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Zimbabwe's Africa Day: Celebrating a Continent We Have Failed

24 May 2023 at 21:02hrs | Views
Every year on May 25, African countries commemorate Africa Day, a day that celebrates the unity and pride of Africa. African countries come together to remember the fight and struggles of their forefathers who fought for the liberation of the continent from colonialism and apartheid. It's a day for Africa to celebrate its diversity, history, and culture. However, as Zimbabweans celebrate Africa Day, the mood is different – it's sad. We are a country that has failed Africa in many ways, and it's hard to celebrate a continent we has let down.

Africa Day is supposed to be a day of hope and celebration, but in Zimbabwe, it's a bitter reminder of how the country has failed its citizens, blighting their hopes, dreams, and aspirations. Zimbabwe's history is rich and deep, having been at the forefront of Africa's liberation struggles. It was a beacon of hope for many African nations that were still under colonial regimes. However, the Zimbabwe of today is a far cry from the one that once inspired so much hope and admiration.

Zimbabwe's collapse, economic failure, human rights abuses, and political repression are an embarrassment to Africa. Zimbabwe was once the breadbasket of Africa, exporting food and other resources to its neighbors. It was a model of progress and development. But today, our country is a shadow of its former self, surviving on handouts from international donors to feed its population.

The country has experienced decades of economic decline, with skyrocketing inflation, high unemployment, and severe food shortages. Zimbabwe's GDP has been in a steady decline, and the country has been unable to keep pace with the rest of the region. Zimbabwe's political situation has been equally dire, with allegations of electoral fraud, human rights abuses, and a lack of respect for the rule of law.

In 2008, Zimbabwe experienced one of the worst economic and political crises in history. The country's inflation rate peaked at over 231 million percent, and its currency became virtually useless. Hyperinflation led to a lack of food, fuel, and basic necessities. The country could no longer import the goods it needed to survive. Millions of Zimbabweans were left destitute, hungry, and suffering.

In the face of all these challenges, Zimbabweans have continued to show remarkable resilience and strength. We have adapted to living with little and continued to strive for a better future. But the government has consistently let us down. The ruling party, Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), has been accused of rigging elections, suppressing opposition parties, and making the country ungovernable. The government has also brutally suppressed dissent and protests, with the military being deployed to quell any signs of opposition.

Zimbabwe's dismal record on human rights abuses is a blight on Africa. The country has been accused of extrajudicial killings, torture, and arbitrary detention of opposition members, journalists, and activists. The government has been accused of orchestrating abductions and torture of its critics. The country's judiciary has been compromised, with judges being appointed on political grounds, leading to biased judgments in favor of the ruling party.

The government has also failed to provide basic health care, education, and social services to its citizens. The country's public health system has collapsed, and the few remaining public hospitals lack the resources to cater to the needs of the population. Education is in shambles, with schools lacking books, classrooms, teachers, and basic infrastructure. The government has failed to provide clean water and sanitation, leading to outbreaks of diseases such as cholera. The country's social services are in dire need of reform, and the government has shown little regard for the needs of its citizens.

Zimbabwe is a country that has failed its citizens and Africa. It is an example of how political mismanagement and corruption can destroy a once prosperous and successful country. Zimbabwe's failure is a reflection of the lack of leadership and accountability in many African countries. The continent has been plagued by conflict, poverty, disease, and underdevelopment, despite its vast potential.

As Africans celebrate Africa Day, they must remember that the continent's challenges are not limited to Zimbabwe alone. Many African countries are grappling with similar problems, and it's time to hold leaders accountable. Africa has the resources, the talent, and the potential to become a prosperous and developed continent. But this can only happen if African leaders prioritize the needs of their citizens and put in place good governance structures. Only then can Africa truly celebrate its unity, diversity, and rich history.

Zimbabwe's Africa Day celebrations are a poignant reminder of how far the country has fallen. The country was once a symbol of African pride, hope, and freedom, but it has now become a symbol of government failure and oppression. Zimbabwe must reflect on its past and work towards a brighter future for its citizens and Africa as a whole. As Africa commemorates its day, let us remember the struggles of our forefathers and the hope they had for the continent. It's time for Africa to rise and take its rightful place in the world – a continent of progress, development, and prosperity.

Kumbirai Thierry Nhamo |
Writer, Blogger, Poet and Researcher
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Source - Kumbirai Thierry Nhamo
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