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Perpetuating political pessimists and opportunists

By Derick Matsengarwodzi

Fellow Zimbabweans, it is now a few months after the July 2013, Zimbabwe elections. And the most prominent occasion for me was not the ongoing debatable outcome; this was anticipated considering previous plebiscite results.

A member of the Zanu PF vigilante group Chipangano disrupting a parliamentary hearing on human rights while the police watch
A member of the Zanu PF vigilante group Chipangano disrupting a parliamentary hearing on human rights while the police watch in August 2011

The lasting impressions will not be the downbeat effects that the elective results will impose on Zimbabwe; it has always been imminent since 2000, when multitudes of self-labelled veterans discharging rented anger gathered to reclaim productive land signalling our everlasting slip into nonentity.

For me, rather, the salient point has been the calculated formation of two feuding formations: majority political pessimists versus a minority ruling opportunists.

How has this been attained?

Let’s revisit the year 2000.

During this episode, two camps evolved championing the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ vote for the constitutional reforms process. Here, many will recall the NCA ganging with MDC against ZANU PF. After the ‘no’ vote prevailed, there was subsequent intensification and cementation of divisions between the two parties.

This then will form the body of my text.

Throughout and after the 2000 and 2002 general election results, we were immersed in mass interception and detention of opposition participants.

Meanwhile, controversial legislature was set loose empowering phantom security forces and selected individuals enforcing them sparingly to weaken each perceived enemy.

The process, as history will record, later claimed prominent figures including Learnmore Jongwe. Along with other grieving sympathisers, many braved intimidation to attend this poignant moment. The mood was revolutionary, but his cowardly demise could have escorted some members to question their existence in the opposition fold.

They too, contemplated returning to a safer haven within the ruling opportunists. We would then witness stage-managed exodus of opposition cadres back to the ruling party fold, mainly for security and fulfilment of self-doubt.

The upsurge of violence in this period is a focal point. But did it suppress the people’s will? Yes it did. But as a nation we had learnt to overcome death because it is natural.

We had survived the war of liberation with distinct outcomes but we are yet to recover from the pessimism that has been tailored during this era moulding people into gullible recipients of any outcomes without any gripe.

Recurrent losses of the opposition have been greeted with calls for leadership revival by voices from ‘analysts’ who perceive the current leadership as spent forces.

And, recently after elections in Harare, the opposition announced that: “let them rule”. This then propagated the cancer of disparagement that has already been lodged. This self doubt has elevated uncertainty within the masses of who shall lead them to the promised destiny.

Even when overburdened with evidence that a coalition could convey us with victory, the opposition forces decided otherwise. The cynicism and diversion lines within the down-trodden and oppressed majority are overflowing than in the ruling party with aching clarity.

Even after finishing reading this instalment, Harare is still yet to produce a voter’s roll, yet it was manipulated to determine a people’s future.

What then does it spell for voters who participated in fraught search for change?

There was minimal violence recorded, yet many will never trust any election organised and influenced by the same opportunists they seek to purge. The ruling elite derive pleasure when droves depart the country.

For them it means an elimination of opposing, disgruntled constituency that will not participate under the current constitutional settings. It is this defeat of our own history and future that shall prolong the current leadership.

As Zimbabweans we now appreciate that freedom is not worth dying for. Contrary, opportunists will sacrifice all to reclaim selfish liberty for their further gain. We would rather flee and settle yonder deriving comfort for ourselves and immediate families forsaking our birthright to egotistic opportunists.

We now deem that going for marathon days without basic necessities is an eternal endowment. Each day we further doubt if we can dethrone the political yoke that has been betrothed upon us; we are now too scared even to mention our democratically leadership in public forums.

Do we have to address our genuine anger through social platforms rather than confronting our elected leadership?

Are African governments deliberately starving people of development and social amenities in order to preserve a loyal and manageable section that could be marshalled into popular belief without any resistance?

Since the middle class has been claimed by the information highway, there remains a need to maintain a desperate social class that will always believe their lives are incomplete without government intervention, social grants and periodical hand outs.

Today, South Africa has millions of social grants benefactors on its books. In neighbouring Zimbabwe, non-governmental organisations have to seek government’s approval and leadership to feed the famished.

This figure currently stands at more than two million facing hunger. And they are made to believe that without government intervention they are all doomed.

It’s a combat to run the deprived.

So, fellow exploited masses, if religion is indeed opium of the masses, then pessimism could have silently become one of the unrecognised beliefs in Africa. May ruling parties victories are drawn from the very same delusional section, meaning the unfortunate are significant in sustaining status quo.

In short, we are relevant to a rulers’ dominance. And our prolonged reservations of the corrupt system will serve as a right formula for a drawn out predicament of the majority.

We can elect to sleep with despotism or discharge it to obscurity; it’s our choice because we possess that clout as we are the majority.

It’s either we rise today, or be silent and perpetuate tyranny.

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