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With Zanu-PF Almighty in power: does God still remember Zimbabwe exists?

05 Sep 2017 at 07:33hrs | Views
I prayed for my mother all night long after she had been involved in an accident but I never saw her alive ever again. She was on the way back from a funeral in Watsomba when the bus she had boarded veered off the road on the Mutare-Harare highway and killed scores of innocent souls. My aunt, brother, sister and I, had sat in the living room at home, absolutely unaware of what had happened to my mother, and prayed faithfully and anxiously, until my dad confirmed she was gone for good.

Survivors claimed the driver was speeding, and they had implored him to slow down, but to no avail. Others claimed the driver had not slept for two days and mental fatigue, rather than anything else, had been the cause of the fatal accident. I could not understand it all. She looked so pure and peaceable in her casket when we viewed her body in church. And I did not cry much. I just wished she would come back soon. Our home had been filled with relatives and strangers and women and men from our local Anglican Church for about three days. It was such a disheartening occasion and the nastiest experience you can wish upon a young child.

Mourners sang touching songs and cried all night long: it was so painful. So I prayed harder for her quick return. Then, I think my brother explained that she would never return. Yet I held on for her dear homecoming. I prayed to God and made Him promises and cried and explained how distressed I had become. Then I changed tact and pleaded with my mother. I was certain she could hear my frantic prayers. I was confident she could see me. I simply had to wait until she walked into the house and the dreadful dream would end.

So I felt extraordinarily empty when I went back to school without my mother alive: a mother is not supposed to die in her prime and leave behind three small children. Later on I realised that Zimbabwe has an extremely foul life force that shakes the bare fabric of the land. It is a malevolent spirit that espouses unbelievable hardships and unscrupulous luck. So, I do not know whether God heard the daily invocations of a seriously wounded Grade 5 boy, over a long and difficult period in my life, but my heartfelt apprehensions of losing close family in traffic accidents never subsided in my childhood, while life elsewhere, never changed, as people kept dying in bus and car accidents, and devastating corruption at the VID offices in Harare, flourished abundantly, year in, year out.

As well as I could drive a car – after I had done about 30 learner lessons – I could not pass my driver's licence test without bribing a VID official in Eastlea. While Lela, my cousin, only obtained her licence on her 7th attempt, for she refused to bribe her way to getting a licence. Yet people continued to die in horrific calamities and not one state official, from various ministers of transport and permanent secretaries, cared enough to annihilate the sleaze that had inundated the whole transport sector. The malfeasance extended to ZRP traffic officers, whose livelihoods, it turned out, thrived on extorting bribes from an assortment of taxi drivers, bus drivers and drunken drivers. A deathly situation, where the traffic police regulated traffic for self-enrichment only, arose and found a life of its own.

Nonetheless, my faith in God remained strong and I prayed for the best, as I had been baptised and christened in the Anglican Church, so I never stopped praying for the extended family and society at large. We prayed for President Robert Mugabe to lead the nation with distinction at church. We prayed for peace and development in Zimbabwe. We donated money, so the church could help the less fortunate in society. Life however, simply never changed, and official lawlessness of an inhumane kind sunk in. Edwin Nleya died in mysterious circumstances, amid allegations that he had witnessed corruption in the highest echelons of the army and wanted to report the matter to the police. Rashiwe Guzha went missing and people blamed a then-senior CIO official, Eddison Shirihuru, for her still-unresolved disappearance. Maurice Nyagumbo committed suicide after a spate of high-level corruption had battered national confidence in the state.

God has remained an omnipresent force throughout the ceaseless labours the nation has endured unchangingly. Tony Gara infamously described Mugabe as "God's other son". Lately, Zanu-PF Junior Spokesperson, Psychology Maziwisa, has claimed Mugabe shares the same noble vision of life as Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, are the road accidents that maim thousands of commuters and wound the bleeding soul of Zimbabwe, fulfilments of a holy nature? When the Fifth Brigade desecrated the blessedness of life in Matabeleland North province during the Gukurahundi massacres, was that a practical realisation of saintly aspirations? When a CIO officer shot and disabled Patrick Kombayi, was that done on the orders of God or man-made gods?

When hundreds of people went missing and were shot and injured and beaten in run up to the 2008 elections, was that a prophetic realisation of the will of Jesus Christ? When Dr. Nolbert Kunonga waged a holy battle against white farmers and the MDC, was that a logical fulfilment of divine determination? The political resolve to smother a spate of corruption and ungodly economic and social traditions has never emerged in our hearts. That inclement wind that shakes the wholesomeness of life appears to have a life of its known that no one can pacify. Which manner of earthly soul is in control of the nation when so much criminal action can happen and authentic liability can be so subdued?

Border Gezi portrayed himself as a devout Christian, but the rowdy youths, whom he recruited and trained, terrorised the nation. His life also fell victim to a familiar tale when he died in a car accident. God always has the last word on earth and above. But recently, his word has been debased by the shady and shameful actions of countless pastors who profit from his word. But it is not just the rich pastors who use His word for social and economic gains, a whole coterie of senior Zanu-PF officials, regularly invoke the name of God in public and profess to express His wishes with mendacious abandon.

Kudzai Chipanga has proclaimed Mugabe is an angelic figure. Grace Mugabe had an accident in July and promptly claimed the hand of God had appeared before her. Her blasphemous hand, however, drew blood from an unsuspecting South African woman's forehead in seemingly sinful fashion last month. Still, the First Lady has, unendingly, called on God, and described her husband as a prophet sent by the Lord above to educate African leaders.

What can African leaders from Mugabe, when Zimbabweans have prayed relentlessly for healthier economic times, but the now audible cries for help have led to increased unhappiness and advanced uncertainty? How can Zimbabweans live life on earth to the fullest when the bare essentials, like civilised jobs, reasonable accommodation, nutritious food, safe transport and financial security, remain the collective and priceless substance our daily prayers are made of? And – in spite of our prayers for enhanced existences, 31 passengers were burnt to death after their South Africa-bound bus collided with a haulage truck in April. Equally worrying, irrespective of our enthusiastic prayers, Itai Dzamiri remains missing, and no substantial attempt has been made to find him.

And although devout believers attend churches on Saturdays and Sundays and pray for peaceful and productive days, the situation continues to deteriorate and thousands of despairing Zimbabweans who have left the country for economic reasons, survive on the charitable endeavours of individual actors and church-run organisations in South Africa, such as the Methodist Church in downtown Johannesburg. Oliver Mtukudzi asked God for crucial answers in his hit song Pindurai Mambo. So let us all pray for the millions who live in poverty in Zimbabwe.

Pray for the parents who cannot afford to buy food and menstrual pads for young and vulnerable girls. Pray for the girls who drop out of high school and never make into tertiary institutions as a result of poverty, unplanned teenage pregnancy, early marriage, violence perpetrated in school and home environments, a lack of role models, inadequate sanitation facilities for girls, the burdens of gender roles at home, harmful religious and traditional practices, negative attitudes towards girls' education and vulnerability to HIV and Aids.

Perhaps God will hear our prayers for once and the horrendous wind that shakes the lifeblood of society with incessant fervour will cease to cause unruly commotion now. Perhaps the next presidential election will be free and fair and the result will be uncontested and economic stability can settle for the first time in 20 years. Let us pray that the nation with the highest literacy rate in Africa can actually compile an unquestionable voters' roll without the need for protests in Harare, Bulawayo and Mutare.

I still pray at night and during the day. I still pray for the whole family. I pray for a long and productive life. But I have lost all faith in the people that I, and fellow worshippers in the Anglican Church, prayed for religiously in the past. No one in the public eye needs to invoke the name of God arbitrarily in my humble opinion. Righteous accomplishment and magnanimous leadership will forever be clear for all to appreciate and applaud.

Source - Tafi Mhaka
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