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Drawing parallels between Kenya and Zimbabwe's social, economic, and political disturbances

07 Jul 2024 at 18:08hrs | Views
We want to believe that the demonstrations in Kenya just happened overnight. The Gene Zs went on a rampage assisted by criminals. To framing them so thin, is to trivialize a genuine revolution that was long overdue. Having been following the demonstrations in Kenya closely, these young men and women are qualified and have a clear understanding of Kenyan political, economic discourses. The Gene Zs have been observing the Kenyan economic discrepancies pilling up and the elected government appeared to have no clue about how to alleviate poverty in the lives of the poor majority. This reaction by the youth is not specific to Africa and Kenya only; it can everywhere. Having voted them into power, the very politicians start living large: the word opulence was spoken at the demonstrations by Gene Zs. These overnight rich politicians did not even try to conceal their ill-gotten wealth. The fertile ground for a volatile revolution was set long back. A revolution needs a critical mass to trigger a reaction of that magnitude we have seen in Kenya.

Curiously, the Kenyan revolution has started: The citizens of Zimbabwe are anticipating the same, but no critical mass. Since the beginning of the 1990s, Zimbabwean economy has been on a freefall: a revolution that fails to take because of so many factors. There have been one failure economic plans with the other. Having borrowed from international lending institutions until they could not, the World Bank and the IMF prescribed austerities that made the economic situation even worse. ESAP sent millions out of employment. As if it was not enough pain, Mugabe regime allocated billions of US dollars to war veterans for free, just to appease them from the rumblings due to economic hardships. This money given to war veterans was not in the budget. The Zimbabwean economy sank deeper again because the UK government stopped giving "free" money to Zimbabwe. In fury, Mugabe cut his nose to spite his face. There were farm invasions: removal of white farmers from the best lands. Instead of giving the land to the majority poor, the politician shared the best lands among themselves. This reaction came back to hound them, Zimbabwe was faced with massive food insecurities for the first time after independence. To this day, Zimbabwe has never had stable food securities. People are starving because of the ego of one man: Mugabe. Anger is indeed a very bad counselor.

Constipating the economic ills further: Mugabe's Zanu party lost a referendum against the newly formed party MDC in year 2000. He turned his anger from Zimbabwean white farmers to the opposition party Movement for Democratic Change. Mugabe regime started a cleanup operation called "Operation Murambatsvina". Houses were destroyed. So many people died because it happened right in the middle of HIV/AIDS pandemic; more than three quarters of million people were internally displaced. The situation in most towns and cities became unlivable. As if it was not enough, again, there were violent elections in 2008. Opposition members were brutally murdered and maimed in thousands. In contrast to Kenya today, whereby the Gene Zs decided it was the moment to bring change in Kenya: Zimbabwean, especially those in the middle-class bracket left the country in millions. They were mostly qualified professionals who easily got employment in South Africa, some to the UK, Canada, USA, New Zealand, and Australia, leaving mostly peasant population without leadership: the critical mass is missing to stage a successful revolution. A revolution needs its intelligentsia for it to be successful.
Intelligentsia in Kenya is abundant, evidenced by wider social media coverages that have plausible answers to move Kenya to the next level.

What is painfully lacking in Zimbabwe is a powerful opposition. There is no opposition even to speak about today: A leadership that can stand up to Zimbabwean government and challenge it ideological, political, socially, economically is absent. There is no leadership in Chamisa and Co too. You cannot fight a brutal regime of President Mnangagwa, wearing a three-piece tailor-made suite living a posh and affluent life in Harare. Inside the opposition party of CCC are unending conflicts and internal blackmails. The CCC leadership is unable to solve issues internally on their own. One wonders how they will be able take on a ruthless government of Zanu PF if it is showing signs of infantile attributes. How competent is Chamisa to take over a government if he has not mastered basic leadership skills.

The Kenyan intellectuals are still intact living in Kenya, few left the country. It is mind-blowing, listening to intellectuals in Kenya, young and old, talking about a true revolution in their midst and what steps must be done to alleviate a disaster that is looming. What could hijack a good thing at this juncture? The neighbor states have been in the same situation; They also staged revolutions but because there were no contingency plans done before they went to the state house to remove the Head of State; Sudan finds itself in a war of about two years and still raging on. Ruanda has declared war with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ethiopia is at war with Tigray. The entire Sahel region is fragile. President Tinubu of Nigeria is dreaming of setting up a big army that will invade "rogue" states in West African ECOWAS organization at the behest of France, for absconding the ECOWAS. We have vassal states in Africa too.

Kenya, in sharp contrast to Zimbabwe; the intelligentsia is assisting the Gene Zs how to spearhead the revolution effectively for it to be a success. Failed countries north of them are talked about in detail as reference point. The Gene Zs have discovered that their voice and actions have great impact on President Ruto and the Kenyan government. The finance bill that triggered the demonstrations have been suspended: a great achievement. Kudos to Gene Zs. The Gene Zs are going further with their demands, unequivocally: they don't trust the Head of State, therefore they want him removed. There is rationality in their actions, it is for this reason the Gene Zs have earned great respect from the public, and right across ethnic and class divides. They are rebirthing the African consciousness. Heroes in Kenya and Africa, emblematic with revolutions in Niger, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Mali, and many other progressive forces continentally. There is indeed a rich vein of hope across the African continent.

To say what is happening in Kenya is not possible in Zimbabwe should not be seen as an unfounded critique. A revolution must be ripe ever to take place. However, in Zimbabwe the war of liberation is still fresh and is sitting in the psyches of many. Politics is a game of fear. The 2018 demonstrations that took place in Zimbabwe after the harmonized elections benchmarked disdain in trust towards the opposition leaders who feared to be part of it. The opposition leader Nelson Chamisa and his lot hid safely in their posh and opulent homes in Highlands. They gave beer and crack to young demonstrators to do the job for them. Soft revolutions are not successful and have never been.

There is raw courage needed to stage a revolution like the one in Kenya by Gene Z. It takes incredible raw courage to be in the shoes of General Traore of Burkina Faso. What is taking place in the Sahel region is a true African revolution, Zimbabwe is far from it, a pie in the sky.

Again, there is a culture of selfishness in Zimbabwe nurtured by the higher echelons in Zanu leadership hierarchical going down. The general population realized that the Zimbabwean government and the opposition do not care about its citizens. It is for this reason; the general population will never risk their lives going out and demonstrate against the Zanu regime. The 2018 demonstrations that took place immediately after the disputed elections, left 6 dead: Not one opposition leader was present at the funeral of those that were mercilessly gunned down by the Zimbabwean army. It is painful to realize how the ruling elite is plundering and pillaging our national resources for themselves and their immediate relatives. There is poverty in urban and rural settings. A poor Zimbabwean is poor in the sense of the word. Thousands of street children eke out a living in the streets and die in the streets. In high density urban areas, children play in raw sewage. Gene Zs in Kenya would have staged a revolution in Zimbabwe long back.
Curiously, the learned population in Zimbabwe, home and abroad are pushing for the Vice President to take overpower from the incumbent Mnangagwa. With all due respect, our vice President barely reads and writes. Is it even normal to wish for the worst from the worse to be in power? Some doctorate degree was written for him, and he calls himself Dr. Chiwenga, an inept persona. Our intelligentsia are pushing hard to get him in power. He was in dispute with his former boss Mugabe because of the diamond revenue loot: 15 billion dollars loot from Marange, shared among themselves led to the coup in Zimbabwe. Dr. Chiwenga goes to China for medical checks: blood pressure and several other minor medical checkups, are all done in China because he does not trust his own medical institutions at home. Now he is supposed to be our next head of state, the most educated are pushing for him to be the next in power. Can you see the difference between Kenyan revolution and our ineptitude in Zimbabwe. Chinese nationals arrive in Zimbabwe in hundreds, get themselves the best gold, and lithium, chrome mines and farmlands allocations, pillaging our resources and the coming generation without a pinch of guilt. They employ Zimbabweans to work as cheap labour in these mines and farms. That is what is called foreign direct investment for you! How stupid can an African still be? Ghanaian Pratt Kwesi says African leadership is useless: dump stupid!

Source - Nomazulu Thata
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