Zim at crossroads

EDITOR — Ring out the old, ring in the new will chime across the Universe as we see out the eventful 2013 and welcome 2014.

New Year, the world over is associated with rebirth, renewal, reflection and resolution as the world bids farewell to one year and welcomes the next, in almost every  culture and tradition there is something different, something beyond the mere chronological setting of the sun one day and its rising on the next.

I would guess that for most Zimbabwean the 2013 was dominated by four events:

- The ushering in of a people-driven Constitution with all the hopes that it would bring in a better future for our country.

- The end of the government of National Unity, with all the uncertainties often associated with change.

However, in Zimbabwe, there was the fear that the little normalcy that our country was beginning to feel could so easily be undone and the country would relapse into those dark days when all hope had ebbed away and the State could be described simply as comatose.

Some may even argue that the premonition has turned out to have been justified.

- The July, 31 elections the aftermath of which still rumbles on and of course,

- the passing of the world icon, SouthAfrica’s Nelson Mandela, an event with a significance not far short, or even of greater significance than the transition from one year to the next.

As Zimbabweans reflect, not only on the year 2013 but on the long history of our struggle for freedom and emancipation, we may do well to borrow from Mandela’s words: “Never forget that a saint is a sinner who keeps on trying”.

Therefore, despite the dark clouds in our country’s past, if we  should keep striving for sainthood,
The question we may  ask ourselves is one which I tabled at a panel discussions in Harare during the pre-election period, “Do we, as a country feel at ease with our consciences when we reflect on the period since the so-called independence?”

“Is what our country is today what so many sacrificed for, was it what the struggle was about?”

It was the exposure to the reality as I travelled most of our country that finally brought the stark reality to me.

Zimbabwe cannot simply carry on the way it is now. The “steady as she goes” mantra can no longer be a tenable option.

To be honest, the shock at what is happening in this land of plenty was far too much to bear.

Polarisation, hunger, marginalisation, cronyism, name calling, an attitude of might is right, where are we headed as a people, as a nation?

Our people have been turned into a society without compassion, empathy or respect for the sanctity of life.

Dog eat dog, is too mild a description for the dulled consciences of a nation that once was renowned for its empathy, welcoming and care for strangers.

The call made on the so-termed Unity Day was to swallow Zapu again and use that to continue to plunder the country’s resources, to enrich the few and carry on the great deception of peace, perfect peace in the land.

Wishing all Zimbabweans wherever they are, health and a march towards true freedom and prosperity in 2014!

Zapu Secretary General

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