Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Tinotenda Chihope: May the Real Slim Shady Please Stand Up

By Tinotenda Chihope  | twitter: @_mstinoe_ |

Just over a week ago the world woke up to the news of the death of Robert Mugabe. He was Zimbabwe’s leader from 1980 to 2017 when he was deposed by his enforcers through a military coup. Zimbabweans whose lives have been directly shaped by his actions have expressed conflicted emotions as he was a liberator who turned to an oppressor.

Then Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe flanked by his then deputy Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa
Then Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe flanked by his then deputy Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa

The legacy that was bequeathed by the late Mugabe is what remains even today after his demise. From 1975 the man took leadership of ZANU which later became the political party ZANU PF.

He simply removed the colonial oppressors and fine-tuned the system to make it even more efficient against his opponents. His legacy of Mugabeism is corruption, nepotism, incompetence, repression and intimidation of opposing voices, violence and gross human rights abuses.

Mugabe was removed by his party but it is business as usual as the current President Emmerson Mnangagwa continues with the legacy of his predecessor. As a result of Mugabeism the abnormal has become the standard way of life for most Zimbabweans.

Disputed elections and political abductions, intimidation and torture.  For many it is normal to see cash machines growing cobwebs because they have not dispensed any cash for the past few years. People now hold the United States dollars as a commodity and store of value because of runaway triple digit inflation.

It is commonplace to see a university graduate with a Master’s degree selling prepaid mobile phone recharge vouchers on street corners. It is now par to see cars queueing for kilometres on end just to buy a tank of fuel. It is unfortunate that many young people have not been exposed to anything else except a ZANU PF government. After all its 40 years of rule spans across generations.

The only way to dislodge Mugabeism and turn the fortunes of the country and its inhabitants is through a revolution. Scholars of political science define a revolution as a change in the political authority and institutions in a society. The change must not be cosmetic based on rhetoric and crude propaganda of reform as we are currently witnessing from the Mnangagwa regime.

Academics have different theories on the causes, but they all agree that it is a state of disequilibrium that is responsible for revolutions. It is no doubt that the country is in a state of imbalance than ever before as the political crisis has degenerated to a humanitarian crisis.

In the opening lyrics of the song “The Real Slim Shady” by Eminem a woman is shouting over the PA system asking the real Slim Shady to stand up. She is calling the real Slim Shady step up and show himself different from his imitators.

Similarly, I implore the young people of Zimbabwe, those scattered across the earth and those still trapped back home to accept the responsibility of leading sustainable political and economic change.

It is my opinion that the late Dr Joshua Nkomo was saying the very same thing when he stated that Zimbabwe will not die because the young people will save it. His were prophetic words spoken ahead of time.

I believe that having worked with ZANU PF as leader of ZAPU, Dr Joshua Nkomo had stared into the eyes of the beast that is Mugabeism and he had seen its destructive capabilities.

I believe he saw through men such as the late Robert Mugabe, Emmerson Mnangagwa and Retired General Chiwenga. He observed the system at close range and knew that real challenges lay ahead. At the time of his death in July 1999, Zimbabwe’s economy was not in the best of conditions but it certainly was way better than its current state two decades later.

The young people are the solution to the crisis that Zimbabwe faces today. Many young brilliant minds shun politics because they believe that it is a dirty game as ZANU PF wants us to believe.

This apathy is the reason why we have left the fate of the nation in the hands of a few greedy and incompetent persons. To borrow the words of Dr Noah Manyika, is there not a cause?

Is there not a cause for the young people of Zimbabwe to stand up and create a nation built on something better than Mugabeism?