On a visit to the Kwekwe CBD (central business district) this morning to run some personal errands, I could not help being flabbergasted, as I always am, at the usual sight of dishevelled and unkempt youths donning dirty and torn ruling ZANU PF party regalia – yet, clearly wallowing on the caprices of abject poverty.
As always, I found myself wondering why there appears to be those who become so zealously committed and devoted to a political party – such that, willing to support it, come rain or sunshine, even if that means being taken down the dark abyss of unspeakable improvement and suffering, at the cruel hands of the same entity.
Whether the youths I regularly see are genuine ZANU PF followers, or are merely pretending and playing along for the sake of accessing means of making a livelihood – yet, voting for rival political parties when it matters most, during elections – I really can not say.
Nonetheless, judging from the huge votes the party manages to garner at election time – there are undeniably those who are truly devout loyalists – who can not imagine, and will never tolerate, any other political grouping governing Zimbabwe…even if their leadership is driving the entire country off the cliff into economic ruination.
When I was meticulously studying these young men and women – I could not help thinking, “This is a clear case of, ’till death do us apart’” – as they commit themselves to ZANU PF, as if bound by some solemn covenant of marriage.
I could just picture in my mind a people who have had all their prospects for a truly bright and prosperous future (as enjoyed by those of other countries) callously destroyed by a ruling elite that cares ZERO over their welfare and wellbeing – yet, continue vowing, “for better or for worse, in riches or poor, in health or in sickness, forsaking all others for ZANU PF”!
Nonetheless, the question that still begs an answer is – why?
Why would any sane person bind themselves to something that is causing them immense pain and suffering?
In fact, is it not normal, and to be expected, for individuals to desire better in their lives – even, when what they already have is pretty good?
Do we, in spite of occupying good and well-paying jobs, not continue striving for “greener pastures” and more promising prospects?
Are there no people we hear were branch managers at a particular establishment – yet, moved on to another company for a higher position, with better opportunities?
So, why would anyone stick – as if bound by an unbreakable covenant – to a political party that has undoubtedly failed, at unprecedented and disgraceful levels, even leaving the same over-zealous supporter reduced to a life of shame and poverty?
I honestly can not wrap my head around all this!
Even Zimbabwean singer Enzo Ishall once sang, “Uri kutsvireiko tii isina shuga” – as I am sure he also wondered why we had such characters in this world.
Were we not created as human beings to desire better in our lives – so, should both common sense and our nature, not automatically push us to try other political parties in the country, in the hope for a better livelihood, of dignity, respectability, and honour?
It really does not matter if the political party we elect to replace the incumbent does not live up to expectation and fail us – we can always vote them out in subsequent elections – but, is it not more logical to, at least, reject those who have already failed us, and give others a chance?
I am reminded of my dear Mother who is fond is asking, whenever she encounters anyone who appears addicted to a life of self-destruction – “une shave reurombo here iwe”, in other words, “are you possessed by some nefarious and malicious spirit of poverty and suffering”?
Possibly, could this be a matter of ignorance on the part of these supporters?
Could it be that our youth have not seen or experienced any other life than the impoverishment of the past two decades – such that know nothing else, and can never dream or imagine of anything better than the miserable and sorrowful livelihoods they currently endure…even maybe believing this is the best that life has to offer?
Indeed, some, despite residing in urban areas all their lives – have never seen running water coming out of their taps at home, and only know that the precious liquid is collected from boreholes some considerable distance away.
Is it possible that they have no clue that young people in other countries – even those with much less education – enjoy far higher standards of living, can afford to buy their own houses, cars, and other creature comforts, without waiting for handouts of vending stalls from politicians?
They may not even know that our parents – whose houses most of us still live in today, as we can not afford our own – only had primary school education during colonial times, but became teachers and nurses, who earned enough to make success of themselves.
It is time that our youth woke up, and realized that there is a far better life to live out there than the mediocrity and sham they are currently surviving under – but, they need to firstly, make the right decisions at election time, and boot out those who have authored their misery and suffering.
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, researcher, and social commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936 / +263733399640, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org