Home Letter From Zimbabwe A dream deferred

A dream deferred

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A dream deferred
REIGN OF TERROR: Soldiers beating up a civilian during opposition protest (pic by Reuters)

Zimbabwe is a country of false dawns and dashed hope since 1980.

This is what South African journalist and political analyst, Justice Malala wrote on November 20, 2017 as the coup that led to the ouster of former president Robert Mugabe was in full swing.

The headline of his column was: ‘Main actors in Zimbabwe’s coup are the problem, not the solution.’

I thought of his words this past week as various events unfolded in Zimbabwe.

Just after midnight on Thursday, Emmerson Mnanganwa was declared Zimbabwe’s president elect, leaving many overly disappointed and in despair.

The previous day, three people had been shot dead by the army in Harare, in an opposition Movement for Democratic Change-Alliance protest fuelled by what they believed was electoral fraud.

Opposition leaders had declared victory, contrary to official results that were being announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

The death toll of people shot dead in that protest has since risen to seven.

While the families of those killed are mourning in anger, seething at the soldiers who pulled the trigger on unarmed civilians, some of whom had nothing to do with the protest, many others are also in pain that their hopes have once again been dashed.

In the build up to the election, change was the buzzword as many had thought by this time, Zimbabwe would have witnessed the dawning of a new era through the coming in of a new president and a new governing party.

Alas that was not to be.

I suppose we expected too much as a nation.

In 2008, when it was clear that the late opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai was poised for victory, service chiefs who included then army boss and now vice president, Constatino Chiwenga, came out guns blazing, declaring that they would never salute Tsvangirai or anyone without war credentials.

They made it clear they would ensure Mugabe remained in power by hook and crook – and that they did, until he (Chiwenga) and other players in the coup decided the old man’s time was up.

If that was Chiwenga’s mentality when he was the army boss, what made people think things would be different now?

After playing a critical role in removing Mugabe and landing the lucrative post of vice president, there is surely no way Chiwenga and members of the inner circle would just concede defeat (that is if claims by the opposition are anything to go by) and let go after only nine months.

MDC-Alliance claims it has evidence that the elections were rigged and that it would be presenting that evidence in court, but I doubt, judging from past experience, if that would change anything.

Chiwenga and the likes must also enjoy the fruits of their ‘hard labour’.

So basically going for polls was just a formality for them; after all they are not affected by the daily struggles that the majority of us have to endure.

They don’t know what it means to spend hours and days in a bank queue, only to be given $20 in 5cent coins. Their family members don’t know what it’s like to go a government hospital only to be given general painkillers no matter the condition.

Such are our struggles but hey, life goes on and like Martin Luther once said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope,” hope that one-day things will be fine in Zimbabwe – sadly, it is not this day!

6 COMMENTS

  1. How shocking for ordinary people to queue up for useless money
    And how shocking SADC allowed this situation to happen just remembered is is the ordinary people SADC does not care about ordinary people look what they did to the refugee who went there unarmed holding only a piece of paper and they had him arrested it just tells you what SADC is all about
    They should insiste on to find out how those were killed no they do not care only if it happened to them Learn from ECOWAS and see how useless you are

  2. “Amnesty International’s new leader said Wednesday his first act is writing to Zimbabwe’s next president about the disappearance of activist Itai Dzamara: “Whoever leads the new government must move to undo the injustices of the past.”

    Kumi Naidoo, a South African-born former anti-apartheid activist, took office as secretary general of the London-based rights group on Wednesday. His focus on Dzamara, who was abducted by suspected state agents in 2015 under Zimbabwe’s former leader Robert Mugabe, puts further pressure on the government of President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa, Mugabe’s former enforcer, to acknowledge past abuses.

    Dzamara is the highest-profile activist to go missing under Mugabe’s 37-year rule, which was marred by the Matabeleland massacre of thousands of people in the 1980s by a North Korea-trained military brigade, harsh repression against the opposition and sometimes violent land seizures from white farmers. The southern African nation eventually became an international pariah.

    Last week President Donald Trump signed a law tightening the requirements Zimbabwe must meet for the lifting of U.S. sanctions, which include ordering an inquiry into the disappearance of Dzamara and other rights activists. It was a setback for Mnangagwa, who has tried to recast himself as a reformer since taking over after Mugabe’s military-enforced resignation in November. Mnangagwa himself remains under U.S. sanctions.

    Instead of addressing the abuses of the past, however, Mnangagwa has urged Zimbabweans to let “bygones be bygones” and move on from the repressive era during which, at different times, he held the posts of minister of state security, defense and justice.

    The 94-year-old Mugabe last month dismissed Dzamara as “that character” and denied knowing of his fate.

    Police spokeswoman Charity Charamba on Wednesday said an investigation into the disappearance was still under way: “We will tell you if we make any progress.”

    Dzamara, a former newspaper reporter, was abducted when he was having a shave at a barbershop near his home. Two days before that, he told a rally organized by then-opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai that Zimbabweans should rebel against Mugabe.

    Patson Dzamara, the activist’s brother, was assaulted and arrested by state security agents after protesting the kidnapping by raising a placard in front of Mugabe when he was still president.

    On Wednesday he tweeted that it was “humbling” that Amnesty International’s new leader decided to speak up for his brother in his first act in office. He was not optimistic, however.

    “It is important for the international community to continue piling the pressure but we are not holding much hope that this government will be able to provide us with answers,” he said.

    “The people who are in government now, including President Mnangagwa, were in government when Itai was abducted. We didn’t receive much help then and we have not received any help now.”

    Associated Press”

  3. “The group led by their spokesperson inside the camp was arrested on 19th June at SADC Headquarters in Gaborone where they had gone to hand a petition to the SADC Secretariat.”

    Arrest all those african leaders with poor human rights records and those who steal aid money and those who work for SADC and AU who are not doing their work properly

    A ship carrying migrants from Africa have been allowed ashore at Malta

  4. All the big fish at SADC headquarters should experience the daily struggles of these ordinary people they should be allowed to join a queue wait for hours to only get a misley £20 and 50 cents coins or alternatively:
    Spend a few days at the Dukwe Refugee Camp and experience the day in a life of a refugee – they should do this on International Refugee Day and get the feel of what is to suffer

  5. Being lenient the big fish. They forego their lavish lifestyle and should spend a few months dressing like the refugees , living in the camp, eating the same food the refugees eat etc . as well as a few months queing up for $20 and 50 cents and see if theylike it

  6. “LIVE – BREAKING NEWS: Police Ban Cellphones, Laptops In Chamisa’s ConCourt Hearing Tomorrow
    August 21, 2018
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    how odd in a society where ther eis openess such items would be allowed