An issue that seem to elude Swazis, especially Swazi democracy activists is that what ZANU PF is pursuing at present might be an antithesis of what Swazi “progressives” are supposedly pursuing; or rather, that ZANU PF’s rhetoric is in disagreement with the obtaining reality in Zimbabwe.
|President Robert Mugabe|
Not to single out President Robert Mugabe, but to adopt the premise that all he articulates in office is ZANU PF’s pursuit and therefore its policy or maybe it’s intended policy.
It beats reason why Robert Mugabe should receive such specialised applause when such should be the expected resolve from African leaders and not the exception. It is more or less the case of applauding the father’s child for paying child-maintenance.
To say Zimbabwe is democratic just because it is democratic on paper would be like saying Swaziland is constitutional just because it has a constitution.
Maybe trying to count the cost of “The fight against the imperialist” by ZANU PF would reveal who has been the biggest loser in ‘the war against the West”. And that ZANU won the previous elections because of its years of influence, and because of MDC’s tendencies of overly bedding “the enemy” might be more the reality than the insinuation that it is loved by the people; it is more the case of the lesser evil, and that there is a fear among Zimbabweans that if ZANU PF might lose any elections, harsh might be the retaliation from the “people’s party”, as ZANU has previously let loose the violent tendencies of its rogue youth on the populace.
That ZANU PF won the previous elections is something that the West should accustom itself to because it is actually the mostly likely outcome in appreciation of the complacency that the MDC fell into after the Government of National Unity and its disillusionment within its own ranks.
The exodus of Zimbabweans into South Africa caused by the destabilisation of Zimbabwe by the proxy war-on-Britain, (otherwise known as the Land Reform Programme) is staggering. Such reality can be appreciated if one were to see the length of the line of Zimbabweans queuing on Pritchard Street in Johannesburg trying to partake of the overwhelmingly inadequate charity that the Methodist Church has offered to the mostly displaced Zimbabwean people, while the South African government has mostly watched in disinterest. Or maybe to visit Diepsloot that has absorbed Zimbabweans to such saturation that the conditions have regressed to a point where there are sporadic Shona/Ndebele feuds.
Appreciating the sheer number of Zimbabweans in South Africa and how establishments like Steers, Checkers, Debonairs, BP filling station and many other retailers, have come to generously employ the affordable, hassle-free Zimbabwean labour, maybe it wouldn’t be an untruth to insinuate that the-war-on-the-Britain (otherwise known as Counter Colonial Therapy) should shoulder the bigger blame for the Xenophobic attacks that began in Alexander township, and continue to be a constant bubbling-under time-bomb that threatens to go off every time any establishment retrenches employees in South Africa.
The propaganda is that Zimbabweans now own land and the food production is growing by leaps and bounds, year on year. Maybe so, but the reality is that there is a reluctance of the expatriates to repatriate and logic has it that where one is reluctant to return, the conditions are not conducive for progressive habitation.
The question still remains that, if the war was on the Britain (otherwise known as Show Them The Appropriate Finger) or the fight against the residue of the West that missed the wagon “home”, why is it that that it is mostly black Zimbabweans that have absorbed the greater part of the onslaught? Has anyone ever bothered to compare the number of affected black Zimbabweans in relation to white Zimbabweans because I am sure that main stream media hasn’t?
I guess the biggest question would be to ask if ZANU PF is pursuing a better life for Zimbabweans or if it is on some vengeance mission to show the West if it is “my Zimbabwe” or “your Britain” that has more natural minerals under the ground. Because many are the “African Heroes” within ZANU PF and much is the shoulder-patting for a job well done on unequivocally informing the imperialist on exactly where to shove it, and such ego trips are the prime suspect on the main reason for the sometimes counter-productive policies at the expense of the welfare of the people.
It then becomes an issue of intrigue as to where Swazis - especially Swazi democracy activists - find space to unashamedly sing praises of Robert Mugabe in a narrative splattered all over the abuse of human rights. Is it not human rights abuses that are perpetrated in Swaziland that Swazi democracy activists should applaud such in Zimbabwe just because the human rights abuser has shown the middle finger to the Imperialist? That because my enemy is your enemy, then we should be friends even though you perpetrate that which I fight against? …because there are well over two million walking talking and suffering reasons in South Africa why that which is happening in Zimbabwe is abuse on fellow humans, on ZANU PF’s watch.
Not to insinuate that ZANU PF or Robert Mugabe is devoid of virtue, but to question the wisdom to applaud one human being or a grouping of human beings when millions have been uprooted with an uncertain future, in a foreign land, while their leaders back home claim it is them they fight for. If political activist are cheering the few, then who is mourning the millions that have suffered for years and continue to suffer? It comes across as a counterintuitive case of verbal ill of politicians and political activists because common sense would have it that if the Land Reform Project was to have collateral, it would have been white Zimbabweans, but the reality is that those that have suffered the most have been black Zimbabweans, and thereafter it was a standing ovation for the perpetrators of the suffering.
It may seem like we applaud those with the prerequisite rhetoric without really taking stock of the impact they have made to human development.
The Human Development Index (HDI) measures the quality of life-experience people in a given country experience overall in areas such as how long people live, access to education; and how much money individuals make in a year. Even though it is not a watertight method but it gives a more or less reasonably reliable pointer on a given country’s direction of development.
The much sold level of education even though having grown steadily since 1980 (the Human Development Index (HDI) in income was worse off in 2012 than it was in 1980) shows that the education has not resulted in a better standard of living and more money in the pocket of the average Zimbabwean. And that ZANU PF might not have earned the hero status after-all, because even life expectancy of the average Zimbabwean was lower in 2012 than it was in 1980.
The curious thing is that even the education that is lauded as one of the best in Africa is what could be considered as average globally, because when compared with the HDI in education of countries like Finland, then Zimbabwe’s education is left wanting and when further compared in income (GDP per capita) and health, it fades into insignificance.
The question is what has ZANU PF done that political activists should whistle in hearty cheer when President Mugabe stands up? Are we now going to be a continent that cheer the most for those who throw the best insults at Western Imperialists? Are we to be a continent that award and honour those that pursue vengeful policies instead of Human Development policies?
That ZANU PF has been shamefully quiet on the dictatorship obtaining in Swaziland is a reality we ponder on when we try to reason the role of ruling former liberation movements in Africa. And that ZANU PF is a cause for the suffering of a lot of Zimbabweans should shame any Swazi political activist who even ponders on the act of cheering that shame that is taking place in Zimbabwe, because there is a similar shame taking place in Swaziland.
That the then ZANU is yet to give humane reasons why the death of twenty thousand in Matabeleland was the better option because it would be curious to know if the leaders at ZANU had so run out of ideas at the time, and that wholesale murder of civilians was really the last option.
It may seem like we are cheering our very demise, but didn’t we cheer to the point of hoarse voices when a boy of eighteen years was crowned to be a leader of one of the most developmentally challenged countries in the world. It may seem that we never learn.