A CURIOUSLY unlikely combination of interest in naval imagery with a son completing first year in medical school inspires me to view Zimbabwe’s political terrain through a medical prism. In the process, I am not only tempted to adapt some of the lingua franca, but also forced to improvise phrases that suit my selfish, egotistic, self-serving, insatiable thirst for polemic expression!
Report by Rejoice Ngwenya
I am undaunted — being unlucky to have been marooned on Zanu PF‘s island of political desolation — in likening Zimbabwe to a hapless patient lying and bleeding profusely on the coral reef of grief.
Having survived the “turbulent seas” of Ian Smith’s Rhodesian war as a teenager, I now find myself a fully grown casualty in the shipwreck of Robert Mugabe’s recklessly primeval authoritarian adventure.
To put it graphically, from 2000 up to shortly before the Global Political Agreement (GPA) in 2008, Zimbabwe lay bleeding on the economic beach, having been crashed onto the jagged corals by a ruthless political tsunami triggered by an uncaring Zanu PF. Instead of stemming the haemorrhage, the nationalist politicians and their cronies — like predatory vampires inhabiting a haunted lighthouse — take turns to siphon the blood of our country, stashing excess haematological loot in their satanic authoritarian barrels.
A sensible doctor should — at an accident scene — try to first stem the loss of blood, and then rehydrate the patient with a life-saving drip. It is common medical knowledge that a drip or transfusion is invaluable to weak patients.
But at the scene of Zimbabwe’s political shipwreck, Zanu PF vampires have anestheticised the drip with deadly policy toxins like “indigenisation”, “land reform” and the most recent populist bacteria — a cumbersome concoction aptly labelled “community share ownership schemes”. The result is devastating. Zimbabwe is experiencing seizures. Were it not for our anatomical resilience and immunity, we would have long lapsed into an irreversible, brain-damaging political coma!
Many years of exposure to authoritarian radiation and policy viral pathogens has damaged Zimbabwe’s vital infrastructural organs — resulting in a new condition I term demophobia — the fear of democracy.
Institutions that are meant to safeguard constitutional democracy — the like judiciary and media — have been attacked by virulent cancer, subjected to partisan and compliant gangrene that requires drastic amputation from our body politic to allow for muscular regeneration. The comedy is how Zanu PF genetic turncoats — masquerading as deranged propagandists — afflicted with an advanced case of verbal diarrhoea — spew the unsightly discharge on innocent members of civil society and activists. It is sheer luck that there is no widespread infection.
Moreover, they are also some beneficiaries of so-called indigenisation who are constipated with illicit diamond profits to the point of life-threatening obesity. Only democratic liposuction will save them from imminent cardiac arrest!
As we approach crucial elections, the international rescue flotilla from United Nations must insist that not a single consignment of medical aid be air-dropped before the political casualty ward is sanitised with overdue reforms. The last thing we would want to see are Zanu PF vampires benefiting from fresh blood packs meant for our people, already labouring under a punishingly recuperative therapy programme. Zanu PF is allergic to democratic free and fair elections.
Even a first year medical student will know what to prescribe — regime change! But this can only come where Zimbabwe’s vital life support system rids itself of the political viruses that have plagued it for 33 years. Only massive democratic transfusion and dialysis can restore our country to its pre-Gukurahundi industrial health days.