Luke-ing the Beast in the Eye: “Let there be light”
As we all "luke" the beast of national darkness in the eye, we must derive satisfaction in that the regime has just torn apart its own 2018 election manifesto and added yet another reason for us to vote them out in 2023.
Zimbabwe is currently wallowing in pitch darkness as the ED regime fails to power the nation in spite of a 2018 election promise to provide electricity to the whole country. And yet as a people, we have always been chastened by light and brightness.
Names such as Chiedza, Bright, Brightness, Power and Rujeko are testimony to our undying affinity for light. Even the tag Manjenjenje—that totemic reference to the Zebra and the MaDube bevy of beauties—is more evidence yet to our love for glitter and light.
The regime cannot plunge the country into darkness, just like that. Spiritually and culturally, darkness as a concept has always been malignant. Spiritually, especially in Christianity, darkness is associated with the Devil while culturally, darkness is associated with vices such as prostitution and witchcraft, among others. Both at the church and in the homes, we have always exhorted our children to let go of habits of darkness– mabasa erima.
And yet the ED regime wants to perenially engulf us all in darkness!
God, the Almighty Himself, abhors darkness. Having created the earth and the heavens, with a formless earth that had darkness covering the deep of its entire face, God makes a sonorous exhortation: Let there be light And there was light. (Genesis 1 vs 3).
It is Mnangagwa himself who blasphemously told us that the voice of the people is the voice of God. If we are to judge him by his own words, then the Lord’s exhortation for light may be deemed as equally coming from the people.
Indeed, from Kazungula to Tamandayi and from Chirundu to Mandidzudzure and Dombodema, the whole nation is making the same loud war cry: Let there be light !
Not everyone can afford generators or the solar kits recently awarded to the well-heeled elite in government. After the media exposure that the solar kits would only be awarded to top officials including government Ministers, their deputies and top securocrats courtesy of the despondent taxpayer, the shamed government told us the same facility would also be extended to all civil servants.
Well, we wait to see whether they will meet their promise to the struggling nurses and teachers, assuming we will be able to see anything in this pitch darkness. It is also pertinent to note that of those who will receive the special solar kits. The ordinary person was left out.
There was no mention of how mai Ezra in Chitungwiza, mai Goddy in Domboshava and young Duduzile in Plumtree would be cushioned from the ignominious power outages. This is not to mention the banking industry, farmers and what is left of our industries where consistent power supply would be a prime utility.
All those sectors were left out by a regime that prides itaelf in leaving no one and no place behind. Ironically, it is the pitch darkness itself that has achieved national coverage by living up to the regime’s mantra of leaving no one and no place behind!
Indeed, the country’s owners have authored this darkness by dint of their sheer incompetence. Oh yes, Nyika inokandwa murima nevene vayo !
Now they are blaming Robert Mugabe for the country’s power crisis, never mind that ED himself was Mugabe’s top henchman forall his 37 years in office.until his ouster through a coup by his lieutenants in November 2017.
Mugabe’s failures are certainly ED failures because they served in the same government. There is something called collective responsibility and one cannot split hairs by blaming Mugabe’s rotting cadaver for our current crisis. Yet they served together in the same government for many years.
The regime has mustered the art of blaming others for all its problems. I said in a recent column even the erectile dysfunctions in the ruling elite and the leakage of the Zimsec papers are all being blamed on sanctions. You cant always blame a far-flung foreign country for all your domestic problems.
Even where they may be guilty, they are too remote so as not to exonerate a nearby culprit. Renowned Nigerian author Chinua Achebe bemoaned this practice by African leaders of always blaming foreigners for all their countries’ problems.. Achebe said even in our high school history lessons, we learnt that there are remote and immediate causes of epic developments. There were never only remote causes. There were always immediate causes.
Achebe says always blaming the remote cause, in our case foreign countries, is akin to arresting the blacksmith who made the axe every time a man hacks his fellow to death with an exe! We must arrest the immediate cause, the man who has hacked his colleague and not focus on the remote cause i.e the blacksmith who made the axe.
As we all “luke” the beast of national darkness in the eye, we must derive satisfaction in that the regime has just torn apart its own 2018 election manifesto and added yet another reason for us to vote them out in 2023.
ED promised to power the whole nation but now is threatening to switch off all households from the national grid. And soon they will be bringing a fresh bouquet of promises in the run-up to the 2023 plebiscite in the vain hope that we will believe him. As they say, these first acts of lies have wisened us. The first cut is the deepest. Chakachenjedza ndechakatanga .
Indeed, the power crisis is a national shame. Zhemu is a corruption of the word “shame” while soda refers to a tonic. With an Energy Minister whose name is Zhemu Soda, the regime thinks this shame (Zhemu) is a tonic (soda).
Well, if anything, the power crisis simply provides an epic tonic (soda) for the regime’s ouster at next year’s polls.
Even amid the pitch darkness occasioned by their sheer incompetence, the citizens are determined to remove these guys at the next polls. Tinovabvisa chete murima imomo !
Luke Tamborinyoka, a citizen from Domboshava, is by profession a journalist and an ardent political scientist. He is also a change champion in the Citizens Coalition for Change ( CCC ). You can interact with him via his Facebook page or the twitter handle @ luke_tambo.