Happy birthday Zim

HARARE - Today Zimbabwe marks 36 years of majority rule and isn’t it sweet to say Happy Birthday to the resilient people of this long suffering nation.

Unfortunately, if we are to look at the period since 1980 when we attained independence, the tales are not so sweet but sour and our nation’s birthday comes at a time when Zimbabweans are going through a harrowing moment with the economy on its deathbed.

Even though today is a public holiday, the oomph feeling is drained from most Zimbabweans who have to coax a living as vendors while the majority are living in abject poverty at the same time hunger is stalking millions.

We have written so much about the suffering that Zimbabweans have to endure daily and we will not stop asking the leadership that will today gather at the giant National Sports Stadium led by none other than President Robert Mugabe whether they fought to make the country a sea of vendors or it was a war for self aggrandisement.

Zimbabwe is not a private property and no one should claim ownership of such a vast nation yet we are reminded by the governing party times without number that “because we liberated you, we have to rule you forever”.

Does this not defeat the whole concept of democracy that led many young women and men into the bush to liberate this country?

Where is the milk and honey that Zanu PF promised in 1980? Why is there no closure on the Gukurahundi atrocities? Why 36 years after independence, should a woman die while giving birth in some remote rural area while the first daughter Bona Mugabe is flown to Dubai to give birth.

Seriously, should we celebrate when millions of Zimbabweans are scattered in the Diaspora because the governing party has failed to create jobs.

Unemployment levels in the country are sky-high, most people do not have access to potable water and nearly four decades after independence, Zimbabweans are being subjected to arbitrary arrests by police even against the provisions of the Constitution.

The gap between the rich and poor is widening by the day, our leaders are setting up mansions while the ordinary person lives in plastic houses that rumble with the wind.

Surely, would our late liberators such as Herbert Chitepo and Josiah Magama Tongogara approve of the status obtaining in the country where the high heeled including politicians send their children to foreign schools while the poor are stuck with local poorly funded colleges?

Where is the equality that our liberators fought for? Where are the jobs and freedoms that spurred many into the bush to fight the racist Ian Smith regime?

Our hospitals themselves are in the intensive care, our own people live as refugees in foreign lands, and there is nothing to indicate that life could get better for Zimbabweans. Maybe life begins at 40, but nonetheless we say happy birthday Zimbabwe.

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