Develop me :Tapiwa Gomo

We are at a stage in our country where what seems to be a political problem, is not only hindering our ability to develop but decimating any hope of doing so in the foreseeable future. We are in a state of despair and doom. Instead of trying to fix what is not working, we need to start afresh and re-establish a new platform.

The starting point is to shelve or abandon the entire rhetoric about the liberation struggle. It was a struggle that did not liberate anyone. It is apt time that the nation realised that the nation was deceived into joining a battle between two criminal organisations that harboured the same goals of privatising the country, sadly at the expense of thousands of lives. The ceremony on April 18, 1980 was nothing, but a hand over which blinded the nation to think the country was now independent. The country only changed hands and a name.

Continuously giving the liberation struggle credence perpetuates a sense of indebtedness, entitlement and heroism among those who preside over our destitution. It also creates the presumption of legitimacy and the existence of a foundation on which to establish a future.

The fact of the matter is that everything government-related “our comrades” have touched has gone wrong, but their personal economies have continued to grow. It is for this reason that them and their claimed role in the struggle needs to be obliterated without hesitation. Once that is out of the way, the nation will awaken to the urgent realisation of the need to unite and mount a new and genuine struggle to liberate itself.

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What currently looks like a struggle against the establishment are mere and profoundly fragmented ideas and concepts; some of whose polarised and competing drivers derive lifelines from and in complicity with the establishment. They have called themselves opposition when they are doing business with the establishment. Conflicted interests produce flawed parties, candidates and outcomes. If we choose to call it one, ours is an exhausted and futile struggle.

Take for instance, religious groups, masters of human salvation, tell their congregants to leave everything in the hands of God, as criminals pillage the country. There are numerous political groups involved in discordant calls for political reforms. The business community meanwhile continues to shy away from confronting the establishment.

Civil society organisations have long lost their bite. Protests have less impact other than aggravating potholes in towns and cities. The media too have been complicity in this docility. Instead of challenging the status quo and being more provocative, they are content with political alignment. One does not need to be a political scientist to see that the electoral process in Zimbabwe is not only an impediment to democracy, but is designed to perpetually legitimise the establishment.

Just like wise, criminals have devised effective off-the-shelf prescriptions for each of these. Churches were told to stay away from politics and they parochially comply.

Calls for political reforms by political groupings die upon hitting deaf ears. The business community has a choice to shut down or lose their investment, so they have long chosen the latter. Protesters and civil society organisations are handled at junior police level with spasmodic army deployments to scare them away.

And as it stands, the media are not a threat to the establishment or opposition. Elections are regularly rigged and opposition parties sent to petition in the courts controlled by the establishment. With all these social agents of political change under control, the establishment is as comfortable as ever and in no urgent need to reform even as the nation languishes in destitution. They can plunder in comfort.

The rise of what they have called the new dispensation is the biggest deception and political fraud of our generation. But again, it demonstrated our profound gullibility and inextricability from our abyss. We rejoiced in a coup and believed it was not one. We joined the establishment’s internal cleansing ritual. Once they were on the driving seat, they were back to their usual true selves: The private owners of the country. The police defend and protect their interests. Since the dispensation’s judicial power grab of the 2017 coup, courts have become political organs or where the corrupt are acquitted and become untouchable and filthy rich.

The opposition, now either resigned to the fringe business interests from the establishment or simply recoiled in their slumber. The political struggle is abandoned and the worsening destitution of ordinary Zimbabweans is neglected. With all options on the political market looking frail and void, some have turned to the internal politics within the establishment to trigger a self-destruct button which would send it tumbling.

That too would not be a politically bankable opportunity because successionists in the same establishment will reassert themselves to power. Some have suggested that the convergence of the disgruntled within the establishment and those ejected from it after the 2017 coup is what is required to kickstart a new wave of struggle. So much for hope.

History tells us that political change in the face of an arrogant autocracy requires sacrifice and non-violent disobedience to the rules of oppression. No oppressor will reform themselves out of power without being pressured to do so. Our best shot at achieving change lies in a new progressive and all-encompassing political movement – one whose goal is none other than liberating the country from its current bondage.