34 years on: Heavy hearts and empty stomachs

via 34 years on: Heavy hearts and empty stomachs | The Zimbabwean 14.04.14 by Sofia Mapuranga

An evil remains an evil whether practiced by white against black or by black against white, said President Robert Mugabe in his speech on the eve of Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980.

“Our majority rule could easily turn into inhuman rule if we oppressed, persecuted or harassed those who do not look or think like the majority of us,” he said. “Our independence must not be construed as an instrument vesting individuals or groups with the right to harass and intimidate others into acting against their will. It is not the right to negate the freedom of others to think and act, as they desire,” he said.

34 years on, Zimbabwean youths reflect on what Independence means to them with Zanu (PF) in power. The National Co-ordinator for Youth Forum, Wellington Zindove, said: “I celebrate the day with a heavy heart and an empty stomach. Corruption is rampant and the same people that we entrusted with leading us are short-changing youths. We are still a long way from the Zimbabwe that we envisioned.”

Starich Simukai, 23, from Hatfield in Harare expressed bitterness and said the day meant nothing to him. “What is independence without jobs, food and a good standard of living? Looking at the kind of life that the majority of the young people are leading, I sometimes question whether this is what the people that fought the armed struggle wanted.”

He said because the majority of the promises made by government had not been fulfilled, it was very difficult for people to appreciate the meaning of independence.

“Everything is very expensive, there is no water, electricity and quality health care is beyond the reach of the majority,” he said, adding that the day meant nothing to the majority of young people.

“The corrupt and politically muscled are the ones that appreciate independence. The minority few are enjoying the fruits of independence at the expense of the majority.”

In his April 17, 1980 speech, Mugabe assured the nation that his government was determined to transform people’s lives and bring about meaningful change to their standard of living.

“But I must ask you to be patient and allow my government time to organize programmes that will effectively yield that change,” he said. “There are people without land who need land, people without jobs who need jobs, children without schools who need schools and patients without hospitals who need them. We are also fully aware of the need for increased wages in all sectors of employment.”

She said she believed that all the promises made on the eve on independence in 1980 were meant to portray the incoming government as if it was sincere and representative of the majority.

“Independence was supposed to come with economic independence. Yet we are using other countries’ currencies and that means that we still have a long way to go. Until the time when we are at liberty to define our economic path, then independence is meaningless.”

Patricia Bhaureni, 25, from Sunningdale in Harare expressed bitterness at the current leadership, arguing that they had inflicted on the ordinary black majority worse challenges than those that they experienced under colonial rule.

“They fought the war and we are grateful and happy, but if they are failing to deliver, they must not hold onto power on the basis that they liberated this country. But this does not justify their monopoly over power. It was their time and this is our time now. We cannot continue wallowing in poverty because we are being held ransom because they freed us from colonial rule.”


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    Senzachena 8 years ago

    You voted for him in 1980, many still vote for him and his party. Dont cry, go on the streets. Where are the leaders in the opposition who will take the fight to Mugabe and his bunch, where are the brave youngsters who will show the way to real freedom? Where are the parents who can influence their children in the security forces to turn the guns around? All we want is a decent,honest Government that looks after the country and the people but we are held to ransom by a few evil dogs. Get rid of those dogs and see Zimbabwe turn around and prosper! As ZANU always says, “We are our own liberators”. Do it!

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      Ruramai 8 years ago

      I agree Senzachena. They could start by going to the stadium where Mugabe will deliver his independence speech and boo him.

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        Senzachena 8 years ago

        Never mind booing him, although that would be a start, why dont they put a bullet in him and get it over and done with. It would be a wonderful way to celebrate this “great” day!!!

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    Mlimo 8 years ago

    Indeed senza why are the people too afraid? You see that before 1980 we had food , we had jobs, we had schools, we had a banking system that worked , we had law and order. And we voted this away so it is our own fault. We listened to the lies of zanupf for 34years. We do nothing. Is that because the white Rhodesians forewarned us and we couldn’t listen because it came out a white mans mouth? Couldn’t we see the truth? Are we that stupid?Indeed we are because we still live under zanupf rule. There is no freedom in poverty and no jobs. There is no freedom in a vote that is rigged. There is no freedom if you don’t have any money to spend . There is no freedom if you can’t own your property. So why did thousands die? For what? For Robert Mugabe to live like an English king with his black graceless queen? What fools I ask? There is no future under zanupf! We have been told that year after year yet continue to suffer under him by voting for the fool.

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    Tjingababili 8 years ago


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    How dare Bob speak about independence! What independence is he talking about? We have gone from the frying pan into the fire. He looks ridiculous at our so called farce that we call independence celebrations. It is all one big lie. Millions suffer as he lives in the lap of luxury. I am disgusted. Simply put he must just go and leave us to dig ourselves out of the misery he has headed up. May God raise up a leader for Zimbabwe of His own choice; a man after God’s own heart and not one who the dictates of the devil.

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      Don Cox 8 years ago

      Bob and Grace have independence.

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        Do they. The conscience is a funny thing and once you sup with the devil there is NEVER any peace. Ever! They are afraid of their own shadows believe me. Why do you think Bob has his own chef/taster or whatever. Why does he drive in a heavy armour plated car with a useless motorcade a mile long. Eish! Fear! He should be trembling at the thought of those eternal hell fires for without TRUE repentance that is his destination along with many of his cohorts. repent or burn!

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    Roving Ambassador 8 years ago

    The reality has dawned on the masses that Zanu is a bunch of thieves and are not fit to lead the country,.
    We are just waiting for Patriotic and dignified leadership to come forward.
    The calabash is full breaming and ready.
    We need new leadership now.

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    Buchman-Turner-Overdrive 8 years ago

    Shona tribalism destroyed Zimbabwe. There are no two ways about this. Forget it, without an end to tribalism – you will continue to be beggars!

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    There are some brain dead among us who will hear no evil,see no evil and speak no evil because ndisu tiri kutonga,never mind the misrule,economic destruction and the general state of ruck and ruin in the country.So this should explain the ululations as we approach 34 years of unmitigated misrule.

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    Fallenz 8 years ago

    We wonder why on earth did God allow this nation to come to this. But, remember Abraham’s conversation with God over the fate of Sodom and the four other towns… Abraham could not present God with ten righteous people, and we know the result. Remember there were only eight righteous in the days of Noah… and look at the result.

    I ask, how many righteous are there in Zim today? Oh, there are MANY who claim to be “Christian”, but how many of those ever open a bible. Of those who do, how many assemble for worship on the first day of the week? Of those who do, how many think that color of skin or earthly tribe have anything to do with a person’s rights? Of those who are not racist or tribalist, how many are willing to lie or take what isn’t there’s or lust after their neighbor’s spouse, or goods? Of those, who remain pure, how many pray, really pray, daily? And on we could go. See where this is going? Perhaps there was a higher percentage of righteous in Sodom than in Zim… or in the world in the days of Noah. (I speak not only of Zim, but of the East and West, the North and South… the whole world.) It is past time we put away self-interest, and turn to God… for He and He alone is in control. If you don’t believe that, consider how far the nation has fallen, and ask yourself if your own life could be a part of the reason. Think about it.

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    Petal 8 years ago

    Why the empty stomachs Bob is doing a good according to som job companies closing companies being delisted Probably he will make a speech on how well the country is PROGRESSING HA HA HA!!!