Zimbabwe: A Socio–Political Soap Opera

September 21, 2017 Africa , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , POLITICS

Reuters photo

 

By

Mbizo Chirasha

 

 

Every African or Zimbabwean citizen is quickly reminded of the vivid satire by George Orwell, Animal Farm, Things Fall Apart by the Great Chinua Achebe, and Dancing In the Dust by one South African Author Kagiso Molope.

There is an exciting setting in one book written by Chris Abani, Nigerian author of The Bridge City in the award winning story GraceLand – this was a place where evil and vice took place. The Bridge City was a haven of poverty, hunger, violence and disease. The place was a reflection of the paradoxical Nigerian military ruled state.

 

My country Zimbabwe has fallen into an unending socio-economical-political rough patch. Political history is repeating itself in Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe is nose-diving into a banana or cassava republic. Food and water are very scarce. The country is failing to mitigate and adapt to the trends of climatic situations. The Elninos has taken charge. Hunger is ravaging and droughts are incessant, the national economy melting down.

The country does not own its own currency, corruption the cancer that is milking the state dry. The remaining companies that have resisted the deadly wave of the economy are soon to close. The streets are filled with graduates who have become hooligans causing the government headaches day and night. They need work, food, water and a decent life to fend for their families. They need answers to why they have gone to school and then fail to live a decent lifestyle.

Higher tax rates are affecting those who have managed to register their SMEs. The authorities are milking their limited cash and hope through those higher tax rates. Zimbabwe has turned into a police/military state. Every day of God the streets are awash with demolitions, food riots, fights, violence, arrests and general unrest. People are frustrated, they cannot tolerate bad governance anymore. They queue every day for money in banks for long hours and sometimes do not get it. Zimbabwe has become a drama series with a myriad of tragedies. It has in reality become a trailblazing soap opera.

 

It began with the Vice President of the State, who is said to be more senior in the corridors of the former ZAPU party that was headed by the father of the nation before the 1987 Unity government. There are claims that he was the liaison between the late Joshua Nkomo and the ruling president of my country in crisis Cde Robert Mugabe. The Vice President refused to stay in a government allocated house and decided to stay in a flamboyant, money sucking hotel – the Rainbow Towers. The vice president stayed in the Presidential suite with his family for the entire year and half. What an irony to the nationalistic-communistic beliefs of the Zimbabwean ruling elite. Such behaviour is disturbing and reminds the beloved but famished citizens of the aforementioned Animal Farm that ‘some animals are equal than others.’ Stalin became a dictator and he did an about turn when he became worse than the capitalists after taking the reins of power.

The political elite of this country lives in comfort while the majority of Zimbabweans cannot afford a drop of water and a flicker of light in the dust filled streets of Epworth, Mabvuku, Mbare and Chitungwiza. The Vice President brags about it, about his spending of our taxes. He claims that he deserves such a life because he was a fighter in the bush and that means he fought for himself not for the POVO as the ruling elite purport in the propaganda rhetoric that they had been fighting for the people in the 70s guerrilla warfare against former Rhodesians.

Freedom of expression is stupid vocabulary in Zimbabwe and no one in the corridors of power tolerates the word. All those who voiced such unwarranted behaviour of milking the already dry economy were silenced, whipped and incarcerated; that is Zimbabwe for you, a country that has become the KGB state nation/Stalinist dictatorship. The children of freedom are tasting freedom with salt on their tongues. It pains to see leaders of tomorrow being butchered for voicing against bad governance.

 

The series continues with an apparent kindergarten movement which has turned into a household name, a tune of the youth Tajamuka/Sesjikile which simply means we have risen or we are tired and angry; we need a change. This began a time long ago when young people who were disgruntled by how the country was being run occupied Unity Square opposite the Parliament of Zimbabwe where there had been a series of arrests. The young people remained vigilant and have spread their wings into various capitals and locations of the country. They demonstrate almost every day and sometimes cause mayhem in city suburbs that result in looting and food riots.

This has disturbed the leadership and the Sijikile youth are fighting for a sound governance that will hear the problems people face and they require answers as to why people are suffering when the country is endowed with the vast natural resources; the other unanswered question is where are the proceeds from the 15 billion diamonds, who took it, and where? A few days ago these youth unleashed their anger, the also police unleashed theirs against them, that left some in the stinking police holding cells, some left for dead, some ran away for their lives, the vigilant ones still in resistance.

The Zimbabwean government never cease to amaze with all the poor industrial projects, high unemployment rate and rampant poverty. They have increased trade and tax rates for cross border traders. These traders have remained the backbone of this shivering economy for the past two decades. They have banned basic imports from South Africa which angered South African SMEs, especially those near the Beitbridge border post which  separates Zimbabwe and South Africa, who sparked and inspired their Zimbabwean counterparts into serious violent demonstrations and clashes against the ban. Many warehouses and materials were burnt, civilians died in the process, protesters arrested, while some jumped out of the country into the already volatile South Africa. The route to South Africa was closed for almost a week which means the economy is rapidly falling to nothing as it had already fallen into pieces.

Come one prodigal grandson of the revolution the Zimbabwean Lumumba, the bravest, who could mend and stretch his guts to call his former boss, grandmaster of Zimbabwean politics Mr Mugabe with an F…word, blah, blah blah? The young man is angry and quickly formed his own political movement VIVA Zimbabwe. The political green horn is brave, he shows that he is a bull among bulls. After 3 days of his bravest ranting, the youthful man brought himself to the police. Zimbabweans are waiting for his verdict – the macho Lumumba, the question is, is he going to get out of this political mud? Let’s wait and see.

 

Zimbabwe needs a serious political-economic surgery, a political plaster and social bandage. The entire Zimbabwean masses are burning in hunger, violence, negligence and untold suffering. It’s time for the leaders to announce the real road map of the state; find solutions to realise a sustainable, stable and governable Zimbabwe. It may be the case that new political thinkers and players are needed, otherwise we need a true, free country that can afford the basic needs of the general populace.

We are 36 years into national independence; we are older than South Africa. We need to come clean on the political future of this nation, the leadership and the economy that has been devastated. We need investors, we need to start dealing with corruption because we haven’t started yet. We are busy blaming sanctions; sanctions alone cannot destroy our country. Our leadership and the attitude of the governance is plunging this boat called Zimbabwe into a serious disaster. People are tired of propaganda and slogans. They need good laws, favourable living conditions, sustainable and people-oriented leadership. The country is in a serious political and economic intensive care.

 

 

 

SLUM

 

 

A slum is a fart of a dying city, smelling the scent of aborted republics with hoodlums burning republics in charcoals of hatred,

While republics beat their burnt flesh, mothers wince, licking their stab wounds

A slum is the wounded soul of a burnt republic, it is rubble haunted by propaganda

A slum is a ball of saliva released from the tired scarred chests of parliamentarians,

It is a township castrated by verbal diarrhoea, slang and skokian

Khayelitsha- you are the golden sun setting over hills

Bangui, you are the dance of a puppet

A slum is a republic in intensive care infected by propaganda diabetes and slogan asthma

Eczema, itching the skin and the soul of the state

It is a gang of roaches drinking the super cream milk of the state,

 it is the howling laughter from booze scorched throats.

Slum!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mbizo Chirasha

Mbizo Chirasha is an exiled Zimbabwean Poet, Writer and Citizens Justice Activist. He is the Founder of the Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign whose Brave Voices Poetry Journal is regularly published by Tuck Magazine, while poems and the campaign are promoted at the Facebook Group, 100 Thousand poets for peace – Zimbabwe.

Mbizo’s Poetry can be found at http://www.mbizotheblackpoet.blogspot.ca/ and blog at http://personalitiesofinspiration.wordpress.com/ also.

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