This isn’t the Zim we deserve
HARARE – Zimbabweans have not experienced real and substantive peace, development and tranquillity for several decades, despite attaining independence 36 years ago.
It is a historical fact that the yokes of colonial bondage enslaved us for more than nine decades.
Racist colonial subjugation and domination was demeaning and dehumanising.
Some of us who personally experienced the vagaries of racial discrimination know, perfectly well, how hurting and painful it was to be treated as an inferior and second-class citizen in the land of your birth.
Thus, the dawn of nationhood and independence on April 18, 1980 was treated with unprecedented enthusiasm and excitement, almost bordering on nationalist delirium.
For many of us, we honestly and sincerely thought Zimbabwe had arrived.
The establishment of our national sovereignty and integrity was a done deal — so we thought.
We were hopelessly mistaken.
Over the past 36 years, Zimbabwe has experienced more doom and gloom than socio-economic prosperity and political stability.
Although there is no physical war taking place in our beloved motherland as I write this opinion piece, there is, in fact, a fledgling emotional and psychological war that is ripping the nation apart.
We are a divided nation, a grieving nation in which at least 90 percent of the population is living in grinding poverty and hopeless penury.
We have sadly become the laughing stock of Africa, a classic case study of broken dreams and unfulfilled promises.
We are hurting.
From inside looking out, I see a Zimbabwe that is populated with heartbroken and depressed citizens, a nation that is slowly and painfully travelling on the path of negativity, sadness, hate and hopelessness.
Our politics, both at national and local level, is toxic.
Hatred and animosity are now the order of the day.
In some cases, intra-party hatred and divisions are even more pronounced than inter-party rivalry and competition.
Brother is turning against brother, sister is turning against sister and comrades are turning against fellow comrades.
One just wonders, where exactly is Zimbabwe heading to?
Why have we become a nation of haters and evil schemers?
What has happened to the spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood?
What has become of the much-talked about spirit of Ubuntu?
The government of the day should learn to accept the cold, hard fact that the people of Zimbabwe are not the enemy.
When disgruntled and poverty-stricken citizens invoke their constitutional right to demonstrate against the evils of misgovernance, corruption and greed, they will be perfectly within their liberties to self-express.
No amount of brute force and physical suppression can successfully stop an idea whose time has arrived.
When government ministers and other top government bureaucrats engage themselves in acts of naked and brazen corruption, they should be acutely aware of the fact that the people are watching.
Zimbabweans are renowned for their very high level of literacy.
Outwardly, they might appear docile and disinterested but the fact of the matter is that they know what they want.
They know that the Zanu PF government is corrupt.
They know that the infrastructural decay that pervades our entire country is largely a result of thievery, unprecedented corruption and poor governance.
They know that billions of dollars worth of diamonds were looted by a very few ruling elite.
They know and fully appreciate that the much-talked about myth of so-called sanctions is not the real cause of the collapse of the national economy, including the collapse of organised commercial agriculture and industry.
Across the political divide, Zimbabwe has got an obligation to cleanse the vices of corruption, hatred and greed.
The people of Zimbabwe deserve a new beginning, a brand new start.
We shall condemn corruption wherever and whenever it rears its ugly head.
Without fear or favour, we shall continue to point our light on all areas of political malfeasance and economic mismanagement.
We are not going to chase good money after bad.
We demand a genuine and holistic political and socio-economic transformation that will positively impact on the lives of all Zimbabweans regardless of race, colour, creed or political affiliation.
In April 1980, we gained political independence but we failed to obtain freedom and liberty.
We replaced a white oppressor with a black oppressor.
We have learnt our lesson. We shall not be cheated again. Once beaten twice shy.
Rise up Zimbabwe! Say no to a fake revolution.
Refuse to be used and abused. We deserve true and genuine liberation.
We are the people and indeed, we know what we want. United we stand and divided we fall.
lGutu is the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC’s national spokesperson and a practising corporate lawyer in Harare. He writes in his personal capacity.