Why settle for second best? Why expect less than you deserve? Why be quiet when your rights have been infringed? Why go with the flow when it is more fitting to stand up against the tide of time?
This is a question I’ve asked myself so many times in life. If you stop to think about it, how often do we settle for second best, just because it is too much effort to rock the boat? I am also quite often amazed at how our reactions can be so disproportionate to the situation. I mean we are more likely to make an issue about a badly cooked meal than take issue with human rights abuses in our own home country.
As a child of Africa, I hear all too often the excuses of people, politicians, communities, and friends and even from time to time myself. We love to put the blame of our own short comings onto other people. I was prompted to think at how ironic it is that we are so quick to point a finger when reading a comment left on a face book page by a Facebook Individual whom likes to be called Young ZANU PF. I chuckled as I read this individuals bleatings about how Morgan Tsvangirai is now seeking to split from the coalition agreement in Zimbabwe. Like a sick sheep caught in a barbed wire fence who ever the person is went on and on about how ZANU PF would never be married to a puppet!
It made me wonder, does the person who has the audacity to think that he or she speaks as the voice of the entire youth movement of the ZANU PF, have any idea of what life in the real world is like. We are all too familiar with the ZANU PF Mantra of “Blame it on the White Man”. It is only a fool that believes that even in this day and age, colonialism is still to blame for the wanton destruction of the thriving economy that was Zimbabwe pre 1997. As the Government of National Unity comes under threat of failure once again, we are reminded how for 17 years post Independance ZImbabwe was called the bread basket of Africa. Now it is the laffing stock of the world, a complete failure as a nation, totally unable to even feed its own people!
No, a coalition is not a marriage, which is the single significant thing that Young ZANU PF managed to point out on Facebook. A coalition is infact an agreement in law that two political parties make in order to resolve a situation arising from no one clear winner emerging from a national election. An agreement to represent the people of a nation and hold their best interests at heart. An agreement to work together to solve differences and overcome obsticals in order to forge progress. An agreement that cleary ZANU PF nor MDC T were capable of sticking too. An agreement I believe that neither party ever intended to adhear to.
But as is always the case for Zimbabwean politics, one person will stand up, make a big noise and it is left to the educated masses to sit back and laugh at the absurdity of what’s been said. Does any representative of ZANU PF not realise that they are indeed puppets of their indomitable leader? Do they not realise that at his hands, during the hours that his team were on watch the nation we all love and cherish was sold down the drain?
Can any one of them say that they are proud to be the party responsible for bringing Zimbabwe to its knees? Do any of them imagine that the rest of the world real cares what they have to say when it comes down to pointing the finger at someone else? Morgan Tsvangirai is just another excuse for these people to not accept responsibility for their own failings. We are seasoned veterans of the prolific list of people accused for the failures in Zimbabwe. We can predict with almost certain accuracy what will be said by whom, who it is that will be accused and why the ZANU PF could not possibly be to blame.
But what was possibly the most ironic point of this Facebook comment was the fact that the rant came on a post that had been made to congratulate David Mwanaka, a black Zimbabwean farmer that has made a success of his time in the UK. So while every other person is there wanting to acknowledge the deeds of a successful indigenous business man, who has overcome many odds to become successful in a country not even his own, the ZANU PF or at least its Youth Representative as this profile would have you believe choose to berate the Zimbabwean Prime Minister. This is a perfect example of how the Zimbabwean ruling regime will use any instance to launch into its propaganda tirade seeking to discredit any Zimbabwean that does not fall in step and tow the line.
So in thinking about this I am brought back to my original question, why do we so easily settle for second best. In the case of millions of Zimbabweans, we have settled for far less than even second place. It almost seems we are prepared to stand by and watch as our country is plundered and we are stripped of our rights, liberties, land, homes, businesses, livelihood, and even our very existence.
Do we not have the right to hold our politicians accountable? Do we not have the right to seek a better life for ourselves and our families? Do we not have the right to seek to be more than we are and not rest on our laurels? Why has Zimbabwe waited all this time? No allow me to correct that question. Why do Zimbabweans still stand back and appear lame? Is it not our time to demand justice? Is it not the time to bring down the walls of ZANU PF and demand answers? Should we not rise up together, white, black, coloured, regardless of race, creed, religion, and say “This is our time!” “Together we stand as one, together we are unstoppable, together we demand an end to this tyranny!”
Is it possible for Zimbabweans to overcome their differences and unit in such a manner? Do Zimbabweans even want to see freedom come to Zimbabwe? Do we realise that without some form of reconciliation between the people of Zimbabwe, we will always fall foul of politicians and evil men? While I truly believe that power lies in the hands of the people, I have come to believe that for far too many that are able to make a stand, they are in a place where they are far to comfortable to rock the boat. It is easier to live abroad as a refugee than face the daunting task of rebuilding a devastated and broken nation back home. It is a bridge too far to give up the fat cat lifestyle and resort to building bricks out of clay and mud to reconstruct the battered Zimbabwean economy. Perhaps it is easier to sit from afar and watch the rantings of a mad man and his cronies without it actually affecting us in any tangible form.
So many people have been affected by the decisions of an imperfect regime in Zimbabwe. No one can blame a man who recognises that he is wrong and puts his hands up to accept the responsibility of his actions. The people of Egypt accepted that while it wanted rid of Hosni Mubarak, he was a man capable of making mistakes. The problem with Robert Mugabe is the fear of prosecution for crimes against humanity within his own nation, and for this reason his people, us, Zimbabweans of every description will continue to suffer, carry the scars and mourn the death of our once great nation. Until that time we all join together and demand change, this is our lot, and we can continue to expect to suffer the foolish rantings of a party lost in transition.