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Zimbabwe can never be Sri Lanka as long as we have citizens who pretend to be brave yet unbelievably cowardly!

11 Jul 2022 at 10:41hrs | Views
It was most intriguing witnessing the immense excitement by ever-suffering and economically burdened Zimbabweans, as news broke out over unfolding events in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo - after restless citizens, enraged and thoroughly fed-up with the ever-growing poverty in their country, attacked and stormed the presidential residence demanding his resignation.

The understandably infuriated protestors, who could no longer tolerant President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's gross mismanagement of the economy - amidst increasing impoverishment, with the vast majority of the population unable to afford the most basic of necessities, especially cooking gas and fuel - invaded the palace, in an unequivocal message for their head of state to vacate office, henceforth.

Their efforts swiftly bore fruits - since, Rajapaksa, yielding to overwhelming public pressure, has signaled his intention to step down this week - with protestors also calling for the head of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

As shocking scenes played out on global media, of Sri Lankans enjoying themselves in the president's swimming pool, seated comfortably in his grandeur lounge, and conducting impromptu tours around the lavish palace - after Rajapaksa fled for his dear life - many Zimbabweans could not help hoping the same occuring in this country.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wishing and dreaming - particularly, for a people who have endured unparalleled misery and pain for the better part of two decades, in the midst of an economy in its worst situation since the early 2000s hyperinflationary meltdown, as the local currency free-falls against the greenback (at US$1 to ZW$600 on the much-used black market), and inflation reaching the highest in the world at 400 percent, leaving the vast majority of Zimbabweans living in abject poverty.

As a matter of fact, we are in a far worse predicament than those of Sri Lanka!

However, dream as we may, the truth still remains - we are not Sri Lankans, by any stretch of the imagination!

What we have witnessed so far is clear - people of this small Asian island nation, have undoubtedly proven their mantle, as a brave and determined citizenry, who will carry through their threats without flinching or quivering.

As such, when they declared that enough was enough, and decided to take action against the authors of their sorrowful, tragic and unbearable plight - they did exactly that.

They did not spend their time issuing empty threats against the leadership on social media - whilst, hiding behind their keyboards and smartphones.

In fact, no one saw these protests coming, and took Sri Lankan authorities by surprise - as those who are serious about any real concerted action, seldom megaphone and advertise their intentions all over social media.

I am quite sure that even our liberation struggle icons seldom rushed to the press publicly laying down their plans for a war of independence - but, the colonial regime was caught with their pants down.

That is why I never take those social media threats and ultimatums of strikes, shutdowns, stay-aways seriously - as these all smack of nothing more than hot air!

It is only that we have an equally cowardly ruling elitist clique, that is easily unsettled and panicked whenever these threats are issued, thereby, deploying disproportionate security measures, in the face of action that may not even come to pass.

Let us not forget that popular adage, "a barking dog seldom bites", or "all bark and no bite".

People of action do not unduly over-think and over-analyze their decisions - but, understand what needs to be achieved, and immediately go for it!

Maybe, that is the major weakness of our too academic population!

This is in stark contrast to what the people of Sri Lanka went about their action.

There was another factor, though!

Sri Lankan security forces stood by, and did not intervene, as the people stormed the presidential palace - who undeniably understood that challenges faced by the wider population, similarly affected them too, as such, the people's action was also for them.

The principled and wise men and women of Sri Lanka's security forces knew better than to stand with those whose policies also impacted them negatively, and had led to their immeasurable suffering and poverty.

It is obvious we in Zimbabwe are light-years behind countries as Sri Lanka.

We may wish and dream of a "Sri Lanka happening in Zimbabwe" - but, all I can say for now is, " dream on"!

As long as we believe that pretending to be brave and unshakable, yet deep down we know we can not even stand our ground in the face of a police baton stick and tear gas - then, please, let us stop fooling ourselves.

The people of Zimbabwe will be dreaming and wishing for change that will never come, till donkeys begin to talk!

That is the blunt truth!

© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, researcher, and social commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936 / +263733399640, or email:

Source - Tendai Ruben Mbofana
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