35 years of murder, graft

BULAWAYO - Unless you were under the influence of powerful drugs, you would hardly describe as memorable or exciting the first 35 years of our independence.

For a start, 20 000 innocent lives have been confirmed as slaughtered by people believing themselves to be taking revenge on some injury or wrong.

What preoccupies some of us in the journalism profession is the weird notion that some of our colleagues were targeted specifically for elimination because they were alleged to be at the head of this group of marauders.

Whichever turns out to be the truth, people seemed to turn on each other for no reason except the suspicion some other group was out to eliminate them.

What alarmed others was the notion that people who had lived in harmony for many years were suddenly prepared to massacre each other over what many would not pass as a motive.

Why the national leadership did not turn its entire attention to the rumblings of discontent in areas identified as trouble spots was not entirely clear.

It seemed clear that part of the national leadership had not grasped the gist of what was going on. The theory seemed to gather momentum that if enough people were united in fomenting a single but large group of divisiveness, “real trouble could be brewed”.

In the midst of all this confusion, the political and economic pendulum was being handled with the cohesiveness or conscience that would be demanded in such situations.

Among citizens who pay great attention to such seemingly minute instances, there were disturbing signs of unrest unrelated to any one particular incident or occurrence.

Meanwhile, the leadership in general was apparently steeped in its own, peculiar game of factionalism or machismo.

Admittedly, the largest political party on the land seemed to be preoccupied with this new fad, that the subject was picked up by people who ought to have had more intelligence than to make a mountain out of a molehill.

The net seemed to be cast wider around the continent. The semblance of unity throughout the continent was being openly challenged.

Pockets of resistance in areas previously “certified” as united were being identified as potentially areas of dissent. It was not immediately clear if there were “alien” elements at work, but the overall suspicion was that there was clandestine work being launched by countries keen to test the resilience of African unity. 

According to the so-called Africanists if it was assumed that African unity was as solid as it ever was. There are economic problems besetting the continent.

There is no doubt that if any African country faltered in its determination to remain independent and strong, any number of nations, anxious to exploit African weakness would move in, slowly, and then suddenly gain economic and political control of the region.

There may be doubt among many African countries that the time is long past when a European country could launch a bid to overcome the economic or political supremacy of an African country for its own purposes.

Yet the world is still haunted by countries in such poor developmental situations in which none would hesitate to benefit from the offer of a steady supply of capital to boost their ailing economy.

There is no doubt that in the economic state of the world today, there are few countries which would not pass off a chance to boost their economy, if such an opportunity was offered, on generous terms.

Zimbabwe is by no means in a position in which it can exploit its resources and reap the rewards of the past.

Surely, the blunders of the past 35 years cannot have been forgotten by the economic “whizkids” (and witches) in the ministry of Finance.

All of them must be aware that even in Africa today, a chance to make a quick buck cannot be passed off easily.

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