The State and its crisis of expectations

HARARE - Wananchi, to the  majority of citizens the sole concern is to seek the mundane reproduction of their families and ordinary lives in these tough times.

It is tough and cold out there.

The ugly teeth of poverty are tearing apart the very essence of a nation’s existence.

The citizen is being turned inside and out, slalomed left and right by the corrosive power of a deep and intrusive sub existence.

Daily, the African is waking up and knotting himself into questions he has no answers for.

Like the colossus Plato or his student Aristotle, he ponders at the meaning of a life without life, a cruel existence without meaning. Form without shadows.

That 34 years after independence, many find themselves serving a sentence of this most excruciating of poverty is inexplicable.

But more depressing is the death of the dream among the citizen.

The cruel realisation that life will never be better, that the marginal optimum was attained briefly many years ago and that from here it is just down hill.

Put in simple terms ,the loss of hope. When the citizen realises that try as he might, his lot will never change for the better — that a pinnacle was reached, and that it is all down hill until his lord frees, the citizen dies at that moment.

There are millions of Zimbabweans arrested by this fatalism.

They look at themselves, they look at their grey past and their sterile future and understand the lie of their existence. That all along they have been zombies, devoid of life, but pretending to live.

Poverty does that. Some people call it reification. I call it death before death.

Where the citizen becomes helpless and hopeless he becomes a target for the opportunists and in Africa  they come no bigger and better than the State and its ruling elite.

In other words Africa’s crises of expectation generates the perfect condition for the flourishing of the patronage State.

Poverty and  huge seas of poverty create conditions where the poor Wananchi, has no choice but to turn to the same predators that created the crisis for support and assistance. The more they suffer, the more they get drugged by the smell of the crumbs dropping from the high table of the super looters and kleptocrats.

So in a very cruel twist of political economy, economic collapse, at least in the short run, does not collapse the dictator. It in fact sustains the same.

The point Wananchi, is — while the State is an arena of personal accumulation ,the dictator is the gate keeper of this eating frenzy of the loony.

The dictator determines who eats and who does not and what quantities thereof There is no license, no tender, no concession, no contract that can be made without  the dictators saying so. Herein lies the true reality of African politics.

Given this desperate situation it becomes imperative for Wananchi to organise themselves in their social movements and restore lives to the cadavers of poverty.

In this process hope is the key ingredient.

Hope is life, it is the belief that we will get there .It is the greatest fuel against tyranny  and suffering.

But that hope can not and should not be privatised by an individual ,a political party ,or an ethnic group.

It is a national asset, a national good for the wananchi.

It offers a carthasis, instant relief against the relentless onslaught of suffering brought about by the dictator.

That the struggle must be a collective project of the wananchi is key. A privatised struggle is a monopoly. As with all monopolies, the aim is not for real change.

It is a battle to change the faces of the oppressor, while retaining the apparatus of the oppressor.

We saw this happening in 1980. A captured struggle reproduces asymmetrically that which it is trying to remove. It is an elite capture of the people’s aspirations.

Under this construct, it is no longer about democratic change and real transformation,but a personal crusade for power and power’s sake.

When that is attained, the State enters into a  new vicious and accelerated form of accumulation. “It is our time to eat” so to speak.

But the African dream of change and democracy can not be allowed to die and will not die.

History teaches us that predation and oppression are not sustainable. States like Zimbabwe, modelled on the twin evils of coercion and patronage are not sustainable.

Patronage is not an inelastic resource even for wealthy African countries with huge resources like South Africa and Angola.

The thing with patronage is that,  you can never give sufficient money to all .So patronage, by its very nature is unequal and creates pockets of resentment and resistance.

On the other hand, coercion works temporally, particularly where the founding father is around.

In any case it is not generationally transmitted.

Moreover internal prosecutions, transitional justice frame works and international law, guarantee that the perpetrators of injustice will account for their sins one day.


Comments (8)

But hope does not address the problems we have today Tendai. Hope is not strategy. We need concrete achievable steps that can be adopted by the collective to achieve the change we hope for.

Paradzai Tirivashoma - 11 November 2013

When people are brutalized and trampled upon what gets left intact is hope. You need hope to have concrete plans for the future. Biti is speaking to this hope. You can not have strategy without hope. Startegies are anchored on hope. Hope is not a wish.

TM - 11 November 2013

Thanks, Hon. Biti. At least this gives us hope that this primitive looting in Zimbabwe will come to an end one day and the culprits will be held accountable.

tino - 11 November 2013

Biti can go shove himself in pvt, all of a sudden he wants to pretend to align with the common man. it would be folly to fall for such aggrandisement

Charles Hondoyi - 11 November 2013

Biti loves talking of rigging yet his face book page is rigged. The moment you challenge his warped views he blocks you such that you cant comment further. The result is that only people sympathetic to his views get to comment making his views seem popular. The rate at which his page has grown after Tsvangirai defeat suggest a deliberate ploy by him to create fake likes so that he appears more popular than Tsvangirai. Curiously a page entitled Biti For President has bee opened. To Biti and company you never learn, reality is better than appearance. You want to appear popular but in actual fact you are not and you will lose next elections

biti running a fake facebook page - 12 November 2013

The reason why MDCT lost the July election was the so called 2016 project where i come from ie Manicalanmd there was stark factionalism on pro T and B that cost the party the much needed vote.Yes Tsvangirai is not a demigod but the objective truth and reality the Judas of the party cost it the much needed votes.Being educated if not learned as lawyers would want to be called is not a guarantee of votes.Politics is a game of numbers far from being a number of principles.ZANUPF used Bitis stance against politicking when it comes to the fiscus and the party lost the same is going to happen again in 2018 as long as Biti remains too academic .

Aluta continua - 12 November 2013

Biti did nothing when he was in government. He is just an arrogant fellow thank God the people rejected you at the polls! in 2018 some people from your party will insist on contesting you for the right to represent the people of your constituency. In a word, you are finished!

godfrey gudo - 12 November 2013

Honourable Biti, despite your very good use of English, the basics of your message is don't lose hope, at no point have you elaborated on a tangible practical strategy to give cause to maintenance of hope, yes in theory the removal of a dictator gives rise to a better state of affairs for the common mass, yet again this is in theory, no mention of the practical hurdles to achieve this. Maybe that encapsulates the MDC, full of theoretical solutions to practical problems without practical application, I do believe there is a serious leadership vacuum emanating from this sort of thinking

theory!! - 13 November 2013

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