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Let’s stop being clowns as Zimbabweans and reclaim our country

By Elijah Mangwengwende

Why Zizi the Owl only comes out at night. Once upon a time Zizi used to go around during the day, like other animals. Every day he ordered all the birds in the forest to go look for food (e.g. worms, frogs etc) for him. All birds were afraid that Mr Owl had horns and so they obeyed. One day Nhengure (drongo) did not go to look for food for Zizi. Instead he called all the birds together.

Elijah Mangwengwende
Elijah Mangwengwende

After he flew to Zizi, he pecked at his horns and showed everyone that they were not horns but ears. When the other birds saw that the Owl does not have horns they stopped being scared and refused to bring food to him. Nhengure chased Zizi away and, since that day, Mr Owl comes out only at night to look for food, it’s just a story.

Let’s say Zizi is Mugabe and Nhengure is Tsvangirai. Just a comparison which has nothing to do with the two. Instead of doing what other birds did, following Nhengure’s courageous act, we Zimbabweans are laughing non-stop. Imagine if the other birds laughed at Nhengure? Zizi could have regained authority and ordered other birds to scavenge for his food.

We are in a similar situation as a nation. Imagine if Nkomo, Ndabaningi Sithole and the others who started the war in the 1960s were clowns like what we are today, would they have managed to confront Ian Smith? Imagine if the chimbwidos and mujibas had turned every dire situation into a joke like what we are doing today? Honestly our soldiers could have been massacred. I don’t understand why we joke about almost everything when the country is being ruined.

Bond Notes, just like the bearer cheques of yester years we joke, sewage flowing we joke, vendors lose their stock we joke, houses being demolished we joke. Even hyenas at one point get serious and laugh after successful hunt. We are turning almost everything into a laughing matter.  We must know that a country is not a laughing matter , think about your children’s future, think about your retirement, think about our country as a laughing stock in the world , think about school drop outs, think about children dying from hunger in Mahuwe, and many things happening and stop laughing instead get angry for goodness sake.

It’s not a laughing matter to see hard working people sleeping at banks waiting to withdraw their own money, it’s not a laughing matter to see cabinet ministers abusing education funds to buy bicycles and cheap computers at inflated prices. It’s not a laughing matter when people are generating electricity to fatten their pockets somewhere in Dema when it’s cheap to import from Mozambique, it’s not a laughing matter when government officials own 10 000 hectares of land, yet we turn all that into jokes .

It’s disheartening to notice the number of jokes circulating across the globe about bond Notes, it’s  daylight robbery by this regime, bond Notes is just a way of exchanging our real money with paper and they will hide our real money in China and other countries yet we laugh and joke about it. Honestly let’s be serious, let’s use the social media to share constructive ideas on how to confront this evil regime, share resistance strategies and so forth, social media is a powerful tool of resistance but we are laughing every minute.

Together we can pull down this regime if we become serious just for few months. Imagine if Chitepo generated memes about Ian Smith setting upon dogs on defenceless black citizens? Instead he and others used that as a way of mass mobilisation and instilling anger in people. They used brutality against black citizens to recruit more comrades to join the war in Mozambique and Zambia yet we are laughing every minute.

It’s high time we defend with pride the country we love. We are in the same situation as in the 1960s when Colonial regimes used to brutalise us, we are the facing same brutality today and more painful to be terrorised by one of your own. We must stand up against corruption, murders, theft, rape, nepotism and put mechanisms in place to recover stolen public resources. In today’s world it’s easy to track all financial transactions to any place in the world except if they dig holes and hide the loot.

We are not united as people. Gukurahundi and Murambatsvina were cruel acts in our lifetime but we fold our hands and say, let them suffer saying it’s not my family affected, Tichaona Chiminya was burnt alive and we left his family to bear the pain alone, Itai Dzamara went missing and we let his brother  fight alone with few others.

Surely we can be free and recover everything if we stop laughing like hyenas. “When are we going to break the fall”? all the energy we are wasting making jokes can be useful in mass mobilisation of citizens to vote out ZANU PF or even to stage civil resistance.

Elijah Mangwengwende is a MDC-T activist who writes in his personal capacity

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