Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Zimbabweans deserve to be taken seriously

By Mitchell Munyaradzi Gumbo

On Thursday the 12th of March an already hurt and grieving nation was dealt another cruel blow when the world soccer governing body FIFA announced a ban on our beloved but ever disappointing national football team, the Warriors.

Sepp Blatter the FIFA President presents a commemorative plaque to the President of the Zimbabwe Football Association Cuthbert Dube (C) as the ZIFA Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Mashingaidze (R) watches in Harare on July 4, 2011
Sepp Blatter the FIFA President presents a commemorative plaque to the President of the Zimbabwe Football Association Cuthbert Dube (C) as the ZIFA Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Mashingaidze (R) watches in Harare on July 4, 2011

The Warriors will not participate in the preliminaries of the 2018 World Cup to be held in Russia because of a debt ($60 000) we owe one Valinhos. Yes dear reader, this nation reputed to be among the richest in terms of natural resources failed to pay $60 000 and we got banned! Could it be that ZIFA and the Government through the Ministry of Sport didn’t have the money or they just don’t care about our happiness as a people?

I don’t blame ZIFA. It has seen precedent after precedent of other institutions screwing us over as Zimbabweans and getting away with it. To most of the 14 million Zimbabwean citizenry, football is more than just a sport.

When we talk of Dynamos, Caps United and Highlanders, they are not merely clubs they are family. They are not merely theatrics when we fail to eat after our team loses, we would actually be feeling heart-wrenching pain! That is what football means to us.

We are a proud people and for how long shall we be reduced to cheering for Chipolopolo and Bafana Bafana merely because they are proximal to us?

ZIFA should take us seriously as the fans. We are a nation desperately short of heroes, thus when we support our clubs and the Warriors we do in hope of finding heroes on the field as well as to find much sought after entertainment seeing that there is little to smile about economically,socially as well as politically.

Like I alluded earlier, ZIFA can’t be serious about service delivery because they have seen other institutions raping us as a people but getting away with it. Particularly those institutions starting with Z.

ZESA has since stopped being Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority to become Zimbabwe Electricity Scarcely Available. The supply is erratic and evil. Electricity supply is cut at 6am and is only restored sometimes at 12 am with no explanation or justification from the power authority, why should they explain to us their customers as if we care?

Neighbouring South Africa is facing the same energy crisis as us but ESKOM has a regulated and timetabled load shedding which allows people to plan, to cook and do laundry in advance.

Amazingly during this years AFCON (which routinely we didn’t qualify), ZESA did not do load shedding, a sign that they are capable when they want to provide us with electricity.

In other nations, a customer is king not here in Zimbabwe because we the people of Zimbabwe don’t matter. Anyone can do what he/she wants with us and get away with it.

What about ZINWA? The national water authority mandated by our Constitution to provide our homes, schools and companies with potable water has just failed dismally since its inception but today its guiltless because in the eyes of the powers that be, the people it is failing are not important!

The Constitution of Zimbabwe makes it clear that the onus is on Government to provide for its people potable water. Lack of clean water as most of our people are facing is in actual fact an abuse of human rights! Last week I poignantly laughed with my cousin’s child who at 5 has never seen a shower running in real life.

In his yet innocent mind, people bath using buckets! He has never seen a tap running, to him water is fetched from 25 litre buckets. I wonder where does the ZINWA people think we get water from? Why infact do we have such wickedly erratic water supply?

Its a rhetorical question which the ZINWA people won’t answer because we the people of Zimbabwe without water don’t matter! Its shameful that in this day and age we still have to battle cholera. Cholera is primarily transmitted by contaminated water.

The source of the contamination is typically other cholera sufferers when their untreated diarrheal discharge is allowed to get into waterways, groundwater and drinking supplies meaning the great people of this great land drank such water in 2008 and people died like animals due to cholera but heads didn’t roll at ZINWA or anywhere else.

They committed high treason because they robbed this nation of thousands of illustrious people. Maybe the lives lost didn’t matter that’s why we still have ZINWA seven years later. In other nations it would have been disbanded and replaced by a more competent organization. Not in Zimbabwe, the Zimbabweans don’t really matter! If they cant get water on their taps, let them buy mineral water!

I wonder when will those in power realize that Zimbabwean life is sacrosanct. Today a municipal policeman can throw a spike under a kombi carrying 18 Zimbabweans and not care that the vehicle may overturn and kill the passengers or veer off the road and cause some calamity.

A police officer manning one of the many roadblocks will, in exchange for a $5 bribe, allow a very very unroadworthy vehicle carrying Zimbabweans to carry on to doom.

He would rather be corrupt than be right, he would rather be $5 richer than save Zimbabwean life. Why? Maybe because to him and the system $5 is more important than Zimbabwean lives.

We the people of Zimbabwe matter, this land between between the Zambezi and Limpopo is the only piece of land we have on this beautiful earth that we can call ours! If we cannot be valued here, where else will be valued? We as Zimbabweans deserve to be taken seriously by our Government and our service providers!

People cannot continue to twist and trample on a sacred constitution that we voted for into effect. Our rights as Zimbabweans do not come from the generosity of Government, they come from God’s very own Hand ! When we vote people into office, be it political or social office, we vote them to deliver not to self-enrich and self-aggrandize.

Service is what we need and delivery of election promises! Its time our institutions become accountable and to quote a decorated war heroine who shot down a helicopter during the Liberation War “Silence should not be mistaken for weakness” . Zimbabweans deserve to be taken seriously.