The burdens we carry





My late father — may his soul rest in peace — used to say “pay no heed to a politician talking about a rival party”.

Well, no one can argue with these words of wisdom, politicians do have an inherent disposition or is it political ‘tact’ of only speaking one language — that of attacking the other party.

Had my father been alive today I wonder if he would have stuck to his quotable quote after reading some comments made by the former Speaker of Parliament and now president of the opposition United Movement for Devolution, Lovemore Moyo.

Moyo recently told the Daily News that it was unfortunate that despite having been in power for 40 years Zanu PF had failed to reform, resulting in instability in the country.

There is no doubt that four decades in power is a watershed. It’s a heaven-sent opportunity for self-introspection, time to ask: as a party what do we stand for, where are we, what have we achieved, what do we want to be remembered for, and what’s next?

Turning 40 in power implies transformation. The word “turning” indicates changing from being immature to being an adult — metamorphosis. It also means the party should be turning the lives of citizens from a poor lifestyle to a great lifestyle.

Of course the ruling party has had its ups and downs, no doubt, just as most people spend their early years trying to work out who they really are and where they belong, while stumbling and falling down in the process. When they get to 40, all of that becomes history. Obviously, they have learned from their mistakes and have gained experience — simply, they have become wiser. If not wiser, well, it isn’t too late for them to turn over a new leaf since it is widely believed that life begins at 40.

One would want to think that being in a position of full authority for four decades, the ruling party must now be a “mature adult” and should be leading by example.

With all these years in power, citizens expected the ruling party to be delivering quality services and providing all Zimbabweans with the best time of their life. But, ironically the citizens are battered and bruised from a prolonged encounter with corruption, incompetence, mismanagement and half-baked policies.

Zimbabwe’s worsening political and economic crises recently attracted international attention yet again to the extent that South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has seen it fit to “intervene” — following the government’s alleged breach of human rights in the country during last month’s foiled protests. The crises have left ordinary Zimbabweans with heavy burdens to carry.

Four decades after liberation from British rule, which have seen many years of the late former president Robert Mugabe’s repression and now the “new dispensation”, a growing number of Zimbabweans are rapidly losing faith in the system.

The ever-weakening economic environment has caused the horrible spectre of helplessness to become a reality for many of us. And, as we struggle regardless of hopelessness, we implore the ruling party to do whatever it takes to tackle the economic meltdown characterised by the runaway unemployment rate, high cost of living, poor health services, lack of investor confidence, skyrocketing production costs, foreign currency shortages and erratic fuel supplies.

Moyo told the Daily News that it was sad that since independence, the Zanu PF leadership has consistently worked hard to divide and destabilise the country in all spheres of life.

He added that instead of promoting unity, social cohesion and economic prosperity, Zanu PF chose to promote war and tribal hatred…

“The burden we carry as a country is that 40 years down the line, the nationalists have failed to transform themselves …

“… when under pressure from the masses to deliver services they quickly revert back to guerrilla warfare tactics and start attacking the masses, government critics and democratic institutions perceived to be anti-government,” he said.

Although having suffered so much for so long, many desperate Zimbabweans are still optimistic as they continue to soldier on.



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