‘What is wrong with Zimbabweans’ – Tendai Biti

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | ‘What is wrong with Zimbabweans,’ asks Tendai Biti 12 January 2014

Wananchi, pessimism is a chronic disease which corrodes internal confidence and self belief.

Our people sadly are caught up with this terrible predatory ailment that is consuming the internal boundaries of their intestines, their being and their souls.

Every newspaper including the Herald has become a national symphony of despondency gloom and a litany of the ridiculous.  There are stories of economic decline, shrinking revenues, absent FDI, increased joblessness, increased Balance of Payment deficits.

Yes there are horror social stories that look like they are plucked from a poorly written shona novel.

Recently there was a story in one of the locals of a son in law bedding a mother in law.

In another paper there was a story of a man whose instrument of destruction was liberated from same after being caught sodomising a neighbor s wife. There is this story too dominating the papers of a foolish pastor who was sleeping with his entire congregation over and above the eight wives he has.

What is the world coming to? It appears that we are in a golden age of moral disarmament, virtual surrender to bohemianism and decadence. But it is the break up of the social fabric of Zimbabwe as a nation state that worries wananchi.

A nation cannot run on the bitter fuel of bitterness ,hatred and acidic vitriol.  A nation cannot function on the brittle energy of sighs of surrender, insults and moral barbarism.

A nation cannot succeed when it hates each other so much ,when it eats its children on such a daily basis.

In this country we have made malice ,rumors and anger the national anthem.  Idioms of praise, of gratitude, of appreciation do not exist in our palate.

A student can not do well unless he “bought exam papers” Someone is only promoted at work because she slept with the boss.

A lawyer can not win a case ,he bought the judge.

A farmer can only do well because he has black magic.

The priest can only drive a nice car because he stole money from the church.

Dynamos can only win the league because it bought referees.

The woman vendor next door sells more tomatoes than anyone because she sleeps with male buyers.

His businesses are successful because he killed some one in a case of ritual murder.

The list goes on.

There is no merit acknowledged.

There is no hard work appreciated.

There is a motive and an ulterior evil to every action,every move.

So we begin to eat each other.There are no genuine friendships.There is no camaraderie.There is no love .There is no trust.

Above all none of us admits our faults,our weaknesses and omissions.

“I failed because the teacher did not like me.

I could not buy a car because the bank manager did not want me to drive a better car than him.

I was not promoted because the boss liked me and I refused.

My crop did not succeed because GMB did not give me inputs.

We can not do it because of sanctions.”

When it comes to excuses and the blame game ,we are all angels and every other person is an ogre .

A monster, A death dementor cooked from a Harry Potter novel.

All these vices are then marinated in the classical Zimbabwean vice of arrogance.

This is a nation afflicted by the plague of hubris, and a sickening I -Know -it -all sclerosis.

There are many amongst who think there are the best thing on two feet and that intelligence was invented after them.

I have seen this spineless lot.  A mafikizolo generation long on talking, short on delivery .

The scourge of a generation. They seek to create a narrative that they and they alone are always right and that their word is gospel.

Yes Zimbabwe is in chronic condition but the citizen and its bitterness must plead guilt to this status quo.

It has turned its frustration and anger arousing out of its failure to change its situation,to grab its destiny against the fellow citizen.

The citizen s impotence at dealing with Zanu and its horrors is now turned into a force of cannibalism.

Thus creating a horrible situation of dog eat dog,mwanachi -eat -mwanachi,citizen-eats-citizen.

In the end we have created a nation of PHDs.N ot alumni and scholars from great institutions ,but an uneducated lot of Pull-Her -Down or Pull -Him -Down.

If nations ran on cannibalism and negative energy, this one would be a super power.

Sadly to the extent that there is an inverse relationship between cannibalism, negative energy and the growth of a country ,we remain one of the poorest countries on earth, by almost every yardstick.

But Zanu must take full responsibility of this total breakdown of nationhood.

For thirty four years this party has run this country on the energy of conflict,confrontation ,violence, exclusion,corruption ,patronage and hatred.

For thirty four years merit ,effort and hard work have never been rewarded or acknowledged.

You are a nobody unless you fought in the war .

For thirty four years our country has been a Siberian Gulag.

A morbid laboratory experiment in patriarchy and predatoriness.

So the citizen bereft of a leadership with compass and direction ,has become nothing but the mirror image of that same darkness that he detests so much.

Some .the weak among us ,have simply folded their hands and surrendered to the seductive odor of the regime.

It is amazing what fear does to the best among us.

I have to say that at the epicenter of our crises has been a terrible group of leadership without vision and direction.

A bunkered, third rate group of men and women who still think that Ian Smith is still alive and that the war of liberation is still going on .

A group of people that has never demobilized and appreciated the responsibility of running a normal civilian administration

So yes Zimbabwe is sick, the sick man of Africa .




  • comment-avatar
    Canuck 8 years ago

    Quite right Tendai, quite right…….
    The burning question, of course, is what are Zimbabweans going to do about the present situation????
    Anything????…..or is the morbid stinking status quo just going to persist forever……
    It is only resident Zimbabweans that can do ANYTHING about the present mess…….

    • comment-avatar
      Christine Keeler 8 years ago

      I think Tendai Biti is spending too much time at thesaurus dot org.
      I doubt that he fully understands what he is saying.

      Is he trying to tell us that he is too clever?

      He should look in the mirror and ask himself whether the povo in Chitungwiza have the slightest clue about what he is saying.

      It is becoming obvious that he is writing this rubbish to deflect attention.

    • comment-avatar
      Christine Keeler 8 years ago

      Like the Jews being led out of Egypt, they were lucky because they had decent leadership, a luxury poor Zimbabweans do not have at this time.

      Let’s hope it changes soon.

  • comment-avatar

    Written by the master of negativity himself. Wananchi is still smarting from loss of the election. He forgot to say,

    ” if MDC loses an election, ZANU pf must have cheated”

    MDC can’t lose an election even if their boss is moving around with his zip open and sleeping with any woman who cares. Now that Elizabeth has run away it must be ZANU pf that has nikuved the marriage.

    Heis representing a known thief Whois his accomplice. Once again it must be Zanupf that has fooled him into doing so even if he once said Gono deserved to be shot for corruption.

    Where is your morality Biti? We the members of your party are perplexed by your behavior and can only conclude that you have been compromised by this thief, you can rail as much as you want about Zanupf but its clear you are just another conman. If Zanupf gives you enough you will go to bed with them . Gono did did that and you pulled your trouser down.

    Everyone can see that ! Wanachi?

    • comment-avatar
      Tawanda 8 years ago

      @Soko — to go by what you’re saying you are one of the people he’s talking about

      • comment-avatar
        Peter tosh 8 years ago

        Biti is talking about people like this Soko. He represents those people exactly.

      • comment-avatar
        Kubota Binga 8 years ago

        No not people like SOko, just an extension of the list I guess.

    • comment-avatar
      Sonofngwazi 8 years ago


  • comment-avatar
    John Thomas 8 years ago

    All of they above is for the most part untrue. Zimbabwe is full of hard working people trying to make the best of it. Mr Biti himself must take his share of blame for where we are now. The picture of him and Morgan seated together dressed like clowns and grinning like fools while studying the ZANU manifesto used by ZANU in their billboards was so powerful because it is so real. Mr Biti please think before you speak.

    • comment-avatar
      Nimrod Mupanesengende 8 years ago

      John Thomas, you are the first clever whiteman I have heard of. You should demand your money back from Biti and the MDC. I agree with you. I spoke to about 10 people who said they voted for Zanu Pf because of that powerful image of Biti, Tsvangirai and Chamisa glued to the Zanu Pf manifesto. These people were stounch MDC supporters before.

  • comment-avatar

    Yes, Zimbabwe is full of hardworking selfish cowards and a bunch os selfish diasporas. No miracle will take place in that country until such a time we acknowledge our weakness as individuals and as a nation.

  • comment-avatar
    hamatakatambura 8 years ago

    Oh, shut up Tendai Biti. You failed to impress as a minister, and your cliche big words in this piece dont impress either. You have a condescending and sickening disdain for the people of Zimbabwe so evident here.

  • comment-avatar
    Mixed Race 8 years ago

    @John Thomas well said,they had a golden opportunity to change things but they messed it due to the same things Biti has listed in his article.What a shame?He is writing these long stories due to guilty conscience which makes me feel that at least he is still human not like the rest.

  • comment-avatar
    regginald 8 years ago

    ” if MDC loses an election, ZANU pf must have cheated”

  • comment-avatar
    adalandoinda 8 years ago

    Tendai ,you are doing exactly the same thing that you aptly depict. LAYING BLAME is not useful.
    let us go to the next level.
    What is your take on the next leadership having seen and participated in the last govt?
    THIS MAY BE CONSTRUED BY various individuals for their own agendas but a robust debate on most of the issues is necessary with contributions from all fora eg ZUNDE, ZAPU,MAVAMBO, MDC,and progressive forces in ZANUPF.

  • comment-avatar
    Rwendo 8 years ago

    Me thinks Mr. Biti is smarting from those of us ‘negative’ citizens rightfully blaming the MDC leadership collectively for being duped by ZANU PF, yet again last year. And blaming. him personally for his association with Gono. Clever of him to through up an ink cloud like an octopus.

  • comment-avatar
    Tichaona 8 years ago

    Well,Mr Biti i really agreed to what you said its clear & straight forward to everyone.(time 4 change its not negotiable)

  • comment-avatar
    Candid 8 years ago

    You have painted a potrait of Zimbabwe’s hated president:

    Hatred: He epitomises hatred and intollerance
    Bitterness: He is a very bitter old man, eating his own children
    Unaccountability: Everything is due to Bush and Blair
    Merit: Just look at his cabinet
    Hard work not acknowleged: Look at Heroes Acre (and those that failed to make it there)
    A monster: Bob just needs to look in the mirror
    Moral barbarism: He surrounds himself with corruption and turns a blind eye for political expediency
    Cannibalism: Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina, Zanuism, I-Hate-MDC, etc

  • comment-avatar
    mutakura 8 years ago

    Shut up biti. You are an unprincipled man with no sense of shame or embarrassment. A man who has sold his soul to the devil all for the love of money. Cant u see that you have been fooled by gono? Your love for money knows no bounds. How can you ever think of defending a man who destroyed the economy of this country. Ndinotonzwa kuku nyarira

  • comment-avatar
    Hurumende 8 years ago

    Talking of merit, what has the minister for Psychomotor Activities achieved so far except driving a Merc & probably having an extra mistress? ZvaMavhaira hatichatauri, ari mubishi kutenga manapukeni at that age! Pedzezvo zvanzi magetsi achapfutsa, over my dead body!!!!!

  • comment-avatar
    Matake 8 years ago

    Biti is the same boffin who sang praises to Mugabe not so long ago, heeee “he’s father Zimbabwe, this man is seductive, he is Zimbabwe because of what he has said no to”, or words to that effect. You enjoyed little power that much u quickly forgot the big picture whilst Zanu threw everything at the same, I feel for u Biti..!

  • comment-avatar
    Murimi Wanhasi 8 years ago

    Murimi is smiling.
    So this is one of your leaders?What a joke.

    • comment-avatar
      chasura 8 years ago

      Just as much as a lot of people also think Zanu leaders are a joke.

  • comment-avatar

    Mr Biti as a leader, please can you provide the solution. You are not telling us what we don’t already know.

    Please also carefully read what Elton Mangoma and Vince Musewe wrote yesterday before providing us with a solution.

  • comment-avatar
    vashe mukotami 8 years ago

    If MDC loses an election it must have been nikuved

  • comment-avatar

    Zimbabweans are a bunch of talkers and not doers.I bet in 50 years time this exact same discussion will be taking place in zim’s.Talk ,talk and more talk.Talkwabweans , new name for you guys.

  • comment-avatar
    Murimi Wanhasi 8 years ago

    @Tourist.And what action do u propose genius?

    • comment-avatar

      At least something slightly different as to what zimbos have been doing in the last 34 years. Even Zambians eventually woke up and changed their corrupt and thieving self serving government.Zimbabweans do the same thing every year and expect things to get better.

  • comment-avatar

    I am so glad you have brought up this important debate. I have argued before that there is so much of the goings on today, be it in government or the private sector, that have so much to do with us being Zimbabwean and not so much to do with PF. Pane kamwe kahunhu kedu as a people that is just failing us…and it all centers on greed. Hurumuende tinoibira day in day out, taking bribes from issuing a birth certificate to getting a death certificate and everything else between. Muma church where we are supposed to learn and teach very basic morality, tirikuba nekubirwa zuva nezuva.

    When any behaviour becomes a culture and national, when that behavour is sadly corruption driven by greed, we are trading in real big trouble.
    @Soko…Thats the exact point of this discussion. MT is as much a Zimbabwean as you are…when it come to nation building, partly allegiance has never worked and will never work.Rather than surrender to the status quo, despite the might of the state machinery directed at them, Tendai and team have fought and still and and will continue fighting for Zimbabwe. @Soko if you are a true member of Tendai’s party, you are adressing your issues on the wrong platform. We dont wash dirty linen in public. I am sure there are open structures to channel such genuine concerns. Tendai is making a very valid point and rather than throwing away dirty water with the baby, lets focus on the discourse….arikutaura chokwadi here and if so what can you and I do about it.

  • comment-avatar

    Unbelievable!……biti, u spent an entire decade trying to convince the entire world and the people of zim that we are a hopeless basketcase and then u have the nerve to ask why the nation is so negative??…… Have u no shame?…….u and your party should take a large part of the blame for reducing morale and compromising on the countries patriotism…….idiot

  • comment-avatar

    Murimi, it would be of great interest for us to hear your take on what a good leader should be and who, in this nation, would fit your description? I am waiting!

  • comment-avatar
    Africanson 8 years ago

    Yes arikutaura chokwadi and he is part of the problem and does not seem to appear to be part of the solution.

  • comment-avatar
    Mike Nyathi 8 years ago

    Haaa, Biti, what about your own moral disarmament??? You are now in bed with Gideon Gono. The snake pit for you, shamwari.

  • comment-avatar
    hamatakatambura 8 years ago

    There is something indecent about a former minister turning into a blogger. I would be interested to know how many blogs Biti himself consulted for opinion when he was minister. But guessing the answer to that, Biti should know that his thundering protests and torrential commentaries are thought worth anything mostly by him and only by MDC apologists.

  • comment-avatar

    This from one of MDC leadership who had their faces so deep in the ZPF feeding trough during the GNU that they could not see what ZPF were really up to prior to 2013 election and are now bitter because they were completely thrashed by ZPF – rigged or not. You had your chance, now live with the consequences.

  • comment-avatar
    African 8 years ago

    Dare I say it, maybe Johnso was right in saying that you can only effect change from within Zanu PF. These other parties have failed

  • comment-avatar

    Where is this culture of verbal abuse coming from fellow contrymen? Are we a people who can’t debate national issues without labeling and calling each other names? We have become a farrago of hate and bitterness.
    We have blame those in power for the very things we are doing to each other. Lets discuss issues as issues and stamp out this business yekutukirira. Those in power have the last laugh when they see us throwing mud at each other and in the process losing focus of what they have done to us. If the professor makes sense in a debate I will cheer as much as if MT or TB does the same….ndookubatana kunovaka nyika for our children and beyond. Izvi zvemazizwi mahombe ekutukirira ndoozvacho Tendai zvaari kutaura kuti hazvina fundutso…hazvivaki nyika…it doesnt heal a nation deeply throubled by a plethora of problems. Lets call a moratorium on hate speech and name calling.

  • comment-avatar

    Save, you are absolutely correct.

  • comment-avatar
    Johno 8 years ago

    Your observations, analysis and commentary are largely correct wanachi. What is glaringly missing though ,wanachi, is WHAT DO YOU PROPOSE WE DO TO CORRECT MATTERS!.

  • comment-avatar

    It starts with leaders, if leaders are preaching haterage and animosity amoung people then it becomes a normal thing to the society. if you look back this started way back in the 80s, any person who didn’t agree with the government was labelled or even jailed. it become a norm to people, hence today we have a society which is very selfish, a society that can not collectively decide and build nation together, a society that can not help a neighbour. Don’t blame the ordinary person but the politicians, if the politicians and church leaders show love and respect then we can become a better nation

  • comment-avatar
    Zvichapera 8 years ago

    Thank you Mr Biti, well spoken. When you provoke these fools that’s when you see their true colours. What they forget is this is a discussion not confrontation. Ana Soko mabharanzi avo, won’t even waste time with their pettiness. Why do we not see their contributions on this wall. They only know how to criticise, truth be told, they just don’t have it.

  • comment-avatar
    Bhopal 8 years ago

    MDC are just as immoral as ZPF. Mr Biti, ask Mangoma and Mashakada what they were up to regarding a certain mine in Shamva. Ask them how the koreans ended up being the prefered buyers of the said mine?? Ask them what part they played in the transaction and how “wet” their palms got.

    See the log in your eyes as a party. Now you represent Gono? Where is the principal in that? You have spent the last years sending out negative images of Zimbabwe and now you ask why Zimbabweans are so negative? Your “President” Mr Tsvangirayi travels the world and presents lectures in the UK that paint the Zimbabwean diamond mining industry in a negative light?? You openly call for sanctions on your own people??

    Your leader summons and punishes members of his party that speak their mind?? Is that positive?? I think you just have too much time on your hands boss Biti.

    • comment-avatar
      Chaka 8 years ago

      Bhopal, let’s look at the views rather than the person. It seems u would respond differently if it was not from Biti. Fellow Zimbabweans let’s stop diverting from other fellows’ views and attacking the fellows themselves like Zanu does. Biti’s views do not link him with MDC. I am only a registered voter and not a member of any party

  • comment-avatar
    Mbare-Mutota 8 years ago

    BitI Mr, I pitty you and your flamboyant use of the foreign language as a tool to show your poor analysis of Zimbabwe and our now situation, where on this World has a black man orcherstrated development which has been accepted by former slave masters as good. Just a close look a cross the southern border will tell you the pale devils living in mansions of Cape town are discouraging efforts done by the black government to take out a black man from a squalor and house him in an RDP house. You are part and parcel of the slave master who created you. U never allowed development by black for blacks and in turn called for sanctions. Countries like DRC are rich and not democratic guns are ablaze day in day night, women are raped by government soldiers each day, but they have not objected to foreigners looting their land so they can never be put on sanctions. Your analysis of the society denigrating into oblivion is poor and naive read stories from Nigeria and even South Africa you willcee how they rape a one month old

    • comment-avatar
      Joseph Matongo 8 years ago

      Mbare-Mutota uri dofo nyarara zvako kana usina zvekutaura

  • comment-avatar
    Mixed Race 8 years ago

    @Johno-answer to your question’Zimbabweans must learn to use commonsense and wisdom to solve our current problems.If we all do that all these hate speeches and senseless decisions will disappear.Sound decisions lead to prosperity.

  • comment-avatar

    this just goes to show that , not only are we black outside, we are also black inside…

  • comment-avatar
    Msizeni silwelani 8 years ago

    Well said Biti, you are the greatest nuacence in the Zimbabwean political land scape. You dwell on the assumption that our educational levels translate to political literacy which is your worst undoing. We were thrown out of houses we rented from zanupf owners the reason being “imbwa ayinwe pamombe”. Biti and Gono are bed fellas, Gono the hammer mechanic of our economy, chief financial advisor to Mugabe the murderer.

    Zanu taught us that political competitors are not only opponents but sworn enemies. How many of us can differentiate between business and political relations you have gone into with Gono a zanu pf candidate. Few can spot the difference between govt and zanu.

    As much as your articles may be neutral, in politics we believe in the “with us or against us” mantra. The general populance has been indocrinated with this by zanu hence winning gorvanance through sober debates is a pipe dream in Zimbabwe. This is what we knew since the Sydney Malunga parliamentary era. Our politics are not based on brand knowledge but propaganda, meaning your association with Gono a known zanu pf luminary is one but a plus for zanu to manipulate the less politically literate electorate in the country side. You risk loosing opinion leadership when you begin to tone down your voice against the heinous zanu and tend to blame every Zimbabwean for the economic, social and political ills we find ourselves in. We know what is wrong, not we but the political diplomats who went into bed with our enemies thinking they were “human”. You take a stance not principles in our situation, once an enemy always an enemy, zanu pf does this with impunity.

  • comment-avatar
    BaMuno 8 years ago

    Biti has touched on most issues that drove me back to the diaspora. I find most of what Zimbabweans do now very awkward , to say the least. I hope we can look back and go back to the culture of working and achieve our endeavours on merit and hard work. Thumbs up Biti!

  • comment-avatar

    There is too much criticism from Tendai Biti, the solution Tendai is to participate in moulding the country and not continuing attacking the system without finding ways to deal with the system. Also it is important Tendai not to attack Zimbabwean people for being idle, your talent is not the same talent with other people, we all have different talents. The whole world is reading your articles attacking your own people it makes no sense if you are not looking for a solution to the problem, that is the worst injustice attacking illiterate people without teaching them how to deal with the problem. Please can you try and look again carefully into the situation because you are also attacking supporters of MDC those who voted you to be in power and you failed them. I am not on any side Zanu PF or MDC but I am neutral because I have witnessed so much in my life, war in Mozambique since childhood. Nearly every country here on earth there are people with a negative attitude of blaming others for their own failures, it is not only Zimbabwean people I totally disagree with you. I only agree with you on the fact that, when things go wrong, some people are good at ponting a finger to others or giving excuses for their own failures. But also, some people experience difficulties in life because of the injustice they experience even in superpower countries like Britain some people are still living in slavery! Some people live a failed life because of a poor background without any help from anyone. I am very luck that I managed to climb the ladder, I am from a down to earth family, a poor or peasant family but I managed to fight my way up and now I hold a degree in Forensic Science, a diploma in Nursing and still it is difficult for me to make ends meet in UK. I am now fighting to study Gemology with the aim to come back to Africa and seek employment in Gemology, it’s not easy Tendai. You are very lucky that you attended a multiracial school and parents were able to do everything for you, therefore, please do not compare your background with other people that is not fair Tendai. Most of the people struggle to climb the ladder of life and we are there to help each other to make the journey and not criticising each other that is very discouraging especially a person with a top position like you attacking people like that. I beleive most of the things that you said are true but not only Zimbabweans but world wide. Therefore, try and look both sides and not one side, there are weaknesses in MDC and also weaknesses in Zanu PF that need to be addressed amicably to improve our economy as well as economies of other poor countries in Africa and world wide. Zimbabwe is a small country with well educated people, if there is corruption of briberies in education getting qualifications through briberies, can you please inform the relevant aouthorities, even in England most of the university students they bribe for qualifications even at the colleges.

  • comment-avatar

    Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc’-ra-cy): a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

    Admit this is a troll comment and normal used to describe America!

  • comment-avatar

    Mugarbage is a pathological racist with obvious inferiority complex an effeminate demeanor psychologically disturbed with criminal tendencies.

  • comment-avatar
    Godobori 8 years ago

    SODOM and GOMORAH! I am getting ashamed of revealing my nationality. Perhaps I should change my passport

  • comment-avatar
    tafadzwa maguta 8 years ago

    thus zim for us how we fight among us,as the devil smile and strike more.blame game wont take us anywhere.