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Why does ZANU PF become so bitterly angry with those desiring Zimbabwe to succeed?

16 Dec 2022 at 02:44hrs | Views
It is always perplexing!

Why would I be offended by those who want me to do better - pushing me to attain phenomenal heights reached by other legendary writers - and, in so doing, identifying where I am falling short, and going wrong?

In fact, as I venture into short video production in my activism and advocacy work - which is uncharted territory for me, and everything new and even intimidating - those who are spotting my errors, and bringing to light where I need to improve, are the driving force behind my steady quest to succeed in this field.

As a matter of fact, my beloved wife Tinta is my biggest critic - who tells me the blunt truth, without fear.

Why, on God's good earth, would I regard with disdain, bitter hatred and animosity those desiring me to make it and flourish - even looking upon them as sworn enemies?

I often raise this question, since this is so baffling.

As I was going through some social media posts yesterday, I came across some very troubling comments.

An obvious ZANU PF supporter posted two pictures - one showing what she alleged was how the state of Zimbabwe hospitals was being misrepresented on social media - whilst the other claiming was the reality on the ground.

Of course, the first depicted a rundown ward, with torn bed mattresses - and on the other hand, the supposed 'reality' was a well-kept medical facility, together with new beds and linen.

In the comments section, another sycophant proceeded to condemn all those who apparently 'disparaged their own country' - further claiming that Zimbabweans were unlike Ukrainians, who defended their country, no matter what.

I was conflicted - as I did not know whether to laugh, to be sad, or to feel sorry for such people - who clearly believe that identifying where we are going wrong as a country, and holding those in authority to account, is some form of attacking one's country.

Is this misguided thinking a flawed upbringing, out of ignorance, or pure brainwashing?

For starters, as much as the patriotism exhibited by the people of Ukraine is undebatably applaudable and something to envy - in the face of a heinous barbaric invasion by its neighbour Russia - nonetheless, these same people have never hesitated in bringing their leaders to task, should there be anything they feel is not being done properly.

In spite of valiantly defending their country against a savage foreign attack - even placing their own lives on the line - they have often questioned their own government's strategy and approach, and demanded answers to some of decisions made.

However, this has never been misconstrued as turning against one's country, or siding with the enemy, or even  being unpatriotic.


It is undeniable that the vast majority of Ukrainians stand with their country, and are eager to see it victorious - but, they will never blindly support everything their government does.

Their unparalleled love for their country will never stand in the way of holding their leadership to account, in the desire for an improved and more effective strategy that guarantees that desired victory.

We have witnessed the same in the US - where many undoubtedly immensely patriotic Americans resisted then president Donald Trump - in what they perceived were his gravely flawed policies, especially towards migrants, foreign relations, dictatorial tendencies, as well as his controversial seemingly racist and misogynistic viewpoints.

Did this, oftentimes seemingly rabid, opposition make these proud Americans 'unpatriotic'?

Or, did they, in their own opinions, sincerely believe that they were simply protecting American values and principles - as they sought to prevent their country sliding into anarchy and dictatorship?

We need to be very careful as Zimbabweans not to be confused by those in power.

Loving one's country does not mean, and has never meant, shielding a leadership that we perceive to be taking our beloved nation in the wrong and even catastrophic direction.

Furthermore, defending one's country is not the same as defending those we feel are destroying our nation, and leading the citizenry into the abyss of poverty and suffering.

There can never be any such notion of 'patriotism'.

In fact, the exact opposite should be true!

If I genuinely love my country and people, and desiring to see Zimbabwe prosper - should logic not dictate that I call out the leadership, whenever I believe they are not guiding us towards that goal - as I stand with the citizenry, in the event of their livelihoods being ruined?

As such, in the face of patients seeking medical treatment under unacceptable deplorable conditions - should we bury our heads in the sand, pretending that all was well, all in a distorted effort to 'defend the country'?

When people send me messages and emails aggrieved over having to watch hopelessly, as their loved ones face a painful death because of cancer - due to the reluctance by the government in fixing the few available radiotherapy machines, or procuring additional ones - am I expected to keep silent?

In fact, those who harbour such twisted interpretations of 'patriotism' can tell me what I should tell all those who approach me when they see their leaders giving each other millions of US dollars of taxpayers' money, and building massive mansions - yet, they themselves (ordinary citizens) wallowing in extreme poverty and failing to fend for their families.

Am I expected to 'defend my country' by telling them that they are just imagining things?

Does being 'patriotic' mean I should deny that there is something definitely amiss with cabinet ministers, their deputies, and our elected legislators sharing between themselves a whooping US$31 million - in a country going without electricity for 20 hours a day, and our children learning in the absence of adequate proper educational tools?

Surely, that can never be 'patriotism'!

If standing up and speaking out against the shameless looting of our national resources is being 'unpatriotic' - which should be equitably shared amongst the people of Zimbabwe, yet billions of US dollars going unaccounted for - then, you can call me 'unpatriotic'.

People as myself will never be ashamed or apologetic about speaking truth to power, and standing with the oppressed marginalized impoverished ordinary Zimbabweans.

That, to me, is the epitome of 'patriotism'.

It is most worrisome when we find those in Zimbabwe who are offended, and even become bitterly angry, with those who want to see Zimbabwe prosper, and ordinary citizens enjoying a dignified and decent livelihood.

In fact, if the ruling elite was genuine about promoting 'patriotism', and safeguarding 'national interests' - then, what I have stated above would be the defining cornerstone of these policies and laws.

It goes without saying, therefore, that anything contrary to these principles is nothing more than 'unpatriotism' - which should be condemned and weeded out of our society.

‚óŹ Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice advocate, writer, researcher, and social commentator. Please feel free to WhatsApp or Call: +263715667700 | +263782283975, or email:

Source - Tendai Ruben Mbofana
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