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Open Letter to Mugabe

HARARE – Dear Mr President, firstly, please pardon me Your Excellency for writing to you now and disturbing your fabulous holiday with your lovely wife and family in Singapore.

And on that note too, Mr President, a happy New Year to you as you recuperate in the Far East after what proved to be a gruelling and difficult 2014. But I digress.

Gushungo, wherever I have travelled, be it on the continent or overseas, the first question I have been asked as soon as I have introduced myself as a Zimbabwean is, “How is Mugabe?”

This is a question which always confuses me regarding what the various questioners really want to know about you. 

It is also a question that often steals the limelight from me, as people seemingly want to know more about you, rather than me.

In 2014, we watched you do your thing as leader of our republic, and as has been the reality over the past 34 years of your rule, there were as many people singing your praises as there were those excoriating you for all that is not right in our beloved country.

Mr President, we have been listening to speech after speech from you where you invariably promise us a better life, better leadership, corruption-busting, jobs, a better economy, freedom, justice and a “new” Zimbabwe where young people can aspire and prosper.

Indeed, our hopes as Zimbabweans are that we would finally get to have a feel of the good life in 2015, and not endure the pain and indignity of watching our relatives, friends and enemies living in other countries doing well and showing off to us.

Among other things we hope for Mr President, we do not want potholes to be a common feature on our roads anymore as we are spending money on motor vehicle shocks every now and again, regretting why we even struggled to save money to buy cars in the first place.

Your Excellency, we also hope that the “Magetsi awuya celebration” will be truly left behind in 2014, as we do not want electricity coming back to be a reason to celebrate and yet we cannot afford to celebrate birthdays, graduations, marriages and other good times.

Please, be also assured that all of us by now know that “Zimbabwe will never be a colony again.”

So, looking into the future, let us all be positive and think of what we really would want Zimbabwe to be.

Some only know you by name; some have only seen your pictures in books or newspapers, and on television.

And who can miss that voice of yours Gushungo?

Indeed, a myriad hats, skirts and dresses have been blown off as your impressive motorcade has regularly sped off to the airport, as you jet off to some far away lands, hopefully to discuss something that will mitigate our dire plight.

I trust that the rumours that many-a-time you will simply be making your regular so-called routine visits to your doctors is just that — rumours.

I also want to acknowledge that many Zimbabweans have had the privilege of having a one-on-one encounter with you, like myself, when during graduation I waited patiently in a queue to be capped by you.

I remember that day you smiled at me and said “congratulations” and I said “thank you”.

I was among the thousands you personally congratulated at the National University of Science and Technology in 2010, beaming and hoping for a bright future.

But you may want to know Mr President that for many of my colleagues the odds were not in their favour as they are still unemployed up to today, and they have also failed to secure loans to start up their own businesses.

Similarly, many people have been writing down their new year’s resolutions, in the vain hope of improving those aspects of their hard lives that did not bear fruit.

Apart from the hard work they will put into achieving their goals, they also hope that you will make miracles happen for them.

Rightly or wrongly, many people see you as the catalyst behind their success or failure, and I would not want to be in your shoes right now, carrying the burden of having to make wishes of over 13 million people come true.

I do not have much to ask, but that you keep most of your promises.

It is the hope of many Zimbabweans that the men and women you chose to help you run the country in Cabinet will deliver as expected of them, and not spend so much time gossiping about each other and politicking mindlessly.

All eyes are again on you this year, as they have been for the past 34 years, hoping that this year you will sweep out all corrupt officials who are enriching themselves and forgetting why they sit in the chairs they are in.

In that light, we are patiently waiting for your return from your wonderful holiday so that we get the ball rolling and get things moving again.

Finally, I’m also patiently looking forward to another memorable “Bob @91 birthday bash”, with lots of food, pomp and ceremony on offer. Happy 2015 Mr President!

Most respectfully,

Bridget Mananavire

The Daily News

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