Daylight pledges of loyalty is talk, and talk is cheap. Brown envelopes are real currency, and tax free too. The blood of kinsmen folk will not remain thick enough, cursed be the brown envelope. But then again, everyone deserves their reward. Until when, those in barracks are mothers and fathers with working consciences too. They know too well money is tastier with good sleep at night.
How did we get here, Comrades? What is it that made us believe we held an inherent title to dictate court decisions, to decide which project goes to tender and which one does not? How did we tell ourselves that this rot will live to see all the days of our lives without reproach, what got into us to use our last arsenals and line of defence against hungry, unarmed "terrorists" who depend on nothing but fancy legalese in parliament and stones on the street? These are not terrorists; they are the men and women winning the minds and votes of our supporters as we shoot Mbare vendors. Mr President, your hast national address yesterday is evidence that you are shaken, the citizens are encouraged to forge ahead even harder. It's a temporary time of the people's resolve and power. Forget the clownish Sikhala, fix eyes on the simple people.
Some of us are not so old to not care about the next 20 years. Our younger children are still in high school and need better education and employment opportunities as nearer to us as possible before we too answer the call of death. We too want security for what we have built by hook or crook since the end of the liberation war. Could we not have taken enough care and foresight to leave the gravy train when we were still perceived as innocent? Comrades we are under attack from inside and outside. They say we lost the 2018 elections, but we ourselves know very well we are losing the legitimacy war by letting down our dwindling party numbers. We are losing a diplomatic war by the continued use of snipers and canons on unarmed citizens. We are losing the democratic highground by the wanton arrest of opposition members and journalists who expose corruption. We are losing the economic war, yes we are. The corruption busting cause was hugely thrown in disarray when Gono on a Saturday night protested Magaisa that citizens did NOT carry the farm mechanisation cost, denying again by a long article on Sunday, only to let down his guard on Tuesday and say it was funded by government, which survives on taxpayer's money! Gideon Gono worked hard to keep the country running in his time, he was a victim of our imprudent system and ruthless patronage.
The onslaught on us has turned up the cadence because this is now a burning civic and human rights war which resonates with all the somebody's and nobody's on the international arena. We are in trouble comrades. Putin watched Mugabe fall, he will watch us too.
Comrades, we are losing the political war too, July 31 was not an opposition thrust. It was a civil initiative which gained opposition traction because of resonance. These are real issues even to our own members. Our supporters do not condone the perpetuation of these many a vice, they too are worried and hurt by commonplace corruption. They too are being beaten by the indiscriminate police button sticks and the gun butts of the KGIV boys in the streets while they try to eke a living. Our own members are good numbers of the vendors on the street corners, our own party members have no food in their homes too, our own party members are being kicked off the land by bigwigs in this room with multiple offer letters to large tracts of arable land which is being used for weekend braais in the midst of corona and hunger.
Nobody is safe from the economic onslaught, nobody. Today our technocrats are using their skills to the benefit of the industries of other countries which we termed our enemies. No, we are now our own enemies. We are angry that we do not interfere in the affairs of other countries, this is true, and in that vein we expect other countries to also leave us alone. Yet, comrades, we gave Malema and others a reason to speak so they cannot keep quiet. By burdening social services in their countries due to the migration of thousands our citizens into their countries daily running away from our failure of governance, we gave them fodder on so many pedestals to attack us. We lost that highground on Pan-African and even moral pedestals. We lost. A next door neighbour, who is feeding my children every day as they run from the never-ending hunger in my house, has every right to question my capacity as a leader, solution maker and provider.
We will survive a few more attacks, but at the end of it all we will lose to the people. It is becoming a painful reality that we are fast becoming a run-away head of the train without the containers behind. The 2008 fiasco should have taught us that maybe we took lightly the loyalty our members have displayed since 1980, and our own over-perceived measure of the ability to harvest the sway vote. We forgot that these were no longer loyal and sway votes, we as the fishes had outgrown the water pools which are the masses, fear reigned amongst them.
We failed to deal with corruption, ZACC was a smoke screen and did not measure to the rot in our midst. Chivayo, Undenge, Mupfumira and Chris Kuruneri could not have possibly destroyed the economy of a whole Zimbabwe between two decades. Comrades we failed to leave the political battles bout for bout with the opposition in the political arena alone and in fact, we roped in the courts to fight our battles. Almost the majority of the opposition leadership and journalists are on remand for all sorts of charges. Human Rights lawyers are making names for themselves, our punches are rewarding them. We exposed our Chief Justice to global condemnation and attack by decreeing that orders by independent, thinking and impartial judges must be seen and approved by their court heads. Our judiciary became a laughing stock as this decree had to be changed thrice within days, this was a costly blunder. As it stands, what will the head of court do when he or she "sees" the court order before a judge can deliver it before a court? Of what practical end does it serve if he or she will not change anything on the judgment? Is that not a bureaucratic lumber? Or will the head of court change only the font and colour of the judgment, is that it? Our judiciary lost its own impartiality trial.
Comrades, I speak for many of our own. We are now on borrowed time and we are not doing much to slow down the train destined for crash. The least we could have done was to cut the umbilical cord from the way of doing things of the First Republic. We entered the scene to much celebration and fresh hope, after holding the old man captive and raining bullets on the residences of the cohorts that were around him. As things turned out we steered the ship towards an even bigger iceberg, we are fast approaching the end. The truth is that we have a few years left at the top, the Creator has the count of our days on this earth too, let us use that to finish the race with some dignity. We used poor people's monies to get treatment in seven star hospitals of Europe, what with the shopping sprees and properties in the pacific. As Ecclesiastes would have it, all is vanity. With hindsight we should have built and capacitated our own hospitals and infrastructure, but we did not care right? Our children and ourselves are now running around all over Harare looking for a single ventilator during the night. We are now working around the clock to paint Wilkins and make alternatives at Rock Foundation, for ourselves first then our voters second if it won't be too late for the viral load in their hungry bodies.
Our own deeds are surely calling us to account, God will surely call us to account when we depart. We do not know when this will be, but surely it will come. Perence Shiri is accounting for his gruesome part in Gukurahundi as we speak. Takatadza maComrades.
Robert Sigauke is a Legal Practitioner, Author, Political Commentator and Servant of the Lord. He writes in his personal capacity from Johannesburg firstname.lastname@example.org
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