The story of Zimbabwe is very hard to write because there are so many stories. There is my story, there is my neighbours’ story, the vendor on the street has a story, those in power all have stories and how you the reader perceives all of this, you will form your own version of the story. There are many truths and many perspectives and we all know how history goes, it is those in power that control the narrative. However, social media has shifted the power base from those that weld the propaganda instruments to the fingers of the general population and this paradigm shift has resulted in a shift of power and helped change the narrative that the world has heard about Zimbabwe. The power of social media has echoed the muffled cries of the voiceless and the unheard stories of many ordinary citizens have painted the canvas which led to the #ZimbabweLivesMatter movement. For the first time the citizens who are active on social media feel heard, however there are many more without access to internet whose realities still remain unperturbed.
Depending on whom you listen to, the clarion call made by the #ZimbabweLivesMatter movement on social media has either raised global and regional awareness on what’s happening in the country or illustrated that all the citizens have drunk from a poisoned chalice and imagined abductions and a failing health care system. I am not in the position to confirm or debunk the stories as my very action of writing this is a form of protest and is treason – as the government intends on making it a criminal offence to campaign against one’s country. Who knows what future reparations I might have to pay for speaking out my truth. Anyway, there are many stories out there about Zimbabwe but the thread that ties all this information and resonates loudly is the rampant corruption that has plagued the nation and brought the country down to its knees. I cannot in my right conscience as a daughter of the soil, not vocalise that the only legacy that my children will inherit is a legacy of putrefaction as the wheels of integrity have fallen off and moral perversion is the order of the day.
What is it with African countries and corruption? Why are those in positions of power so selfish and greedy? Are they not aware that their positions of power are to serve and minister the people and not administer dissension because of their provocative greed? Why do the very people that beg us to elect them into office forget their promises and run our nations into the ground until even the dogs have no sense of patriotism in them. Can these corrupt leaders not see that systematic corruption is a characteristic of a totalitarian government which reeks of Nazism as it brings about a holocaust on its own citizens? The very people they swore to protect are forced to live in squalor and eat food not fit for their dogs while they lap in their jacuzzi built on misappropriated funds.
Can they not see that their rampant looting has conjured a firing squad on the dreams and aspirations of the youth and each time they divert funds from education they shoot and kill the dreams of future generations? Can they not see that they are managing concentration camps and each time they divert money from the health care system they are sending the general population who can not afford private care to their deaths? How I pray hard for the healthcare workers who dedicated their lives to save human life but now stand as wardens of those concentration camps. It is not right; it is not fair to wake up each morning to go to work to watch people die as there is nothing else that you can do for them – it is a form of torture! That is what corruption does, it takes away the heart of a nation and everything else slowly begins to die. So, when you hear a nation cry, it is a cry for help as they feel death setting in. Death in the economy, death in the healthcare system, death in the future.
The cry that you hear out of Zimbabwe is a cry of a nation that wants hope for this generation and posterity. Our future is being threatened by militant corruption that has waged war against the citizens so the politically connected can line their pockets with what is rightfully ours. It is difficult to turn a blind eye at the insufferable injustices that we are experiencing or to silence our frustrations because our version of truth is not palatable with their filet mignon and Hennessy bought using state looted funds. Corruption has created a dichotomy in the society, a “them versus us”, a “those who work versus those who wait to steal”. These vultures are marauding state coffers and any living entity that they can squeeze the money out of. The fledgling generation are learning that corruption on the backs of hardworking citizens pays better than honest work and this is brewing a culture of “when in power it will be my time”. I
fear that if this virulent scourge is not addressed now, the future is on the brink of death. Where will the youth have role models of good governance and leadership?
Surely, we cannot be expected to import role models too? The time is now, for those in office and not; for those in Zimbabwe and in the rest of the African nations to fight corruption as hard as we are fighting the Covid-19 Pandemic. We need to isolate this scourge and fight it off so we can prevent posterity from living in austerity as we have. Let the call that Zimbabweans have made raise awareness to the symptoms of corruption and the disease that it can manifest into when allowed to fester. Let us all in our different African nations become intolerant to this vicious scourge
that is named corruption.