The public humiliation of Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs Minister SB Moyo in London today mirrors the anger and frustration within the Zimbabwean society at home and in the diaspora.
By Farai Maguwu
Everyone wants to live in their country or leave because they want to. It is another thing when more than 4 million people are forced into exile due to starvation, corruption & economic mismanagement and state terror. Majority of Zimbabweans in the diaspora fit within the above description.
No place is better than home. They have lovely memories of their pristine villages they were forced to abandon. Thousands of families have broken up, tens of thousands are buried in foreign lands, millions of well qualified and experienced Zimbabweans are treated like slaves in many countries they have fled to. In neighbouring South Africa many have died in xenophobic / afrophobic attacks. Some have been forced to renounce their citizenship or hide their identity. Most of them long to be back in their country.
Whilst majority of Zimbabweans at home have been reduced to a standard below that of refugees in their own country, the ruling elites are enjoying heaven on earth. They have everything they want. They travel to India even to get checked sugar and temperature levels on state chartered flights. They have been stealing people’s money and replacing it with fake money so they can finance their luxury. When those in the diaspora send money to their families back home they struggle to get that money as banks are ordered to re-route that money to The State and give their intended beneficiaries fake money.
Pensioners are to be pitied the most. having served their country all their working lives their savings were wiped out by hyperinflation. Most of our elderly are dying suddenly due to hypertension and other related diseases such as diabetes. Our hospitals are death traps, not because our health professionals are poorly trained but because they are poorly resources and remunerated.
But is Zimbabwe a poor country? Absolutely No. Just go to any border around the country and see the volumes of mineral exports exiting the country. A significant number of these exports have no invoices. They belong to the untouchables of our land, the category in which most of our Cabinet Ministers sit. There are several unregistered Chinese and elite-owned companies in Zimbabwe which only paying protection fees to those with political power and get shielded from complying with the law. It is therefore nor surprise that we have no currency of our own.
These people have grabbed multiple farms from white farmers and most of them are growing nothing. Zimbabwe is now a net importer of food despite having the best arable land and climatic conditions in SADC. It also has a very skilled farm labour force. The little that is sold to GMB is scandalously purchased by the ruling elites and sometimes exported or resold at inflated prices. The level of cruelty and indifference is diametrically at variance with the Zimbabwean culture where we are taught to see the community as an extension of your very own family to the extend we relate in the community using family titles like mkoma, mnin’ina, mhamha, tete, muzukuru etc.
But in the current context the government and ruling party officials have cushioned themselves from the misery they have sentenced Zimbabweans to. They live in their own fantasyland. They import luxury vehicles duty free. They do not pay toll gate fees, electricity and water bills. Their trucks do not wait in a fuel queue as most of the service stations are owned by a cartel linked to the ruling party. In banks they refuse bond notes which they have forced on us, they go for the USD send home by diasporans, sometimes to their dying relatives.
It is against this background that people are angry and when they come across a government official they vent their frustration and anger. This is very sad as it indicates a situation that is degenerating. It is uncharacteristic of a Zimbabwean woman and a radical departure from our peace loving culture. The solution to this is genuine political dialogue leading to political reforms and the holding of democratic elections whose result is undisputed. A democratic election managed by an impartial electoral body will allow Zimbabweans, irrespective of race, tribe, gender or political affiliation to work together to rebuild their country.
Thus the roughing up of SB Moyo today is a call by Zimbabweans for a resolution of the national question. Government can dismiss them as sponsored MDC activist or see them as frustrated citizens who love their country. The verdict is theirs.
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