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Ubuntu/Hunhu is misplaced in African societies: Give me signs of...?

18 Nov 2020 at 13:32hrs | Views
I should be excused once more for critiquing African values or should I say the African philosophy of humanism – Ubuntu/Hunhu. There are no traces of this noble philosophy in our culture: instead, we read horror stories daily in our newspapers. Just read any of them, it is the same horrors, some of which are excruciating and nauseating. Should I remain proud to be African when the fabric of our societies say the opposite; at best rotting fabric? Read Bulawayo24 news today: A man kills his own mother cold blood because of a cup of tea. He came home from wherever drunk, demanded his mother to provide food for him, he wanted tea, his mother did not have; was murdered. This is at best femicide: worst, another statistic case of domestic violence.

Read again the social media Bulawayo24; a man in Gwanda was beaten to near death in Gwanda area; was bashed by a wife's boyfriend to near death. A boy aged 15 years hit his stepfather with an iron bar and died instantly. The trend of fatal violence has not changed. There is no difference whatsoever between rural and urban areas, sad cases of violence are present everywhere. This absolute lack of respect to life, the sanctity of life has escaped all social classes, one wonders still where our country is leading to.

Our societies are overwhelmed with disproportionate violence. It is inconceivable, to even comprehend the gut of a woman beheading her child. How many women have dropped their offspring in marketplaces and the children turned street children overnight? We hear of emerging cases of abducted children who are killed ritually, had their body parts removed for medical purposes. Yet we are constantly and boastfully reminded Zimbabwe has the highest literacy the whole of Africa. Why this backwardness of believing that a child's body part can make one rich? I do not condone promiscuity at all, but for heavens' sake, our societies are promiscuous: The number of married women caught cheating are beaten to death in some cases. Yet cheating of married is understandable by the society no consequences for their unbecoming behaviour. Men are potential carriers and spreaders of STDs in societies, some of these STDs are no longer treatable, are resistant to antibiotics.

Young girls are the victims of violence in most cases. Married men's sexual preference to young girls are because they target virgins who will cure their HIV/AIDS they think, diseases they will have contracted in those red lights. The brutal economic downturn, unemployment make some women brave it to go for prostitution to subsist they are driven by abject poverty and desperation in home settings, women-headed families especially. Violence on growing up girls is when they are tested for their virginity. In a nation that have solid statistics of rape at every 90 minutes, how do societies still practise these old mediaeval traditions.

It is violence to test a new bride her virginity. Of late a father tested her own biological daughter virginity. He wanted to know if she was still a virgin. This act is not normal by common sense, but these abnormalities take place in our societies. Several women will attest to this that they have been forced by the uncles and fathers-in-law of their future husbands to have sexual intercourse with them first before she can marry the nephew or son. They are making virginity testing a prerequisite to marriage.

Violence is at government institutions. We need to see photos of how people are molested by the police: These events take place daily. It appears as if a Zimbabwean has uttermost fun and pleasure in inflicting maximum pain on another person. I am not exaggerating this, please look at the photos of police and army beating innocent civilians. See the photos of an army officer who gunned down a woman on the 1st of August 2018, how happy they were holding guns, shooting live at the innocent people. Somehow, it appears, when citizens start crying and wailing, asking for mercy because of brutal beatings, that is when the police will really beat them harder until they faint: some of them succumb to savage beatings. Because we have a government that is brutal and murderous, these police and army brutalities on citizens are not reprimanded for their atrocities, giving the impression that the command-violence comes from the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and police: Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa and his henchmen.

Violence is in the streets of Zimbabwe towns and cities and rural growth points; petty theft instantly attracts mob justice. A security personal bashed a thief to death for stealing simple potatoes. Theft in marketplaces is dangerous, instant justice is meted without mercy. How many prostitutes are murdered for demanding payment from their clients? A father sexually abused his biological daughter until she was pregnant – incest. Ngixolelani ngemibuzo, sengingoba bengingekho. Our societies are decaying before our eyes, we do not deserve this noble philosophy of Ubuntu/Hunhu at all. The bar of African Ubuntu/Hunhu is higher than what we are seeing as decay of moral fabric in communities.

We cannot continue to call ourselves custodians of noble philosophy of Ubuntu/Hunhu. How do young men target overly aged women who live alone in rural areas? They break into their homes and rape them. Looking at their ages they could easily be grandchildren of these elderly women they rape. As if it is not enough, they would threaten them with gruesome death if they reported them to the authorities. Our culture has become rotten; right, left and centre.
Violence is not the prerogative of men in our societies. Even women are equally violent. They are merciless in their dealings with other women. We read with total dismay how a woman would molest sidekick of her husband, leaving the perpetrator of it walk scot-free.

We have witnessed in Gwanda a young girl paraded naked by a married woman because she caught her red-handed in her matrimonial bed with her husband. Would it have made sense to punish the husband who made advances to the under-aged girl, looed her for sexual pleasure in his home in the absence of his wife? This woman fears to confront her husband for infidelity, but it is easy to molest a 14-year-old girl-child, an absolute victim of sexual abuse. Women have poured boiling water on their husbands in domestic disputes. Some men have even murdered cold blood. This magnitude of violence in our societies needs to be addressed, we cannot go on like this. We cannot leave legacies of violence to perpetuate and consuming the coming generations.

Curiously, young growing up children are learning violence amazingly fast. They witness domestic violence in all speres of their lives daily, and it has become part of their daily diet. They see violence at home, in the streets, how police apply violence to innocent citizens; the societies are merciless, and this is what the children learn as the normal. The incidence of a young boy hitting his stepfather with an iron bar on his skull is not isolated. Not long ago, three boys killed a soldier who was beating their mother for whatever reason. Our children consume pornography of violence day and night -24/7. Their innocence is taken away from them early in their lives. They are accustomed to use vulgar expressions to anyone, insults unimaginable by common sense and unprintable.

Horrors I have highlighted are not the only ones that make us cringe, incidences of crime leading to deaths are too many to document them one by one. What is important here is that we should know that we have serious societal problem of violent nature in our hands that will accompany generations to come. Worse still is that the government feeds and nurtures itself on violence, without violence Zanu cannot survive a day in power. The former president Mugabe proudly told about the degrees of violence Zanu PF has. Violence has found roots in multiple facets of our societies; it is also possible and wholly predictable that Zanu PF will be removed from power by violence perpetuating further as a corrective to societal ills and misshape.
Source - Nomazulu Thata
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