HARARE - “There’s a relentless wave of WTF coming out of Washington DC,” one mystical Jarod Kintz is reputed to have said while commenting on the confusion, corruption, crass political culture and lack of ethics in the American capital.
Similarly, one Lord Acton — a famed English historian, politician and writer — is credited with the more well-known saying: “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely”.
If political developments in Zimbabwe over the past 34 years are anything to go by, then what Kintz, in his rude “French”, and Acton said many moons ago about the vulgarity, and countries’ politics could just be as true for our country, if not worse!
For the benefit of those who might have been lost in this rude “French” and shorthand, WTF is very bad language standing for “what the ...” While one cannot spell it out in a national family newspaper like this, many of you can get the gist of what Kintz was saying.
And as we approach what should be the most valued and respected day in Zimbabwe, which is only 11 days away, there is little doubt that our rulers of the past three decades have mostly and consistently done “a Kintz” on us, and rudely waved their middle finger at us.
Instead of their now famous, but self-serving slogan “bhora mugedhi”, our leaders have mostly practised the twin evils of “dhora mubhegi” and “suffer continue” for the rest of humanity. Yes, they are that crude — openly and arrogantly so.
And why shouldn’t they, when they wield so much power, which Acton so correctly observed in the 19th Century that it yields absolute corruption!
With many readers of the Daily News traumatised by news such as Nieebgate, Salarygate and many other disheartening exposes as of the past 34 years, and bordering on grand State thievery, corruption and thuggery, there is also a savage fight for access to resources and patronage that is going on in President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party
And if anyone needs a reminder, Hurungwe West legislator Temba Mliswa’s recent “revelations” prove just that and these fights have escalated as bigwigs position themselves to takeover from the nonagenarian.
While there could be much to talk about Mliswa’s own conduct, the nation owes this “brave young man” for providing an insight into his party’s deadly factionalism and a culture of primitive accumulation of wealth via political office. It’s obscene!
No wonder then that independence day has become, at best, just another day, but mostly a chore that many Zimbabweans now feel merely pressured to mark and observe.
Yet, for many people around the world, such a day is very special and a joyous occasion even after centuries, not just three decades, of Uhuru.
To that extent, countries such as South Africa and the United States do not mark this day through empty rhetoric, symbolic pomp and ceremony, and a coercive brand of nationalism, but by ensuring that independence day is fully and willingly embraced by the majority of citizens — and celebrated with much gusto, spirit and necessary self-introspection. It is thus a crying shame that a mere 34 years into “freedom”, Zimbabwe’s nationalistic fervour has wholly dissipated — all thanks to our selfish, greedy and offensive rulers. Too many Zimbabweans will agree that our people are still to attain real political and economic independence, and to illustrate this point home, no one can claim with a measure of certainty or authority that majorities are either freer or better off today than they were under Ian Smith’s murderous regime.
For a few who live comfy lives and are wont to disagree, a step out of their mansions and limos to the high density suburbs or rural areas will give you an appreciation of the dire poverty, and desperation out there.
Surely, freedom must mean much more than simply meeting for a free annual football festival or jamboree at the National Sports Stadium or having the mere right to vote, in sham polls and , as Zimbabweans did in July 2013.
True Uhuru must mean a free people — physically, mentally, politically, legally, socially and very crucially, economically.
But all of these remain a pipe dream in Zimbabwe, which remains an effective hostage of our “dhora mubhegi” chefs, just as was the case under Smith.