Still not yet free after 34 long years!

HARARE - Tomorrow is Independence Day, and ordinarily, it should mark one of the happiest, most cherished and revered days in the life of our nation.

Alas, that is patently not the case. The day is now, at best, just another off-day for the few Zimbabweans who are lucky enough still to be gainfully employed.

No matter how much this may rankle with our touchy political leaders, the incontrovertible truth is that our National Day has lost its meaning beyond the crass politicking and free football matches that our government perennially dishes out on this day.

President Mugabe lights the Eternal Flame - also known as the Independence Flame - at the National Sports Stadium in Harare on April, 18 2010.

This is leading many Zimbabweans to ask what it is, indeed, that those gallant sons and daughters of this once proud nation died and sacrificed their lives for, as they battled white minority rule, because the majority of our citizens are today worse off — by any measure — than they were before April 18, 1980.

But do the corrupt and ruthless politicians who have presided over this Uhuru care?

Not at all. For their unearned, super-luxurious lifestyles are sustained by the misery of the majority. Just consider the following revealing tidbits to get a clearer picture of both the scale of incompetence and the disdain with which our self-serving rulers hold fellow Zimbabweans.

When President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF assumed power in 1980, Zimbabwe was, staggeringly, ahead of South Africa on most socioeconomic indicators, and we had a higher GDP per capita than China! Not only that, our now buried currency, inherited from sanctions-ravaged Rhodesia — and we mean real, not slap-on-the-wrist targeted sanctions — was worth twice the value of the much vaunted US dollar!

Today, our GDP per capita is one of the lowest in the world, with at least 90 percent of our people living in abject poverty.

The Zimbabwe dollar, embarrassingly, is dead: killed years ago by avarice, gross corruption and tragic mismanagement by the gits who run our lives.

And notwithstanding the hopelessly contrived “positive” narrative around our chaotic land reforms of the past 15 years, Zimbabwe today is donor-dependent, on the very “evil” West that our leaders denigrate all the time (witness the ongoing and disgraceful endeavours to coerce Western-funded NGOs to assist the abandoned Chingwizi camp dwellers). And we now import virtually everything that we consume.

Yet until the late 1980s, we produced most of what we ate and our farmers employed 350 000 people on their own. Juxtapose this against our new “cellphone farmers” -- most of them clueless, shockingly lazy and undeserving multi-farm beneficiaries of Zanu PF’s disastrous fast-track land reforms — who very often don’t have a single person on a regular and fair payroll!

Ditto the carnage that has decimated commerce and industry.

Given the grim picture above, it really is not a great mystery that Freedom Day has lost both its lustre and meaning among the majority of our people. For what is independence without real freedom?

Meaningful independence must entail the right to vote, act, speak, or think as one wants. It, crucially, must also include freedom from economic misery and dependency, as is now widespread in a supposedly free Zimbabwe.

All these rights remain a pipe dream for most Zimbabweans.

Many Zimbabweans will thus be hoping, and praying, that just this once, on this 34th Independence Anniversary, that our rulers will pause and reflect on the true meaning of Uhuru, as well as their culpability in the nation’s ever-deteriorating well-being.

It is surely not too much to hope that our clueless leaders, who sully and dishonour our “independence” with their gross incompetence, brazen corruption and misrule will finally start to work for the good of all Zimbabweans.

Comments (18)

well said , Anenzeve anzwa!!

eddie - 17 April 2014

As long as the country is under the thieving psychpaths, the ordinary people will never taste freedom and prosperity. The armed robbers currently in control will ensure that people are not allowed to voice their concerns through the use of brute force and fascist laws. Indeed, the country is being treated like the private farm of the rulers and the general public is treated as some trespassers.

Dhonorayi Charuveki - 17 April 2014

I agree with you @eddie. This staff writer has aptly captured what is in every zimbabwean's mind. Cry the beloved country.

Km - 17 April 2014

its a pity to pple who were born 34 yrs ago , with the majority never worked anywhere,zimbabweans are God fearing ,peace loving pple,but with zapf these pple were never afforded the chance.zimbos are hard workin pple who used to work in industries , getting their salaries or wages sendind their children to school , getting their bonuses come year end , visiting their families monthend all this ,is now dreams , the old man knows what he did to our beloved zimbabwe. vanoziva here kuti you can buy a car blend new frm dulys with a payslip, but zanpf amana these pple are cruel

wedziko chitova - 17 April 2014

Nice one, thats why Jonathan Moyo wants to destroy "polarized media". he does not wants facts like these. Keep on the good work Daily News.

Chamboko - 17 April 2014

The thieves are at their highest ebb looting everything anything anywhere.

protestor - 17 April 2014

It is very saddening that after 34 of independence it is difficult to own a house and to be formally employed in Zimbabwe

baba - 17 April 2014

Some very powerful and interesting facts in this article. Seriously speaking, aren't our leaders ashamed of themselves? We are now the laughing stock in Africa and the world. And just yesterday we were informed that our national airline is being shunned by travellers. Instead of the responsible minister launching a vigorous marketing campaign to fight off competition from South African Airways and other airlines, he prefers to scale down to smaller aircraft. Is this what ZIMASSET is all about?

Dr Know - 17 April 2014

Enough said

Lt General - 17 April 2014

It is long walk to freedom. The time will come when we shall celebrate.

kt - 17 April 2014

The fact that you wrote this article means you are more than free. During the Smith Regime, you would not write this shallow article

Mbokodo - 17 April 2014

The fact that you wrote this article means you are more than free. During the Smith Regime, you would not write this shallow article

Mbokodo - 17 April 2014

The fact that you wrote this article means you are more than free. During the Smith Regime, you would not write this shallow article

Mbokodo - 17 April 2014

I've no doubt that that this @Mbokodo fellow is the same person as the unreasonable @Reason. Poor Mbokodo/Reason, he is obviously too inebriated to remember that Daily News reporters have recently been arrested for telling the truth and that the paper was banned for a decade for telling the truth.

Khaya - 17 April 2014

Mbokodo are you for real and, do you not know a primitive law that is called Criminal Defamation that is currently being used against the Daily News by the government? So where is the freedom that you are talking about, as only despots use that law in the whole wide world!

Musorodamba - 17 April 2014

Daily News banned itself by not following the laws and telling daily lies. If you report facts, nobody will touch you.Please adhere to the truth

Mbokodo - 17 April 2014

If vaMbokodo's logic is to be believed, I guess that those fellow Zimbabweans who are dying from hunger and disease because of dire poverty are just too stupid to survive and also prone to committing suicide!

Mercy - 18 April 2014

Free from having to worry about money (there isn't any) or a job (there aren't any). Free from having to worry about food (there isn't any), or industry (there isn't any). Free from worrying about water or electricity (yup, you guessed it – there isn't any). Completely independent from the rest of the modern world, as because basically, we're not really part of it any more. Oh – and free from the annoying responsibility of having to vote or keep working for a better democracy, because…

spiralx - 18 April 2014

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