When a nation’s hope turns into a nightmare

3 August 2013

The fire of liberty and freedom within us can never be extinguished.

As I write this article the fraudulent results of our elections are being announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission; a body that has proven once more, that in Zimbabwe, even judges can break the law and get away with it.

Yesterday hope has turned into today’s despair. God help us.

I think that the SADC should have never have allowed these elections to proceed. All they should have said is that ZANU (PF) could go ahead if they wish, but the SADC would not recognize the outcome because the conditions of the Electoral Act were not met.

I guess it is easy with hindsight to offer solutions on what should have happened, but one thing must be clear to all of us: ZANU (PF) will never contest in a free and fair election as long as they are in control of the army, the police, the media and now Rita Makarau (the head of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission - ZEC).

I am embarrassed at how the ZEC has carried out its mandate at the expense of millions of ordinary suffering Zimbabweans. I am ashamed to be Zimbabwean and somehow related to those who have contributed to the theft of our hope. From the touts that were sent on dubious errands, to those high ranking officials at the top of all organizations, be they private and public; all have contributed to this monumental crime against the freedom and liberty of Zimbabweans.

The Guardian newspaper quoted Olusegun Obsanjo, the head of the African Union observer mission as follows; “Yes the election is free, Fairly? Fairly. I have never seen an election that is perfect.”  This was after Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (chairperson of the African Union) literally scoffed at the idea of rigging. Therein lies our problem; the expectations of our black African brothers and sisters from the continent are not high and we shall continue to suffer for it. Our flippant approach to high standards in all we do, including the fact that ZANU(PF) was never sincere since the GPA, shall continue to compromise African standards of governance and living- poverty and inequality shall be our fate.

I watched with curiosity as rag tag unemployed and most probably broke youth, jumped up and down and ululated at ZANU (PF)’s victory. This while their “chefs” were opening champagne bottles and imported whiskey to celebrate. The poor have delivered to their “chefs” once more, and they must now return to face their poverty.

If anything, I have now realized that maybe I have assumed too much. I assumed that those poor Zimbabweans in the rural areas who have had a major influence on our future have the same aspirations as I have and that they know what I know. I assumed that they are ready to fight to the death for freedom, even in the face of threats. I assumed that they are aware of ZANU (PF)’s ethics and that they have learnt their lesson well from the last 34 years. I thought that they know that their vote is secret. I was wrong. Fear and ignorance took over and that dangerous cocktail has ploughed my country back to pre 2000 levels, where ZANU (PF) has unfettered access to power and our national resources and are accountable to none but themselves.

I have also realized that, as long as millions of smart Zimbabwean sit by the sidelines and do clever academic analyses on events and criticize from their comfort zones overseas, our nation will never progress and degenerates will continue to rule us. The battle can only be won on the ground.

The burden of a ZANU (PF) dominated government with unfettered political power for the next five years lies so heavily on my shoulders, I could not think of anything better to do than to kneel down and pray. God help us.

In dark days such as these, we need faith and incessant hope. We need deep courage that must not take into account the challenges and hardships ahead. Truly, the things that we thought evil have been confirmed as so. The men and women who have presided over this evil must know that, as they celebrate their “victory”, the fire of liberty and freedom within us can never be extinguished. The political ideals upon which ZANU (PF) is based cannot be celebrated nor will they stand the test of time.

It is easy I guess to give up now and go with the flow as many of us have chosen to. It is easy for people like Rita Makarau, Tobaiwa Mudede (Registrar-General of Voters) and many others, including those from foreign lands, complicit in this fraud, to look into their bank accounts and derive satisfaction from their bulging bank balances for a job well done. How pitiful.

As they enjoy their “victory”, my message is; know that we are a nation deeply wounded and that wound can only be healed by our total freedom from oppression. Although it may tarry, as clear as day is from night, it will surely come to pass.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” (Marianne Williamson)

Let that light shine now. Asijiki.

Vince Musewe is an economist based in Harare; you may contact him on vtmusewe@gmail.com http://www.sokwanele.com/thisiszimbabwe/when-nation%E2%80%99s-hope-turns-nightmare/03082013