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What went wrong in Zimbabwe?

24 Jun 2013 at 15:02hrs | Views
Thirty-three years ago the Republic of Zimbabwe was one of the richest countries in sub-Saharan Africa. It produced enough maize to feed the whole of Southern Africa. A newly independent state, blessed with lots of natural resources, modern infrastructure and boasting the continent's highest literacy rate, she was poised for a future that seemed to carry nothing but the promise of success. What happened?

I ask because fast forward 33 years later you come  to a Zimbabwe, that not even I as a Zimbabwean am  familiar with. A country with no currency of its own, racked by political violence and gripped in the most critical economic crisis to hit any Southern African country. How did that happen?

Political violence affects most of the  population as the elections. In Zimbabwe usually descend into chaos, political opponents resort to murdering each other, and people can do nothing other than bear witness, the very act of which is risking his own life. Will this ever stop?

The current government refuses to recognise the rights of Zimbabweans fully. With the forthcoming elections we will soon be met with a world gone mad. Zimbabweans will be  set upon Zimbabwean in an orgy of violence, political machinations that go in the night and care not an iota for the peasant in his hut.  Is Zimbabwe a case of revolution that died in its tracks?

Heroes buried away in secret graves, activists disappearing in unmarked cars, carried into the dark bosom of the night, never to be seen again? What is their crime? Dreaming of a better future maybe.

There are extraordinary men and women in Zimbabwe, extraordinary people who have dedicated their lives to creating a better land for their progeny. Who is currently documenting their courageous sacrifices in the hope that their battle was not fought in vain? So that one day, when we have built a better country, their names will be remembered, their sacrifices will never be forgotten.

(Velempini Ndlovu is a writer and photographer  based in Johannesburg, South Africa  he can be contacted on

Source - Velempini Ndlovu
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