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My compatriots, do not look far; the enemy is us

By Tanonoka Joseph Whande

As we grew up, we come across so many stories that reflected the experiences of those who came before us.

Tanonoka Joseph Whande
Tanonoka Joseph Whande

In our African traditions of days gone by, long before modern day toys like phones and motor vehicles, not to mention schools, our elders imparted knowledge and their experiences to their underlings through a communication tool called ‘word of mouth’.

Not so many of us know about this simple, personal and individualistic but effective method of not only teaching but informing and teaching young children.

We learned a lot from listening, taking no notes but always mindful of the lessons we had been taught.

We remembered things very well because, then, our lives depended on it, when we were out herding cattle or attending to the maize fields.

Some of us were okay until we started going to school. Here, we were taught things we did not experience and we got lessons to use some other day…not as soon as we left class.

Although we used to memorize and remember post office boxes and private bags of friends and relatives, more and more information that was not relevant to our everyday existence kept being pumped into us that we started forgetting because the information, although useful, was not for immediate, everyday use or for our day to day existence.

We were so bad that, when we left school and got jobs in towns, we needed to buy what was called a telephone book in which we recorded addresses and telephone numbers of friends and relatives in alphabetical order.

The heart of the matter is that we tend to remember only those things of which we have immediate need and use of. We do not strive to remember some things and experiences of today so that we may apply them to alleviate our problems tomorrow.

We are a temporary society.

We live for today and forget about tomorrow.

I urge the people in both Tsvangirai’s MDC and all those in other opposition parties to dig back into their past and come up with lessons learned from way back then.

We have gone through all this before but we refuse to learn and find excuses to continue submerging ourselves in situations that make our Creator furious because he has given us all we need but we just do not care how to treat and maintain our sanity and focus.

The expulsion of senior members from the MDC is no cause for celebration. The misguided glee shown by Nelson Chamisa as he hammered negatively on his expelled erstwhile companion showed me the depth of shallowness among our politicians.

In our days as we sat surrounding a plate of sadza and a few pieces of meat, greed was never tolerated.

Why are we tolerating it today?

What does the MDC think they are doing?

What the hell does ZANU-PF think they are doing?

Does Tsvangirai honestly believe he is showing leadership with the way he is handling opposition to his way of running the party?

And would it not be to people’s advantage if Mugabe just took a proper stand? What makes him think keeping his successor secret apart from what the constitution states will make him live longer?

Paranoid fools are at the helm of all political parties and the followers are paying for it.

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One thing I have learned is that if you publish, you have gone public with your views and you must, of necessity, allow other people to voice their opinions, particularly those who are not in agreement with you. The same applies to public figures.

I do not subscribe to the totalitarian method being championed by Morgan Tsvangirai and fronted by Nelson Chamisa. The organization is bigger than its office holders and Tsvangirai and his group are better advised to keep that in mind unless the MDC has become a “friends and family only” club.

As for the so-called rebels, Mangoma, Biti, Mkwananzi and others, they must know that they are within their democratic rights to criticize any organization they belong to but theirs must not only be criticism.

They must show cause. They must take a stand and announce it to the people. They must tell the people why they have suddenly decided to cut ties with fellow leaders with whom they have been working with for years.

They must state their positions and intentions then turn around and make sure that the people understand their positions. They will never look better just by making Tsvangirai look bad.

Right now, Tendai Biti is not behaving well.

Not Elton Mangoma.

Not Morgan Tsvangirai.

Not Nelson Chamisa.

All of them want to hold on to things from the past without offering anything new for the future.

And, in case they do not know, the past starts at the end of the humiliating elections of last year.

Today we have newer battles to fight.

Are our old weapons, the weapons we used in the past in the form of minds, thinkers, direction, policy, doctrine and all that the party did to get people’s attention still relevant?

Not anymore; there has to be a change somewhere.

Should this not have been the time for Tsvangirai to take his top lieutenants and the so-called rebels to Vic Falls, Kariba, Chimanimani or wherever they love to go and talk things over instead of putting Zimbabweans, who are already stressed out over lack jobs, lack of food, school fees, water and who cannot even access their money in the banks?

What of their political life are Tsvangirai, Chamisa, Biti, Mangoma, Mwonzora and all the rest fighting for when people are fighting for just a meal; when companies are closing every day; when there is growing animosity among our people?

Why should our people be made to fight over Tsvangirai and Mugabe, or over Tsvangirai and Biti, or over Mnangagwa and Mujuru when our people are looking for alternatives to policies that have failed them for the last 34 years?

Why are all politicians threatening each other when all of them are unable to perform their duties?

Every political party in our country has expelled some members of its leadership because all of them are intolerate and the leaders do not want to be replaced. Why threaten each other instead of talking to each other?

Those leaders who receive our trust must all stop abusing the people and causing misunderstandings among Zimbabweans.

Why can’t we learn from our past experiences? Our country is not poor; our nation is not intellectually deficient.

Mugabe, Tsvangirai, Mujuru, Biti, Chamisa, Mnangagwa, Mangoma, Chombo, Mutasa, councilors, parliamentarians, cabinet ministers and all those hangers on, please stop it already.

Have you not done enough damage to Zimbabwe? All of you! Everything you guys do and say affects our everyday existence and you all have driven our country into oblivion.

What is there to celebrate when, in the week our so-called independence reaches 34 years, the government itself reports that more than 176 companies had been struck off the register, “while 634 companies are set to be de-registered in the next three months”?

How can we celebrate 34 years of so-called independence when companies are closing in record numbers; when our people are starving; when we neglect fellow citizens befallen by disasters; when the government and its senior employees steal from our parastatals; when we cannot access the little money we put in banks owned by ministers; when more than 80 percent of the nation is unemployed; when people resort to selling tomatoes by the roadside to raise school fees for their children but the government wants to take their little money?

The government wants to tax informal traders, will that help? They have stolen billions; there is nothing more to still except a few dollars wrapped up in that old woman’s head scarf and they are coming for that too.
My compatriots, do not look far; the enemy is us.