As we continue this series of questioning ourselves whether Zimbabwe owes you anything or you owe it to yourself, I want to unpack how the civil society has been an effective tool in exploiting our people and it being a successful project of enriching oneself.
This instalment might touch a raw nerve of those I have interacted with but believe you me, its genuine coincidence that I shall write about the bad things that you are doing. I don’t intend to expose you but you are unfortunately an element of a congress of thieves, fraudsters and con-artistes the world has ever seen. Disclaimer: I do not subscribe to hypocrisy, I do not marvel at your fraudulent behaviour and trust me, I am petrified by how you live and sleep with the guilt of feeding on the misery of other people. History shall judge you for your shenanigans.
The entrepreneur frenzy
Zimbabwe has been hit by three types of entrepreneurs who dominate the pyramid of talkativeness, rehearsed concern of the disenfranchised and the top billing or Forbes magazine. In no particular order, ranked first, are the clergy man; those who feed from terrifying the masses from the podium.
They wear fancy and flashy designer suits and devise all sorts of “blessings” from oil, water, pens, condoms, rulers and insect sprays. Aah well, who am I to question the divine appointments of the anointed ones when they display antics of the power consolidation.
Power is kept within the family in these churches of ours. I always envy those men, they always have a market of listeners.
Yes, it’s those who are desperate for success, who find marriage misfortunes best cleansed by laying of pastoral hands, it is those who can’t separate coincidence from processes and outcomes, they always see a miracle in coincidence and a blessing in processes and outcomes. All the same, this class of entrepreneurs is elegant, they quickly get rich and worshipped with some of them suddenly becoming successful businessmen — you know who i am talking about isn’t? All of a sudden he adopts a title of being Doctor, Pastor so and so, that is not coincidence, he is responding to the market competition, big pastors are now Doctor Pastor so and so, Doctor Pastor Chris Oyiakhilome and his Doctoral wife, and so do our pastors respond to market forces. If you are a doctor, more people believe in you. Even in academics, Doctors are respected, aren’t they?
The next rank has a tie. These are the politicians and civil society leaders, well I don’t have anything new to say about our politicians, enough has been said already, in fact MDC-T has shown us true colours of being a political entrepreneur with the recent scandal by Thobani Ncube, a councillor in the mix of a $12 000 stand fraud scandal. MDC-T does not tire, I thought after Elias Mudzuri allegations in 2005 they will get tired of corruption and getting caught but Gift Banda just had to be an alleged greedy-mischievous land baron, our city council keeps on losing a lot from these ever luxury demanding MDC-T councillors. I always say, #MDCmustfall come 2018.
Thieves, thieves and thieves
They share that position with their own political rejects, the civil society directors and activists. These ones are a disgrace to the values of institutional sincerity and honesty. Society looks up to this pool for protection against oppressive policies and safeguarding the ethos of checks and balances but they are always ready to prey on a disadvantaged and misinformed lot.
They thrive on the misery of the girl child, the politically disenfranchised and the cultural minorities.
Their wealth and its security is at the benevolence and the innocent attendance to their programs by the under-privileged. I agree with one Thandazani Nkomo who recently posted on social media that MDC-T’s strongholds are the urban areas where civil society cultivates the electorate for them.
They have been the conduit of Western funds for MDC and the mouthpiece of it to the urban population. Knowing pretty well that the economic strife faced particularly by the residents of Pumula, Makokoba, Mpopoma, Nkulumane and Mabutweni is a soft spot, they press so hard that the pain these people go through is only characterised as having the civil society as their only panacea.
They bank on numbers of the economically angry. They strive on numerous numbers of “idle” youths whom they describe in their concept notes and project proposals as misfortunate because of the regime’s alleged repressive hand yet most of the idle youths dropped out of school either by choice or circumstances beyond anyone’s control. These are the young people they invite to their platforms to continuously discuss about the state of our economy, political participation and local governance review conferences. They masquerade as champions of the youth plights yet they are far beyond their prime time. Most of them we learn were the shy kids in school who hardly raised their hands in class but they suddenly have confidence to be champions of a cause they inadequately relate to.
Where is the civility of the society?
It is through those programmes, especially towards elections that they unleash a trail of propaganda against the regime. They neglect their role of exerting pressure and being apolitical in their political education by directly ridiculing the state. I understand that once a while one would slip out their role but a concentrated focus on a direct ideology using the same method says otherwise. When you do the same programme but giving it different names so that donors give you money we start to question your agenda.
There are many of them who have created structures in the “hood” with their installed ward leaders to monitor their constituency not for genuine project evaluation, but that is their recruitment base for any programme. Civil societies are the masters of busing crowds. They do not mind giving bus fare of hiring busses to ferry the ghetto youths who are referred to with fancy names such as “community ambassadors” yet in the backroom “sibizwa kuthwa singolova”.
This is done all on the canvas of being concerned citizens, championing the youth cause and attempting to better our lives, haaas! Go away! You are nothing but a bunch of political destitute who failed to find a political home and decided to find other ways other than the church and active politics to exploit the vulnerable.
I know of a lot of them in Bulawayo who were kings and queens of the momentarily celebrated Zapu 2000. They shifted to MDC when it was founded in 1999. After finding out that they do not fit as well, they established non-governmental organisations and created their own mafias in that circuit. When Welshman Ncube broke away from Morgan Tsvangirai, it was a moment for them to shine, in fact the new constitution with Chapter 14 of Provincial committees gave them hope of being recycled into politics only for them to find out that they were used to fuel some politicians’ cars for campaigning. Today they are back to where they were- activists and being that they shall forever remain.
They drive expensive cars which do not tally with the salary recommended by their donors. They own expensive homes, almost competing with pastors and some politicians. They have become captains of commerce through the businesses they now own and one wonders where the money came from. Their children learn at expensive schools yet they feed the masses with the message of that “our future has been stolen from us”. How hypocritical of you to tell me that it is bad for a government official to send his child to St John’s yet our roads are dead when your child learns at Whitestone payed for by donor money meant to enhance our lives.
They draft facades of reports and share images of angled snapshots to give a constructed narration to the donor. To them, next year is not a crafting of a lasting solution to Zimbabwe but that is the best time to make money. They are busy writing proposals on how the election will be stolen hence they need to educate young people on Biometric voter registration. You shall see them with road shows and branded cars with ridiculous hashtags meant to stimulate voter action in the young people — that is if their parent NGO in Harare chooses them to be part of the consortium. We shall watch them as they distribute T-shirts and caps to the youths in the “hood” who shall be lied to that they are “community fellows” as if they are stakeholders in the profits the director makes.
Why is it all if not most of them stay in the suburbs yet they were just mere location youths? Why is it they suddenly travel a lot on holidays abroad in the name of meetings as if they are the ones who fund the NGO yet they are simply “beggars in suits”?
Have you ever wondered why a lot of people study Development Studies, they believe that the best way to make money is to work at an NGO, but even if you work there, aren’t you a tool of enriching one man whose life is no different from that of a criminal politician and a fraudulent pastor?
Enough said. It’s high time we call them out for their hypocritical tendencies of preying on our people’s misfortunes and misery. It’s high time they account for their contribution to our misery because they do not celebrate stability lest the already dwindled funding might disappear on them. As it is they are struggling after 15 years of failing to deliver to their European master. We see you. Sizalinanka!