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We have been patient for 38 years - sorry ED, Zimbabweans don't have anymore patience to give!

01 Jan 2019 at 12:45hrs | Views
I am always seized with amazement everytime anyone in the ruling ZANU PF party, especially its leader Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, pleads with Zimbabweans to be patient, as the government fixes the economy.

What amazes me - or, better still, bewilders me - is just how much patience do these people in power think the people of Zimbabwe have?

Let us remember that patience is limited - as it is not an infinite resource!

Whenever those in power speak, one can not help but get the sense that they truly believe that the people of Zimbabwe can be treated whatever way, and they will still be patient.

Of course, I have never made a secret of my disgruntlement with the manner in which Zimbabweans have been trampled upon, spat upon, had their livelihoods stolen and detroyed, persecuted, beaten up, and even had their kith and kin killed - but, have remained relatively enert.

However, life has taught me one very important lesson - that is, there will always be that straw that breaks the camel's back!

ZANU PF has been in power ever since this country attained independence from Britain in 1980 - a fact they never let us forget, as we are constantly reminded about how they fought (and died!) for this country, and how they brought independence.

Therefore, for the past 38 years - now entering the 39th - ZANU PF has been at the helm of Zimbabwe - so, if they had all that time to improve our lives, why did they not?

Who can forget all those '5 year development plans' since 1980 - none of which ever came to fruition?

Thus, in spite of all of those failed successive '5 years development plans', and the subsequent economic structural adjustment programs - so many that I have lost count, including ESAP, ZimAsset, and now the Transitional Stabilisation Program (TSP) - why should the people of Zimbabwe continue to exercise patience with the ZANU PF regime?

Have they not already proven one very important thing - that they have failed, are clueless, and will never get it right?

If there is one crucial lesson I have learnt in my 45 years of existence, it is that - if you have been failing to fulfill your obligations, and even breaking your promises, people will soon lose patience with you and will cease to engage and be involved with you.

All it needs is to fail someone once or twice, and they cut any ties with you.

Seldom have I come across someone whom you can fail and disappoint for a whole 38 years, and they still give you another chance!

Yet, that is exactly what ZANU PF expects from the people for Zimbabwe!

No, Mr. President, our patience has now run out!

The people of Zimbabwe are fed up of being treated like we have no options except ZANU PF.

We can not continue being given crumps - like the Biblical Lazarus - from the table of the powerful - who plunder the country's resources for their own selfish aggrandizement - and still be expected to be patient.

Patient for what, exactly?

Patient, whilst we watch you flaunt your wealth in our faces, as your fly to foreign lands for medical care, or go overseas for holidays, or send your children to the best school under the sun, and fight for the best diamond mines on the land?

The rest of us - on the other hand - are supposed to go to government hospitals that do not even have the very basics - including, medication, and other essentials - or, can not even afford to buy our families a simple meal like rice and chicken for the holidays, or do not even know where we will get money for our children's school fees, uniforms and stationery at the cheapest schools.

Yet, we are expected to be patient!

How long can we be patient, whilst we helplessly watch our loved ones lie dying in dilapidated hospitals?

Can we tell the disease that is eating our loved ones just to be patient, as our ZANU PF government has promised us medication and better facilities in the not too distant future?

Can we go to our children's schools and ask them to be patient, as we will soon be an upper middle class society, and we will give them their monies?

ZANU PF has failed. Period! And we can no longer afford to be patient.

Besides, who destroyed the once vibrant economy that we inherited at independence - an economy that had withstood comprehensive United Nations (UN) sanctions and a civil war?


Thus, not only did ZANU PF fail to improve the livelihoods of the people of Zimbabwe from 1980, but it actually destroyed their lives.

What type of a person would I be if I were to continue hoping that these very same people would somehow miraculously suddenly have the ability to improve my standard of life?

As I mentioned earlier, the people of Zimbabwe are not Lazaruses, who will clutch at anything thrown at them, no matter how pathetic, as long as they can sustain life - and then go about singing praises that ZANU PF is great.

We deserve better!

A country full of such educated people can not be expected to be a nation of paupers - but, we should have been an upper middle class society decades ago...if only ZANU PF knew what they were doing.

We did not have to wait till 2030 - which just goes to show that this is typical ZANU PF tactics of always kicking the can down the road, trying to delay the inevitable...that they have failed.

Another Mnangagwa regime tactic is to portray itself as a 'new dispensation', which is divorced from the Robert Gabriel Mugabe era.

Well, that excuse also does not work!

I believe that Mnangagwa shrewdly profited from the opposition's own obsession with Mugabe, and the poorly-thoughtout slogan, 'Mugabe must go!'

The opposition virtually divorced Mugabe from ZANU PF, and made it seem that there was only one person who was responsible for all the suffering in Zimbabwe.

Yet, the problems were not of one man's making, but of an entire system and institution - ZANU PF.

The slogan should have been - 'ZANU PF MUST GO!'

The opposition's obsession with Mugabe, inculcated in the people that he was the problem - the only problem - and if he was to go, all will be well.

Yes, Mugabe is gone - having been toppled in a November 2017 military coup - so, have our lives improved?

No wonder all the celebrations in November 2017, when the military overthrew him - bizarrely, the opposition also celebrated.

If Mugabe was the sole problem, why is the opposition still pushing for Mnangagwa and his party to be ousted?

Why are we now not flooded in wealth and luxury - or, at least, the first signs of it showing?

In fact, life has become worse off over the past few months - the worst in a decade, even under the latter days of Mugabe's rule!

It is clear that the skewed message the opposition sent out over the past decades has come back to haunt them.

Mnangagwa and his fellow counterparts in leadership today, were not mere side-shows during the Mugabe era - but, were a central and integral part of the system.

They were just as responsible for the country's demise as was Mugabe.

Similarly, they had enough clout and influence within the corridors of power that if they had wanted the country to take a different course, they would have easily done so.

Yet, they did not.

Their lack of push for the country, through Mugabe, to take a different path, is ample evidence that they were in full agreement with all that the regime did.

As such, these very same people, who failed to proffer any workable solution to the country's ills, over a period of 37 years, can not come today and say that they are a completely new breed, and they need more time.

More time to do what - yet, they had the power and influence to implement whatever they have in mind, 38 years ago.

Mugabe, Mnangagwa and all their counterparts were all part of the same system and there is no 'new dispensation' to talk about.

There are no fresh ideas, but recycled failed plans and programs - from the days of Bernard Chidzero, Ariston Chambati to Patrick Chinamasa and Nthuli Ncube.

Nothing has changed.

Our patience can not be renewed or replenished.

Enough is enough!

We refuse to be Lazaruses - and 2019 should usher in a bolder, fearless, and more assertive Zimbabwean, who will refuse ZANU PF crumbs, and demand a higher life worthy of sons and daughters of the Most High Jehovah God.

We can not continue entrusting our livelihoods and future to those who came - under the guise of freedom - only to kill, steal and destroy.

ZANU PF had it's chance, but blew it - as 38 years is too long a time for anyone to continue being patient with those who have made their life hell, and have destroyed every facet of their decency.

° Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and speaker. He is the Programmes Director with the Zimbabwe Network for Social Justice (ZimJustice). Please feel free to call/WhatsApp: +263715667700, or calls ONLY: +263782283975, or email: Please also 'Like' the 'ZimJustice' page on Facebook.

Source - Tendai Ruben Mbofana
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