that once stood proudly during those days, and yet, today is run down, and possibly infested with venomous snakes and scorpions.

Although, I did hear that the government was turning it into a COVID-19 quarantine or isolation centre. Thank you COVID-19!

In a nutshell, in spite of what anyone can claim or accuse me of – this country used to be the envy of many – a result of exceptional management and governance, free of corruption and plunder – but, premised on the desire to see real growth, development, and prosperity for all… including, the supposedly oppressed and marginalized.

This is a most fundamental lesson the Zimbabwean authorities should have obtained from the Rhodesians – learning the value of honesty, hard work, and competence – yet, it would appear, the only thing they managed to copy were those dastardly wigs worn by judges, and a president who wished he were the queen of England, by riding in a horse-escorted carriage to the opening of parliament.

I have never said that I wished were back in Rhodesia, but if those who took over the country – promising milk and honey – dismally fail to perform better and deliver, than our colonizers, then what else are we expected to think of, besides the “good old days”? It is only natural.

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


  • comment-avatar
    Brian blancharde 1 year ago

    Ian Douglas Smith and Robert Gabriel Mugabe
    Between them buggered up
    Rhodesia then zimbabwe

  • comment-avatar
    Ndonga 1 year ago

    I must admit that these are the same thoughts that have been troubling me for some years now.
    I am old enough to remember how things were in the past and know how they are now.
    Yes, we were not free but at least things worked.
    I could travel from my home in Kwe Kwe by road all the way to Gokwe to stay with relatives for the school holidays and not see one pot hole in the road.
    Today you only have to travel yards to meet many.
    And shamefully I have to admit that on several of such trips I was even given lifts in police vehicles by policemen who were happy and proud in their job and who would have been scandalised and even amused if payment for the lift was offered!
    In those days a visit to a hospital in even deep rural areas was rewarded with excellent care from medical staff of all races.
    Now we have medical staff that are defeated and dejected and care little for people needing their help.
    What went wrong?
    We are led by a Government made up of people who have no interest in us common people.
    Their only worry is to squeeze as much juice as possible from the system.
    People who spend their whole time scheming on how to get that extra ounce of illegal gold to their bank in Dubai or Johannesburg.
    And away back in 1980 we thought all our troubles were ending…but shamefully they were only beginning.

  • comment-avatar
    Fallenz 1 year ago

    Thank you, Mr. Mbofana and Ndonga.

    Sad to say, but there were those who cried warnings regarding the future… prophets, they were, as we have seen what they predicted come to fruition if the murderous rebels took over.

    And, it was all driven by pure, unadulterated jealousy and greed.  Had absolutely NOTHING to do with freedoms… and, if you don’t believe that, just ask anyone over the age of 50 to compare what was to what is.  If freedom was any factor, then why after 40 years is there less freedom.  Seems something, ANYTHING, would be better for the average citizen after 40 years of ZANUPF being in the drivers seat of the nation, IF freedom for the people was the purpose of the bloodletting of the bush wars.  OBVIOUSLY, IT WASN’t… so, I leave it to you, the reader, to consider what the real motive was.

    It’s easy now to look at the situation and apply “could’a, would’a, should’a”, but too bad no one listened to those prophets back when a different outcome was possible.  And the West (US and UK) was complicit in putting ZANUPF at the helm… as well as ignoring the genocide shortly thereafter.  They are accountable, too.  Although those leaders are now gone, it’s obvious the leaderships of those nations have since seen their error In ignoring the warnings of the sages whose vision of the future was 20/20. 

  • comment-avatar
    Steve 1 year ago