The enemy is us! by Tanonoka Joseph Whande

via The enemy is us! by Tanonoka Joseph Whande | SW Radio Africa  Tuesday, April 22, 2014

As we grew up, we come across so many stories that reflected the experiences of those who came before us.

In our African traditions of days gone by, long before modern day toys like phones and motor vehicles, not to mention schools, our elders imparted knowledge and their experiences to their underlings through a communication tool called ‘word of mouth’.

Not so many of us know about this simple, personal and individualistic but effective method of not only teaching but informing and teaching young children.

We learned a lot from listening, taking no notes but always mindful of the lessons we had been taught.

We remembered things very well because, then, our lives depended on it, when we were out herding cattle or attending to the maize fields.

Some of us were okay until we started going to school. Here, we were taught things we did not experience and we got lessons to use some other day…not as soon as we left class.

Although we used to memorize and remember post office boxes and private bags of friends and relatives, more and more information that was not relevant to our everyday existence kept being pumped into us that we started forgetting because the information, although useful, was not for immediate, everyday use or for our day to day existence.

We were so bad that, when we left school and got jobs in towns, we needed to buy what was called a telephone book in which we recorded addresses and telephone numbers of friends and relatives in alphabetical order.

The heart of the matter is that we tend to remember only those things of which we have immediate need and use of. We do not strive to remember some things and experiences of today so that we may apply them to alleviate our problems tomorrow.

We are a temporary society.

We live for today and forget about tomorrow.

I urge the people in both Tsvangirai’s MDC and all those in other opposition parties to dig back into their past and come up with lessons learned from way back then.

We have gone through all this before but we refuse to learn and find excuses to continue submerging ourselves in situations that make our Creator furious because he has given us all we need but we just do not care how to treat and maintain our sanity and focus.

The expulsion of senior members from the MDC is no cause for celebration. The misguided glee shown by Nelson Chamisa as he hammered negatively on his expelled erstwhile companion showed me the depth of shallowness among our politicians.

In our days as we sat surrounding a plate of sadza and a few pieces of meat, greed was never tolerated.

Why are we tolerating it today?

What does the MDC think they are doing?

What the hell does ZANU-PF think they are doing?

Does Tsvangirai honestly believe he is showing leadership with the way he is handling opposition to his way of running the party?

And would it not be to people’s advantage if Mugabe just took a proper stand? What makes him think keeping his successor secret apart from what the constitution states will make him live longer?

Paranoid fools are at the helm of all political parties and the followers are paying for it.

One thing I have learned is that if you publish, you have gone public with your views and you must, of necessity, allow other people to voice their opinions, particularly those who are not in agreement with you. The same applies to public figures.

I do not subscribe to the totalitarian method being championed by Morgan Tsvangirai and fronted by Nelson Chamisa. The organization is bigger than its office holders and Tsvangirai and his group are better advised to keep that in mind unless the MDC has become a “friends and family only” club.

As for the so-called rebels, Mangoma, Biti, Mkwananzi and others, they must know that they are within their democratic rights to criticize any organization they belong to but theirs must not only be criticism.

They must show cause. They must take a stand and announce it to the people. They must tell the people why they have suddenly decided to cut ties with fellow leaders with whom they have been working with for years.

They must state their positions and intentions then turn around and make sure that the people understand their positions. They will never look better just by making Tsvangirai look bad.

Right now, Tendai Biti is not behaving well.

Not Elton Mangoma.

Not Morgan Tsvangirai.

Not Nelson Chamisa.

All of them want to hold on to things from the past without offering anything new for the future.

And, in case they do not know, the past starts at the end of the humiliating elections of last year.

Today we have newer battles to fight.

Are our old weapons, the weapons we used in the past in the form of minds, thinkers, direction, policy, doctrine and all that the party did to get people’s attention still relevant?

Not anymore; there has to be a change somewhere.

Should this not have been the time for Tsvangirai to take his top lieutenants and the so-called rebels to Vic Falls, Kariba, Chimanimani or wherever they love to go and talk things over instead of putting Zimbabweans, who are already stressed out over lack jobs, lack of food, school fees, water and who cannot even access their money in the banks? What of their political life are Tsvangirai, Chamisa, Biti, Mangoma, Mwonzora and all the rest fighting for when people are fighting for just a meal; when companies are closing every day; when there is growing animosity among our people?

Why should our people be made to fight over Tsvangirai and Mugabe, or over Tsvangirai and Biti, or over Mnangagwa and Mujuru when our people are looking for alternatives to policies that have failed them for the last 34 years?

Why are all politicians threatening each other when all of them are unable to perform their duties?

Every political party in our country has expelled some members of its leadership because all of them are intolerate and the leaders do not want to be replaced. Why threaten each other instead of talking to each other?

Those leaders who receive our trust must all stop abusing the people and causing misunderstandings among Zimbabweans.

Why can’t we learn from our past experiences? Our country is not poor; our nation is not intellectually deficient.

Mugabe, Tsvangirai, Mujuru, Biti, Chamisa, Mnangagwa, Mangoma, Chombo, Mutasa, councilors, parliamentarians, cabinet ministers and all those hangers on, please stop it already.

Have you not done enough damage to Zimbabwe? All of you! Everything you guys do and say affects our everyday existence and you all have driven our country into oblivion.

What is there to celebrate when, in the week our so-called independence reaches 34 years, the government itself reports that more than 176 companies had been struck off the register, “while 634 companies are set to be de-registered in the next three months”?

How can we celebrate 34 years of so-called independence when companies are closing in record numbers; when our people are starving; when we neglect fellow citizens befallen by disasters; when the government and its senior  employees steal from our parastatals; when we cannot access the little money we put in banks owned by ministers; when more than 80 percent of the nation is unemployed; when people resort to selling tomatoes by the roadside to raise school fees for their children but the government wants to take their little money?

The government wants to tax informal traders, will that help? They have stolen billions; there is nothing more to still except a few dollars wrapped up in that old woman’s head scarf and they are coming for that too.
My compatriots, do not look far; the enemy is us.

I am Tanonoka Joseph Whande and that, my fellow Zimbabweans, is the way it is today, Monday, April 21st, 2014.


  • comment-avatar
    nyoni 9 years ago

    The Idea that our way of life is archaic simply stems from the fact that the majority of our leaders have tasted the lap of luxury and now believe they are fit to articulate Western ways. Which is materialistic and money orientated. We should not forget where Zanu comes from. Their socialist influences resemble that of China and we all know where China is heading today. They are moving West. No Mugabe has realised he has been misled but his ego is so big, he simply will not bow down and admit this. So it looks like the Chief will go down fighting to the last. What a shame.

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    zizirinenyanga 9 years ago

    Real talk,in Africa greediness is our downfall.

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    Confused 9 years ago

    Inspired writing… My only concern is that the writer seems to believe that we will ever have leaders who put people first before themselves. Politics, by nature, is a game of looking after number one. It goes like this;
    1) Power (me)
    2) Relevence (me)
    3) Economic benefit (me)
    4) Party (me)
    5) Voters (me)

    We are not people or even faces to these politicians. We are merely statistics. We are areas of control, we are voting patterns, we are ballots.. We are not people.. Not to the MDC and not to Zanu PF… That is all. The reality is that we will never get a perfect leader. All we can hope for is the ability to kick them out when we are tired of their BS.

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    thembani 9 years ago

    For once you wrote something I agree with.Good article..

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    Buchman-Turner-Overdrive 9 years ago

    What about Shona tribalism? What do you say about that?

    As you can see, all the people you mention here are all Shona. There is no white Zimbabwean; no Coloured Zimbabwean; no Mthwakazi Zimbabwean; no Asian Zimbabwean – just Shona, Shona, Shona.

    So really Zimbabwe’s problem is the Shona. All our problems are caused by the Shona!!

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    I do not think in the current Political set-up that Zimbabwe finds it’s self in you can operate on a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde scenario. On one hand those that speak with the pen say the ELECTIONS were neither free nor fair. On the next PEN instalment the talk about the humiliating defeat. The authoritarian regime at the moment has resources to plant people in any Party they wish. When ever they raid offices of the opposition the Police seem to know what they are looking for. This is because the opposition Parties are filled with spies for the authoritarians. When people cause disruptions to an institution one has to question their motives. In Political circles in the Zimbabwe set up one has to wait for a congress before going off half cocked to remove a leadership. Other countries after a failed election the leader resigns. I don’t see evidence of a failed election on the part of the opposition. What I see is rigging and tampering with other Party’s structures by the rulers who refuse to give up power. The Welshman Mutambara situation comes to mind. Who’s interests was Mutambara serving during the GNU? Was he a plant? My point is that the opposition has the right to expel people who are causing disarray, and Mugabes backing for them would seem to suggest that they might be plants. Since when does Zanu tell MDC to put their house in order?

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      Buchman-Turner-Overdrive 9 years ago

      There are no “plants” here.

      People should just learn to accept that there are people within their ranks who see things differently. They dont have to be influenced by any one.

      Gukurahundi Mugabe is just good at taking advantage of other people’s differences as and when they arise.

      It doesn’t mean that those people are being influenced by him to raise the issues they are raising.

      He is just playing divide and rule to his advantage – thats all!

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      Isu-zvedu 9 years ago

      Some people shout from rooftops claiming zanupf is evil this and evil that, yet they are paid to do just that. How one claims zanupf rigged elections and then point fingers of failure to the opposition in the same line makes me wonder how genuine these people are.

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    Buchman-Turner-Overdrive 9 years ago

    Yes Tanonoka Whande, you are right. The enemy is YOU, the Shona people. You are very right. You are the enemy of unity in diversity; the enemy of Devolution; the enemy of multilingualism in Zimbabwe; the enemy of democracy; the enemy of multi-cilturalism in Zim. You want every Zimbabwean to be Shona.

    There are no myths in the Gukurahundi Republic of Zimbabwe, everything is straightforward.

    It is simply a Shona gukurahundi Republic in which everything is majoritarian; everything is done by force with no consultation with those affected; everything is about who you know and whether you speak the language of the majority for you to be served or listened to.

    If you try to go to government offices and insist on your Mthwakazi languages, you will get nowhere.

    Everything is an imposition – as long as you are a minority you have no rights in pracice; your rights are just on paper – the constitution and it ends there. Its a grab, grab, grab grab culture.

    A culture of violence; a culture of intolerance. All this shouting about Makandiwa and judgement Day is just that.

    All pretence, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

    Its a nation of heathens; a nation of Satanic verses – the The ZANU 1979 Grand Plan, which each and every Shona has meticulously adhered to consciously or unconsciously.

    They today reject ZANU PF because it no longer favours them as it used to in the 1980s, but they will not abandon its culture and character of tribal and language intolerance.

    Its a Andinzwi chindeeeeeeeeeeeeeere culture; a gukurahundi ZANU PF culture of taura choShona or dzokera ku Zululand. Its a total disaster – a wasteland.

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    Mapingu 9 years ago

    @Buchman-Turner-Overdrive: For your on infor one Welshmen Nxube & one Dumiso Davengwa are very much Ndebeles – possibly more Ndebele than yourself. Not to mention, the man from Tsholotsho himself who goes by the name Jonathan Moyo, Simon Kaya Moyo, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, etc . I wouldn’t be surprised should you conveniently decide to dis-own them and label them Shonas – simply to feed your own insatiable hatred of that tribe.

    Now going back to the few Ndebele fellows that I have highlighted just above: Would any Zimbabwean, in his right senses of course, claim that these Ndebele fellow and many others for that matter, are less culpable, with regard to the Zimbabwean crisis, than the likes of Tsvangirai, Biti, Chamisa & Mwonzora whose names are given in the above article?

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      Buchman-Turner-Overdrive 9 years ago

      You the Shona are the enemy. You are the enemy of unity in diversity; the enemy of Devolution; the enemy of multilingualism in Zimbabwe; the enemy of democracy; the enemy of multi-culturalism in Zim. You want every Zimbabwean to be Shona.

      All this points to the fact that you are responsible and have been responsible for fertilising the ground for national instability in the last 34 years due to your self-centred, selfish, self-serving Shona tribalism.

      You are responsible for the creation of the MLF and the Paul Siwelas of this world. We hold you directly culpable should these people succeed in their breakway ambitions.

      Its a fact and facts are stubborn – Period!

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    BTO That is your own opinion as was the above mine. I am not one to try to convince you to sway away from your mind set but unless you know someone in Zanu that there was no plants in any Party including Zapu during thier time then you are just guesing. I am not. The evidence is there. Do you remember some members of the MDC defecting on National TV? Talk about Tribal implications of Zanu and you are off track. They used to be that. This time it’s a group of Shona,Ndebele,Asian and White crooks who are stealing the country blind. You can carry on with your hate. That is your choice. Or you could contribute Positively with unity of purpose with your fellow Prisoners in the Street.

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      Buchman-Turner-Overdrive 9 years ago

      Doctor Do little
      I will always work for national unity in Zim, but will never shy away from telling the truth. No matter much it hurts for those who are the culprits. We can never progress as a nation as long as we pretend. Relationships that are based on pretence never last.

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    Buchman-Turner-Overdrive 9 years ago

    Zimbabwe, “minus the Shona” would be a peaceful, stable, democratic and economically bustling nation. Unfortunately, this “minus the Shona” is just not possible. So, you are forever doomed as a nation!!!

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    Zvamusina Kumbirai 9 years ago

    The good is good only if this letter/news read by those who are responsible, if they don’t mind then take action. To tell someone who will never listen to you is like time wasting. Yes Josheph you are right all we can say that with difference opinion in our comments, blaming shona’s and what ever But can that brings change NO, If our political leaders accept advices from ordinary people and engages them the solution of a better Country. If we are good and preaching and blaming one another can that help us NEVER. ACTION is only a WEAPON that brings Zimbabwe back on track.

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    This is a well written article with some facts which have supported my comments I made on the 20 th of this month on the article- Headed Mugabe Supports Rebels.No further comments see that page.

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    @buchanaan Overdrive,for sure ndebeles if they all have that kind of thinking like you and come open then the Shonas have a right to drive them out across the Limpopo.

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      Buchman-Turner-Overdrive 9 years ago

      I am not Ndebele, why are you associating me with the Ndebele? And how many have you driven across the Limpopo.

      All I can see are far more Shonas than Ndebele in South Africa who have been driven actross the Limpopo by another Shona – Mugabe. Please sleep peacefully with that reality and stop fantasizing.

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    brian shumba 9 years ago

    yes the problem z us caz we are spectators when these failures are making experiments with our delicate future.

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    Saddened 9 years ago

    Many of us as Zimbabweans need to make a serious mind shift change in the way we view & respond to things political. We personalise too many of these instead of evaluating them on their merit or otherwise. A typical case in point is the way we view the two main players on the political stage. You would think these leaders are infallible going by the hero worship of their respective hard line supporters, yet to any fair-minded person both have fallen short of the standard required to lift us out of the current quagmire. So yes the enemy is us!

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    I don’t see how anyone else besides bobo and his brigade of hangers-on can be blamed for our present plight.

    If an election is rigged, how can the “loser” be blamed?
    If a country is shut so tight its second only to N Korea, do we have a chance in hell?

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    Isu-zvedu 9 years ago

    Overdrive is another zanoid implant whose mandate is to sow seeds to evil and hatred among Zimbabweans. Its fodder for Mugabe and his henchmen. Now my friend, your evil ways are in the open. We already know your motive- a very useless zanoid project that still feeds from divisionism and evil.

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    Dave Wood 9 years ago

    …comment deleted by moderator…[Dave Wood, you’ve contributed to this debate. Thank you. At times you’ve overstepped our moderation guidelines and we’ve continued tolerating. You have good cause but that’s now aside. Please contribute constructively. Our call, your choice…the floor is yours sir.]